Currently, when I use the Command+Shift+L keyboard shortcut to flag a message in Mail.app, it defaults to the first flag in the available list (Red). Instead, I would like the default to be one of the other flag options (Yellow, Purple, Grey, etc.).

Is there any way to do this?

1 Answer 1


This can be accomplished by customizing macOS keyboard shortcuts.

  • Open System Preferences, Keyboard, Shortcuts, App Shortcuts.
  • Click the plus-sign (+) button below the central pane.
  • In the next dialog, select Mail.app from the Application dropdown.
  • Type Yellow (or whatever color) as the Menu Title.
  • In Keyboard Shortcut, press something you wouldn't accidentally press as the keyboard shortcut (I chose CommandControlOptionShiftR).
  • Click Add.
  • Repeat the process with Yellow (or whatever other color you want that is available) as the Menu Title and CommandShiftL as the keyboard shortcut.

Now when you use Mail, the new color will respond to CommandShiftL.

  • 1
    Thanks Nathan - this is exactly what I needed. One thing to note for others wanting to duplicate this... you need to quit and relaunch Mail.app after you've assigned the keyboard shortcuts in System Preferences. Once that's done, it works great.
    – user9596
    Aug 9, 2011 at 16:18
  • 1
    Unfortunately, this breaks if you have your flags "smartfolders" favorited. Because the first match in the menu will be Mailboxes, Go to favorite, Red.
    – Fuzzy76
    Feb 1, 2013 at 14:14

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