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A lot of the time the unread messages in my Inbox just need to be archived and I'd rather have a 'quick' way to do it that doesn't require hitting that small arrow next to the master checkbox and then require moving my mouse down to 'Unread'. Is there another way to select unread messages that just requires one click or a keyboard shortcut?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

From Gmail Keyboard shortcuts help:

* then u

One trick I've recently figured out is if you first collapse your "Important and Unread" section (by clicking on it), THEN do the *u, it will leave your important messages unchecked. Previous to this I was unchecking all my Important/Unread messages before archiving.

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