Shortcuts Every Windows User Should Know

Written by Eric Wyatt (last updated July 27, 2020)

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When it comes to shortcuts in Windows 10, there is no shortage of them that can speed up your workflow and improve your productivity. I've been covering shortcuts quite a bit with highlighting all the Windows key shortcuts, Windows 10's new shortcuts, even keyboard shortcuts for use within File Explorer.

There is a long list of keyboard shortcuts that can be used, with so many it can be hard to know which ones might be most beneficial to remember. Below is a list of what I consider to be the twenty most helpful keyboard shortcuts that every Windows user should know.

Shortcut Result
Esc Stop or leave current task
F5 Refresh the active window
F2 Rename selected item
Alt+F4 Close active window (if no active window present, then shutdown box appears)
Alt+Tab Switch between open apps
Ctrl+A Select all content
Ctrl+C (or Ctrl + Insert) Copy selected items to the Clipboard
Ctrl+D (Del) Delete selected item to the Recycle Bin
Ctrl+V (or Shift + Insert) Paste content from the Clipboard
Ctrl+X Cut selected items to the Clipboard
Ctrl+Y Redo an action 
Ctrl+Z Undo an action
Ctrl+Shift+Esc Open the Windows Task Manager
Ctrl+Shift+N Create new folder on desktop or File Explorer
Shift+Delete Delete selected item permanently skipping Recycle Bin
Win+D Display and hide the desktop
Win+E Open File Explorer
Win+I Open Settings
Win+L Lock computer 
Win+V Open Clipboard bin

While I don't use these keyboard shortcuts every day, I use these enough to know how helpful they can be to both a beginner as well as more advanced users.

 This tip (7569) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

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What is 8 + 1?

2020-07-28 07:36:28

Ron S MVP

I can think of a few more:
WIN - by itself it opens the Start menu. MUCH faster than mousing! (how could you miss this one? <G>)

<Win>+ arrow keys to "snap" current application to edges of the desktop
Win + ALT + Num 0-9 Open Jump list for app in that number posistion in Taskbar
Win + Up / Down Max / Min current Window
Win + F Open Windows Feedback Hub send suggestions / bug reports to MS (but often it is NOT working for me!)

Win + Tab, an alternate to ALT + Tab



Virtual desktops are a neat feature, I just haven't found any use for them in my work style
Win + Ctl + D Create a vritual desktop
Win + Ctl + Right arrow Open Virtual Desktop to the Right
Win + Ctl + Left arrow Open Virtual Desktop to the Left


2020-07-27 22:35:26

Bob Ama

...and by "above" I mean "below".


2020-07-27 22:32:12

Bob Ama

I suppose these tips are tailored toward using Windows (hence the name of the site) rather than its apps (such as Excel or Word). My comment above is accurate for most Windows applications, but not when using something such as Windows Explorer.


2020-07-27 22:28:12

Bob Ama

"Ctrl+X Cut selected items to the Clipboard" ...can also be called from "Shift + Delete"


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