Keyboard shortcuts can help you stay focused, lessen repeated effort, and greatly boost your productivity. For instance, you may select text and use the shortcut Ctrl+C to copy it. The shortcut is quicker than lifting your hands off the keyboard, using the mouse to highlight, right-clicking, choosing copy, and then putting them back on the keyboard.

There are several keyboard shortcuts offered in Windows, but you do not need to master them all. Just the ones that will make your life simpler and increase productivity should be kept in mind.

These are the major keyboard shortcuts that every Windows user needs to be familiar with:

RELATED STORIES

ADVERTISEMENT
Keyboard shortcutAction
Ctrl + ASelect all content.
Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert)Copy selected items to clipboard.
Ctrl + XCut selected items to clipboard.
Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert)Paste content from clipboard.
Ctrl + ZUndo an action, including undelete files (limited).
Ctrl + YRedo an action.
Ctrl + Shift + NCreate new folder on desktop or File Explorer.
Alt + F4Close active window. (If no active window is present, a shutdown box appears.)
Ctrl + D (Del)Delete selected item to the Recycle Bin.
Shift + DeleteDelete the selected item permanently, skipping Recycle Bin.
F2Rename selected item.
EscClose current task.
Alt + TabSwitch between open apps.
PrtScnTake a screenshot and stores it in the clipboard.
Windows key + IOpen Settings app.
Windows key + EOpen File Explorer.
Windows key + AOpen Action center.
Windows key + DDisplay and hide the desktop.
Windows key + LLock device.
Windows key + VOpen Clipboard bin.
Windows key + Period (.) or Semicolon (;)Open emoji panel.
Windows key + PrtScnCapture a full screenshot in the “Screenshots” folder.
Windows key + Shift + SCapture part of the screen with Snip & Sketch.
Windows key + Left arrow keySnap app or window left.
Windows key + Right arrow keySnap app or window right.

Desktop shortcuts

On Windows, you can use these keyboard shortcuts to open, close, navigate, and perform tasks more quickly throughout the desktop experience, including the Start menu, Taskbar, Settings, and more.

Keyboard shortcutAction
Windows key (or Ctrl + Esc)Open Start menu.
Ctrl + Arrow keysChange Start menu size.
Ctrl + Shift + EscOpen Task Manager.
Ctrl + ShiftSwitch keyboard layout.
Alt + F4Close active window. (If no active window is present, a shutdown box appears.)
Ctrl + F5 (or Ctrl + R)Refresh current window.
Ctrl + Alt + TabView open apps.
Ctrl + Arrow keys (to select) + SpacebarSelect multiple items on desktop or File Explorer.
Alt + Underlined letterRuns command for the underlined letter in apps.
Alt + TabSwitch between open apps while pressing Tab multiple times.
Alt + Left arrow keyGo back.
Alt + Right arrow keyGo forward.
Alt + Page UpMove up one screen.
Alt + Page DownMove down one screen.
Alt + EscCycle through open windows.
Alt + SpacebarOpen context menu for the active window.
Alt + F8Reveals typed password in Sign-in screen.
Shift + Click app buttonOpen another instance of an app from the Taskbar.
Ctrl + Shift + Click app buttonRun app as administrator from the Taskbar.
Shift + Right-click app buttonShow window menu for the app from the Taskbar.
Ctrl + Click a grouped app buttonCycle through windows in the group from the Taskbar.
Shift + Right-click grouped app buttonShow window menu for the group from the Taskbar.
Ctrl + Left arrow keyMove the cursor to the beginning of the previous word.
Ctrl + Right arrow keyMove the cursor to the beginning of the next word.
Ctrl + Up arrow keyMove the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
Ctrl + Down arrow keyMove the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph.
Ctrl + Shift + Arrow keySelect block of text.
Ctrl + SpacebarEnable or disable Chinese IME.
Shift + F10Open context menu for selected item.
F10Enable app menu bar.
Shift + Arrow keysSelect multiple items.
Windows key + XOpen Quick Link menu.
Windows key + Number (0-9)Open the app in number position from the Taskbar.
Windows key + TCycle through apps in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Alt + Number (0-9)Open Jump List of the app in number position from the Taskbar.
Windows key + DDisplay and hide the desktop.
Windows key + MMinimize all windows.
Windows key + Shift + MRestore minimized windows on the desktop.
Windows key + HomeMinimize or maximize all but the active desktop window.
Windows key + Shift + Up arrow keyStretch desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows key + Shift + Down arrow keyMaximize or minimize active desktop windows vertically while maintaining width.
Windows key + Shift + Left arrow keyMove active window to monitor on the left.
Windows key + Shift + Right arrow keyMove active window to monitor on the right.
Windows key + Left arrow keySnap app or window left.
Windows key + Right arrow keySnap app or window right.
Windows key + S (or Q)Open Search.
Windows key + Alt + DOpen date and time in the Taskbar.
Windows key + TabOpen Task View.
Windows key + Ctrl + DCreate new virtual desktop.
Windows key + Ctrl + F4Close active virtual desktop.
Windows key + Ctrl + Right arrowSwitch to the virtual desktop on the right.
Windows key + Ctrl + Left arrowSwitch to the virtual desktop on the left.
Windows key + POpen Project settings.
Windows key + AOpen Action center.
Windows key + IOpen Settings app.
BackspaceReturn to the Settings app home page.