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The best Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can speed up even the most mundane of Windows 10 tasks. Learning the best of them can make your PC experience faster, more efficient, and, in some cases, even more enjoyable.

These are the essential Windows 10 shortcuts that can make you feel more like a PC wizard. A master of the keys, so to speak.

New Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Close up of HP Elite Folio's keyboard.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Windows 10 opened up a world of new keyboard shortcuts to better navigate and utilize the operating system’s interface and features. Below, you’ll find nearly 20 keyboard functions added to Microsoft’s popular OS since 2015.

Remember that many commands require you to hold down the Windows key (⊞) located on the spacebar’s left before punching the appropriate letter or key. Also, don’t feel bad about referring back to this chart as needed — memorization will come in time.

⊞ Win + S Opens Search
 ⊞ Win + I Opens Settings
⊞ Win + A Opens Action Center
 ⊞ Win + X Opens Quick Link menu
⊞ Win + Left Arrow Snaps active window to the left
⊞ Win + Right Arrow Snaps active window to the right
⊞ Win + Up Arrow Maximizes the current window
⊞ Win + Down Arrow Minimizes or hides current window
⊞ Win + Ctrl + D Creates a new virtual desktop
⊞ Win + Ctrl + Left Arrow Cycles through virtual desktops to the left
⊞ Win + Ctrl + Right Arrow Cycles through virtual desktops to the right
⊞ Win + Ctrl + F4 (some keyboards may require Win + Fn + Ctrl + F4) Closes current desktop
⊞ Win + TAB Accesses all desktops and apps in Task View
⊞ Win + PrtSc Takes a screenshot and saves it to Screenshots folder
⊞ Win + G Opens Game bar
⊞ Win + Alt + G Records the last 30 seconds (for Xbox Game bar)
⊞ Win + Alt + R Manually starts and stops recording (for Xbox Game bar)

Command Prompt shortcuts

The revised Windows 10 Command Prompt also includes updated shortcuts for easier use.

Shift + Left Arrow Highlights text on the cursor’s left
Shift + Right Arrow Highlights text to the cursor’s right
Ctrl + C Copies selected text to clipboard
Ctrl + V Pastes text from clipboard
Ctrl + A Selects all text

General Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

There are plenty of returning keyboard shortcuts to go along with all the new Windows 10 shortcuts. The following are some of the most basic, general, and sought-after keyboard shortcuts for general day-to-day use in Windows.

Keyboard shortcut Function
⊞ Win Displays or hides Start
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Opens the Task Manager
⊞ Win + M Minimizes all windows
⊞ Win + Shift + M Restores all minimized windows
⊞ Win + R Opens the Run dialogue box
⊞ Win + F1 (some keyboards may require Win + Fn + F1) Opens Windows Help and Support
⊞ Win + Plus (“+”) Zooms in using Magnifier
⊞ Win + Minus (“-“) Zooms out using Magnifier
⊞ Win + L Locks your PC or switches accounts
Alt + F4 Closes the current item or exits the current app
Alt + Enter Displays properties for the selected item
Alt + Spacebar Opens shortcut menu for an active window
Ctrl + X Cuts a selected item
Ctrl + V Pastes a selected item
Ctrl + Y Redo a previous action
Ctrl + Z Undo a previous action
F1 (some keyboards may require Fn + F1) Displays help (app-specific)
F2 Renames a selected item
F3 Searches for a file or folder in File Explorer
F4 Displays the address bar list in File Explorer
F5 Refreshes an active window
F10 Activates the menu bar in an active app
⊞ Win+ D Displays and hides desktop

You can capitalize on maximum efficiency with this list of shortcuts, and your keyboard will be your new favorite tool. Older keyboards may not possess the capacity for such optimization, so we recommend that you purchase a new keyboard to take full advantage of all these shortcuts. We can help you find the best new keyboard.

First, decide on the keyboard type you like. (Wireless keyboards are excellent for unconventional/mobile setups. Ergonomic keyboards are great for those prone to wrist problems.) Second, be sure to check out our roundup of the latest deals on wireless keyboards and our list of the best keyboards.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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