Google Hangouts has been replaced by Google Chat. Learn about the switch from Google Hangouts to Google Chat.

Use Google Chat keyboard shortcuts

You can use keyboard shortcuts in Google Chat on Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows. To access shortcuts in Chat, type ? anytime, except when you enter text in a field.

Keyboard shortcuts in Google Chat

  Category Shortcut Chrome OS macOS Windows
Actions across Chat and Spaces Navigate between views Search Alt + /  / Alt + /
Navigate the sidebar Focus on previous or next space or conversation ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓
Move focus between Spaces or Chat section

Ctrl + ↑

or

Ctrl + ↓

⌘+ ↑

or

⌘ + ↓

Ctrl + ↑

or

Ctrl + ↓

Focus on previous unread item Shift + ↑ Shift + ↑ Shift + ↑
Focus on next unread item Shift + ↓ Shift + ↓ Shift + ↓
Open a space or conversation
Anywhere Show keyboard shortcuts ? ? ?
Actions within a Space Navigate conversations within a space Open a space menu Ctrl + g ⌘ + g Ctrl + g
Start a new message, thread, or topic Ctrl + s ⌘ + s Ctrl + s
Navigate messages within a conversation Focus on previous or next message ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓
Focus on reply box r r r
Reply box Edit previously posted message
New line Shift + Enter Shift + Enter Shift + Enter
Show emoji picker : : :
Copy a transcript of the conversation Copy selected messages as a transcript Control + Shift + . CMD + Shift + . Control + Shift + .

Keyboard shortcuts for spaces with in-line threading

In a space with in-line threading, you can send a message to the entire group in the main conversation or reply to a single message. When you reply to a single message, it branches into a separate conversation through an in-line thread. In-line threads are helpful when you want to have a side conversation.

Shortcut Type  Specific Action Chrome OS macOS Windows
Main Conversation Reply to a thread or start a new thread while focus is on a message Enter Enter Enter
Focus on either the thread navigation panel icon, the open thread navigation panel or the open thread
Reading a thread Go up or down the list of replies ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓
Go to the top or bottom of the list

Shift + ↑ or

Shift + ↓

Shift + ↑ or

Shift + ↓

Shift + ↑ or

Shift + ↓

Exit to the thread navigation panel Esc Esc Esc
Focus on reply box r r r
Go back to the main conversation

Thread navigation panel

(“Active Threads”)

Go up or down the list of threads ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓
Focus on the top or bottom thread in the list

Shift + ↑ or

Shift + ↓

Shift + ↑ or

Shift + ↓

Shift + ↑ or

Shift + ↓

Select and open thread Enter Enter Enter
Focus on the follow chip for the current thread (To navigate off, press ←)
Close the thread navigation panel Esc Esc Esc
Focus on reply box in main conversation r r r
Go back to the main conversation

Keyboard shortcuts for spaces grouped by topic

Shortcut Type Specific Action Chrome OS macOS Windows
Navigate topics within a space Go up or down topics ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓
Focus on first message of current topic
Reply to current topic r r r
Focus on last topic or message Ctrl + j ⌘ + j Ctrl + j
Navigate messages within a topic Focus on the topic ← or Esc ← or Esc ← or Esc
Go up or down messages in the topic ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓ ↑ or ↓

Use Chat keyboard shortcuts 

To show a full list of keyboard shortcuts in Chat, press ? (Shift+/).

Navigate around chat
  • To go to a conversation or space, use the Up and Down arrows. To open a conversation or space, press Enter.
  • By default, the focus is on the message or conversation box. To read messages in a 1:1 conversation or space, press Esc to exit the box, then to go through the messages, use the Up arrow.

Spaces have 2 levels:

  • Level one is the list of conversations.
  • Level 2 is messages within a conversation.

Tips:

  • To move through the level, use the Up and Down arrows.
  • To change the level, use the Left and Right arrows.
Start a conversation
  1. Select an option:
    • On Chrome OS and Microsoft Windows, press Ctrl + p
    • On macOS, press  + s.
  2. To move through the suggestions:
    • Enter the username.
    • Use the Up and Down arrows, then press Enter.
  3. Enter your message.
  4. To send your message, press Enter or Tab until Send  is highlighted and then Enter.
Create or find a space
  1. Select an option:
    • On Chrome OS and Windows, press Ctrl + o
    • On macOS, press ⌘ + o.
  2. To create a space, enter the name. 
  3. Press Tab and then Enter.
  4. To find and join a space:
    • To move through the list of spaces, use the Up and Down arrows.
    • Press Tab to highlight or “Preview” and then Enter.
Start a new conversation or message in a space
  1. Select an option:
    • On Chrome OS and Windows, press Ctrl + s
    • On macOS, press ⌘ + s.
  2. A new thread or message box opens.
  3. Enter your message.
  4. Press Enter.
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