66 of the Most Useful Outlook Keyboard Shortcuts

You'll zip around your email inbox and outbox like a pro once you know these Microsoft Outlook hotkeys for Windows.

If you use Outlook to manage your email, schedule meetings, or delegate projects, you may have wished for better ways to accomplish these administrative tasks. As it turns out, you can save time by using Outlook shortcuts to complete common operations. Instead of scrolling, pointing, and clicking with a mouse, you simply press one or more buttons on your keyboard. While you’re at it, you’ll also want to memorize these Windows keyboard shortcuts.

Not only can keyboard shortcuts make you more productive, but they can also prevent the kind of repetitive stress injuries that can occur with heavy mouse usage. These shortcuts are also helpful for some people who have mobility or visual disabilities. These Word shortcuts are also super helpful to know.

Enabling and using shortcuts

Before you can use Outlook shortcuts on your PC, you’ll need to make sure they’re turned on.

1. From your home screen, select “Settings.”

2. Then select “More mail settings.”

3. Go to “Customizing Outlook” and then select “Keyboard Shortcuts.”

4. Select your mode of choice and then click “Save.”

It’s also helpful to understand how shortcuts are commonly written. Some shortcuts use the Ctrl key plus one or more other keys. When keys need to be pressed simultaneously, a plus sign (+) is shown. When you need to press keys sequentially, a comma (,) is used. Below are some of the most helpful keyboard shortcuts to know in Outlook.

Most frequently used Outlook hotkeys

From the main inbox view, you can perform any of the following actions.

COMMANDACTION
Ctrl + Shift + MOpen/compose new message
Ctrl + SSave as draft
Alt + SSend a message
Ctrl + OOpen received message
Ctrl + ASelect all emails
Ctrl + DDelete email
Ctrl + QMark message as read
Ctrl + UMark message as unread
Ctrl + Alt + JMark message as not junk
Ctrl + RReply to a message
Ctrl + Alt + RReply with a meeting request
Ctrl + Shift + RReply to all
Ctrl + FForward a message
Ctrl + Shift + GFlag a message
Alt+N, A, FInsert a file
Ctrl + KCheck names
F12Save as
F7Spellcheck message
F3 or Ctrl + ESearch
F9 or Ctrl + MRefresh/check for new email

Find out the things you should never say over text or email.

Search

While you can always use the basic search command noted above, you can also specify where you want Outlook to search.

COMMANDACTION
Alt + QSearch in Outlook:
Ctrl + Alt +KSearch the current folder:
Ctrl + Alt + ZSearch subfolders:
Ctrl + Alt + ASearch all folders:
Ctrl+ Shift + FOpen Advanced Search:
F11Find a contact

Basic navigation

Outlook’s robust features mean you probably spend considerable time moving back and forth among its views. Speed that up with these commands.

COMMANDACTION
Ctrl + ,Navigate to previous message
Ctrl + .Navigate to next message
Ctrl + 1Switch to Mail
Ctrl + 2Switch to Calendar
Ctrl + 3Switch to Contacts
Ctrl + 4Switch to Tasks
Ctrl + 5Switch to Notes
Ctrl + 6Switch to Folder List in the Folder pane
Ctrl + 7Switch to Shortcuts
EscClose a window or menu
SpacebarPage down through text
Shift + spacebarPage up through text
Left/right arrow keyCollapse/expand a group in email message list

Be sure you’re not making any of these email etiquette mistakes.

Navigating to the ribbon

Dial in your Outlook navigation with these additional commands.

COMMANDACTION
Alt+HOpen the Home tab
Alt+FOpen the File menu
Alt+SOpen the Send/Receive tab
Alt+OOpen the Folder tab
Alt+VOpen the View tab
Ctrl+EOpen the Search tab
Alt+QGo to the Tell Me search field

Formatting

When you want your email to look professional, you can use the following formatting options.

COMMANDACTION
Ctrl + BMake selected text bold
Ctrl + IMake selected text italic
Ctrl + UUnderline selected text
Ctrl + Shift + LInsert bulleted list
Ctrl + KInsert hyperlink
Ctrl + Shift + PDisplay font dialog box
Ctrl + ]Increase font size
Ctrl + [Decrease font size

Working with folders

Organize your messages with these keystrokes.

COMMANDACTION
Ctrl + Shift + ECreate a new folder
Ctrl + Shift + YGo to a different folder
Ctrl + Shift + VMove message to folder

Managing tasks, appointments, and people

These keyboard shortcuts can help you work nicely with others.

COMMANDACTION
Ctrl + Shift + KCreate a new task
Ctrl + CAccept a task request
Ctrl + DDecline a task request
Ctrl + N when in Calendar view;
Ctrl + Shift + A from any other view
Create a new appointment on Calendar
Ctrl + Shift + QCreate a meeting request
Ctrl + Shift + CCreate a new contact
Ctrl + Shift + LCreate a new contact group
Ctrl + Shift + BOpen address book
Ctrl + Shift + HCreate a new Microsoft Office document

Customizing shortcuts

If you want to change the keys that are assigned to current actions, you can assign new shortcuts in Outlook’s settings. To do so, start in the Categories section —> “File Tab.” Then, in the Commands section, select “File Open.” Navigate to a command, and then “Press new shortcut key.” Type in the key or keys you’d like to use for that command. Click “Assign” and you’re done.

Next, read on for helpful Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts.

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Laurie Budgar
Laurie Budgar is a certified speech-language pathologist (MS, CCC/SLP) who spent over a decade helping people with brain trauma, stroke, MS and Alzheimer’s regain language, speech, swallowing and cognitive skills. She contributes regularly to RD.com, where she writes about health, pets and travel. Previously, she was the editor at Momentum, the magazine of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Under her direction, the magazine won its first-ever Folio awards for best complete issue and best article. She has covered health, nutrition and lifestyle topics for Healthline, Parenting, LIVESTRONG.com, Delicious Living, Natural Solutions and more. She has written about travel destinations and profiled small businesses for AAA Colorado, American Way, the University of Denver and Fortune Small Business.