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?

Keyboard Shortcuts buttonBelow 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 mailF9
Switch to the InboxCTRL+SHIFT+I
Select a different folderCTRL+Y
Go back to previously selected folderALT+LEFT

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

Process your mail

Mark as ReadCTRL+ENTER
Mark as UnreadCTRL+U
Flag for Follow UpCTRL+SHIFT+G
Quick FlagInsert
Show blocked Internet picturesCTRL+SHIFT+W
Scroll down in the Reading PaneSPACEBAR
Scroll up in the Reading PaneSHIFT+SPACEBAR
Move to folderCTRL+SHIFT+V
Ignore conversationCTRL+DEL
Mark a junked message as Not JunkCTRL+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

You can assign CTRL+F2 – F12 keyboard shortcuts to categorize your mail.

  • Home-> Categories-> All Categories…-> select a category-> Shortcut Key

Respond to your mail

Reply with MeetingCTRL+ALT+R
Create a new messageCTRL+N
Send your messageCTRL+ENTER

Multiple processing actions via Quick Steps

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, right click on any of the Quick Steps in the Quick Step Gallery and choose: Manage Quick Steps…
  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.

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