How Many Windows Keyboard Shortcuts Have You Tried?

Category: Windows-10 , Windows-11

Windows 10 and 11 keyboard shortcuts can save time, wrist motions, and for some people, carpal tunnel pain. Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two or more keys (or a key and a mouse button) that, when pressed simultaneously, perform a task that would normally require moving the mouse around, clicking, and possibly navigating sub-menus. There's even a useful super-secret keystroke that very few people know! Here are some keyboard shortcuts you should know, and try for yourself...

Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 10 and 11

Personally, I prefer to use the keyboard whenever I can, instead of reaching for the mouse and clicking. For me, it's just faster and more natural. But keyboard shortcuts can also be important if you're prone to repetitive stress syndrome or have tendonitis (like me). Visually impaired users may find keyboard shortcuts easier than tracking the position of a mouse cursor and reading tiny print on submenus or tabs. And more than once, I've found myself trying to navigate Windows on a computer where the mouse was missing, broken or wouldn't work due to a software driver problem.

There are 100 or more Windows keyboard shortcuts built into the operating system, and some are new with Windows 11. They’re also available in Windows accessory programs such as Paint, Notes, Wordpad, and third party web browsers and office software. Below are some of the most useful Windows keyboard shortcuts. If you try each one, I'm sure you'll find a few that you'll want to commit to memory as time-savers! If you print them and keep a list near your computer, you can train yourself to use them. Let's dig in...

Shortcuts for Select, Copy & Paste

keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl+A: selects all items in a document or window
  • Ctrl+C: or Ctrl+Insert copies the selected item(s) to the Clipboard while leaving them in place
  • Ctrl+X: cuts the selected items and copies them to the Clipboard
  • Ctrl+V: or Shift-Insert pastes the contents of the Clipboard into the current document at the cursor's current location

Shortcuts for Cursor Positioning

Press the Ctrl key all by itself (once or several times) and a circular indicator will appear on the screen where the mouse cursor is positioned. I use this ALL THE TIME, because I'm always losing track of the mouse curcor. If this doesn't work, see this page to enable this feature.

  • Ctrl+right-arrow moves the cursor to the beginning of the next word in a document
  • Ctrl+left-arrow moves the cursor to the beginning of the previous word in a document
  • Ctrl+down-arrow moves the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
  • Ctrl+up-arrow moves the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
  • Ctrl+Home moves the cursor to the top of a document or web page.
  • Ctrl+End moves the cursor to the bottom of a document or web page.
  • Ctrl+F moves the cursor to the Find input box
  • Ctrl+H opens the Find/Replace dialog box (word processors only)
  • Alt+D moves the cursor to the address bar (web browsers only)
  • TAB key moves the cursor to the next field in a web form

Shortcuts for Selecting Items

  • Ctrl+Shift with an arrow key selects a block of text one word at a time
  • Shift with an arrow key lets you select individual items at random
  • Delete key or Ctrl+D deletes the selected item(s) to the Recycle Bin
  • Shift+Delete deletes the selected item(s) without moving them to the Recycle Bin

Shortcuts for Undo and Redo

  • Ctrl+Z: undoes the last action
  • Ctrl+Y: redoes the last undone action

Shortcuts for Function Keys

  • F1: displays context-sensitive Help files and opens the Search Help dialogue box.
  • F2: renames the current item
  • F3: opens the Search dialogue to find a file or folder
  • Shift+F3: will toggle selected text between all capitals or first letter capitals (word processor)
  • Ctrl+F4: will close current tab
  • Alt+F4: will close current program
  • F5: will refresh the page (browser only)
  • Ctrl+F5: force refresh the page (browser only)
  • F11: Enter/exit full-screen mode in most browsers.

Miscellaneous Useful Shortcuts

  • Alt+Tab: cycles through the open applications
  • Windows Key+Tab: open Task View (see open applications, virtual desktops and Timeline
  • Alt+Enter: displays the Properties of a selected item
  • Alt+F4: closes the current application or window
  • Alt+Spacebar: opens the shortcut menu for the active window, i. e., Restore, Minimize, Close...
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc: opens the Windows Task Manager
  • Ctrl+Mouse Wheel: changes the zoom level

Windows Logo Key Shortcuts

Few users know the function of the Windows Logo key (also called the Start button), which bears the four-part Windows logo. It actually activates a whole new set of keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows key opens the Start menu
  • Windows key + A: open the Quick Settings panel
  • Windows key + C: open Microsoft Teams Chat. (new in Windows 11)
  • Windows key + D: hides or displays the desktop
  • Windows key + Ctrl + D: create a virtual
  • Windows key + Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow : switch between virtual desktops
  • Windows key + E: opens File Explorer
  • Windows key + F: open Feedback Hub (send a screenshot and feedback to Microsoft)
  • Windows key + G: open Xbox Game Bar (record videos or screenshots in game)
  • Windows key + H: turn on voice typing (speech to text)
  • Windows key + I: open the Settings menu
  • Windows key + L: locks your computer or lets you switch users
  • Windows key + M: minimizes all open windows
  • Windows key + N: show notification center and calendar (new in Windows 11)
  • Windows key + Shift + M: restores all minimized windows
  • Windows key + Ctrl + M: open the Magnifier app
  • Windows key + Crtl + Q: open Quick Assist (get/give help remotely)
  • Windows key + R: open the Run dialogue box
  • Windows key + S: open Windows Search (search for files, apps or websites
  • Windows key + Shift + S: open the Snip & Sketch Tool (capture all or part of the screen)
  • Windows key + U: open the Ease Of Access Center
  • Windows key + V: open the Clipboard app (see text/images you've copied)
  • Windows key + W: open the Widgets panel (new in Windows 11)
  • Windows key + X: open the secret Start menu. (Try it!)
  • Windows key + Z: open the snap layouts panel (new in Windows 11)
  • Windows key + .: open the Emojis window
  • Windows key + Up Arrow: maximize selected window.
  • Windows key + Down Arrow: minimize selected window.
  • Windows key + Pause key: display the System Properties dialogue box
  • Windows key + PrtScn: take a screenshot (see Windows key + Shift + S)

Did you learn something new? Do you have a keyboard shortcut to share? Share this article with a friend or post your own comment or question below…

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This article was posted by on 13 Mar 2023

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Most recent comments on "How Many Windows Keyboard Shortcuts Have You Tried?"

Posted by:

13 Mar 2023

I use several of the keyboard shortcuts you list, Bob. They are excellent for speeding things up.

I find that the Windows key + Pause key is really useful when taking a look at someone's computer when they have a problem.

Sadly, many laptop keyboards don't have the Pause key. There doesn't seem to be an alternative apart from opening This PC and looking for Properties.

Posted by:

13 Mar 2023

"Did you learn something new?" Yes, thank you,I did - plenty.
How ironic that I will have to pin a print of these shortcuts to the wall, because I will never remember more than a handful. Technology is so clunky!

Posted by:

13 Mar 2023


Go to someplace like Walmart or your favorite computer store and get a USB keyboard that has a pause key (problem solved:)).

I too use several keyboard-shortcuts. Ctrl+C to copy Ctrl+V to paste, Ctrl+X to cut, WinKKey+R to open the run dialog to run some command, but that's about the extent for me for the most part. I appreciate this list. I copied/edited it to meet my needs in LibreOfice Writer, then printed it with Microsoft's Print to PDF (saves paper) to create a pdf document I could have open on my desktop when I want to use some of the more esoteric (for me) shortcuts. I have also added a shortcut to it on my desktop for easy access.


Posted by:

13 Mar 2023

The Windows keyboard shortcuts looks useful.For those using Windows ,I would print a copy and learn a few as needs arise.

I use Linux and they have their own shortcuts.There is a good one when a Linux desktop freezes.

Posted by:

13 Mar 2023

I'm sure you know already but in case you and other people don't know - I have found a vertical mouse so much better than the normal 'horizontal' one.
I was beginning to get wrist pain which might have led to carpal tunnel problems and an osteopath recommended a vertical mouse - fantastic! It puts the hand and wrist into a much more natural position.
Thank you for your email articles.

Posted by:

Kenneth Heikkila
13 Mar 2023

I (a PC user since before Y2K) recently started using the ctrl + x, c & v in Libre Office, but really there's no way I'm going to learn many (any?) of the rest.

What would be the point of trying to memorize a bunch of things I would likely rarely (if ever) use or even printing out a list, then trying to find the correct "shortcut?"

Seems to me it is faster and easier just to use the mouse in most cases.

Posted by:

13 Mar 2023

Thank you for the refresher course, BobRankin,
You asked "how many" and I answer "A few dozen..." that have been "permanently" etched in my brain.

I hope that others are not under the impression that you 'must'remember ALL of those listed. ;)

Posted by:

13 Mar 2023

May have missed it above, but I use CTL+P more than anything else, ALL the time, to send docs or selections of a window to my printer.

Posted by:

13 Mar 2023

This one works in any browser and keeps me from getting annoyed daily... If I want to click a link on a webpage, I usually do NOT want the new page to open over the current page. I want the new page to open in a new tab. It's very annoying to click a link and suddenly the current webpage you're reading is over-written. Instead of a simple mouse click on a link, I ALWAYS use CTRL-Click. That opens the new webpage in a fresh tab AND leaves me on the original webpage without sending me to the new tab. LOVE IT!

Posted by:

14 Mar 2023

@Veggie I am not sure what a vertical mouse is (and I'd have to look it up), but I've been using a trackball for over 20 years. When my mom got her first computer (mid 1990's) she quickly discovered that a mouse she had to move around all day was causing her arthritis to act up. I don't recall which model we got first, but she loved it. No more sliding around on the mouse pad. And I found myself liking it too whenever I visited and used her computer. I liked it so much I bought one too (I sound like the guy that liked the product so much he bought the company). If it wasn't the first one, the Logitech M570 was the second and the one for both of us.

Posted by:

14 Mar 2023

On my computer, no second key is required for PrntScr.

You can Select text by placing the cursor at the beginning of a Selection and pressing Shift with an arrow key. Works with all 4.

Posted by:

15 Mar 2023

To remove all hyperlinks in a document at one time. Press Ctrl+A to select all text.
Press Ctrl+Shift+F9.

Posted by:

Kenny D
16 Mar 2023

I use Fn+F2 to put the PC to sleep

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