How to use Windows 10 like a pro? There are a lot of shortcuts that you can use. When we sit down in front of the computer, we usually use the keyboard as an input method and the mouse to interact with the system, execute actions and move between applications. However, in Windows 10 we have a lot of keyboard shortcuts that offer a quick way to perform or execute certain functions without having to lift your hands from the keyboard. This is also a way to increase productivity since as its name indicates, they are shortcuts that allow us to access certain actions quickly. We are going to show all the keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10.
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As you can see there are a lot of key combinations that few people can memorize, however, it is not that we have to learn each and every one of the keyboard shortcuts available in the Microsoft operating system. It is enough for each user to learn the key combinations that allow them to execute those actions that they use most every day for their productivity to increase.
What is a keyboard shortcut?
Shortcut (or hotkey) is a key or key combination that execute an action that is previously defined by the developer of the application or the operating system. Actions that are also available through the different options on a menu or by using the mouse pointer to choose the corresponding option.
Therefore, they are ways to execute one or more commands that can be available through a menu, the user interface of any software in its different levels, and that helps us to speed up.
That said, we will now show all the keyboard shortcuts available in Windows 10, from the general system shortcuts, those associated with the Windows key, those that allow us to execute actions from the command prompt, in the Windows 10 dialog boxes or file explorer, virtual desktops, configuration page and system taskbar.
All Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts
General key combinations
There are certain general keyboard shortcuts that we can use on a daily basis that will probably make our lives a little easier. Surely some of you already know many of them and you will even be using them every day. However, these are the general Windows 10 key combinations.
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 applications.
Alt + F4 -> Close the active item or exit the active application.
Windows + L -> Lock the computer.
Windows + D -> Show and hide the desktop.
F2 -> Rename the selected item.
F3 -> Search for a file or folder in File Explorer.
F4-> Show the address bar list in File Explorer.
F5 -> Update the active window.
F6 -> Move through the elements of the screen in a window or on the desktop.
F10 -> Activate the menu bar in the active application.
Alt + F8 -> Show password on login screen.
Alt + Esc -> Cycle through items in the order they were opened.
Alt + underlined letter -> Execute the command corresponding to that letter.
Alt + Enter -> View the properties of the selected element.
Alt + Spacebar -> Open the context menu of the active window.
Alt + Left Arrow -> 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 applications that are open in full screen and that allow you to have several documents open simultaneously).
Ctrl + A -> Select all elements in a document or window.
Ctrl + D (or Del) -> Delete the selected item and move it to the recycle bin.
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 applications.
Alt + Shift + Arrow Keys -> When a group or icon has focus on the Start menu, move it in the specified direction.
Ctrl + Shift + arrow keys -> When a window has the focus on the Start menu, move it to another window to create a folder.
Ctrl + arrow keys -> Resize the Start menu when it opens.
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 Home.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc -> Open Task Manager.
Ctrl + Shift -> Change keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are available.
Ctrl + Spacebar -> Enable or disable the Input Method Editor (IME) for Chinese.
Shift + F10-> Show the context menu of the selected item.
Shift with an arrow key -> Select multiple items in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document.
Shift + Del -> Delete the selected item without moving it to the recycle bin.
Right arrow -> Open the next menu on the right or open a submenu.
Left arrow -> Open the next menu on the left or close a submenu.
Esc -> Stop the current task or exit it.
Print Screen-> Take a screenshot of the full screen and copy it to the Clipboard. You can change this shortcut to also open the screen clipping, which allows you to edit your screenshot. To do this, we open the Settings page> Accessibility> Keyboard and activate the toggle button located under Direct access to print screen.
All Windows key shortcuts
The Windows key is located in the lower-left part of our keyboard and although it is basically used to show or hide the Start menu of the system, the truth is that in combination with other keys it offers us a lot of interesting functions.
Windows -> Open or close Start.
Windows + A -> Open Action Center.
Windows + B -> Bring the focus to the notification area.
Windows + C -> Open Cortana in listening mode. This shortcut is disabled by default. To activate it, we open the Settings page> Cortana and activate the toggle button in Allow Cortana to listen to our commands when we press Windows + C.
Windows + Shift + C -> Open the access buttons menu.
Windows + D -> Show and hide the desktop.
Windows + Alt + D -> Show and hide the date and time on the desktop.
Windows + E -> Open File Explorer.
Windows + F -> Open Opinion Center and take a screenshot.
Windows + G -> Open the game bar with a game open.
Windows + H -> Start dictation.
Windows + I -> Open Settings.
Windows + J -> Focus on a Windows suggestion when one is available.
Windows + K -> Open the Connect quick action.
Windows + L -> Lock the computer or switch accounts.
Windows + M -> Minimize all windows.
Windows + O -> Lock device orientation.
Windows + P -> Choose a presentation mode.
Windows + Ctrl + Q-> Open Quick Assistance.
Windows + R -> Open the Run dialog box.
Windows + S -> Open search.
Windows + Shift + S -> Take a screenshot of part of the screen.
Windows + T -> Scroll through the applications on the taskbar.
Windows + U -> Open Ease of Access Center.
Windows + V -> Open the Clipboard. To activate this shortcut, we open the Settings> System> Clipboard page and activate the toggle button located under Clipboard History.
Windows + Shift + V -> Scroll through notifications.
Windows + X -> Open the Quick Link menu.
Windows + Y -> Switch input between Windows Mixed Reality and the desktop.
Windows + Z -> Show available commands in an application in full screen mode.
Windows + period (.) Or semicolon (;) -> Open the emoji panel.
Windows + comma (,) -> Temporarily browse the desktop.
Windows + Pause -> Show System Properties dialog.
Windows + Ctrl + F -> Find computers (on a network).
Windows + Shift + M -> Restore minimized windows to desktop.
Windows + number-> Open the desktop and start the application pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the application is already running, switch to that application.
Windows + Shift + number -> Open the desktop and start a new instance of the application pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows + Ctrl + number -> Open the desktop and switch to the last active application window pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows + Alt + number -> Open the desktop and open the list of application shortcuts pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows + Ctrl + Shift + number-> Open the desktop and open a new instance of the application located in the determined position on the taskbar as administrator.
Windows + Tab -> Open Task View.
Windows + Up Arrow -> Maximize Window.
Windows + Down Arrow -> Remove the current application from the screen or minimize the desktop window.
Windows + Left Arrow -> Maximize the application or desktop window on the left side of the screen.
Windows + Right Arrow -> Maximize the desktop or application window on the right side of the screen.
Windows + Start-> Minimize everything except the active desktop window (repeat the action to restore all windows).
Windows + Shift + Up Arrow -> Expand the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows + Shift + Down Arrow -> Restore / minimize active desktop windows vertically while preserving width.
Windows + Shift + Left or Right Arrow -> Move an application or desktop window from one monitor to another.
Windows + Spacebar -> Switch between input language and keyboard layout.
Windows + Ctrl + Spacebar -> Switch to a previously selected entry.
Windows + Ctrl + Enter-> Activate Narrator.
Windows + More (+) -> Open Magnifier.
Windows + forward slash (/) -> IME reconversion begins.
Windows + Ctrl + V -> Open animated notifications.
Windows + Ctrl + Shift + B -> Wake up the PC from a black or blank screen.
Dialog keyboard shortcuts
Dialog boxes are one of the elements of the system that we interact with the most throughout the day when we use our computer. In this type of windows we can use certain very interesting keyboard shortcuts as you can see below:
F4 -> the elements of the active list.
Ctrl + Tab -> Advance through the tabs.
Ctrl + Shift + Tab -> Back through tabs.
Ctrl + number (number 1–9) -> Move to the nth tab.
Tab -> Advance through the options.
Shift + Tab -> Back through options.
Alt + underlined letter -> Run the command (or select the option) used with the letter.
Space bar -> If the active option is a box, activate or deactivate it.
Recoil-> Open a folder from a higher level if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box.
Arrow Keys -> If the active option is a group of option buttons, select a button.
File Explorer keyboard shortcuts
Of course, one of the utilities that we use the most every day since we turn on the PC is the Windows file explorer. From there we go to any path where we have saved certain files that we want to use or move. In addition, from it we have access to the system units, default system folders, etc.
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 active window.
Ctrl + mouse wheel -> Change the size and appearance of files and folders icons.
Ctrl + Shift + E -> Show all folders above the selected folder.
Ctrl + Shift + N -> Create a new folder.
Num Lock + asterisk (*) -> Show all subfolders of the selected folder.
Num Lock + plus sign (+) -> Show the contents of the selected folder.
Num Lock + minus sign (-) -> Collapse the selected folder.
Alt + P -> Show the preview pane.
Alt + Enter -> Open the Properties dialog for the selected item.
Alt + Right Arrow -> View Next Folder.
Alt + Up Arrow -> View the folder that contained the folder.
Alt + Left Arrow -> View the previous folder.
Backspace -> View the previous folder.
Right arrow -> Show current selection if collapsed or select first subfolder.
Left Arrow -> Collapse the current selection if it is expanded or select the folder that contained the folder.
End-> Show bottom of active window.
Home -> Show the top of the active window.
F11 -> Maximize or minimize the active window.
Shortcuts for virtual desktops
Virtual desktops are a feature that Microsoft incorporated into Windows 10 so that users can organize their desktop in a much more comfortable way. Now, this implies that we have to go around moving from one desk to another to find what we need. With these keyboard shortcuts, you will surely be much more comfortable managing your virtual desktops.
Windows + Tab -> Open Task View.
Windows + Ctrl + D -> Add a virtual desktop.
Windows + Ctrl + Right Arrow -> Toggle between the virtual desktops you have created on the right.
Windows + Ctrl + Left Arrow -> Toggle between the virtual desktops you have created on the left.
Windows + Ctrl + F4 -> Close the virtual desktop you are using.
Windows 10 taskbar keyboard shortcuts
The taskbar is another important element in Windows 10, since it is where open applications are shown on the desktop, even if they are minimized, and where the icons of certain applications appear running in the background or access to certain settings. Although the truth is that we can access any of these options with a couple of clicks, these keyboard shortcuts can also be very useful.
Shift + click a button on the taskbar -> Open an application or quickly open another instance of an application.
Ctrl + Shift + click a taskbar button -> Open an application as an administrator.
Shift + right-click a taskbar button -> Show application window menu.
Shift + right-click a button on the grouped taskbar -> Show group window menu.
Ctrl + click a button on the grouped taskbar -> Move through the group windows.
Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts for the command prompt
Although for many the command prompt is still a great unknown, the truth is that these keyboard shortcuts can help us, and a lot, when we use the command line in Windows 10 to execute certain options or tasks.
Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert) -> Copy the selected text.
Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) -> Paste the selected text.
Ctrl + M -> Enter mark mode.
Alt + select key -> Start selection in block mode.
Arrow Keys -> Move the cursor in the specified direction.
Page Up -> Move the cursor up one page.
Page Down -> Move the cursor down one page.
Ctrl + Home (mark mode) -> Move the cursor to the beginning of the buffer.
Ctrl + End (mark mode) -> Move the cursor to the end of the buffer.
Ctrl + Up Arrow -> Move one line up in the output history.
Ctrl + Down Arrow -> Move one line down in the output history.
Ctrl + Home (history browsing) -> If the command line is empty, move the window to the top of the buffer. Otherwise, it removes all characters to the left of the cursor on the command line.
Ctrl + End (history navigation) -> If the command line is empty, move the window to the command line. Otherwise, it removes all characters to the right of the cursor on the command line.
Configuration page keyboard shortcuts
To access most of the system’s settings and options, it is necessary to open the Windows 10 Settings page. Navigating through all the options is quite simple, but we can also do it quickly with these two keyboard shortcuts.
Windows + I -> Open Settings page.
Backspace -> Go to Settings page.