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19 of the best Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts you need to know


Windows 10

Want to know the quickest way to take a screenshot or open a virtual desktop in Windows 10? We've got the essential keyboard shortcuts to make it happen

Windows 10 is finally here, and if you've received your upgrade you'll know what an improvement it is over Windows 8 and Windows 7.

As always, though, you'll never be truly comfortable with a new desktop OS until you've mastered a selection of its keyboard shortcuts.

With Microsoft's much publicised return to a keyboard and mouse focus after the disasterously touch-centric Windows 8, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of useful key combinations in the new OS.

Here's what you need to know about Windows 10 before upgrading:

Related: Windows 10 tips, tricks and tweaks to try out

Of course, plenty of the classic old shortcuts will work with Windows 10. Those will likely be burned into your brain already. But there are also some brilliant new ones that tie into Windows 10's new features and UI elements.

Here are some of our favourite Windows 10 shortcuts, both old and new.

Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Windows + Tab - Launch Task View

Windows + C - Launch Cortana voice search

Windows + S - Launch Cortana text search

Windows + A - Launch Action Centre

Windows + E - Launch File Explorer

Windows + H - Share content (where available)

Windows + K - Connect to wireless devices

Windows + G - Open Windows 10 Game Bar

Windows + L - Lock your PC (useful for quit account swaps)

Windows + Home - Minimise all

Windows + PrtScn - Take screenshot

Windows + Arrow keys - Snap current window into a section of screen

Windows + Shift + Up arrow key - Stretch desktop window

Windows + Ctrl + D - Open new virtual desktop

Windows + Ctrl + F4 - Close virtual desktop

Windows + Ctrl + arrow keys - Navigate between virtual desktops

Ctrl + Alt + Tab - View all open apps

Alt + Tab - Switch between open apps

Alt + F4 - Open shut down/restart menu or close current window

This is far from a comprehensive list of Windows 10 shortcuts, but they're some of the handiest. Let us know of any keyboard shortcuts you find particularly useful in the comments section below.

Dead Words

August 10, 2015, 2:20 pm

I was kind of hoping you'd post something I didn't know about already. I'll post a few of my own.

These are all my Microsoft Edge shortcuts (shortcuts that include a [Fn] and a [F+Number] are because my Function keys are actually taken up by Toshiba's quick actions. If your Function keys simply act as Function keys instead of quick actions, you can remove [Fn] from those shortcuts):
Add Current Site To Favorites/Reading List: [Ctrl] + [D]
Open Search Query In Address Bar: [Ctrl] + [E]
Find: [Ctrl] + [F]
History Pane: [Ctrl] + [H]
Favorites Pane: [Ctrl] + [I]
Downloads Pane: [Ctrl] + [J]
Duplicate Tab: [Ctrl] + [K]
Select Address Bar: [Ctrl] + [L] / [Fn] + [F4] / [Alt] + [D]
New Window: [Ctrl] + [N]
Print Current Page: [Ctrl] + [P]
Refresh Page: [Ctrl] + [R] / [Fn] + [F5]
New Tab: [Ctrl] + [T]
Close Active Tab: [Ctrl] + [W] / [Fn] + [Ctrl] + [F4]
InPrivate Browsing Window: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [P]
Enter Reading View: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [R]
Switch To Specific Tab: [Ctrl] + [Number]
Switch To Last Tab: [Ctrl] + [Nine]
Zoom In (25%): [Ctrl] + [Plus]
Zoom Out (25%): [Ctrl] + [Minus]
Reset Zoom Level: [Ctrl] + [0]
Go Back: [Backspace] / [Alt] + [Left]
Go Forward: [Alt] + [Right]
Stop Loading: [Esc]
Open Link In New Tab: [Ctrl] + [Click]
Switch To Next Tab: [Ctrl] + [Tab]
Switch To Previous Tab: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Tab]
Open Link In New Tab And Switch: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Click]
Open Link In New Window: [Alt] + [Shift] + [Click]
Home Page: [Alt] + [Home]

I also have a long, long list of Windows 10 shortcuts (same [Fn] rule applies):
Start Menu: [Win]
Run: [Win] + [R]
Screenshot (Save To Clipboard): [PrtScn]
Screenshot (Save To Clipboard): [Fn] + [Space]
Screenshot (Save To Screenshots): [Win] + [PrtScn]
Screenshot (Just Active Window): [Alt] + [PrtScn]
Screenshot (Just Active Window): [Alt] + [Fn] + [Space]
Task View: [Win] + [Tab]
Switch Between Open Applications: [Alt] + [Tab]
Return To Desktop: [Win] + [D]
Cortana (Voice Search): [Win] + [C]
Copy: [Ctrl] + [C]
Paste: [Ctrl] + [V]
Print: [Ctrl] + [P]
Save: [Ctrl] + [S]
Open: [Ctrl] + [O]
New: [Ctrl] + [N]
Action Center: [Win] + [A]
Desktop: [Win] + [D]
File Explorer: [Win] + [E]
Share Charm: [Win] + [H]
Settings: [Win] + [I]
Lock/Switch Accounts: [Win] + [L]
Search: [Win] + [S]
Open Applications Pinned To Taskbar: [Win] + [Number]
Snap Applications To The Left, Right, Corners, Maximize, Or Minimize: [Win] + [Arrow Key]
Peek At Desktop: [Win] + [Comma]
Add Virtual Desktop: [Win] + [Ctrl] + [D]
Switch Between Desktops: [Win] + [Ctrl] + [Left/Right]
Narrator: [Win] + [Enter]
Minimize All But Active (And Restore): [Win] + [Home]
Stretch Desktop Windows To Top And Bottom Of Screen: [Win] + [Shift] + [Up]
Task Manager: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc]
View Open Applications: [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Tab]
Change Screen Orientation: [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Arrow]
Start Menu Context: [Win] + [X]
Quick Shutdown: [Win] + [X] + [U] + [U]
Quick Restart: [Win] + [X] + [U] + [R]
Open Command Prompt As Administrator: [Win] + [X] + [A]
Close Active Application (When Using An Application): [Fn] + [Alt] + [F4]
Open Shutdown Menu (When On Desktop): [Fn] + [Alt] + [F4]
Open Find: [Ctrl] + [F]
OneNote: [Win] + [N]
Bold: [Ctrl] + [B]
Orientate Text Left: [Ctrl] + [L]
Orientate Text Right: [Ctrl] + [R]
Orientate Text Center: [Ctrl] + [E]
Record Video (Xbox Application): [Win] + [Alt] + [R]
Open Control Menu: [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Del]
Cortana (No Voice Activation): [Win] + [Q] / [Win] + [S]
Xbox Game Bar: [Win] + [G]
Change Keyboard Languages: [Win] + [Space]
Advanced Startup Screen: [Shift] While Restarting
Save Screenshot To OneNote: [Win] + [Shift] + [S]
Close Current Desktop: [Fn] + [Win] + [Ctrl] + [F4]
Open Connect: [Win] + [K]
Open Project: [Win] + [P]
Move Monitors: [Win] + [Shift] + [Arrow Key]
To Make Active Windows Go Fullscreen/Stretch To Bottom/Restore Down: [Win] + [Arrow Key]
Highlight All Text: [Ctrl] + [A]
Minimize All Windows: [Win] + [M]
Open Context Menu For Applications: [Alt] + [Spacebar]
Minimize Active Window: [Alt] + [Spacebar] + [N]
Maximize Active Windows: [Alt] + [Spacebar] + [X]
Close Note (Sticky Notes): [Ctrl] + [D]
I also know of three gestures:
Three finger tap opens Cortana text search
Three finger swipe up opens Task View
Three finger swipe down goes to desktop

Michael N Pugh

August 20, 2015, 6:26 pm

Ctrl-Alt-Del........goes waay back!

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