A Comprehensive Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 10 and Windows 11 – Part One

By | January 31, 2022
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A Comprehensive Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 10 and Windows 11 – Part One

Keyboard shortcuts save time and make your Windows PC easier to use. In many cases, they can replace your keyboard or touchpad. 

Here is part one of our comprehensive guide to keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10 and Windows 11. In part one we cover “Copy, paste, and other general keyboard shortcuts” and Windows key shortcuts.  Don’t worry about trying to memorize them – just print the list out, circle the ones you think you’ll use most – then use them. You’ll be surprised how many you’ll remember if you use them often. That’s the secret to memorizing anything – repetition, 

Copy, paste, and other general keyboard shortcuts

Press this key

To do this
Ctrl + X Cut the selected item.
Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert) Copy the selected item.
Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) Paste the selected item.
Ctrl + Z Undo an action.
Alt + Tab Switch between open apps.
Alt + F4 Close the active item, or exit the active app.
Windows key + L Lock your PC.
Windows key + D Display and hide the desktop.
F2 Rename the selected item.
F3 Search for a file or folder in File Explorer.
F4 Display the address bar list in File Explorer.
F5 Refresh the active window.
F6 Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop.
F10 Activate the Menu bar in the active app.
Alt + F8 Show your password on the sign-in screen.
Alt + Esc Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened.
Alt + underlined letter Perform the command for that letter.
Alt + Enter Display properties for the selected item.
Alt + Spacebar Open the shortcut menu for the active window.
Alt + Left arrow Go back.
Alt + Right arrow Go forward.
Alt + Page Up Move up one screen.
Alt + Page Down Move down one screen.
Ctrl + F4 Close the active document (in apps that are full-screen and let you have multiple documents open at the same time).
Ctrl + A Select all items in a document or window.
Ctrl + D (or Delete) Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin.
Ctrl + E Open Search (in most apps).
Ctrl + R (or F5) Refresh the active window.
Ctrl + Y Redo an action.
Ctrl + Right arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word.
Ctrl + Left arrow Move the cursor 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 to the beginning of the previous paragraph.
Ctrl + Alt + Tab Use the arrow keys to switch between all open apps.
Alt + Shift + arrow keys When a group or tile is in focus on the Start menu, move it in the direction specified.
Ctrl + Shift + arrow keys When a tile is in focus on the Start menu, move it into another tile to create a folder.
Ctrl + arrow keys Resize the Start menu when it’s open.
Ctrl + arrow key (to move to an item) + Spacebar Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop.
Ctrl + Shift with an arrow key Select a block of text.
Ctrl + Esc Open Start.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open Task Manager.
Ctrl + Shift Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are available.
Ctrl + Spacebar Turn the Chinese input method editor (IME) on or off.
Shift + F10 Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.
Shift + any arrow key Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document.
Shift + Delete Delete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first.
Right arrow Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu.
Left arrow Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu.
Esc Stop or leave the current task.
PrtScn Take a screenshot of your whole screen and copy it to the clipboard.

Note

  • You can change this shortcut so it also opens screen snipping, which lets you edit your screenshot. Select Start  > Settings Ease of Access Keyboard, and turn on the toggle under Print Screen shortcut.

Windows Key Shortcuts

Press this key

To do this
Windows key Open or close Start.
Windows key  + A Open Quick Settings. Updated in Windows 11.
Windows  key  + B Set focus to the first icon in the Taskbar corner.
Windows key  + C Open Chat from Microsoft Teams. Updated in Windows 11.
Windows key  + Shift + C Open the charms menu.
Windows key  + Ctrl + C Turn on color filters (enable this shortcut first in Color Filter settings).
Windows key  + D Display and hide the desktop.
Windows key  + E Open File Explorer.
Windows key  + F Open Feedback Hub and take a screenshot.
Windows key  + G Open Xbox Game Bar when a game is open.
Windows key  + Alt + B Turn HDR on or off.

Note: Applies to the Xbox Game Bar app version 5.721.7292.0 or newer. To update your Xbox Game Bar, go to the Microsoft Store app and check for updates.

Windows key  + H Launch voice typing. Updated in Windows 11.
Windows key  + I Open Settings.
Windows key  + J Set focus to a Windows tip when one is available.

When a Windows tip appears, bring focus to the Tip.  Pressing the keyboard shortcuts again to bring focus to the element on the screen to which the Windows tip is anchored.

Windows key  + K Open Cast from Quick Settings. Updated in Windows 11.
Windows key  + L Lock your PC or switch accounts.
Windows key  + M Minimize all windows.
Windows key  + Shift + M Restore minimized windows on the desktop.
Windows key  + N Open notification center and calendar. Updated in Windows 11.
Windows key  + O Lock device orientation.
Windows key  + P Choose a presentation display mode.
Windows  key  + Ctrl + Q Open Quick Assist.
Windows key  + R Open the Run dialog box.
Windows key  + Alt + R Record video of game window in focus (using Xbox Game Bar).
Windows key  + S Open search.
Windows key  + Shift + S Take a screenshot of part of your screen.
Windows key  + T Cycle through apps on the taskbar.
Windows key  + U Open Accessibility Settings.
Windows key  + V Open the clipboard history. 

Note

  • Clipboard history isn’t turned on by default. If you’d like to turn it on, use this keyboard shortcut and then select the prompt to turn on history. Or you can select Start  > Settings  > System  > Clipboard, and turn on the toggle under Clipboard history.
Windows key  + Shift + V Set focus to a notification.
Windows key  + W Open Widgets. Updated in Windows 11.
Windows key  + X Open the Quick Link menu.
Windows key  + Y Switch input between Windows Mixed Reality and your desktop.
Windows key  + Z Open the snap layouts. Updated in Windows 11.
Windows key  + period (.) or semicolon (;) Open emoji panel.
Windows key  + comma (,) Temporarily peek at the desktop.
Windows key  + Pause Opens Settings  > System   > About.
Windows key  + Ctrl + F Search for PCs (if you’re on a network).
Windows key  + number Open the desktop and start the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the app is already running, switch to that app.
Windows key  + Shift + number Open the desktop and start a new instance of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows key  + Ctrl + number Open the desktop and switch to the last active window of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows key  + Alt + number Open the desktop and open the Jump List for the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows key  + Ctrl + Shift + number Open the desktop and open a new instance of the app located at the given position on the taskbar as an administrator.
Windows key  + Tab Open Task view.
Windows key  + Up arrow Maximize the window.
Windows key  + Alt + Up arrow Snap window in focus to the top half of screen. New with Windows 11.
Windows key  + Down arrow Remove the current app from the screen or minimize the desktop window.
Windows key  + Alt + Down arrow Snap window in focus to the bottom half of the screen. New with Windows 11.
Windows key  + Left arrow Maximize the app or desktop window to the left side of the screen.
Windows key  + Right arrow Maximize the app or desktop window to the right side of the screen.
Windows key  + Home Minimize all except the active desktop window (restores all windows on the second stroke).
Windows key  + Shift + Up arrow Stretch the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows key  + Shift + Down arrow Restore/minimize active desktop windows vertically, maintaining width.
Windows key  + Shift + Left arrow or Right arrow Move an app or window in the desktop from one monitor to another.
Windows key  + Shift + Spacebar Cycle backward through language and keyboard layout.
Windows key + Spacebar Switch input language and keyboard layout.
Windows key + Ctrl + Spacebar Change to a previously selected input.
Windows key  + Ctrl + Enter Turn on Narrator.
Windows key  + Plus (+) Open Magnifier and zoom in.
Windows key  + Minus (-) Zoom out in Magnifier.
Windows key  + Esc Close Magnifier.
Windows key  + forward-slash (/) Begin IME reconversion.
Windows key  + Ctrl + Shift + B Wake PC from a blank or black screen.
Windows key  + PrtScn Save full-screen screenshot to file.
Windows key  + Alt + PrtScn Save a screenshot of game window in focus to file (using Xbox Game Bar).

The source of the information in this guide is courtesy of Microsoft.

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