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.

COMMAND ACTION
Ctrl + Shift + M Open/compose new message
Ctrl + S Save as draft
Alt + S Send a message
Ctrl + O Open received message
Ctrl + A Select all emails
Ctrl + D Delete email
Ctrl + Q Mark message as read
Ctrl + U Mark message as unread
Ctrl + Alt + J Mark message as not junk
Ctrl + R Reply to a message
Ctrl + Alt + R Reply with a meeting request
Ctrl + Shift + R Reply to all
Ctrl + F Forward a message
Ctrl + Shift + G Flag a message
Alt+N, A, F Insert a file
Ctrl + K Check names
F12 Save as
F7 Spellcheck message
F3 or Ctrl + E Search
F9 or Ctrl + M Refresh/check for new email

Search

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

COMMAND ACTION
Alt + Q Search in Outlook:
Ctrl + Alt +K Search the current folder:
Ctrl + Alt + Z Search subfolders:
Ctrl + Alt + A Search all folders:
Ctrl+ Shift + F Open Advanced Search:
F11 Find 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.

COMMAND ACTION
Ctrl + , Navigate to previous message
Ctrl + . Navigate to next message
Ctrl + 1 Switch to Mail
Ctrl + 2 Switch to Calendar
Ctrl + 3 Switch to Contacts
Ctrl + 4 Switch to Tasks
Ctrl + 5 Switch to Notes
Ctrl + 6 Switch to Folder List in the Folder pane
Ctrl + 7 Switch to Shortcuts
Esc Close a window or menu
Spacebar Page down through text
Shift + spacebar Page up through text
Left/right arrow key Collapse/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.

COMMAND ACTION
Alt+H Open the Home tab
Alt+F Open the File menu
Alt+S Open the Send/Receive tab
Alt+O Open the Folder tab
Alt+V Open the View tab
Ctrl+E Open the Search tab
Alt+Q Go to the Tell Me search field

Formatting

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

COMMAND ACTION
Ctrl + B Make selected text bold
Ctrl + I Make selected text italic
Ctrl + U Underline selected text
Ctrl + Shift + L Insert bulleted list
Ctrl + K Insert hyperlink
Ctrl + Shift + P Display font dialog box
Ctrl + ] Increase font size
Ctrl + [ Decrease font size

Working with folders

Organize your messages with these keystrokes.

COMMAND ACTION
Ctrl + Shift + E Create a new folder
Ctrl + Shift + Y Go to a different folder
Ctrl + Shift + V Move message to folder

Managing tasks, appointments, and people

These keyboard shortcuts can help you work nicely with others.

COMMAND ACTION
Ctrl + Shift + K Create a new task
Ctrl + C Accept a task request
Ctrl + D Decline a task request
Ctrl + N when in Calendar view;
Ctrl + Shift + A from any other view
Create a new appointment on Calendar
Ctrl + Shift + Q Create a meeting request
Ctrl + Shift + C Create a new contact
Ctrl + Shift + L Create a new contact group
Ctrl + Shift + B Open address book
Ctrl + Shift + H Create 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 is a lifestyle writer for RD.com covering current events, finance, technology, and pets. She has spent decades traveling (often solo) around the world, using the latest personal technology, and loving on her pets – and writes about these topics often.