A Comprehensive List Of All The Keyboard Shortcuts You'll Ever Need

A Comprehensive List Of All The Keyboard Shortcuts You'll Ever Need

If I offered you more time, consequence free, would you take it?

 

Windows 10, like Microsoft’s other operating systems, are made up of over 50 million lines of code that combine to give us universally recognizable digital workspaces who’s functionalities allow us to create just about anything our imagination can concoct.. But only if we know how to use them. 

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for ways to optimize and streamline. To me, every second spent with a hand off my keyboard, navigating my cursor to click a command into action that I could have simply typed, is a second I lost.

 

Call me lazy, call me impatient. But if there’s a faster way to complete a task without taking on any risks, then I want to know about it. 

 

This isn’t about cutting corners. Keyboard shortcuts, or “hotkeys”, were purposely built to help you be more productive while commanding a nearly limitless number of useful functions. So don’t think of them as “shortcuts”, think of them as the best possible way to reach your destination. Save the scenic route for your next drive. 

 

Now, there are a lot of keyboard shortcuts, but don’t worry about committing them all to memory. Some may be completely useless to you and how you work, some might be revolutionary. Additionally, this article will be limited to Windows shortcuts. Apple’s keyboards have slightly different keys, and their operating systems function a little differently. With that said, a lot of these will work on your Mac as well.

 

I’m also including a downloadable PDF cheatsheet with this article, but since you’re going to want to keep coming back, why don’t we start by learning the universal hotkey for bookmarking a website.

 

Ctrl+D: Bookmark a Web Page

 

Universal Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

These will work across all Windows applications, whether you’re on Outlook, Word, your web browser, or reading a .pdf on Adobe Acrobat. Feel free to try them, but please beware of shortcuts like Alt + F4 and Ctrl + W that close active windows, or programs, as anything unsaved will be lost. 

 

The Essentials

If you’re going to commit any keyboard shortcuts to memory, these are the ones I’d recommend. Once again, they’re universal, and will work across all Windows applications.

Command

Shortcut

Notes

Copy highlighted selection

Ctrl + C

 

Paste copied selection

Ctrl + V

 

Cut copied selection

Ctrl + X

 

Undo an action

Ctrl + Z

 

Redo an action

Ctrl + Y

 

Select all

Ctrl + A

 

Bookmark current website in web browser

Ctrl + D

 

Open Find feature in active window

Ctrl + F

 

Find and replace

Ctrl + H

 

Open a new window

Ctrl + N

 

Open a new tab

Ctrl + T

 

Close the tab or application

Ctrl + W

Closes a tab, while Alt + F4 would close the entire window, including all tabs.

Opens task manager

Ctrl + Alt + Delete

Ctrl + Shift + Esc is a variation, and all keys are on the left most column
of your keyboard

 

shortcuts on keyboard

 

The Destroyers of Downtime

These shortcuts will save you a lot of time as they each replace several keyboard clicks. 

Keyboard shortcuts are also more accurate, as mouse clicks can often miss their mark. 

Command

Shortcut

Notes

Opens recently closed tabs in web browser

Ctrl + Shift + T 

 

Zoom in

Ctrl + +

Left of Backspace. Ctrl + mouse wheel forward
is an alternative

Zoom out

Ctrl + –

Right of 0. Ctrl + mouse wheel back is an alternative

Display Help

F1

 

Rename selected file

F2

 

Open find or search feature
in application

F3

 

Refresh the active window

F5

Ctrl + R is an alternative

Cycle through sections of window or application (Highlighted by visible border)

F6

Examples in web browser:
Address bar, bookmark bar, tabs bar

Cycle through elements of window or application section
(Highlighted by visible border)

Tab

Examples in web browser:
Cycle through bookmarks on your bookmark bar, tabs on your tab bar, etc.

Cycle through elements of window or application section in reverse

Shift + Tab

 

Opens the Menu bar in the active window

F10

 

Close the active
window or app

Alt + F4

 

Open the menu for the active window

Alt + Spacebar

Equal to right clicking on the active window or application’s to

Go back

Alt + Left Arrow

 

Go forward

Alt + Right Arrow

 

Move up on screen

Alt + Page Up

 

Move down on screen

Alt + Page Down

 

Switch between open applications

Alt + Tab

 

 

keyboard shortcut

 

Windows Shortcuts for Navigating Your Operating System

The Windows key on your keyboard is specific to Windows operating systems, as are the related functions. These are great for navigating your computer’s native menus, and setting up devices. 

Command

Shortcut

Notes

Opens Windows Start menu

 

Ctrl + Esc is an alternative

Takes a full display screenshot 

+ Print Screen 

Sometimes minimized to PrtScr, to the right of F12

Snipping tool

Shift + + S

Lets you highlight any portion of your screen to copy, save, or print. 

Show Windows Desktop

+ D

+ M also minimizes all applications

Opens File Explorer

+ E

Opened My Computer in previous iterations

Opens Device tool

+ K

 

Lock your PC or switch Windows user

+ L

Hope you know your password 🙂

Open Windows settings

+ I

 

Open Windows search

+ S

 

Open Project or Display tool

+ P

 

Scroll through
Windows Taskbar

+ T

 

Maximize window

+ Up Arrow

 

Minimize window

+ Down Arrow

 

Pin window to
left side of screen

+ Left Arrow

 

Pin window to
right side of screen

+ Right Arrow

 

Open Windows Quick Link Menu

+ X

Allows you to access all the key areas of your system

Parting thoughts 

I hope this list of useful keyboard shortcuts saves you time and helps familiarize you with your computer. I know there are a lot of them, and you certainly don’t need to master them all, but learning even just a few of the more useful ones could dramatically improve your experience. 

Bookmark this page, print out our PDF, and experiment with some of the ones you think could help make you more productive.

And as always, if you need any help or have any questions. Feel free to reach out to us.

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