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Process your mail quicker with keyboard shortcuts

While message rules can help to automatically file the bulk of your messages directly into the correct folder, processing your mail is of course more than just moving it.

Instead of using your mouse, you can move, flag, categorize, etc your mail via a keyboard shortcut which is often quicker (and more accurate when for instance in a train).

Which ones are you using?

CTRL, ALT and/or SHIFT are involved with most keyboard shortcuts.

Below is an overview of my most commonly used keyboard shortcuts in Outlook to process my incoming emails.
There are of course many more keyboard shortcuts.

Getting prepared

Check for new mail F9
Switch to the Inbox CTRL+SHIFT+I
Select a different folder CTRL+Y
Go back to previously selected folder ALT+LEFT

Note: You can also select a folder by typing its name without the folder picker dialog.

Process your mail

Mark as Read CTRL+ENTER
Mark as Unread CTRL+U
Flag for Follow Up CTRL+SHIFT+G
Quick Flag Insert
Show blocked Internet pictures CTRL+SHIFT+W
Scroll down in the Reading Pane SPACEBAR
Scroll up in the Reading Pane SHIFT+SPACEBAR
Move to folder CTRL+SHIFT+V
Print CTRL+P
Delete DEL
Ignore conversation CTRL+DEL
Mark a junked message as Not Junk CTRL+ALT+J

Note: If you prefer full screen reading, open a selected message via ENTER and then move to the next message via CTRL+> or to the previous via CTRL+<. When you’re done, close the message via ALT+F4.

Categorize your mail

If you are using Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, you can assign CTRL+F2 – F12 keyboard shortcuts to categorize your mail.

  • Outlook 2007
    Edit-> Categories-> All Categories…-> select a category-> Shortcut Key
  • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    tab Home-> option group: Tags-> Categories-> All Categories…-> select a category-> Shortcut Key

Multiple processing actions via Quick Steps

If you are using Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, you can create Quick Steps to string together several mail processing actions. To your favorite Quick Steps you can then assign CTRL+SHIFT+1 – 9 keyboard shortcuts to execute them.

  1. On the Home tab, press the Launch dialog for the Ribbon Option Group icon in the bottom right corner of the Quick Steps group to open the Manage Quick Steps dialog.
  2. Select a Quick Step and press the Edit button.
  3. At the bottom, use the dropdown list to set a keyboard shortcut for the Quick Step.

Respond to your mail

Reply CTRL+R
Reply All CTRL+SHIFT+R
Forward CTRL+F
Reply with Meeting CTRL+ALT+R
Create a new message CTRL+N
Send your message CTRL+ENTER

Note: For more keyboard shortcuts in Outlook see the guide; Keyboard shortcuts



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