How to use keyboard shorcuts to navigate your inbox

Gmail is one of the largest email service providers in the world. It has many features such as spam control, unlimited storage space, chat, labs etc. It has a whole list of keyboard shortcuts that you can use while navigating around your inbox.
Follow this step by step tutorial to learn How to use keyboard shortcuts to navigate your Gmail Inbox.


Step # 1: Go to Mail Settings

To begin, sign into you Gmail account. Go to www.gmail.com, type your username and password and click on Sign in. In your main Gmail page, move your cursor to the gear shaped icon on the top right which denotes Settings and click on it. In the drop down menu that opens, click on Mail Settings.

Open Mail Settings

Step # 2: Switch Keyboard Shortcuts on

In your Mail Settings window, go to the General tab which is the first in the list on the top. In the General page, in the Keyboard Shortcuts section, click on Keyboard Shortcuts on.

Select Keyboard Shortcuts on

Step # 3: Click Save changes

Before exiting the page, scroll down to the end of the page and be sure to click ‘Save Changes’.

Save changes

Step # 4: Open ‘Learn more’

To learn more about the Keyboard shortcuts available in Gmail, click on the link ‘Learn more’ below the Keyboard Shortcuts section heading. To avoid navigating away from this page without saving the settings, right click on the link and select ‘Open link in new tab’.

Select ‘Learn more’

Step # 5: View list of Keyboard Shortcuts

In the new tab, you can see that the list of Keyboard Shortcuts will be shown for ready reference.

Display list of Keyboard Shortcuts

Step # 6: Press “C” to Compose

Back at the main Gmail page, press the ‘Shift + c’ to open the Compose window in a new tab.

Press Shift + c to Compose

Step # 7: Press “/” to search

The keyboard shortcut to select the search field is to press “/” and you can begin typing in the search field.

Type ‘/’ to search

Step # 8: Press “y” to archive

To archive a message, press ‘y’. The message will be archived or saved in the archives.

Type ‘y’ to archive

Step # 9: View the confirmation of message archiving

Once you have archived the message, back in the main page, the confirmation of your archiving will be showing on top of the page.

Display confirmation of message archiving

Step # 10: Press “z” to undo

To undo your last action, press “z” and the last action will be undone.

Type ‘z’ to undo

Step # 11: Press “Shift + 3” to delete

You can easily delete conversations from your inbox by selecting the conversation and pressing ‘Shift’ + ‘3’.

Type ‘Shift’ + ‘3’ to delete

Step # 12: Confirmation that conversation has been deleted

In the main page, you will be given a confirmation at the top of the page that the conversation has been deleted as shown in the picture.

Display confirmation that conversation has been deleted

Step # 13: Press “s” to star

To add a message to your favourites or starred messages, you can simply select a message and press “s”. A yellow star will appear in place of the hollow star previously there next to the message. Starred messages are primarily for marking as important.

Type ‘s’ to star a message

Step # 14: Press ‘r’ to reply

In the main page, select an email and press ‘r’ to open the reply window for the message.

Type ‘r’ to reply

Step # 15: Press ‘f’ to forward

You can also forward a message by selecting a message and pressing ‘f’ to forward a message.

Type ‘f’ to forward

Step # 16: Press “L” to Label

To label an email, you can select an email and press ‘Shift’ + ‘L’. This will open the Label menu and you can select the label you choose to assign to the email.

Type ‘L’ to Label

Step # 17: Press ‘v’ to Move message

You can move a message by selecting it and pressing ‘v’. This will open the Move menu and there you can choose which folder to move the email to.

Type ‘v’ to Move message

Step # 18: View starred messages

Further to a previous step where you starred a message, you can see the starred messages in the Starred folder on the left.

Display starred messages