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30 windows shortcuts keyboard must know

30 windows shortcuts keyboard must to know

Keyboard shortcuts are keys or combinations of keys that provide an alternative way to do something that you’d typically do with a mouse.

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Basic Windows keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl+Z: Undo. No matter what program you’re running, Ctrl+Z will roll back your last action. Whether you’ve just overwritten an entire paragraph in Microsoft Word or deleted a file you didn’t mean to, this one is an absolute lifesaver.
  • Ctrl+A: Select all. This command lets you highlight all the text in a document or select all the files in a folder. Hitting Ctrl+A can save you time you’d otherwise spend clicking and dragging your mouse.
  • Ctrl + X: Cut the selected item.
  • Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert): Copy the selected item.
  • Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert): Paste the selected item.
  • Windows logo key  + L: Lock your PC.
  • F2: Rename the selected item. Simply highlight a file and hit F2 to give it a new name. This command also lets you edit text in other programs—tap F2 in Microsoft Excel, for example, and you’ll be able to edit the contents of the cell you’re in.
  • F3: Search for a file or folder in File Explorer.
  • F4: Display the address bar list in File Explorer.
  • F5: Refresh the active window. While you’re exploring the function key row, take a look at F5. This key will refresh a page—a good trick when you’re using File Explorer or your web browser. After the refresh, you’ll see the latest version of the page you’re viewing.
  • PrtScn: Take a screenshot of your whole screen and copy it to the clipboard.

You can change this shortcut so it also opens  screen snipping, which lets you edit your screenshot. Select Start  Settings Ease of Access Keyboard, and turn on the toggle under Print Screen shortcut.  Use PrtScn key to open screen snipping

windows shortcuts, windows keyboard shortcut

Windows navigation shortcuts

  • Win+D: Show or hide the desktop. This keyboard combo minimizes all your open windows, bringing your home screen into view. If you store rows and rows of files and shortcuts on your desktop, Win+D will let you access them in in moments.
  • Win+left arrow or Win+right arrow: Snap windows. Snapping a window simply opens it on one side of the screen (left or right, depending on which arrow you hit). This allows you to compare two windows side-by-side and keeps your workspace organized.
  • Win+Tab: Open the Task view. Like Alt+Tab, this shortcut lets you switch apps, but it does so by opening an updated Windows application switcher. The latest version shows thumbnails of all your open programs on the screen.
  • Tab and Shift+Tab: Move backward and forward through options. When you open a dialog box, these commands move you forward (Tab) or backward (Shift+Tab) through the available options, saving you a click. If you’re dealing with a dialog box that has multiple tabs, hit Ctrl+Tab or Ctrl+Shift+Tab to navigate through them.
  • Ctrl+Esc: Open the Start menu. If you’re using a keyboard that doesn’t have a Windows key, this shortcut will open the Start menu. Otherwise, a quick tap of the Windows key will do the same thing. From there, you can stay on the keyboard and navigate the Start menu with the cursor keys, Tab, and Shift+Tab.
  • Alt + Esc: Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened.
  • Alt + Left arrow: Go back.
  • Alt+Tab: Switch apps. This baby is one of the classic Windows shortcuts, and it can be hugely useful when you’re running multiple applications. Just press Alt+Tab and you’ll be able to quickly flick through all your open windows.
  • Alt+F4: Close apps. Another old-school shortcut, Alt+F4 shuts down active apps so you can skip the process of hunting down their on-screen menus. Don’t worry about losing unsaved work with this command—it will prompt you to save your documents before closing them.

Advanced Windows shortcut tricks

  • Windows logo key + R: Open the Run dialog box.
  • Windows logo key + P. Choose a presentation display mode.
  • Windows logo key + period (.) or semicolon (;):  Open emoji panel.
  • Win+I: Open Settings. Any time you want to configure the way Windows works, hit this keyboard shortcut to bring up the Settings dialog. Alternatively, use Win+A to open up the Action Center panel, which shows notifications and provides quick access to certain settings.
  • Win+S: Search Windows. The Windows taskbar has a handy search box that lets you quiz Cortana or sift through your applications and saved files. Jump straight to it with this keyboard shortcut, then type in your search terms.
  • Win+PrtScn: Save a screenshot. No need to open a dedicated screenshot tool: Win+PrtScn grabs the whole screen and saves it as a PNG file in a Screenshots folder inside your Pictures folder. At the same time, Windows will also copy the image to the clipboard. If you don’t want to snap the whole screen, the Alt+PrtScn combination will take a screenshot of just the active window, but it will only copy this image to the clipboard, so you won’t get a saved file.
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc: Open the Task Manager. The Task Manager is your window into everything running on your Windows system, from the open programs to the background processes. This shortcut will call up the Task Manager, no matter what application you’re using.
  • Win+C: Start talking to Cortana. This shortcut puts Cortana in listening mode, but you must activate it before you can give it a whirl. To do so, open Cortana from the taskbar search box, click the cog icon, and turn on the keyboard shortcut. Once you’ve enabled the shortcut, hit the Win+C whenever you want to talk to the digital assistant. You can do this instead of, or in addition to, saying, “Hey Cortana.”
  • Win+Ctrl+D: Add a new virtual desktop. Virtual desktops create secondary screens where you can stash some of your open applications and windows, giving you extra workspace. This shortcut lets you create one. Once you have, click the Task View button to the right of the taskbar search box to switch from one desktop to another. Or stick with shortcuts: Win+Ctrl+arrow will cycle through your open desktops, and Win+Ctrl+F4 will close whichever one you’re currently viewing and shift your open windows and apps to the next available virtual desktop.

You can see more Windows Shortcuts here.

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