All those who spend a good amount of hours in front of our PC, as a rule we spend them in Windows, or with applications of the system itself. There are users who are more used to its use than others, but they all try to work with the operating system in a more fluid way. It is true that there are many shortcuts, and also for many programs, but it is not necessary that we memorize them all.
In fact, to work better with the shortcuts, this is something that can be achieved with experience by moving through the multiple functions that Windows itself presents between its menus. In this way, what we achieve is to know where is what we use most frequently to access more quickly. Keep in mind that we are talking about extremely complete software, and that it does not stop growing. That is why depending on the type of use we make of it, we will get used to a certain number of actions included.
But at the same time, here we are going to find a series of functions and applications for general use that are going to be almost essential on a day-to-day basis. Here we refer, for example, to the File Explorer, or the Settings application . Therefore in these same lines we are going to talk about a series of keyboard shortcuts that will be very helpful. As you can imagine, these will help us to work in a much more fluid way with the operating system itself. This way we can access the functions that interest us most, practically immediately.
The most common Windows key keyboard shortcuts
And it is sure that some of you, especially the newest in these struggles, on more than one occasion may have wondered the reason for this Win key. Many keyboards actually have two such elements, one on each side of the space bar. And is that some, beyond directly opening the Start menu, do not know the true utility of this Win key. Well, then we are going to show you how it can be of enormous help when we work with the Redmond system.
Shortcuts for widely used tasks in Windows
Many of these we use through the popular WIN key, which allows us to access many of the built-in functions of Windows itself. So we can memorize the ones that interest us the most in each case. We already told you before that here it is not necessary for us to know them all, it is enough to memorize the ones we use regularly.
- Win: open the Start menu.
- Win + A: open the Action Center.
- Win + C: open the voice assistant Cortana.
- Win + G: open the game bar.
- Win + E: open File Explorer.
- Win + L: lock the computer or switch accounts.
- Win + I: open the Settings application.
- Win + M: minimize all open windows.
- Win + S: open searches.
- Win + R: open Run dialog box
- Win + Shift + M: restore minimized windows.
- Win + cursor up: maximize window.
- Win + down cursor: minimize window.
- Win + Ctrl + Enter: activate Narrator.
- Win + +: open the Magnifier application.
Shortcuts for less common tasks
But the same Win key also gives us direct access to a multitude of functions that are somewhat less known or used in Windows. With everything and with this, in certain circumstances they will also be of great help to us to work in a more fluid way.
- Win + B: focus to the notification area.
- Win + D: show desktop.
- Win + Alt + D: show date and time on desktop.
- Win + H: start dictation.
- Win + F: open the Feedback Center.
- Win + J: open a Windows suggestion.
- Win + K: open Connect.
- Windows + P: presentation mode.
- Win + Ctrl + Q: open quick assistance.
- Win + Shift + S: Screenshot of a part.
- Win + T: move through the applications on the taskbar.
- Win + U: open Ease of Access Center.
- Win + V: open the Clipboard.
- Win + Shift + V: move through the notifications.
- Win + X: open link menu.
- Win + Z: view available commands in full screen.
- Win + .: open the emoji panel .
- Win +,: view the desktop.
- Win + Pause: view the System Properties box
- Win + Ctrl + F: search for teams.
- Win + number: open taskbar applications depending on their position
- Win + Ctrl + number: open the desktop and switch to the last active window.
- Windows + Alt + number: open list of shortcuts from the taskbar.
- Win + Tab: Task view.
- Win + left cursor: maximize application window on the left side.
- Win + right cursor: maximize application window on the right side.
- Win + Start: minimize everything except the active window.
- Windows + Shift + down cursor: minimize active desktop windows .
- Windows + Shift + left or right cursor: move application or window from one monitor to another.
- Win + space bar: change input language.
General-purpose keyboard shortcuts
Leaving aside the aforementioned Win key, the operating system presents us with many other general keyboard shortcuts that we can use on a daily basis. In addition, these can be tremendously useful because they are shared equally with many of the applications that we normally use in Windows. We refer to the programs that we install on the PC with the Redmond system. Thus, these shortcuts that we show you here, will help us to a great extent to be much more productive on the PC and to work more fluently.
- Ctrl + C: copy all kinds of content.
- Ctrl + V: paste the contents of the clipboard.
- Ctrl + X: cut the clipboard.
- Ctrl + Z: undo the last action.
- Alt + tab: switch between applications.
- Alt + F4: close the active window.
- F2: change the name of an element in the system.
- F3: Search for a file or folder in File Explorer.
- F4: show the address bar list in Explorer.
- F5: update the screen content.
- F6: move through the different elements of the screen.
- F10: activate the menu bar.
- Alt + F8 – Show password on login screen.
- Alt + Esc: move through the elements in the order in which they were opened.
- Alt + Enter: view the properties.
- Alt + Spacebar: open context menu.
- Ctrl + F4: close the active document.
- Shift + Delete: delete without moving to the recycle bin.
- Print Screen: print screen.
- Ctrl + A: select all.
- Ctrl + D: move to the recycle bin.
- Ctrl + Y: redo.
- Ctrl + Esc: open Start.
- Ctrl + Shift + Esc: open Task Manager.
Shortcuts for File Explorer
And to finish we will talk about the key combinations that you can use in one of the most useful elements of Windows, such as the File Explorer.
- Alt + D: select the address bar.
- Ctrl + E: select the search box.
- Ctrl + N: open a new window.
- Ctrl + W: close the active window.
- Ctrl + mouse wheel: change the size of the icons.
- Ctrl + Shift + E: show all subfolders.
- Ctrl + Shift + N: create new folder.
- Alt + P: show the preview pane .
- Alt + Enter: open the properties dialog.
- Alt + right cursor: see next folder.
- Alt + cursor up: view the upper folder.
- Alt + left cursor: view the previous folder.
- End: show the bottom of the window.
- Home: show the upper part of the window.
Windows keyboard shortcuts always at hand with PowerToys
The normal thing is that each one memorizes the Windows keyboard shortcuts that he needs at all times to be able to work comfortably with the PC. Learning them all is tricky, plus we’ll rarely need them. Even if we have a customizable keyboard, we can create our own keyboard shortcuts using macros or dedicated keys, which are increasingly common.
What Microsoft does offer us is the possibility of having a “cheat sheet” with the essential Windows keyboard shortcuts always at hand. And this is possible thanks to PowerToys, these small OpenSource tools that allow us to boost our productivity.
To launch them, we just have to activate the corresponding tool and hold down the Win key on the keyboard. We will see a screenshot like the previous one, which will allow us to know the essential keyboard shortcuts that will help us on a day-to-day basis.
We must also bear in mind that these PowerToys that we are talking about here, will be extremely useful for many other basic Windows 10 tasks. In fact, all of them are developed by Microsoft itself and launched as complementary to the operating system, and thus be able to improve it greatly. It is for all this that, in addition to this topic of keyboard shortcuts, we recommend you take a look at the rest of the tools that make up the PowerToys.