How to Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in Gmail

Gmail is one of the most popular email services that packs a wide range of functionalities. If you rely on Gmail every day and want to save up time then it’s a good idea to employ keyboard shortcuts. While Gmail does haev some basic ones sort, you can also add custom keyboard shortcuts.

In this post, we’ll show you how to create custom keyboard shortcuts in Gmail. It’s easy and just like how you create email signatures in Gmail.

Enable Keyboard Shortcuts Option in Gmail

Apart from using the regular shortcuts, you’ll need to enable the feature to add new keyboard shortcuts. You can do that from the app’s desktop version but not the mobile version. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Open Gmail on your PC in a browser and sign in with your credentials.

Step 2: Now, click on the Gear icon in the upper right corner of the display next to your profile picture. When the Quick settings panel opens, select the ‘See all settings’ option.

Step 3: Select the Advanced option in the top-right corner of the Settings bar.

Step 5: Scroll down until you find the ‘Custom keyboard shortcuts’ option, which by default is disabled. Enable it.

Step 6: Click on Save Changes button at the bottom.

Customizing Your Keyboard Shortcuts in Gmail

Step 1: Open the Gmail Settings as shown in the previous section and choose See all settings. On the option bar at the top, click on the new Keyboard Shortcuts tab.

Step 2: You should see a list of shortcuts that are available in Gmail by default. For instance, to start a new Compose window press ‘c’. Alternatively, to go to the Drafts folder, press on ‘gd’.

Step 3: You can modify these defaults by deleting the presets and replacing them with your own shortcuts or simply setting alternatives to the defaults.

Step 4: You can use most keys for your shortcuts, although it’s worth noting that you can’t add combinations such as ‘Shift + T’ or anything in this vein because the space is limited. You can add various combinations of letters. For instance, to snooze an email you can set ‘ab’ as a shortcut.

Step 5: After tweaking the shortcuts according to your preferences, scroll down all the way to the bottom and click on ‘Save Changes.’

Step 6: To make sure these new shortcuts work, you’ll need to test them. Press on the ‘?’ key on your keyboard to bring up the list of all Keyboard shortcuts available for Gmail. The list of shortcuts is a bit longer, as it includes additional sections such as ‘Compose and Chat,’ ‘Navigating messages in Google Chat,’ and more. These default Gmail shortcuts are not customizable.

Step 7: If you scroll downwards, you’ll notice another section which covers the customizable shortcuts we previously viewed. If they appear as Disabled, you need to make sure to Enable them. Now, close the window, go back to your Inbox and try any of the keyboard shortcuts you wish to try. They should work just fine.

Step 8: If you ever change your mind and wish to abandon using the custom shortcuts you’ve selected, you can retrace steps mentioned above till you see Keyboards Shortcuts section, and click on Restore Defaults at the bottom. Gmail will return to letting you use default keyboard shortcuts and remove the custom ones.

Given that there are a lot of shortcuts in Gmail to keep track of, it’s worth remembering that pressing the ‘?’ button will bring up the list of available shortcuts from anywhere in Gmail. If you customize some shortcuts, they should appear as such in the list.

Keep in mind that it might possible that you experience hiccups while attempting to use these shortcuts. For example, your shortcut is not working try turning the feature off and back on again. Another possibility is that your web browser is out of date and so you should make sure you’ve updated it before trying to use the Gmail keyboard shortcuts.

Get More Productive with Gmail Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Using customized keyboard shortcuts will help you streamline your workflow, so you should go ahead and start creating your own as soon as possible. To become even more efficient in your operations, check our guide on how to create tasks and lists in Gmail.

Last updated on 20 April, 2022

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