Try These Handy Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

Category: Windows-10

Windows 10 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 secret keystroke that very few people know! Here are some keyboard shortcuts you should know…

Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 10

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. 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
  • 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 Action Center.
  • Windows key + D: displays the desktop
  • Windows key + E: opens File Explorer
  • 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 + Shift + M: restores all minimized windows
  • Windows key + Ctrl + M: open the Magnifier app
  • Windows key + R: open the Run dialogue box
  • Windows key + U: open the Ease Of Access Center
  • Windows key + V: open the Clipboard app
  • Windows key + X: open the secret Start menu. (Try it!)
  • 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
  • Windows key + Shift + S: open the Snip and Sketch tool

Do you have a keyboard shortcut to share? Post your comment or question below…

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This article was posted by on 5 Apr 2021

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Most recent comments on "Try These Handy Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts"

Posted by:

05 Apr 2021

Anyone who used WordStar had Ctrl-A, C, X, V memorized a long time ago! :-)

Posted by:

05 Apr 2021

Windows key+L locks computer. How do you unlock it. Thank you.

Posted by:

05 Apr 2021

After all these years a new-to-me shortcut. I don't know how I never registered alt spacebar into my memory bank (or maybe I forgot it?).
Cool - Thanks

Posted by:

05 Apr 2021

Windows key + left or right arrow puts currently selected window to the left or right half of the screen. Great when you have a wide screen, I mostly have 2 things going at a time!

Posted by:

05 Apr 2021

Very interesting - thank you.

My computer has a PrintScr key - no other keys required. It goes to the clipboard. As an aside, I use a clipboard manager called Ditto (there are others) which collects all the PrintScr results, along with Ctl X, C and V results - very useful.

Firefox now has a tool for selecting the part of the PrintScr you want to keep but I have always used Irfanview to do that.

In word processing, you can select by pressing Ctl plus the cursor.

And after many years, I finally discovered Ctl A for selecting everything.

Posted by:

05 Apr 2021

I also want to know about Ctl L for lock.

And also for the magnifier. I occasionally invoke the magnifier by accident and it's a pain to turn it off.

Posted by:

05 Apr 2021

You forgot Crtl+P to print, Ctrl+B to make highlighted text bold, Crtl+Shift+Alt+V to make copied text the same font as the document you are copying to. I am sure there are many more. These I use regularly.

Posted by:

05 Apr 2021

Oliver and Frances Ctl + L - I just click the mouse or hit the spacebar. For me, that brings up the windows log-in screen. I then enter my PIN.
Frances, Magnifier is turned off with the Win + Esc key combination.

Posted by:

05 Apr 2021

Thanks Bob and everyone

In browser, CTRL + Z closes the current tab (invaluable when reading a newspaper &c)

Posted by:

06 Apr 2021

Two that I often use are Ctrl+Win+Left-arrow and Ctrl+Win+Right-arrow to switch between multiple desktops

Posted by:

06 Apr 2021

...Oh, and Win+; to insert the date (or with shift to add the time, but I use that less often)...

Posted by:

06 Apr 2021

Cool stuff, thank you. Anyone else remember CTL C and CTL Z from DOS days/ I still hesitate to user CTL C in Windows for copy for fear of closing the program without meaning to!

Posted by:

Riccardo Capuano
06 Apr 2021

Thanks Bob. There is Ctrl+Shift+Del to bring up the Clear Browsing Data window. I use this often to delete cached images and files.

Posted by:

Joe H
07 Apr 2021

Two dupes of yours:
Ctrl+ + or - Zoom
Ctrl+Alt+Del Open Task Manager

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Del Paste Unformatted Text (useful when copying content from a web page.)

Posted by:

08 Apr 2021

Windows key + spacebar to switch language.

Posted by:

Daniel Wiener
09 Apr 2021

I frequently use Ctrl+Shift+T to restore a browser tab that I had previously closed out (perhaps by mistake). It's much faster and easier than going through the Browser History to find what was previously there.

Posted by:

Alan Stewart
16 Apr 2021

If you are "always losing track of the mouse cursor," goto settings and make it bigger, then make it black instead of white.

Posted by:

23 Apr 2021

absolutely have to highlight Barbara's suggestion again....use it everyday. Try it.

Windows key + left or right arrow puts currently selected window to the left or right half of the screen

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