The most useful Windows keyboard shortcuts

by Jake Wyatt

Last updated on 15th September, 2023

When it comes to computer operating systems, Microsoft Windows is without a doubt the most popular option. According to StatCounter, 74.99% of all computer users in 2021 were running some version of Windows.

It’s packed with features you use every day as well as less common tools you rarely use, and you’re probably keeping one hand on the mouse to use its plethora of options.

You’re losing valuable seconds of productivity each time you raise your hand from the keyboard to use the mouse or touchpad. Instead, use the keyboard shortcuts that are right there in front of you. When it comes to specific activities like locking your screen in a split second, key combinations are not only quicker to press but also more accurate than even the best mouse.

There are keyboard shortcuts for almost anything you do on a computer.

You don’t have to master them all, but mastering the shortcuts for the functions you use the most will significantly enhance your speed and efficiency every time you sit down in front of the computer.

Here are the ones we’ve found to be the most useful in our daily lives.


Select All: Ctrl + A

Copy: Ctrl + C

Cut: Ctrl + X

Paste: Ctrl + V

Paste as plain text: CTRL + Shift + V

Undo: Ctrl + Z

Redo: Ctrl + Y

Close: Ctrl + W

Find: Ctrl + F

Delete immediately: Shift + Delete (this will delete the file or folder permanently without moving it to the Recycle bin first)

Cycle through options: Tab or Shift Tab

Rename a file or folder: F2

Refresh: F5


Open the right-click Start button menu: Win + X

Search: Win + S

Open Settings: Win + I

Open the Action Center: Win + A

Scrolls down the page: Spacebar

Scrolls up the page: Shift + Spacebar

Open File Explorer: Win + E

Open the Game Bar: Win + G

Open the Run window: Win + R

Open the Ease of Access Center: Win + U

Show or hide Desktop: Win + D

Open Task Manager: Ctrl + Shift + Esc

Open the Start menu: Ctrl + Esc (This is useful if you’re using a keyboard that doesn’t have a Windows key)

Lock Windows: Win + L

Open Lock Screen: Ctrl + Alt + Del

Talk to Cortana: Win + C

Snap a window: Win + Left Arrow or Win + Right Arrow

Minimize all open windows: Win + M

Restore minimized windows: Win + Shift + M

Minimize everything except the active window: Win + Home

Maximize the height of a window: Win + Shift + Up Arrow

Minimize the selected window: Win + Down Arrow

Close the current window: Alt + F4

Cycle through apps in the taskbar: Win + T

Cycle through open apps: Alt + Tab

Move the cursor to the beginning of the document: Ctrl+Home

Move the cursor to the end of a document: Ctrl+End These shortcuts work with most documents, and web pages

Delete a word (instead of a character): Ctrl + Backspace

Move the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time: Ctrl + Left or Right arrow

Select multiple items: Ctrl + Click or Shift + Click

Move forward or back in web browser: ALT + Left Arrow

Close any Windows app: Alt + F4

Open closed browser tab: Ctrl + Shift + T

Bookmark a webpage: CTRL + D

Show bookmarks menu: Ctrl + Shift + B / O

Reply to an email: R or CTRL + R (works with email clients like outlook)

Opens the Emoji panel: Windows key + the period (.) key

Zoom in or out: Ctrl + plus (+) or Ctrl + minus (-)

Open Quick Settings (Bluetooth, WiFi, Airplane Mode, Battery Saver, Brightness, and more): Windows logo key + A

Launch voice typing: Windows key + H

Open Cast from Quick Settings: Windows key + K 

Open notification center and calendar: Windows logo key + N

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