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author photoChelsea FaithNovember 17, 2023

Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts Not Working: 5 Simple Ways to Regain Control


The issue of Gmail keyboard shortcuts not working can pose a frustrating experience. However, you can resolve the problem by ensuring shortcut configurations are correct.

This guide will reveal possible reasons why your keyboard shortcuts for Gmail don’t work and provide solutions to fix them.

Let's dive in.

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Why Are Keyboard Shortcuts Not Working in Gmail?

Several factors may contribute to the malfunction of the keyboard shortcuts in Gmail. These factors include:

Incorrect Settings

Wrong keyboard shortcut settings can lead to them not functioning. Here are some of the inaccurate configurations:

  • Disabled Keyboard Shortcuts: If you turn off the keyboard shortcuts, all the processes that allow specific keys to trigger actions will be off.
  • Incorrect Key Selection: Gmail allows you to customize shortcuts based on your preferences. Wrong key input makes the shortcuts fail to perform the expected activity. Like in the image below, the incorrect selection makes the shortcuts ineffective.

Browser Issues

Compatibility problems with the browser or conflicts with extensions can interfere with the normal functioning of Gmail shortcuts. Some extensions may share the same keyboard shortcuts as in Gmail, which can disturb the roles assigned to the keys.

For instance, when Gmail and the browser or the extensions use the same shortcuts, they might fight for control over specific actions. This conflict can lead to unsteady behavior or failure of Gmail shortcut to complete a function.

How to Fix the Stopped Keyboard Shortcuts for Gmail

Now that you know what makes the keyboard shortcuts not function, here are some quick fixes.

1. Enable Keyboard Shortcut for Gmail

Turn on the Gmail keyboard shortcuts to benefit from the convenience of quick actions that can impact your experience.

Follow these steps to enable the keyboard shortcut in Gmail.

  1. Open your Gmail account in a new tab and click settings.
  2. Click “see all settings” and find "keyboard shortcuts." Then select "keyboard shortcuts on."
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "save changes."

2. Check and Change the Keyboard Shortcuts to Meet Your Preference

You may need to check your keyboard shortcuts to ensure no errors.

Here is how you can review and personalize the keys to meet your objectives:

  1. Click the settings icon, then "see all settings."
  2. Locate the "Advanced" tab and select "Enable" to activate custom keyboard shortcuts. Then click save changes.
  3. The page will reload to save the modifications. When you return to the settings, a new label, "keyboard shortcuts," appears on the menu.
  4. Click "Keyboard shortcuts." Change all the shortcuts that are not working using different letters. For instance, if you use "/" to search mail, change and use "f."
  5. After confirming everything is okay, click "save changes."

3. Reset the Keyboard Setting to Default

Here is how to reset the shortcut settings back to default:

  1. Open Gmail, click the settings icon, and "select see all settings."
  2. Locate the keyboard shortcuts on the menu and click it.
  3. Scroll to find “restore defaults.”
  4. Click it and hit "save changes."

4. Change Your Browser

Other browsers may fail to integrate perfectly with Gmail. Browser configurations like security, privacy, or a specific browser setting can hinder the expected behavior of keyboard shortcuts in Gmail.

This strict setting may prevent specific controls, as they can perceive potential risks or privacy violations. Changing the browser can help solve the issue.

You can look for alternatives or use Google Chrome for confident results. Explore alternative browsers such as Mozilla, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Yahoo, or Yandex if you prefer not to use Chrome.

5. Use Tatem's Feature to Speed Up Your Inbox

Tatem is the best software that merges correctly with the Gmail app, allowing you to have a seamless experience when using the service provider. This software offers the following features to speed up your workflow in Gmail:

  • Shortcuts for Keyboard: You can browse through your inbox using shortcuts built for the mouse or keyboard.
  • Speed: Tatem saves you more than 3 hours weekly with the speed feature that boosts your workflow.
  • Split inbox: This feature helps you categorize and arrange emails that matter from those that add no value.
  • AI Text Editor: This feature makes typing more convenient by ensuring every word counts.

There is more than just enhancing speed in Gmail; you can personalize your workspace by giving it your preferred touch using transition effects, dark mode, light mode, or themes.

Regain Control Over Your Gmail Shortcuts

Resolving the keyboard shortcut issues in Gmail involves various actions, including:

  • Turning on the keyboard shortcuts
  • Customize keyboard shortcuts to meet the intent
  • Reset keyboard shortcuts to default
  • Change the browser to allow compatibility (Use Google Chrome)
  • Use tatem's feature and enhance productivity

By observing these steps, you can regain control of your Gmail and enjoy the efficiency of your keyboard shortcuts.