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Useful Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows To Save Time

Keyboard shortcuts can make working on a computer faster and more efficient. Catch hold of some of the most commonly used commands for Windows, below!
Useful Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows To Save Time
Keyboard shortcuts replace the clicks and scrolls of a mouse with just a few keys

Keyboard shortcuts are the quick computer commands given by specific combinations of keyboard keys that save the users from endless clicks and scrolls. They not only add to the convenience but also enhance productivity and efficiency by saving time. 

From navigating a menu and zooming in on a page to responding to a dialogue box or simply cutting and pasting content- there is a keyboard shortcut for almost every command. While some of these are generic, some have been devised especially for file folders, excel sheets, word processing programmes, e-mail accounts, or even social media. 

These keyboard shortcuts are particularly useful when juggling with many tabs and tools at the same time. Similarly, they ensure a seamless workflow in case of a mouse freeze.  

While some of these shortcut commands are universal, applying to all the software alike, many are specifically designed for Windows or Mac. The two keyboards have many 
subtle differences, such as the latter mainly uses the Command key as a modifier, instead of the Ctrl Key. 

Here is a list of some of the tried and tested keyboard shortcuts, most commonly used in Windows, that'll help you save substantial time during tightly packed working hours!

Popular Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

These are some of the most popular and commonly used keyboard shortcuts in Windows.

Keyboard shortcut

Action

Ctrl + A

Select all content.

Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert)

Copy selected items to clipboard

Ctrl + X

Cut selected items to clipboard

Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert)

Paste content from clipboard

Ctrl + Z

Undo an action, including undelete files (limited)

Ctrl + Y

Redo an action

Ctrl + Shift + N

Create a new folder on desktop or File Explorer

Alt + F4

Close active window. (If no active window present, then the shutdown box appears.)

Ctrl + D (Del)

Delete selected item to the Recycle Bin

Shift + Delete

Delete the selected item permanently skipping Recycle Bin

F2

Rename selected item

ESC

Close current task

Alt + Tab

Switch between open apps

PrtScn

Takes a screenshot and stores it in clipboard

Windows key + I

Open Settings app

Windows key + E

Open File Explorer

Windows key + A

Open Action Center

Windows key + D

Display and hide the desktop

Windows key + L

Lock device

Windows key + V

Open Clipboard bin

Windows key + Period (.) or semicolon (;)

Open emoji panel

Windows key + PrtScn

Capture full screenshot in the "Screenshots" folder

Windows key + Shift + S

Capture part of the screen with Snip & Sketch

Windows key + Left arrow key

Snap app or window left

Windows key + Right arrow key

Snap app or window right

Dialogue Box Keyboard Shortcuts 

Here are some of the keyboard shortcuts that'll help you navigate within a dialogue box and give commands easily.

Keyboard Shortcut

Action

F4

Display the items in the active list.

Ctrl + Tab

Move forward through tabs.

Ctrl + Shift + Tab

Move back through tabs.

Ctrl + number (number 1–9)

Move to nth tab.

Tab

Move forward through options.

Shift + Tab

Move back through options.

Alt + underlined letter

Perform the command (or select the option) that is used with that letter.

Spacebar

Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box.

Backspace

Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialogue box.

Arrow keys

Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons

File Explorer Shortcuts

Manage 'File Explorer' the file manager application with these easy and handy shortcuts. 

Keyboard shortcut

Action

Ctrl + A

Select all content of the current line

Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert)

Copy selected items to clipboard

Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert)

Paste content from clipboard

Ctrl + M

Starts mark mode

Ctrl + Up arrow key

Move screen up one line

Ctrl + Down arrow key

Move screen down one line

Ctrl + F

Open search for Command Prompt

Left or right arrow keys

Move cursor left or right in the current line

Up or down arrow keys

Cycle through command history of the current session

Page up

Move cursor one page up

Page down

Move cursor one page down

Ctrl + Home

Scroll to top of the console

Ctrl + End

Scroll to the bottom of the console

Command Prompt Shortcuts

Here are some of the command prompt shortcuts that'll come in handy in performing various tasks. You can open the command prompt by typing “cmd” into the “Run box”.

Keyboard shortcut

Action

Windows key + E

Open File Explorer

Alt + D

Select address bar

Ctrl + E (or F)

Select search box

Ctrl + N

Open new window

Ctrl + W

Close active window

Ctrl + F (or F3)

Start search

Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel

Change view file and folder

Ctrl + Shift + E

Expands all folders from the tree in the navigation pane

Ctrl + Shift + N

Create new folder on desktop or File Explorer

Ctrl + L

Focus on the address bar

Ctrl + Shift + Number (1-8)

Changes folder view

Alt + P

Display preview panel

Alt + Enter

Open Properties settings for the selected item

Alt + Right arrow key

View next folder

Alt + Left arrow key (or Backspace)

View previous folder

Alt + Up arrow

Move up a level in the folder path

F11

Switch active window full-screen mode

F5

Refresh the instance of File Explorer

F2

Rename selected item

F4

Switch focus to address bar

F5

Refresh File Explorer's current view

F6

Cycle through elements on the screen

Home

Scroll to the top of the window

End

Scroll to the bottom of window

Windows Key Shortcuts

Find below the list of diverse keyboard shortcuts involving the Window logo key that'll help you with a variety of functions including the launch of Windows and third-party apps.

Keyboard shortcut

Action

Windows key

Open Start menu

Windows key + A

Open Action Center

Windows key + S ( or Q)

Open Search

Windows key + D

Display and hide the desktop

Windows key + L

Locks computer

Windows key + M

Minimize all windows

Windows key + B

Set focus notification area in the taskbar

Windows key + C

Launch Cortana app

Windows key + F

Launch Feedback Hub app

Windows key + G

Launch Game bar app

Windows key + Y

Change input between desktop and Mixed Reality

Windows key + O

Lock device orientation

Windows key + T

Cycle through apps in the taskbar

Windows key + Z

Switch input between the desktop experience and Windows Mixed Reality

Windows key + J

Set focus on a tip for Windows 10 when applicable

Windows key + H

Open dictation feature

Windows key + E

Open File Explorer

Windows key + I

Open Settings

Windows key + R

Open Run command

Windows key + K

Open Connect settings

Windows key + X

Open Quick Link menu

Windows key + V

Open Clipboard bin

Windows key + W

Open the Windows Ink Workspace

Windows key + U

Open Ease of Access settings

Windows key + P

Open Project settings

Windows key + Ctrl + Enter

Open Narrator

Windows key + Plus (+)

Zoom in using the magnifier

Windows key + Minus (-)

Zoom out using the magnifier

Windows key + Esc

Exit magnifier

Windows key + Forward-slash (/)

Start IME reconversion

Windows key + Comma (,)

Temporarily peek at the desktop

Windows key + Up arrow key

Maximize app windows

Windows key + Down arrow key

Minimize app windows

Windows key + Home

Minimize or maximize all but the active desktop window

Windows key + Shift + M

Restore minimized windows on the desktop

Windows key + Shift + Up arrow key

Stretch desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen

Windows key + Shift + Down arrow key

Maximize or minimize active windows vertically while maintaining width

Windows key + Shift + Left arrow key

Move active window to monitor on the left

Windows key + Shift + Right arrow key

Move active window to monitor on the right

Windows key + Left arrow key

Snap app or window left

Windows key + Right arrow key

Snap app or window right

Windows key + Number (0-9)

Open app in number position in the taskbar

Windows key + Shift + Number (0-9)

Open another instance of the app in number position in the taskbar

Windows key + Ctrl + Number (0-9)

Switch to the last active window of the app in number position in the taskbar

Windows key + Alt + Number (0-9)

Open Jump List of the app in number position in the taskbar

Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + Number (0-9)

Open another instance as an administrator of the app in number position in the taskbar

Windows key + Ctrl + Spacebar

Change previously selected input option

Windows key + Spacebar

Change keyboard layout and input language

Windows key + Tab

Open Task View

Windows key + Ctrl + D

Create a virtual desktop

Windows key + Ctrl + F4

Close active virtual desktop

Windows key + Ctrl + Right arrow

Switch to the virtual desktop on the right

Windows key + Ctrl + Left arrow

Switch to the virtual desktop on the left

Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + B

Wake up the device when black or a blank screen

Windows key + PrtScn

Capture full screenshot in the "Screenshots" folder

Windows key + Shift + S

Create part of the screen screenshot

Windows key + Shift + V

Cycle through notifications

Windows key + Ctrl + F

Open search for device on domain network

Windows key + Ctrl + Q

Open Quick Assist

Windows key + Alt + D

Open date and time in the taskbar

Windows key + Period (.) or semicolon (;)

Open emoji panel

Windows key + Pause

Show System Properties dialogue box

Also Read: Best Wireless Keyboards

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A multi-media journalist and writer, Vaibhavi views the world as one big piece of poetry. Time and again she tries to capture this poetry through words, as well as, the lens. She loves to explore the depth of human psyche, philosophy, cultures, and oceans! Carrying forward this quest for exploration she reports on various beats ranging from tourism, culture, art, social issues, business, market trends, science and environment to technology. For her, the life mantra can be summarised with the catchphrases, “Hakuna Matata” and “Carpe Diem”.

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