Discover the 50 most useful Windows shortcuts!
To this day, Windows remains the most used operating system in the world, even with the growing success of Linux and Mac. Of course, that doesn't mean that everyone has a perfect command of the system or that they know all of its details. There are still many people who don't even know Windows shortcuts in depth, something that certainly ends up helping in the daily use of the system. That's exactly why we've created a neat list of the top shortcuts you really should know about. Check it out below!
Read too: 19 best videos with PC tutorials and tips
1. Windows key
To open the famous Start menu on your Windows, just press the Windows key on your keyboard. In case you didn't know, this key is the one that has the well-known system logo, with the four windows grouped together.
To go straight to your desktop, you can simply press Windows and D keys at the same time with shortcut.
By pressing the Windows and M keys, you can minimize all active windows at once. Very handy for going straight to the desktop.
If you press the Windows and R keys at the same time, you will open the “Run” window automatically. With it, you will be able to access different system directories, such as Command Prompt and Windows registry.
To quickly open a Windows Explorer folder, simply press the Windows and E keys at the same time.
By pressing the Windows and Pause Break keys on your computer, you will open the “System Properties” window automatically.
If you need to do some searching among your files and folders on the system, you can use the Windows and F key shortcut to open a search field.
You can also use a very simple shortcut to open your computer's “Utilities Manager”. Just press the Windows and U keys at the same time.
To block access to your user or even to switch users on the PC, you can press the Windows and L keys at the same time. It ends up being much faster than going to the Start menu and looking for this option every time you need it.
Another one of the Windows shortcuts you can use is Ctrl and Esc. It can be useful to open the Start menu on keyboards that don't have the Windows key, for example.
This is certainly one of the best known Windows shortcuts, because it ends up helping in problematic system situations. By pressing Ctrl, Alt and Del you will open the “Task Manager”, which allows you to see what programs are open, the PC memory usage and the closing of any apps that are locked.
By pressing the Ctrl, Shift and Esc keys at the same time, you can also open the “Task Manager”. The difference is that this shortcut allows you to open the manager directly instead of opening the Windows security screen first.
The Alt and Tab key shortcut allows you to switch between the different windows open on your PC. In this case, the shortcut will always move to the next window.
If you press the Shift, Alt and Tab keys at the same time, you can also switch between open windows. The big difference is that you will open the previous windows, unlike the shortcut above.
If you use the shortcut Alt and Esc, you will switch directly to the previous window in the taskbar.
The shortcut Ctrl and Tab is used to switch different tabs of the same program, such as an internet browser with several pages open.
This famous shortcut is used to close the window that is active on your computer. If you don't have any windows open at the moment, then this shortcut will open the option to shut down the PC.
Pressing the F10 key will open the menu of the program you are currently using. It is a very useful option among Windows shortcuts.
If you're having a problem with your mouse or trackpad, you can use the Shift and F10 key shortcut to act as the right mouse button.
19. Print Screen
The Print Screen key (also appears as “Prt Sc” on some keyboards) is for taking a screenshot of the active screen when you press it. You can paste the image into any image editing program.
You can use F2 to rename files. Just click on the file to select it and then you can use F2 to choose a new name.
You can use the F3 key to perform file searches in an open folder.
The F5 key is used to update the current window, be it a folder or an app (such as a web page in your browser).
The F6 key shortcut is to select the text that is in the address bar of Windows Explorer or your internet browser.
F11 can be even more useful. This shortcut serves to make the current window full screen, and if you press it again, the window will return to normal.
If you are using your web browser, you can press the Ctrl and H keys to automatically open your browsing history.
Another nice shortcut to use in the web browser is Ctrl and I. By pressing these keys at the same time, you will open a menu with all pages marked as your favorites.
27. Windows+Up arrow
Pressing the Windows and Up Arrow keys will maximize the window you are currently using. Valid for apps, folders and files.
28. Windows+Down arrow
Pressing the Windows and Down Arrow keys will minimize the window you are currently using. Also valid for apps, folders and files.
29. Windows+Left arrow
Now if you press the Windows and Left Arrow keys, you'll make the window half touch the left side of the screen.
30. Windows+Right arrow
If you press the Windows and Right Arrow keys, you will make the window halfway against the right side of your computer screen.
By using the Windows and P key shortcut, you can open the options menu to mirror your PC screen on another monitor or even your television.
The shortcut Ctrl and P is used to open the print configuration menu of a page or file that is open.
The well-known Ctrl and C shortcut is used to copy a previously selected piece of text on your computer, either in a file or in an open window.
The shortcut Ctrl and V serves to paste a previously copied item, like the text snippet we mentioned in the previous tip.
A little different from Ctrl and C, the shortcut Ctrl and X is for cutting an item or piece of text. This means that you will also remove the item in question from its original location.
Pressing the Ctrl and A keys at the same time will select all the items in the window you are currently using. If you are working on a text, it means that you will select it in its entirety at once.
The shortcut of the Ctrl and Z keys serves to undo the last action performed on the PC, whether it is a word written in a document or a file sent to the trash. Very useful to fix errors quickly.
If you press the Windows and Home keys at the same time, it will minimize all windows that are open except the one you are currently using.
39. Windows and +
If you need to zoom in on the window or app you're using, just press the Windows and + keys at the same time. The more you press them, the larger the screen will be zoomed.
40. Windows and –
The Windows and – keys can be used for the opposite. This shortcut serves exactly to zoom out of the window you are currently using.
With this shortcut, you can close any windows you are currently viewing in Windows. This is for apps, the file explorer and even the browser. Pressing Ctrl and W at the same time is perfect for not having to use the mouse whenever you want to close a window.
By pressing the Windows and Tab keys at the same time, you will open the PC task manager. This way, you'll be able to view all the software currently open and decide what you want to use.
It is more or less similar to the Alt+Tab shortcut, but it allows you to take a closer look at open apps. It is very useful among Windows shortcuts.
It would be hard to talk about Windows shortcuts without mentioning that you can use the Tab key to select the next option in some window. This is perfect for those who are mouseless or too lazy to click on the next options.
The shortcut Shift and Tab is used to select a previous option in a window.
45. Alt+Print Screen
If you press Alt and Print Screen, you can capture only the active window instead of the entire screen. It can be very useful when you don't want a print with the taskbar showing, for example.
Just press the Windows key and the I key at the same time to open the PC settings window. This makes it a lot easier if you need to make a quick change to your computer.
This is one of the best Windows shortcuts for those who use the system search bar a lot. Just press the Windows and S keys at the same time to quickly open the search.
Pressing the Windows+C keys will trigger Cortana immediately. You just need to have her active as your assistant on Windows, of course.
The shortcut of the keys Windows+Ctrl+D serves to create a new virtual desktop in a more practical way.
Finally, we also have to mention Windows+X among the Windows shortcuts. It opens the quick access menu to some important Windows functions.
This includes access to disk management, search, file explorer, task manager, run and much more.
Did you like the tips?
Did you take advantage of our Windows shortcut list to make your system use even more efficient? Don't forget to leave a comment telling us if everything went well or if you have any questions!