Is there a keyboard shortcut to "Expand all" emails in a conversation after having navigated via j or k? Typing Enter after j or k doesn't do much.


4 Answers 4


As far as I know there isn't a keyboard shortcut for this.

You can use n (Next message) or p (previous message) to navigate up and down the conversation tree. You can then use o or Enter to expand an individual message that is part of a conversation.

Resource: Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 3
    I don't see why not having a hotkey for expand/collapse all
    – Nam G VU
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 1:21
  • 2
    ; and : are now the default keyboard shortcuts for expand/collapse all. see your settings at mail.google.com/mail/u/#settings/shortcuts
    – Gaia
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 20:49

As per comments, once you enabled Keyboard shortcuts on in mail > Settings, you can use ; for "expand entire conversation" and : for "collapse entire conversation". This and more shortcuts: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6594?hl=en

Original: There is a "custom keyboard shortcut" feature you can enable in labs through Gmail > Settings. Once enabled you can use ";" for "expand all" and ":" for "collapse all" or setup other shortcut you want to use instead.

  • 3
    this may have been promoted up out of labs into "normal" mail. now all i need is to choose "keyboard shortcuts on" in the general tab of settings, and then semicolon works. semicolon is listed on a help page here, under "actions": support.google.com/mail/answer/6594 Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 18:32
  • Someone should turn @pestophagous's comment into an answer! Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 5:58
  • Wow! ; will be my new favorite shortcut! support.google.com/mail/answer/6594
    – Ryan
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 13:20

There is a Chrome extension that does this https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gmail-expand-all-keyboard/ciocgdpejlhegbegfjlfhjgjgbfcjkgb?hl=en&gl=JP


To expand the conversation list, follow the step:

  1. Press j or k as the case may be to select a conversation.
  2. Press O to open the list which will have the oldest and newest conversation expanded and rest collapsed.
  3. Press n or p and you will notice that it selects the number against a collapsed conversation.
  4. Press o to open the conversation.
  5. Use n or p to navigate.

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