48 Handy Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts to Supercharge Your Productivity

1. Keyboard shortcuts

These work on the fundamental rule – “working with the keyboard is always faster than working with mouse”.

For using these shortcuts one has to turn the Keyboard Shortcuts Option ON, available in Gmail settings.

Numerous shortcuts are available. Let’s have a look at a few:

cComposing a new mail
eArchiving mails
shift + uMarking emails as unread
shift + iMarking all the selected mails as read
*nDeselecting all emails
j/kMoving to new or older emails
g aGo to all mail
g dGo to drafts
g iGo to inbox
[enter]Go into the thread pointed to by the cursor
xSelect/deselect the current thread pointed to by the cursor


How to Undo Typing in Gmail

  1. If you need to undo typing in Gmail, press z to undo previous actions one at a time.
  2. Continue to press the z key until your previous actions have been undone.

9. Selecting all email in a label/page

One can select all the emails under a label/page with one click (you do not have to select them one by one manually). Selecting the checkbox at the top will help you select all the emails on that page.

Gmail Shortcuts That Decrease Read And Response Time

Tired of scrolling and searching for emails? Cut down your timing with these Gmail shortcuts.

9. Quickly navigate forward and backward to other messages

Press j and to go to previous or more recent emails (respectively) in your inbox. Note: if you’re in Conversation view, then use n and (n to go forward, p to go back) to read through each of the emails in a thread.

11. Trigger reply-all in a beat

Need to quickly weigh in with your input on a group email thread? Here’s your Gmail shortcut: a.

13. Move a conversation to the trash

In conversation view, pressing # will move the conversation to the trash.

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Video Tutorial

If you still have any doubt, you can watch this use video tutorial on “How to undo discarded draft in Gmail”.

22 Gmail Add-Ons and Extensions to Enhance Your Email Productivity

Do you want to get more things done in Gmail in less time? Try a combination of these Gmail add-ons and extensions to boost your email productivity!

Solution-3 Recover discarded draft in Gmail using Google vaults

This method is applicable for only those, who have access to a paid feature of Google vaults. If you have subscribed to Google Workspace (earlier G suite). You can log into Google vaults and search on your email address.

You will find the archived text, even if you have deleted it from your Gmail account. Actually, Google retains everything including deleted text in the Google vault for your account.

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Custom Gmail Keyboard Shortcut Ideas

As if the preceding 92 keyboard shortcuts for Gmail weren’t enough for your taste, there’s also an option in Gmail that lets you create your own shortcuts. Head to Settings, and click on Advanced options (formerly known as Gmail Labs—there are lots of nifty features to try out there). Click Enable next to Custom keyboard shortcuts, then save your changes.

When you’ve done this, you’ll get a brand-new tab in Settings for Keyboard Shortcuts, where you can enter almost any combination of keystrokes to fill in for the majority of functions listed on this guide.

If you’re stuck on what to do, here are some ideas

If you’re stuck on what to do, here are some ideas to get you going:

93. Numeric keypad entries. Many of the standard keyboard shortcuts in Gmail rely on letters, or combinations of holding down keys with letters that force you to stretch your hand across the keyboard. Instead, consider utilizing number sequences, and leveraging the power of a numeric keypad. Everything will be easier to remember, and you’ll be less likely to mistype a word while you’re trying to access a shortcut.

94. Appropriate letters. Some of the letters in the standard keyboard shortcuts make perfect sense, like using “r” for reply, “a” for reply all, and “f” for forward. But others, like “b” for Snooze, make little to no sense. You can use custom keyboard shortcuts to make sure your most commonly used functions are abbreviated using the most appropriate letters.

95. Comfortable positioning. You can also rearrange your keyboard shortcuts to maximize their ergonomics. This will depend on your personal preferences and some experimentation, but chances are, you’ll be able to find some shortcuts that make your hands far more comfortable and less strained.

Shortcuts to use when viewing an individual email conversation

If your current workflow is to open an email, take an action, then go back to the inbox to open the next email, using the following shortcuts will save you a lot of time! While looking at an individual email, you can press:

  • j and k to go to the older/newer email conversation.
  • { and } is similar to j and k but the current email conversation will be archived before moving to the older/newer one.

I tend to use { and } more frequently because I try to handle each email as I get to it rather than postponing action.

Shortcuts That Navigate Your Main Gmail Window

Need to transport from window to window? These combination codes are the Gmail shortcuts that you need.

26. Look through your contacts

The combination then c will send you to your contact list.

27. Revisit a saved draft 

Say you wanted to go back to that draft you stashed away. Pressing g then d will bring you to your saved drafts.

29. Search for an email according to label

The combination g then will set you up in the search bar to find emails according to their labels.

30. Checking out something you’ve already sent

A simple g then t will bring you to your sent mail folder.

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Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Open keyboard shortcut help (Shift + ?)
  2. Select a series of messages (Shift)
  3. Select random messages (Command)
  4. Select all unread messages (Shift + 8 + u)
  5. Archive selected messages (e)
  6. Mark selected messages as important (=)
  7. Compose (c)
  8. Search for messages (/)
  9. Go to tasks (g + k)
  10. Add a conversation to tasks (Shift + t)
  11. Reply (r)
  12. Reply all (a)
  13. Forward (f)
  14. Mark current messages unread (Shift + u)
  15. Mark selected message as important (=)
  16. Archive selected message (e)
  17. Jump to newer email (k)
  18. Jump to previous email (j)
  19. Jump to next message in email thread (n)
  20. Jump to previous message in email thread (p)
  21. Mute a conversation (m)
  22. Jump back to inbox view (u)
  23. Insert link (Command + k)
  24. Insert numbered list (Command + Shift + 7)
  25. Insert bullet points (Command + Shift + 8)
  26. Bold/Italicize/Underline (Command + b/Command + l/Command + u)
  27. Remove formatting (Command + Control + \)
  28. Switch between send name, subject line, and body of email (Tab)
  29. Send Email (Command + Enter)

Undo Deleting a Message

Use the following steps to undo moving a message to the Trash folder (deleting a message).

If you delete a message from the Trash folder or the Spam folder, you can't undo that action. The message is gone forever.

  1. After you delete an email, it's sent to the Trash folder, and a Gmail message appears: Conversation moved to Trash. The message is followed by a link: Undo.

  2. To retrieve the email you deleted, select Undo.

  3. The message is removed from the Trash and restored to the folder where you initially deleted it.

Messages in the Trash and Spam folders are automatically deleted after 30 days. If there is something in one of those folders that you want to keep, move it to another folder before 30 days pass.

A real-world scenario

It’s Tuesday and I’m late to work due to my dog’s vet appointment. When I finally arrive and open up Gmail, I have 53 unread emails. Here’s how I attack it:

I first look at my “Unread from the bosses” inbox (one of several inboxes I have set up as explained in my previous Medium post) and handle anything urgent.

I then scan the inbox for various labels that I’m currently tracking to find other time-sensitive emails.

Once I’ve put out the fires, I open the first email in my main inbox and then start using keyboard shortcuts to work the list. My keystrokes look something like this:

Yes, it looks cryptic, but once you get used to these shortcuts, you’ll be amazed at how fast you can work an inbox.

Here’s a breakdown of the first few keystrokes:

  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • ss toggle the star to my second one (orange). I have red/orange/blue stars (see previous post)
  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • s toggled stars to my first one (red)
  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • a reply-all to the current email
  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • a reply-all to the current email
  • { archive the email and move to the next one in my inbox
  • ; expand all emails in the current conversation
  • { archive the email and moved to the next one in my inbox
  • f forward the email
  • …and so on

In this example, I started with the newest email and worked my way back in time (newest to oldest). There are different opinions on this, but for me, this works the best because I see the most recent developments, so when I see a separate but related email further back in time about the same topic, I’m already current.

There are many other shortcuts that I’m not covering in this post, but you can see the full list by pressing “?” in Gmail. The Gmail help also has additional details.


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