Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts greatly enhance your productivity and save you a whole lot of time. It actually makes for a more pleasing workflow. Maybe you just bought a new mechanical keyboard and you looking to get high on those tactile clicks.Instead of pointing and clicking with the touchpad or external mouse, you can keep your hands on the keyboard and simply press combinations of keys on to get things done. Here are the best Windows shortcuts you should know or print for quick reference.

Copy, Cut and Paste

These are the most basic keyboard shortcuts to know. For when you want to duplicate (copy) or move (cut) a photo, snippet of text, web link, file, or anything else into another location or document by pasting it. These shortcuts work in Windows Explorer, Word, email, and pretty much everywhere else.

CTRL+C: Copy the selected item

CTRL+X: Cut the selected item

CTRL+V: Paste the selected item

Selecting Items

Highlight an item so you can copy and paste it or do some other action

CTRL+A: Select all items in a window, on the desktop, or all text in a document

Shift+Any Arrow Key: Select text within a document in that direction of the arrow key (e.g., one letter at a time) or one item at a time in a window

CTRL+Shift+Any Arrow Key: Select a block of text (e.g., a whole word at a time)

Find Text or Files

Quickly search a document, web page,  or Windows Explorer for a phrase or block of characters

CTRL+F or F3: Opens a “find” dialog box

Format Text

Hit these combinations before typing to bold, italicize, or underline

CTRL+B: Bold text

CTRL+I: Italicize text

CTRL+U: Underline text

Create, Open, Save, and Print

Basics for working with files. These shortcuts are the equivalent of going to the File menu and selecting: New…, Open…, Save…, or Print

CTRL+N: Create a new file or document or open a new browser window

CTRL+O: Open a file or document

CTRL+S: Save

CTRL+P: Print

Work with Tabs and Windows

CTRL+T: Open a new tab in your web browser

CTRL+Shift+T: Reopen a tab you just closed maybe by accident

CTRL+H: View your browsing history

CTRL+W or FN +F4: Close a window

Undo and Redo

Made a mistake? Go back or forward in history.

CTRL+Z: Undo an action

CTRL+Y: Redo an action

Once you’ve got the basic keyboard shortcuts down, learn these to save even more time.

Move the Cursors

Quickly jump the cursor to the beginning or end of your word, paragraph, or document.

CTRL+Right Arrow: Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word

CTRL+Left Arrow: Move the cursor back 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 back to the beginning of the previous paragraph

CTRL+Home: Go to the start of a document

CTRL+End: Go to the end of a document

Move Windows

One of Windows’ best features, you can snap a window to the left or right of the screen and fit half of the screen exactly, or quickly maximize the window to full screen. Hit the Windows button and arrows to activate.

WIN+E: open file explorer

WIN+D: Minimise everything and go to desktop

WIN+TAB: show all open tasks

WIN+Right Arrow: Resize the window to half of the display and dock it to the right.

WIN+Left Arrow: Resize the window to half of the display and dock it to the left.

WIN+Up Arrow: Maximize the window to full screen.

WIN+Down Arrow: Minimize the window or restore it if it is maximized.

WIN+Shift+Right/Left Arrow: Move the window to an external monitor on the left or right.

Function Keys

Press one of these keys at the top of your keyboard to quickly perform an action

F1: Open the Help page or window

F2: Rename an object (e.g., file in Windows Explorer)

F3: Find

F4: Shows the address bar in Windows Explorer

F5: Refreshes the page

F6: Moves to a different panel or screen element in a window or the desktop

Take a Screenshot

Useful for pasting an image of your desktop or a certain program and sending to tech support

ALT+Print Screen: Capture a screenshot of a window

CTRL+Print Screen: Capture the entire screen/desktop

Working with Windows

Windows system shortcuts

CTRL+ALT+Delete: Bring up the Windows Task Manager

ALT+Tab: Show open applications so you can quickly jump to a different one

WIN+D: Show your desktop

WIN+L: Lock your computer

CTRL+Shift+N: Create a new folder

Shift+Delete: Delete an item immediately, without placing it in the recycle bin

ALT+Enter or ALT+Double-click: Go to the properties screen for files or folders (much faster than right-clicking and selecting “Properties”)



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