Keyboard Shortcuts (Windows) to Boost Your Productivity

By | September 17, 2017

General Shortcuts

Let’s kick start the list with the most common shortcuts that you’ll often use.

  • F1 [Display Help]
  • F2 [Rename the selected item]
  • F3 [Search for a file or folder]
  • F4 [Display the address bar list in File Explorer]
  • F5 [Refresh the active window]
  • F6 [Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop]
  • F10 [Activate the Menu bar in the active app]
  • ALT + F4 [Close the active item, or exit the active app]
  • ALT + ESC [Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened]
  • ALT + Underlined Letter in menus and dialog box options [Perform the command for that letter]
  • ALT + ENTER [Display properties for the selected item]
  • ALT + SPACEBAR [Open the shortcut menu for the active window]
  • ALT + LEFT ARROW [Back]
  • ALT + RIGHT ARROW [Forward]
  • ALT + PAGE UP [Move up one screen]
  • ALT + PAGE DOWN [Move down one screen]
  • ALT + TAB [Switch between open apps (except desktop apps)]
  • CTRL + F4 [Close the active document (in apps that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)]
  • CTRL + A [Select all items in a document or window]
  • CTRL + C or CTRL + INSERT [Copy the selected item]
  • CTRL + D / DELETE [DELETE the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin]
  • CTRL + R or F5 [Refresh the active window]
  • CTRL + V or SHIFT + INSERT [Paste the selected item]
  • CTRL + X [Cut the selected item]
  • CTRL + Y [Redo an action]
  • CTRL + Z [Undo an action]
  • CTRL + + or CTRL +  [Zoom in or out of a large NUMBER of items, like apps pinned to the Start screen]
  • CTRL + mouse scroll wheel [Change the size of desktop icons or zoom in or out of a large NUMBER of items, like apps pinned to the Start screen]
  • CTRL + RIGHT ARROW [Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word]
  • CTRL + LEFT ARROW [Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word]
  • CTRL + DOWN ARROW [Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph]
  • CTRL + UP ARROW [Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph]
  • CTRL + ALT + TAB [Use the arrow keys to switch between all open apps]
  • CTRL + ARROW + SPACEBAR [Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + ARROW [Select a block of text]
  • CTRL + ESC [Open the Start screen]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + ESC [Open Task Manager]
  • CTRL + SHIFT [Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are available]
  • CTRL + SPACEBAR [Turn the Chinese input method editor (IME) on or off]
  • SHIFT + F10 [Display the shortcut menu for the selected item]
  • SHIFT + ARROW [Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document]
  • SHIFT + DELETE [Delete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first]
  • RIGHT ARROW [Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu]
  • LEFT ARROW [Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu]
  • ESC [Stop or leave the current task]

Windows key Shortcuts

Let’s check the keyboard shortcuts involving the Windows logo key. Most of them are introduced in Windows 8’s Metro UI, and can be used in Windows 8 and above.

  • Win + F1 [Open Windows Help and support]
  • Win [Display or hide the Start screen]
  • Win + B [Set focus in the notification area]
  • Win + C [Open Charms]
  • Win + D [Display and hide the desktop]
  • Win + E [Open File Explorer]
  • Win + F [Open the Search charm and search for files]
  • Win + H [Open the Share charm]
  • Win + I [Open the Settings charm]
  • Win + K [Open the Devices charm]
  • Win + L [Lock your PC or switch people]
  • Win + M [Minimize all windows]
  • Win + O [Lock device orientation]
  • Win + P [Choose a presentation display mode]
  • Win + Q [Open the Search charm to search everywhere or within the open app (if the app supports app search)]
  • Win + R [Open the Run dialog box]
  • Win + S [Open the Search charm to search Windows and the web]
  • Win + T [Cycle through apps on the task bar]
  • Win + U [Open Ease of Access Center]
  • Win + V [Cycle through notifications]
  • Win + SHIFT + V [Cycle through notifications in reverse order]
  • Win + W [Open the Search charm and search for settings]
  • Win + X [Open the Quick Link menu]
  • Win + Z [Show the commands available in the app]
  • Win + , [Temporarily peek at the desktop]
  • Win + PAUSE [Display the System Properties dialog box]
  • Win + CTRL + F [Search for PCs (if you’re on a network)]
  • Win + SHIFT + M [Restore minimized windows on the desktop]
  • Win + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and start the app pinned to the task bar in the position indicated by the number. If the app is already running, it switches to that app.]
  • Win + SHIFT + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and start a new instance of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number]
  • Win + CTRL + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and switch to the last active window of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number]
  • Win + ALT + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and open the Jump List for the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number]
  • Win + CTRL + SHIFT + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and open a new instance of the app located at the given position on the taskbar as an administrator]
  • Win + TAB [Cycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps)]
  • Win + CTRL + TAB [Cycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps)]
  • Win + SHIFT + TAB [Cycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps) in reverse order]
  • Win + CTRL + B [Switch to the app that displayed a message in the notification area]
  • Win + UP ARROW [Maximize the window]
  • Win + DOWN ARROW [Remove current app from screen or minimize the desktop window]
  • Win + LEFT ARROW [Maximize the app or desktop window to the LEFT side of the screen]
  • Win + RIGHT ARROW [Maximize the app or desktop window to the RIGHT side of the screen]
  • Win + HOME [Minimize all but the active desktop window (restores all windows on second stroke)]
  • Win + SHIFT + UP ARROW [Stretch the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen]
  • Win + SHIFT + DOWN ARROW [Restore/minimize active desktop windows vertically, maintaining width]
  • Win + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW [Move an app or window in the desktop from one monitor to another]
  • Win + SPACEBAR [Switch input language and keyboard layout]
  • Win + CTRL + SPACEBAR [Change to a previously selected input]
  • Win + ENTER [Open Narrator]
  • Win + SHIFT + . [Cycle through open apps]
  • Win + . [Cycle through open apps]
  • Win + / [Initiate IME reconversion]
  • Win + ALT + ENTER [Open WindowsMedia Center]
  • Win + +/- [Zoom in or out using Magnifier]
  • Win + ESC [Exit Magnifier]

Dialog box Shortcuts

These are the keyboard shortcuts that can be used in dialog boxes.

  • F1 [Display Help]
  • F4 [Display the items in the active list]
  • CTRL + TAB [Move forward through tabs]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + TAB [Move back through tabs]
  • CTRL + (NUMBER 1-9) [Move to nth tab]
  • TAB [Move forward through options]
  • SHIFT + TAB [Move back through options]
  • ALT + Underlined Letter in menus and dialog box options [Perform the command (or select the option) that goes 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 dialog box]
  • ARROW keys [Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons]

File explorer Shortcuts

These are the shortcuts that can be used to work with File Explorer’s windows or folders.

  • ALT + D [Select the address bar]
  • CTRL + E [Select the search box]
  • CTRL + F [Select the search box]
  • CTRL + N [Open a new window]
  • CTRL + W [Close the current window]
  • CTRL + mouse scroll wheel [Change the size and appearance of file and folder icons]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + E [Display all folders above the selected folder]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + N [Create a new folder]
  • NUM LOCK + * [Display all subfolders under the selected folder]
  • NUM LOCK + + [Display the contents of the selected folder]
  • NUM LOCK +  [Collapse the selected folder]
  • ALT + P [Display the preview pane]
  • ALT + ENTER [Open the Properties dialog box for the selected item]
  • ALT + RIGHT ARROW [View the next folder]
  • ALT + UP ARROW [View the folder that the folder was in]
  • ALT + LEFT ARROW [View the previous folder]
  • BACKSPACE [View the previous folder]
  • RIGHT ARROW [Display the current selection (if it’s collapsed), or select the first subfolder]
  • LEFT ARROW [Collapse the current selection (if it’s expanded), or select the folder that the folder was in]
  • END [Display the bottom of the active window]
  • HOME [Display the top of the active window]
  • F11 [Maximize or minimize the active window]

Task bar Shortcuts

Here are the keyboard shortcuts to work with items on the Desktop’s taskbar.

  • SHIFT + Click a Taskbar Button [Open an app or quickly open another instance of an app]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + Click a Taskbar Button [Open an app as an administrator]
  • SHIFT + Right-click a Taskbar Button [Show the window menu for the app]
  • SHIFT + Right-click a Grouped Taskbar Button [Show the window menu for the groUP]
  • CTRL + Click a Grouped Taskbar Button [Cycle through the windows of the groUP]

Ease of access Shortcuts

These are the keyboard shortcuts to help you use your computer easily.

  • Hold RIGHT SHIFT for eight seconds [Turn Filter Keys on and off]
  • LEFT ALT + LEFT SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN [Turn High Contrast on or off]
  • LEFT ALT + LEFT SHIFT + NUM LOCK [Turn Mouse Keys on or off]
  • Press SHIFT five times [Turn Sticky Keys on or off]
  • Press NUM LOCK for five seconds [Turn Toggle Keys on or off]
  • Win + U [Open the Ease of Access Center]

Magnifier Shortcuts

Here are the keyboard shortcuts to help you use Magnifier.

  • Win + + [Zoom in]
  • Win +  [Zoom out]
  • CTRL + ALT + SPACEBAR [Preview the desktop in full-screen mode]
  • CTRL + ALT + D [Switch to docked mode]
  • CTRL + ALT + F [Switch to full-screen mode]
  • CTRL + ALT + I [Invert colors]
  • CTRL + ALT + L [Switch to lens mode]
  • CTRL + ALT + R [Resize the lens]
  • CTRL + ALT + ARROW keys [Pan in the direction of the ARROW keys]
  • Win + ESC [Exit Magnifier]

Narrator Shortcuts

These are the keyboard shortcuts to help you use Narrator.

  • SPACEBAR or ENTER [Activate current item]
  • TAB + ARROW Keys [Move around on the screen]
  • CTRL [Stop reading]
  • CAPS LOCK + D [Read item]
  • CAPS LOCK + M [Start reading]
  • CAPS LOCK + H [Read document]
  • CAPS LOCK + V [Repeat phrase]
  • CAPS LOCK + W [Read window]
  • CAPS LOCK + PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN [Increase or decrease the volume of the voice]
  • CAPS LOCK + +/- [Increase or decrease the speed of the voice]
  • CAPS LOCK + SPACEBAR [Do default action]
  • CAPS LOCK + LEFT or RIGHT ARROW [Move to previous/next item]
  • CAPS LOCK + F2 [Show commands for current item]
  • Caps + ESC [Exit Narrator]

Remote desktop connection Shortcuts

These are the keyboard shortcuts to ease the use of remote desktop connection.

  • ALT + PAGE UP [Move between apps, left to right]
  • ALT + PAGE DOWN [Move between apps, right to left]
  • ALT + INSERT [Cycle through apps in the order that they were started]
  • ALT + HOME [Display the Start screen]
  • CTRL + ALT + BREAK [Switch between a window and full screen]
  • CTRL + ALT + END [Display the Windows Security dialog box]
  • CTRL + ALT + HOME [In full-screen mode, activate the connection bar]
  • ALT + DELETE [Display the system menu]
  • CTRL + ALT +  [Place a copy of the active window, within the client, on the Terminal server clipboard (similar to ALT + PRINT SCREEN on a local PC)]
  • CTRL + ALT + + [Place a copy of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard (similar to Print Screen on a local PC)]
  • CTRL + ALT + RIGHT ARROW [TAB out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host app (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) app.]
  • CTRL + ALT + LEFT ARROW [TABout of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host app (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) app.]

Help viewer Shortcuts

These are the keyboard shortcuts that can be used with the help viewer.

  • F3 [Move the cursor to the search box]
  • F10 [Display the Options menu]
  • HOME [Move to the beginning of a topic]
  • END [Move to the end of a topic]
  • ALT + LEFT ARROW [Move back to the previously viewed topic]
  • ALT + RIGHT ARROW [Move to the next (previously viewed) topic]
  • ALT + HOME [Display the Help and support home page]
  • ALT + A [Display the customer support page]
  • ALT + C [Display the TABle of Contents]
  • ALT + N [Display the Connection Settings menu]
  • CTRL + F [Search the current topic]
  • CTRL + P [Print a topic]

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