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windows 10 shortcut keys

windows 10 shortcut keys

When I observe most colleagues and friends working on their PCs they mostly use the mouse as they are unaware of the powerful Windows shortcuts that will make their lives so much easier. Some people might be aware of the windows 10 shortcut keys, but they are used to working mostly with the mouse, and old habits are hard to let go.

In this article, I will take things step by step so you can learn the windows 10 shortcut keys that are required to navigate your way around the Windows operating system.

Let’s assume your machine is starting up and due to a faulty mouse or some other related problem, your system cannot be accessed with the mouse. A user that is not using Windows 10 shortcut keys on a regular basis will be completely lost. Ok, it\’s relatively cheap to replace the mouse, but what if you had to quickly perform a task that cannot wait until a new mouse is acquired or the problem is fixed?

Navigating the Start Menu

I will first explain how to launch an application without the use of the mouse and instead use Windows 10 shortcut keys. Immediately after system startup if you are required to log in, type out your password and press the Enter key. Once the system has fully initialized you will be presented with the Windows Desktop. As an example, we will launch Notepad. Follow the steps exactly as explained below:

Press Ctrl and Esc to show the Start menu or press the Windows Logo key. Now press the Up Arrow until you can see the selection rectangle moving upwards in the Start menu. Once the selection rectangle enters the Start menu press the Left Arrow to move to the left section of the Start menu. Then press the Down Arrow until \”All Programs\” is selected. Press the Right Arrow to expand the \”All Programs\” menu. Press the Down Arrow until \”Accessories\” is selected. Press the Right Arrow to expand the accessories menu. Now press the Down Arrow until the Notepad menu item is selected and then press Enter. This will cause the Notepad application to launch.

Armed with this basic keyboard shortcut knowledge you will be able to launch any application without the use of the mouse.

Moving Around the Desktop

Frequently users place icons on the desktop to quickly access some applications, files or folders they regularly use. What now if the mouse packs up and you have to get to that file? Here is how to make use of the Windows 10 shortcut keys to get that done:
Depending on the current situation different steps might be required so keep in mind that you do not have to do all the steps.

Press the Windows Logo key and M simultaneously to minimize all Windows. Press Ctrl and Esc simultaneously and then press Esc again. (Only required under certain conditions so you might only need to perform this step if you do not get the desired results from the step below). Press the Tab key and release it. Keep on pressing and releasing it until you see a \”focus rectangle\” surrounding one of the icons on the desktop. If there are a lot of icons on the desktop you might need to look carefully if any receive the focus indicated by the focus rectangle. Also occasionally use the arrow keys to see if you can move between different icons if it is difficult to notice the icon with the focus rectangle. Normally the focus will move between the Windows Taskbar and the last icon that had the focus (being selected) on the desktop when the Tab key is pressed. Once you got the \”focus rectangle\” on any icon on the desktop it is just a matter of moving to the icon of your choice using the arrow keys. When the required icon got the focus or is selected press the Enter key to open the file, folder, or launch a program.

Working with Windows

Our next step in this Windows 10 shortcut keys article is to manipulate windows in the context of minimizing, maximizing, moving and closing them. To minimize the currently active window press Alt and Spacebar. The Control Menu for the window will appear. Now press N to minimize the window.

To maximize or get a window to its restored state when it is minimized to the Windows Taskbar hold down Alt and then press and release the Tab key until the desired window is selected. When the window of choice is selected also release the Alt key which will ensure that the window will either be maximized or restored depending on its previous state.

If you want to maximize a window from its restored state press Alt and Spacebar. After the Control Menu appears press X to maximize the window. To restore a maximized window press Alt and Spacebar. When the Control Menu appears press R to get the window from its maximized to restored state.

To move a window press Alt and Spacebar. When the Control Menu appears press M. Now use the arrow keys to move the window to the desired location and press the Enter key to the round of this operation.

When you want to re-size a window press Alt and Spacebar. When the Control Menu appears press S. Now press the arrow keys depending on which side you want to size the window from. The right will take you to the right edge of the window for sizing and the Down arrow will take you to the bottom right corner for sizing purposes. When pressing the left key first you will be taking to the window left border to carry out sizing from that side. Once you have selected your sizing location by pressing the left or right arrows and up or down arrows do the sizing by using any of the arrow keys. When finished press Enter to complete this operation. Pressing the Esc key will leave the original size of the window intact.

General Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • F1 [Display Help]
  • F2 [Rename the selected item]
  • F3 [Search for a file or folder]
  • 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 + F4 [Close the active item, or exit the active app]
  • ALT + ESC [Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened]
  • ALT + underlined letter in menus and dialog box options [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 [Back]
  • ALT + RIGHT ARROW [Forward]
  • ALT + PAGE UP [Move up one screen]
  • ALT + PAGE DOWN [Move down one screen]
  • ALT + TAB [Switch between open apps (except desktop apps)]
  • CTRL + F4 [Close the active document (in apps that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)]
  • CTRL + A [Select all items in a document or window]
  • CTRL + C or CTRL + INSERT [Copy the selected item]
  • CTRL + D / DELETE [DELETE the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin]
  • CTRL + R or F5 [Refresh the active window]
  • CTRL + V or SHIFT + INSERT [Paste the selected item]
  • CTRL + X [Cut the selected item]
  • CTRL + Y [Redo an action]
  • CTRL + Z [Undo an action]
  • CTRL + + or CTRL + – [Zoom in or out of a large NUMBER of items, like apps pinned to the Start screen]
  • CTRL + mouse scroll wheel [Change the size of desktop icons or zoom in or out of a large NUMBER of items, like apps pinned to the Start screen]
  • 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]
  • CTRL + ARROW + SPACEBAR [Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + ARROW [Select a block of text]
  • CTRL + ESC [Open the Start screen]
  • 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 + ARROW [Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within 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]

Windows Button + Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • Win + F1 [Open Windows Help and support]
  • Win [Display or hide the Start screen]
  • Win + B [Set focus in the notification area]
  • Win + C [Open Charms]
  • Win + D [Display and hide the desktop]
  • Win + E [Open File Explorer]
  • Win + F [Open the Search charm and search for files]
  • Win + H [Open the Share charm]
  • Win + I [Open the Settings charm]
  • Win + K [Open the Devices charm]
  • Win + L [Lock your PC or switch people]
  • Win + M [Minimize all windows]
  • Win + O [Lock device orientation]
  • Win + P [Choose a presentation display mode]
  • Win + Q [Open the Search charm to search everywhere or within the open app (if the app supports app search)]
  • Win + R [Open the Run dialog box]
  • Win + S [Open the Search charm to search Windows and the web]
  • Win + T [Cycle through apps on the taskbar]
  • Win + U [Open Ease of Access Center]
  • Win + V [Cycle through notifications]
  • Win + SHIFT + V [Cycle through notifications in reverse order]
  • Win + W [Open the Search charm and search for settings]
  • Win + X [Open the Quick Link menu]
  • Win + Z [Show the commands available in the app]
  • Win + , [Temporarily peek at the desktop]
  • Win + PAUSE [Display the System Properties dialog box]
  • Win + CTRL + F [Search for PCs (if you’re on a network)]
  • Win + SHIFT + M [Restore minimized windows on the desktop]
  • Win + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and start the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the app is already running, it switches to that app.]
  • Win + SHIFT + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and start a new instance of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number]
  • Win + CTRL + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and switch to the last active window of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number]
  • Win + ALT + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and open the Jump List for the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number]
  • Win + CTRL + SHIFT + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and open a new instance of the app located at the given position on the taskbar as an administrator]
  • Win + TAB [Cycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps)]
  • Win + CTRL + TAB [Cycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps)]
  • Win + SHIFT + TAB [Cycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps) in reverse order]
  • Win + CTRL + B [Switch to the app that displayed a message in the notification area]
  • Win + UP ARROW [Maximize the window]
  • Win + DOWN ARROW [Remove current app from screen or minimize the desktop window]
  • Win + LEFT ARROW [Maximize the app or desktop window to the LEFT side of the screen]
  • Win + RIGHT ARROW [Maximize the app or desktop window to the RIGHT side of the screen]
  • Win + HOME [Minimize all but the active desktop window (restores all windows on second stroke)]
  • Win + SHIFT + UP ARROW [Stretch the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen]
  • Win + SHIFT + DOWN ARROW [Restore/minimize active desktop windows vertically, maintaining width]
  • Win + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW [Move an app or window in the desktop from one monitor to another]
  • Win + SPACEBAR [Switch input language and keyboard layout]
  • Win + CTRL + SPACEBAR [Change to a previously selected input]
  • Win + ENTER [Open Narrator]
  • Win + SHIFT + . [Cycle through open apps]
  • Win + . [Cycle through open apps]
  • Win + / [Initiate IME reconversion]
  • Win + ALT + ENTER [Open WindowsMedia Center]
  • Win + +/- [Zoom in or out using Magnifier]
  • Win + ESC [Exit Magnifier]

Dialog box Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • F1 [Display Help]
  • F4 [Display the items in the active list]
  • CTRL + TAB [Move forward through tabs]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + TAB [Move back through tabs]
  • CTRL + (NUMBER 1-9) [Move to nth tab]
  • TAB [Move forward through options]
  • SHIFT + TAB [Move back through options]
  • ALT + underlined letter in menus and dialog box options [Perform the command (or select the option) that goes with that letter]
  • SPACEBAR [Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box]
  • BACKSPACE [Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box]
  • ARROW keys [Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons]

File explorer Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • ALT + D [Select the address bar]
  • CTRL + E [Select the search box]
  • CTRL + F [Select the search box]
  • CTRL + N [Open a new window]
  • CTRL + W [Close the current window]
  • CTRL + mouse scroll wheel [Change the size and appearance of file and folder icons]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + E [Display all folders above the selected folder]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + N [Create a new folder]
  • NUM LOCK + * [Display all subfolders under the selected folder]
  • NUM LOCK + + [Display the contents of the selected folder]
  • NUM LOCK + – [Collapse the selected folder]
  • ALT + P [Display the preview pane]
  • ALT + ENTER [Open the Properties dialog box for the selected item]
  • ALT + RIGHT ARROW [View the next folder]
  • ALT + UP ARROW [View the folder that the folder was in]
  • ALT + LEFT ARROW [View the previous folder]
  • BACKSPACE [View the previous folder]
  • RIGHT ARROW [Display the current selection (if it’s collapsed), or select the first subfolder]
  • LEFT ARROW [Collapse the current selection (if it’s expanded), or select the folder that the folder was in]
  • END [Display the bottom of the active window]
  • HOME [Display the top of the active window]
  • F11 [Maximize or minimize the active window]

Taskbar Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • SHIFT + Click a taskbar button [Open an app or quickly open another instance of an app]
  • CTRL + SHIFT + Click a taskbar button [Open an app as an administrator]
  • SHIFT + Right-click a taskbar button [Show the window menu for the app]
  • SHIFT + Right-click a grouped taskbar button [Show the window menu for the groUP]
  • CTRL + Click a grouped taskbar button [Cycle through the windows of the groUP]

Ease of access Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • Hold RIGHT SHIFT for eight seconds [Turn Filter Keys on and off]
  • LEFT ALT + LEFT SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN [Turn High Contrast on or off]
  • LEFT ALT + LEFT SHIFT + NUM LOCK [Turn Mouse Keys on or off]
  • Press SHIFT five times [Turn Sticky Keys on or off]
  • Press NUM LOCK for five seconds [Turn Toggle Keys on or off]
  • Win + U [Open the Ease of Access Center]

Magnifier Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • Win + + [Zoom in]
  • Win + – [Zoom out]
  • CTRL + ALT + SPACEBAR [Preview the desktop in full-screen mode]
  • CTRL + ALT + D [Switch to docked mode]
  • CTRL + ALT + F [Switch to full-screen mode]
  • CTRL + ALT + I [Invert colors]
  • CTRL + ALT + L [Switch to lens mode]
  • CTRL + ALT + R [Resize the lens]
  • CTRL + ALT + ARROW keys [Pan in the direction of the ARROW keys]
  • Win + ESC [Exit Magnifier]

Narrator Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • SPACEBAR or ENTER [Activate current item]
  • TAB + ARROW keys [Move around on the screen]
  • CTRL [Stop reading]
  • CAPS LOCK + D [Read item]
  • CAPS LOCK + M [Start reading]
  • CAPS LOCK + H [Read document]
  • CAPS LOCK + V [Repeat phrase]
  • CAPS LOCK + W [Read window]
  • CAPS LOCK + PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN [Increase or decrease the volume of the voice]
  • CAPS LOCK + +/- [Increase or decrease the speed of the voice]
  • CAPS LOCK + SPACEBAR [Do default action]
  • CAPS LOCK + LEFT or RIGHT ARROW [Move to previous/next item]
  • CAPS LOCK + F2 [Show commands for current item]
  • Caps + ESC [Exit Narrator]

Remote desktop connection Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • ALT + PAGE UP [Move between apps, left to right]
  • ALT + PAGE DOWN [Move between apps, right to left]
  • ALT + INSERT [Cycle through apps in the order that they were started]
  • ALT + HOME [Display the Start screen]
  • CTRL + ALT + BREAK [Switch between a window and full screen]
  • CTRL + ALT + END [Display the Windows Security dialog box]
  • CTRL + ALT + HOME [In full-screen mode, activate the connection bar]
  • ALT + DELETE [Display the system menu]

Help viewer Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • F3 [Move the cursor to the search box]
  • F10 [Display the Options menu]
  • HOME [Move to the beginning of a topic]
  • END [Move to the end of a topic]
  • ALT + LEFT ARROW [Move back to the previously viewed topic]
  • ALT + RIGHT ARROW [Move to the next (previously viewed) topic]
  • ALT + HOME [Display the Help and support home page]
  • ALT + A [Display the customer support page]
  • ALT + C [Display the TABle of Contents]
  • ALT + N [Display the Connection Settings menu]
  • CTRL + F [Search the current topic]
  • CTRL + P [Print a topic]

App rearranging Windows 10 shortcut keys

  • Win + . [Enter Rearrange mode and select apps or dividers across monitors]
  • Win + LEFT ARROW [Move app divider left]
  • Win + RIGHT ARROW [Move app divider right]
  • Win + UP ARROW [Maximize app]
  • Win + DOWN ARROW [Close app]
  • Win + ESC [Exit Rearrange mode]

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