How to Enable and Customize Gmail Shortcuts

by Amanda Kondolojy

If you are a fast and furious e-mail addict, you know how time-consuming it can be to use a mouse to point and click through messages. However, Gmail feels your pain, and has provided a way to enable keyboard shortcuts that can cut your mail-sifting time in half.

Open your preferred Internet browser and log in to Gmail. (Follow the link in Resources.) Go to the top of the page and click on the "Settings" tab.

In the far left of the "Settings" box, click on the "Labs" tab. A submenu will appear.

Scroll through until you find the "Custom Gmail Shortcuts" option. Click on the "Enable" button, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Save Changes." You will be redirected to your inbox.

Go back to the Settings menu. You will notice a new "Keyboard Shortcuts" tab. Double-click on it to view your shortcuts.

Customize your shortcuts. You can change the preset command keys by typing in one or two letters you want to correspond to certain actions in Gmail. When you're finished, simply click "Save Changes" to enable your shortcuts.


  • check Until you get used to them, it is a good idea to keep a shortlist of your most-used shortcuts at hand, so you can practice and memorize them.


  • close Try to come up with shortcuts that correspond directly to your actions, like "i" for "inbox" and "a" for archive. Doing so will make it faster and easier for you to remember these shortcuts.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Gmail