Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

Category: Windows-10

Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts are handy 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. Windows keyboard shortcuts save time, wrist motions, and for some people, carpal tunnel pain. There's even a secret keystroke that very few people know! Here are some keyboard shortcuts you should know...

Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

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. 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 Windows Accessories programs such as Paint, Notes, Wordpad, etc. 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

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

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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Most recent comments on "Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts"

(See all 25 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

13 Mar 2020

My most used - Ctrl+F - opens find dialogue

Posted by:

13 Mar 2020

Re: Windows key + X: open the secret Start menu. (Try it!)

I didn't know it was secret. I have been accessing this by right-clicking the Windows logo.

Thanks! Some new information for me in that list, especially the select word shortcuts. I'll use that!

Posted by:

Ken H
13 Mar 2020

What I would like to do is turn off ALL the damn keyboard shortcuts. Something I do makes the cursor leave the page I am working on and open up several different things at different times off to the side of the page or sometimes above it or maybe below it. I have no idea what is doing it. Since I have to look at the keyboard to get anything typed it sometimes happens without my noticing for at least a sentence or two that I have to go back and type again. Not a great typist, I often hit the cap locks as well as the a key which is alongside it on my keyboard.

Posted by:

Roy Clark
13 Mar 2020

Right click on misspelled word opens small window with suggested corrections and their meanings.

Posted by:

13 Mar 2020

Good article. Totally forgot about some of the short cuts and learned a few new ones. Thanks Bob!

Posted by:

Terry French
13 Mar 2020

Is there a shortcut key for the now missing mouse right-key close current window, and especially for the missing right-key create shortcut, both of which were so useful in IE Explorer?

Posted by:

13 Mar 2020

And, of course, if you're seriously into the idea of using keystrokes, there is the excellent (and free) AutoHotKey (AHK) — I never have to type any of my email addresses in full ( .@ types my main one in any window) and any new word I find myself writing I just add ( .v is currently C0vid-19)... I can also bring up programs I often use — I can open, inspect and empty my Recycle Bin in a few keystrokes, check my emails, open my browser, etc., etc....

I only use a fraction of what this program can do — highly recommended for anybody who likes to fiddle.

Posted by:

13 Mar 2020

Very useful Bob. Thank you! I believe I will be using several.

I like to use icons and I will link to a great page with all the "secret" codes needed for several options. When I first started using Windows 10 these links helped a lot, as I missed several of the old ones.

Posted by:

Ihor Prociuk
13 Mar 2020

Here are a few more:

If you are filling out a webform, pressing the TAB-key will move you to the next field.

Ctrl+home takes you to the top of a webpage. It also works inside Microsoft documents (Word, Excel, etc.)

Ctrl+end takes you the end (bottom) of a webpage and in Microsoft documents.

Often people use Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V to cut-and-paste text from one place to another in Microsoft Word. You can just select the text you want to move and drag it to the place you want to put it.

Posted by:

14 Mar 2020

F11 - Enter/exit full-screen mode in most browsers.
F9 - Refreshes/reloads page/doc in most browsers.
Replacing my habitual use of Alt+Tab took some time to replace with Win+Tab (for scrolling thru active applications).
As a dual-monitor user, I also had to condition myself to use Win+Shift+Arrow keys (for shuffling application windows between the 2 screens).

Posted by:

14 Mar 2020

CTRL + f4 will close down almost any program

Pressed from the desktop it will also close down Windows.

Posted by:

14 Mar 2020

Sorry - should have been ALT + f4 to close down

Posted by:

14 Mar 2020

ctrl + F = find/replace box

Posted by:

Greg C
14 Mar 2020

Selecting Multiple Items
While this is not a shortcut key, it is useful:
When selecting multiple items, e.g. files in explorer or emails in a list, just hold down the CNRL key and click the various items with your mouse. If you want to select multiple items that are all consecutive just select the first item then hold down SHIFT key and click the mouse on the last item in the list- ALL items from first select to the last will be highlighted.

Posted by:

14 Mar 2020

Alt+D highlights URL in browser

Posted by:

AZ Bob
15 Mar 2020

After selecting text(by dragging across with the mouse), you can toggle between all capitals or first letter capitals by using Shift + F+3 repeatedly.

Posted by:

az Bob
15 Mar 2020

Sorry, it should be Shift+F3

Posted by:

15 Mar 2020

F5 refreshes the page in lots of situations.

And in Excel, Ctrl + ; inserts to current date.

Posted by:

Ken Driver
16 Mar 2020

Enter sleep mode with fn key and F2

Posted by:

Joe Gates
18 Mar 2020

I really appreciate this particular topic and have been able to utilize the shortcut keys that you have displayed. Thank you so much for this because it really makes working on the computer far easier.

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