'C' keyboard shortcut no longer works

Copper Contributor

I use Outlook in a web browser, primarily Chrome, but sometimes Edge.  There is a keyboard shortcut 'C' to assign a category to a message.  About a week or two ago this shortcut stopped working when I am reading a message.  It still works in the InBox screen.  And it still works if I set my Reading Pane option to 'Show on the right' or 'Show on the bottom'.  But if I set Reading Pane to 'Hide' -- which is what I like -- the 'C' shortcut does not work.


I have verified this behaviour in Chrome and Edge on Windows, and also in Safari on MacOS.


The 'C' shortcut is super convenient.  Can I please have it back? :)


9 Replies

Hi @RRGMitchell 


Happy workday to you.  I am an independent advisor and investigated your issue.


I completed a test in both Edge and Chrome; and found that it works in the latest Office 365 Outlook Online even when the reading pane is hidden. 



Double-check if you have Outlook shortcuts enabled.




I also found a Microsoft article stating that the shortcut had stopped working in the Outlook 2019 app in March 2019. The resolution is to update your app.

 File > Office Account > Update Options > Update Now.  


Also, try clearing your browser history for the last two weeks.  Maybe you had some unwanted gremlins. :smile:


Please like or choose the best response to help other users if you find this information helpful.








Hi Teresa,


Thanks for looking into my problem.  It's very weird that you reckon the shortcut still works when the Reading Pane is hidden.  It certainly doesn't for me.  


The similar issue in the Outlook app is interesting, but of course it doesn't help me.  There is no 'app' to update when I'm accessing Outlook in the browser, is there?


And browser caching seems unlikely, especially since I get the same behaviour on all the browsers I have tried.  And, as mentioned, even in Safari running on a MacBook.  


In fact I've found that two other keyboard shortcuts also do not work in hidden Reading Pane, the 'B' and 'V' keys. It is especially weird that those three keys are next to each other on a conventional Western keyboard!  It's not the keyboard, of course, since it's the same using my laptop's keyboard, an external USB keyboard, and the MacBook's keyboard.


I've just had to change to using the Reading Pane, which is a pain, as it leaves me with less screen space for message contents and I have rather poor eyesight.


Thanks for trying and best wishes,




PS  I had 'Outlook.com' shortcuts configured.  I switched to 'Outlook' shortcuts but it has made no difference.

Hi again Teresa,

I've just taken a closer look at the first, animated, screenshot that you posted. In that screenshot I can now see that you are not doing what I am trying to do. The screenshot shows the *message list* screen. What I am trying to do - and what used to work - is to use the C shortcut when you are actually reading the contents of a message.

That is, from the screen you showed, double-click a message subject to open up the message's contents, The contents replaces the message list on the screen. Now try 'C' to categorise the message. That used to work, and doesn't now. And neither do the 'B' and 'V' shortcuts. All of these shortcuts are listed in the 'help' screen that comes up when you press '?'.

Best wishes,



Just a quick note to say, today is the US 4th of July holiday.  I will review these new details and respond tomorrow.


I have a feeling that this is by design since the Categorize and Snooze are listed in the top menu.  Again, I want to investigate a little bit more.


Stay tuned.

@Teresa_Cyrus I can share this same experience. I used the "B" shortcut when reading an email to open the Snooze option. This worked fine in both desktop and online versions until a few weeks ago. I did tests with my IT team using a hardware keyboard, external, USB, and even blue tooth. In the end, they gave me a brand new laptop and still doesn't work. The "B" shortcut to snooze was a well-used tool in my workflow. 


Wow. It appears that my message to you didn't post yesterday morning. I had contacted MS and walked him through the issues.  During the testing, the behaviors were the same for the agent.

Based on my conversation with the MS agent, we suspect that MS has removed this functionality. But he was not sure if it was by design or accident.  The agent escalated the issue to the product manager. 

Stay tuned for the verdict.



Well, Chip, I heard from the agent. It looks like it was by design.

Here is the response.
Shortcut keys c, v, and B does not work - Microsoft Community

The MS Agent also suggested that we add it to Outlook's feedback portal to receive votes from other users to influence change.

If you found this information helpful, please mark it as the best response even though it is not the results you wanted from Microsoft.  :stareyes:  At least you got a new laptop.  :lol:



Hi Teresa,  Thanks for raising this with the Microsoft agent.


I've read his response and it is clear to me that he has not answered your question about whether this change was by accident or design.  All he says is that he has done the same tests as you and found the same result. The part of his response that begins "As you know..." is cut-and-pasted corporate fluff about how wonderfully responsive Microsoft is -- ironically, in the context of not having responded to your question.


There is a clear defect in the product here, if only that the help screen advertises three keyboard shortcuts which do not work.  


I'm disappointed by this result, but not really surprised.


Once again, thanks for trying to help.


Best wishes,