The Google approach to email i.e. Gmail is the most used email service around the web. It’s simple but really smart interface boosts the interaction and usability. It’s practically unlimited free online storage allows you to collect all your messages. Here are some of it’s features that you can find nowhere else:

  • Offers continuously growing storage, free IMAP / POP access.
  • Provides smart sorting, searching and starring of emails and chat conversations to organize them more effectively.
  • Provides a simple but very fast and user friendly interface.
  • Allow you read and write mail offline.
  • Provides Lab features to customize and adjust several control settings of your email.

The Custom keyboard shortcut feature in Gmail Labs enables users to control the email actions via keyboard. These keyboard shorcuts can save you important time and can help you take so many actions in less time. Here’s how to enable keyboard shortcuts in Gmail:

How to enable Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

To enable keyboard shortcut feature in Gmail labs, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to your Gmail account and click on the “Gear” or “Options” icon and Select “Mail Settings”.
    Time Saving Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Under the “General” tab, you’ll see the Keyboard Shortcuts feature off by default. Turn it on by selecting “On” option.
    Time Saving Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of settings page. Done.
    Time Saving Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Now that you have enabled the Keyboard Shortcuts, you should know the shortcut keys to perform the appropriate actions. Here is a brief overview of Gmail Shortcut Keys that will definitely help you in quick email management:

  1. Compose Email pop-up interface (Shift + c): Press Shift + c and a pop-up window will be opened with email composing options.
  2. Compose Email (c): To compose an email like you do on Gmail normally, press c on your keyboard, it will bring to you the Gmail email composing panel.
    • Email Message Management:
    • Inbox: Press g then c
    • Sent messages: Press g then t
    • Starred conversations: Press g then s
    • Drafts: Press g then d
    • All mails: Press g then a
  3. Contact management:
    • Contacts: Press g then c
    • Go to next contact: k
    • Go to previous contact: j
    • Select or deselect an individual contact: x
    • Open a contact: o or Return (Enter) key
    • Return to contact list: u
    • Select all contacts: Press * then a
    • Deselect all contacts: Press * then n
    • Delete selected contact: Press #
  4. Search (/): / or forward slash will bring the cursor to the mail Gmail search box. If you want to focus the chat contact search, press q.
  5. Undo the last action (z): Press z.
  6. More actions menu (.): Press . or dot sign.
  7. Help (?): ? (Question Mark sign) will open the Gmail help window.

Check out more Gmail Shortcuts »

Gmail was allowing the customization of Keyboards shortcuts previously, but now you can only work with the shorcuts which are available by default.