Control Gmail With Custom Keyboard Shortcuts & Just a Number Pad

Gmail has great built-in keyboard shortcuts to carry out the frequent tasks like composing, archiving & replying to emails with single keystrokes. But if you’re a really active user who loves to use the less frequently used shortcuts like marking conversations & jumping between drafts & sent messages, using custom shortcuts is a better way to maximize productivity.

Gmail Lab’s Custom keyboard shortcuts feature does just this by letting users assign significant tasks to custom keys. If you’re in accounting or an expert with a number pad, it’s even possible to assign actions to each numeric key which can save a lot of time by minimizing key travel.

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Set Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in Gmail

Step 1: Press the Gear icon in Gmail & click on Settings.

Control Gmail With Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Press the gear icon & select Settings

Step 2: Go to the Labs tab & look for Custom Keyboard Shortcuts. Once spotted, press Enable & scroll down to press Save Changes.

Control Gmail With Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Find Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in Labs & press Enable

Step 3: Visit Settings again by repeating Step 1. Click the newly visible tab called Keyboard Shortcuts.

Control Gmail With Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Visit the Keyboard Shortcuts tab in Settings

Step 4: Selecting the Keyboard Shortcuts tab will take you to a screen with options to configure every single keyboard action supported by Gmail.

Control Gmail With Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Step 5: Edit the values by settings numeric keys or preferred keystrokes. Scroll down & press Save Changes.

Control Gmail With Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Scroll down and press Save changes

If you’ve made any drastic changes or feel more at home with the original shortcuts you can always go back by pressing the Restore Defaults button in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. For memorising shortcuts, Google has made is really easy to access keyboard shortcuts from anywhere in Gmail by pressing Shift + ?

Control Gmail With Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Access assigned shortcut keys from anywhere in Gmail

This window dynamically updates itself to reflect the user’s preferences and changes.


Reassigning keyboard shortcuts to easily reachable areas is a solid way to improve any Gmail user’s productivity. If you’re feeling experimental, you can even assign shortcuts to dedicated macropads for the better results.

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Filed under Gmail. Posted by Ambariish and last updated on August 7, 2017.

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