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On Windows 10, keyboard shortcuts offer a quick way to navigate and operate the experience and features using a single press of one or multiple keys, which otherwise will take numerous clicks and more time using the mouse.

Although memorizing which keyboard shortcut performs a specific function can be a little overwhelming, it’s important to remember not everyone needs to know every shortcut available. Figuring out the ones you need to use frequently can significantly enhance the experience and help you work more efficiently on Windows 10.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll show you all the most useful keyboard shortcuts to navigate and operate the experience. In addition, we’ll also highlight the essential shortcuts that everyone should know.

If the mouse is slowing you down, this complete list includes the most useful keyboard shortcuts to perform tasks on Windows 10 a little faster.

Essential shortcuts

These are the essential keyboard shortcuts that every Windows 10 user should know.

Keyboard shortcut Action

Ctrl + A Select all content.

Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert) Copy selected items to clipboard.

Ctrl + X Cut selected items to clipboard.

Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) Paste content from clipboard.

Ctrl + Z Undo an action, including undelete files (limited).

Ctrl + Y Redo an action.

Ctrl + Shift + N Create new folder on desktop or File Explorer.

Ctrl + F4 Close active window. (If no active window present, then shutdown box appears.)

Ctrl + D Delete selected item to the Recycle Bin.

F2 Rename selected item.

ESC Close current task.

Shift + Delete Delete selected item permanently skipping Recycle Bin.

Alt + Tab Switch between open apps.

Windows key + I Open Settings app.

Windows key + E Open File Explorer.

Windows key + A Open Action center.

Windows key + D Display and hide the desktop.

Windows key + L Lock device.

Windows key + V Open Clipboard bin.

Windows key + period (.) or semicolon (;) Open emoji panel.

Windows key + PrtScn Capture full screenshot in the “Screenshots” folder.

Windows key + Shift + S Capture part of the screen in a screenshot. Windows

key + Left arrow key Snap app or window left.

Windows key + Right arrow key Snap app or window right.

Desktop shortcuts

You can use below keyboard shortcuts to open, close, navigate, and
complete specific tasks more quickly throughout the desktop experience, including on Start menu, taskbar, Settings, and more.

Keyboard shortcut Action

Ctrl + Esc (or Windows key) Open Start menu.

Ctrl + Arrow keys Change Start menu size.

Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open Task Manager.

Ctrl + Shift Switch keyboard layout.

Ctrl + F4 Close active window. (If no active window present, then shutdown box appears.)

Ctrl + F5 (or R) Refresh current window.

Ctrl + Alt + Tab View open apps.

Ctrl + Arrow keys (to select) + Spacebar Select multiple items on desktop or File Explorer.

Alt + Tab Switch between open apps while pressing Tab multile times.

Alt + Left arrow key Go back.

Alt + Right arrow key Go forward.

Alt + Page Up Move up one screen.

Alt + Page down Move down one screen.

Alt + Esc Cycle through open windows.

Alt + Spacebar Open context menu for the active window.

Shift + click app button Open another instance of an app from the taskbar.

Ctrl + Shift + click app button Run app as administrator from the taskbar.

Shift + Right-click app button Show window menu for the app from the taskbar.

Ctrl + Click a grouped app button Cycle through windows in the group from the taskbar.

Shift + Right-click a grouped app button Show window menu for the group from the taskbar.

Ctrl + Left arrow key Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word.

Ctrl + Right arrow key Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word.

Ctrl + Up arrow key Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph

Ctrl + Down arrow key Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph.

Ctrl + Shift + arrow key Select block of text.

Ctrl + Spacebar Enable or disable Chinese IME.

Shift + F10 Open context menu for selected item.

Shift + Arrow keys Select multiple items. Windows key + X Open Quick Link menu.

Windows key + Number (0-9) Open app in number position from the taskbar.

Windows key + T Cycle through apps in the taskbar.

Windows key + Alt + Number (0-9) Open Jump List of the app in number position from the taskbar.

Windows key + D Display and hide the desktop. Windows key + M Minimize all windows.

Windows key + Shift + M Restore minimized windows on the desktop.

Windows key + Home Minimize or miximize all but the active desktop window.

Windows key + Shift + Up arrow key Stretch desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.

Windows key + Shift + Down arrow key Maximize or minimize active desktop
windows vertically while maintaining width.

Windows key + Shift + Left arrow key Move active window to monitor on the left.

Windows key + Shift + Right arrow key Move active window to monitor on the right.

Windows key + Left arrow key Snap app or window left.

Windows key + Right arrow key Snap app or window right.

Windows key + S ( or Q) Open Search. Windows key + Alt + D Open date and time in the taskbar.

Windows key + Tab Open Task View. Windows key + Ctrl + D Create new virtual desktop.

Windows key + Ctrl + F4 Close active virtual desktop.

Windows key + Ctrl + Right arrow Switch to the virtual desktop on the right.

Windows key + Ctrl + Left arrow Switch to the virtual desktop on the left.

Windows key + P Open Project settings. Windows key + A Open Action center.

Windows key + I Open Settings app. Backspace Return to Settings app home page.

File Explorer shortcuts

On Windows 10, File Explorer includes a lot of keyboard shortcuts to help you complete tasks a little quicker.


Here’s a list with the most useful shortcuts for File Explorer.

Keyboard shortcut Action

Windows key + E Open File Explorer.

Alt + D Select address bar.

Ctrl + E (or F) Select search box.

Ctrl + N Open new window.

Ctrl + W Close active window. Ctrl + F (or F3) Start search.

Ctrl + mouse scroll wheel Change view file and folder.

Ctrl + Shift + E Expands all folders from the tree in the navigation pane.

Ctrl + Shift + N Create new folder on desktop or File Explorer.

Ctrl + L Focus on the address bar.

Ctrl + Shift + Number (1-8) Changes folder view.

Alt + P Display preview panel.

Alt + Enter Open Properties settings for the selected item.

Alt + Right arrow key View next folder.

Alt + Left arrow key (or Backspace) View previous folder.

Alt + Up arrow Move up a level in the folder path.

F11 Switch active window full screen mode.

F5 Refresh the instance of File Explorer.

F2 Rename selected item.

F4 Switch focus to address bar.

F5 Refresh File Explorer’s current view.

F6 Cycle through elements on the screen.

Home Scroll to top of the window. End Scroll to bottom of the window.

Command Prompt shortcuts

If you use Command Prompt, you can use these keyboard shortcuts to work a little more efficiently.

Keyboard shortcut Action

Ctrl + A Select all content of the current line.

Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert) Copy selected items to clipboard.

Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) Paste content from clipboard.

Ctrl + M Starts mark mode.

Ctrl + Up arrow key Move screen up one line.

Ctrl + Down arrow key Move screen down one line.

Ctrl + F Open search for Command Prompt.

Left or right arrow keys Move cursor left or right in the current line.

Up or down arrow keys Cycle through command history of the current session.

Page up Move cursor one page up.

Page down Move cursor one page down.

Ctrl + Home Scroll to top of the console.

Ctrl + End Scroll to the bottom of the console.

Windows key shortcuts

Using the Windows key in combination with other keys, you can perform a number of useful tasks, such as launch Settings, File Explorer, Run command, apps pinned in the taskbar, or you can open specific features like Narrator or Magnifier. In addition, you can accomplish tasks like controlling windows, virtual desktops, take screenshots, lock your device, and a lot more.

Here’s a list with all the most common keyboard shortcuts using the

Windows key.

Keyboard shortcut Action Windows key Open Start menu.

Windows key + A Open Action center.

Windows key + S ( or Q) Open Search.

Windows key + D Display and hide the desktop.

Windows key + L Lock device.

Windows key + M Minimize all windows.

Windows key + B Set focus notification area in the taskbar.

Windows key + O Lock device orientation.

Windows key + T Cycle through apps in the taskbar.

Windows key + Z Switch input between the desktop experience and Windows Mixed Reality.

Windows key + G Open Game bar.

Windows key + H Open dictation feature.

Windows key + E Open File Explorer.

Windows key + I Open Settings.

Windows key + R Open Run command.

Windows key + K Open Connect settings.

Windows key + X Open Quick Link menu.

Windows key + V Open Clipboard bin.

Windows key + W Open the Windows Ink Workspace.

Windows key + U Open Ease of Access settings.

Windows key + Ctrl + Enter Open Narrator.

Windows key + Plus (+) Zoom in using the magnifier.

Windows key + Minus (-) Zoom out using the magnifier.

Windows key + Esc Exit magnifier.

Windows key + forward-slash (/) Start IME reconversion.

Windows key + Comma (,) Temporarily peek at the desktop.

Windows key + Up arrow key Maximize app windows.

Windows key + Down arrow key Minimize app windows.

Windows key + Home Minimize or miximize all but the active desktop window.

Windows key + Shift + M Restore minimized windows on the desktop.

Windows key + Shift + Up arrow key Stretch desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.

Windows key + Shift + Down arrow key Maximize or minimize active windows vertically while maintaining width.

Windows key + Shift + Left arrow key Move active window to monitor on the left.

Windows key + Shift + Right arrow key Move active window to monitor on the right.

Windows key + Left arrow key Snap app or window left.

Windows key + Right arrow key Snap app or window right.

Windows key + Number (0-9) Open app in number position in the taskbar.

Windows key + Shift + Number (0-9) Open another instance of the app in number position in the taskbar.

Windows key + Ctrl + Number (0-9) Switch to last active window of the app in number position in the taskbar.

Windows key + Alt + Number (0-9) Open Jump List of the app in number position in the taskbar.

Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + Number (0-9) Open another instance as an administrator of the app in number position in the taskbar.

Windows key + + Ctrl + Spacebar Change previous selected input option.

Windows key + Tab Open Task View.

Windows key + Ctrl + D Create a virtual desktop.

Windows key + Ctrl + F4 Close active virtual desktop.

Windows key + Ctrl + Right arrow Switch to the virtual desktop on the right.

Windows key + Ctrl + Left arrow Switch to the virtual desktop on the left.

Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + B Wake up the device when black or a blank screen. Windows key + PrtScn Capture full screenshot in the “Screenshots” folder.

Windows key + Shift + S Create part of the screen screenshot.

Windows key + Shift + V Cycle through notifications.

Windows key + Ctrl + F Open search for device on a domain network.

Windows key + Ctrl + Q Open Quick Assist.

Windows key + Alt + D Open date and time in the taskbar.

Windows key + period (.) or semicolon (;) Open emoji panel.

Windows key + Pause Show System Properties dialog box.

More Windows 10 resources


For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the my blog.

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