Windows keyboard shortcuts

Save time by learning useful shortcuts for Windows.

Windows keyboard shortcuts are a combination of two or more keys you can hit on your keyboard to perform different tasks across various applications. They can help you boost productivity by saving time. For instance, you save a few seconds when you use a keyboard shortcut to paste an image in MS Paint instead of using your mouse to find and click the Paste button.

Over the course of a day, week, month, or even a year, imagine how much more work you can do per keystroke by utilizing Windows keyboard shortcuts. Remembering many keyboard shortcuts may seem impossible, but your mind may surprise you. Some of these shortcuts should become second nature with regular use.  

What are common keyboard shortcuts in Windows?

There are many keyboard shortcuts, and it's unlikely that everyone wants to know all of them. So, we’ve divided this page into sections. Here are some basic keyboard shortcuts for your Windows operating system:

  • Ctrl+C = Copy selected text, image, etc.
  • Ctrl+Ins = Copy selected text, image, etc.
  • Ctrl+V = Paste selection
  • Shift+Insert = Paste selection
  • Ctrl+A = Select everything in a window
  • Ctrl+X = Cut selection
  • Ctrl+Z = Undo last action
  • Ctrl+Y = Redo last action
  • Ctrl+N = Open new window, document, workbook, etc.
  • Ctrl+D = Send item to Recycle Bin
  • Ctrl+O = Open a file in the app
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc = Windows task manager keyboard shortcut
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del = Lock computer, switch user, sign out, change password, or launch Task Manager
  • Ctrl+Home = Go to the start of a document
  • Ctrl+End = Go to the end of a document
  • End = Move to the end of a line
  • Shift+Home = Highlight from the beginning of the line
  • Shift+End = Highlight to the end of the line
  • Shift+Delete = Delete item directly and bypass Recycle Bin
  • PrtScn = Take a screenshot of your entire screen
  • PrtScn+Alt = Take a screenshot of your active window
  • Alt+F4 = Close app, window, or in some cases, program
  • Alt+Tab = Switch between windows and open apps
  • Alt+Enter = Open properties of selection

What are some Windows key shortcuts?

The Windows logo key is a standard key on most keyboards. You can locate it on either side of the spacebar near the Left Ctrl and Alt keys on your keyboard. In combination with other keys, the Windows key offers several valuable shortcuts. For example, Win+PrtScn is a Windows shortcut screenshot fans love because it conveniently captures a screenshot and saves it.

  • Win key = Access Start menu
  • Win+A = Launch action center
  • Win+T = Cycle between the apps on the taskbar: You can hit Win+(number) to open the matching app on the taskbar. And Win+(number)+Alt opens the right-click menu for the matching app on the taskbar.
  • Win+L = Lock computer
  • Win+M = Minimize windows shortcut
  • Win+Home = Minimize all windows aside from the active window
  • Win+Shift+M = Restore minimized windows
  • Win+Up arrow = Maximize active program window
  • Win+Down arrow = A shortcut to minimize the active window
  • Win+D = Hide windows and display the desktop
  • Win+S = Open Search
  • Win+Q = Open Search
  • Win+E = Open File Explorer app
  • Win+I = Open Settings app
  • Win+R = Open Run app
  • Win+Shift+S = Windows Snipping Tool keyboard shortcut
  • Win+G = Launch Xbox Game Bar
  • Win+PrtScn = Take a screenshot of your entire screen and save it in your Screenshots folder
  • Win+V = Open Clipboard history
  • Win+K = Open Connect
  • Win+X = Open Quick Link
  • Win+, = View desktop

What are some useful Command Prompt shortcuts?

  • Ctrl+C = Copy selected text
  • Ctrl+Ins = Copy selected text
  • Ctrl+V = Paste copied text
  • Shift+Insert = Paste copied text
  • Ctrl+A = Select text
  • Ctrl+Up = Move one line up
  • Ctrl+Down = Move one line down
  • Ctrl+F = Open search
  • Ctrl+Home = Move to the top
  • Ctrl+End = Move to the bottom
  • Left = Move to the left of the line
  • Right = Move to the right of the line
  • Up or Down = Move through history

What is the function of F1 to F12 keys?

A keyboard's function keys are straight across the top and have various functions, depending on the software. For example, F2 lets you enter BIOS when the computer starts. Sometimes these Windows hotkeys combine with other keys for even more functions.

  • F1 = Usually functions as a help key
  • F2 = Allows you to enter BIOS
  • F3 = Opens the search function in many apps
  • F4 = Opens the address bar in Windows Explorer
  • F5 = Refreshes a page or a folder
  • F6 = Moves cursor to address bar in most web browsers
  • F7 = Has contrasting functions in different apps
  • F8 = Helps enter Safe Mode in legacy systems
  • F9 = Has contrasting functions in different apps
  • F10 = Takes you to the options button in most apps
  • F11 = Let's you enter and leave full screen mode in different apps
  • F12 = Has contrasting functions in different apps

What are common shortcuts for Microsoft Word?

  • Ctrl+O = Open a document
  • Ctrl+N = Start a new document
  • Ctrl+S = Save document
  • Ctrl+W = Close document
  • Ctrl+Alt+S = Split document window
  • Ctrl+Altr+S = Remove the split
  • Esc = Cancel command
  • Ctrl+A = Select all content
  • Ctrl+C = Copy selection
  • Ctrl+V = Paste selection
  • Ctrl+Z = Undo last action
  • Ctrl+Y = Redo last action
  • Ctrl+B = Bold formatting
  • Ctrl+I = Italic formatting
  • Ctrl+U = Underline formatting
  • Ctrl+] = Increase font size
  • Ctrl+[ = Decrease font size
  • Ctrl+E = Center the text
  • Ctrl+R = Align text to the right
  • Ctrl+L = Align text to the left

Can a keylogger see hotkeys?

A keylogger is a program that can typically see all your keystrokes, including the Windows hotkeys you use, like the task manager shortcut, full screen shortcut or any other Windows keyboard shortcuts. Some advanced keyloggers can also document screenshots and video recordings. Avoid typing anything on untrustworthy computer hardware and use a Windows antivirus program that proactively blocks malware like keyloggers from your PC.

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