How to Add an Archive Keyboard Shortcut to Mac Mail

Set up your own keyboard shortcut to speed up archiving email

Close up of hands using keyboard
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Most people delete more email than they archive, and these deletions are accomplished easily through the judicious use of the Delete key. Archiving email in OS X and macOS Mail requires the mouse by default. However, if you prefer to move mail with a keyboard shortcut, you can add one to OS X Mail or macOS Mail for the Archive button and move mail to your archiving folder almost as fast and naturally as you move it to the trash.

Add an Archive Keyboard Shortcut to Mac Mail

To set up a keyboard shortcut for moving mail to the Archive in Mac OS X and macOS Mail:

  • Select Apple > System Preferences from the menu bar.
  • Click Keyboard to open the keyboard tab.
  • Click the Shortcuts tab.
  • Select the App Shortcuts category in the list at the left side of the window that opens.
  • Click + to add a new shortcut.
  • In the pop-up window, select Mail from the drop-down menu next to Application.
  • Type "Archive" (not including the quotation marks) in the field next to Menu Title.
  • Click in the Keyboard Shortcut field.
  • Press the key combination you'd want to use for archiving. Pick one you'll remember or write it down until it becomes second nature. You can use Command+Control+A, Command+Shift+O, Command+Down Arrow, Command+Option+M, or Command+Control+S, for example.
  • Click Add to save the keyboard shortcut.
  • Close the Keyboard preferences window.


If one of your folders is called "Archive," and you have made it a favorite, the keyboard shortcut applies to this folder instead. It should still work, provided you use the Archive folder for archiving.