The Most Useful Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Technology has become ubiquitous in our daily lives. Remote schooling, a massive paradigm shift to working from home (WFH), and of course of course, trying to teach our grandparents how to use Zoom. So, with all these hours spent on screens, it's time to get a bit more computer savvy.

There are so many shortcuts when it comes to computers. Most of us know the basics of "Copy" and "Paste", but there are so many cool macros (a fancy tech word for keyboard shortcuts) that you can use to become more efficient on your computer.

Here is a beginner's list of some keyboard shortcuts that you can use every day. If you are using a Mac, swap out "CTRL" for "CMD" (Command) in these shortcuts.

General Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. ALT+TAB: Switch between windows.
  2. WIN+TAB: On Aero themes, it's ALT+TAB on steroids.
  3. ALT+ESC: Quickly minimize what you're looking at.
  4. CTRL+X: Cut and Copy the selection.
  5. CTRL+C: Copy selection (text, images, etc.).
  6. CTRL+V: Paste selection (text, images, etc.).
  7. CTRL+SHIFT+V: Paste selection without formatting.
  8. CTRL+F: Find word.
  9. CTRL+H: Replace selection.
  10. CTRL+A: Select All.
  11. SHIFT+Arrow Keys: Select text.
  12. CTRL+Arrow Keys: Move across words in text.
  13. CTRL+SHIFT+Arrow Keys: Select words/lines/paragraphs of text.
  14. CTRL+Backspace: Delete previous word/character block.
  15. CTRL+Delete: Delete next word/character block.
  16. CTRL+SHIFT+ESC: Windows Task Manager. No more CTRL+ALT+DELETE!
  17. WIN+L: Lock your workspace.
  18. WIN+M or WIN+D: Minimize everything.
  19. WIN+SHIFT+M: Undoes WIN+M/WIN+D
  20. CTRL+B: Toggle bold text styling (works in most word processors or other text-formatting editors).
  21. CTRL+I: Toggle italic text styling.
  22. CTRL+U: Toggle underline text styling.
  23. WIN+R: Open "Run" Prompt.

Windows Explorer Shortcuts

Note: many of these work the same in most browsers where applicable.

  1. WIN+E: Open a new instance of Windows Explorer at the My Computer location.
  2. ALT+D: Move cursor to the location/url bar.
  3. CTRL+W: Close tab or browser window.
  4. CTRL+N: When already in Explorer, this opens a new instance of explorer at your current location.
  5. SHIFT+DELETE: Deletes a file, bypassing the recycle bin.
  6. CTRL+SHIFT+N: Create a new folder.
  7. F2: Rename file. Tab from this to continue down the row with renaming.
  8. WIN+.: Open the Emoji window
  9. Win+SHIFT+S: Screenshot a portion of the screen.
  10. Win+V: Brings up the clipboard with a history of what you've previously copied.

Browser Shortcuts

  1. CTRL+L: Move the cursor to the URL bar.
  2. CTRL+K: Move the cursor the the search box.
  3. CTRL+W: Close the current window.
  4. CTRL+SHIFT+W: Closes your browser.
  5. CTRL+N: Open a new browser window.
  6. CTRL+SHIFT+N (Chrome): Open an incognito window. Use CTRL+SHIFT + P in Firefox.
  7. CTRL+T: Open new tab.
  8. CTRL+SHIFT+T: Open the most recently closed tab.
  9. CTRL+TAB: Move to the next tab.
  10. CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous tab.
  11. CTRL+1-9: Go to the tab at the position indicated by the number you press. E.g., pressing CTRL+1 takes you to the first tab.
  12. CTRL+R: Reload the current tab. F5 does this as well. SHIFT+F5 will do a full reload of any cached data as well.
  13. CTRL+U: View the HTML source.
  14. CTRL+P: Print the page.
  15. CTRL+H: View your history.
  16. CTRL+B or CTRL+SHIFT+B: Bookmarks the current page. In Chrome, the SHIFT version toggles the bookmarks bar.
  17. CTRL+D: Bookmark the current page.
  18. CTRL+0: Reset zoom setting.
  19. CTRL++: Zoom in.
  20. CTRL+-: Zoom out.

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