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 of a PC wizard. A master of the keys.

New Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

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 operating system since 2015.

Remember 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 + C Open Cortana for voice input
⊞ Win + S Open Search
 ⊞ Win + I Open Settings
⊞ Win + A Open Action Center
 ⊞ Win + X Open Quick Link menu
⊞ Win + Left arrow Snap active window to the left
⊞ Win + Right arrow Snap active window to the right
⊞ Win + Up arrow Maximize the current window
⊞ Win + Down arrow Minimize or remove current window
⊞ Win + Ctrl + D Create a new virtual desktop
⊞ Win + Ctrl + Left arrow Cycle virtual desktops to the left
⊞ Win + Ctrl + Right arrow Cycle virtual desktops to the right
⊞ Win + Ctrl + F4 Close current desktop
⊞ Win + TAB Access all desktops and apps in Task View
⊞ Win + PrtSc Take a screenshot and save it to Screenshots folder
⊞ Win + G Open Game bar
⊞ Win + Alt + G Record the last 30 seconds
⊞ Win + Alt + R Manually start and stop recording

Command prompt shortcuts

The revised Windows 10 command prompt also includes updated shortcuts for easier use.

Shift + Left arrow Highlight text on the cursor’s left
Shift + Right arrow Highlight text to the cursor’s right
Ctrl + C Copy selected text to clipboard
Ctrl + V Paste text from clipboard
Ctrl + A Select 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 Display or hide Start
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open the Task Manager
⊞ Win + M Minimize all windows
⊞ Win + Shift + M Restore all minimized windows
⊞ Win + R Open the Run dialogue box
⊞ Win + F1 Open Windows Help and Support
⊞ Win + plus (“+”) Zoom in using Magnifier
⊞ Win + minus (“-“) Zoom out using Magnifier
⊞ Win + L Lock your PC or switch accounts.
Alt + F4 Close the active item, or exit the active app
Alt + Enter Display properties for the selected item
Alt + Spacebar Open shortcut menu for an active window
Ctrl + X Cut the selected item
Ctrl + V Paste the selected item
Ctrl + Y Redo an action
Ctrl + Z Undo an action
F1 Display help (app-specific)
F2 Rename the selected item
F3 Search for a file or folder in File Explorer
F4 Display the address bar list in File Explorer
F5 Refresh the active window
F10 Activate the menu bar in the active app
⊞ Win+ D Display and hide desktop

This list of shortcuts might just make you look at your keyboard in a new light. If you have an older keyboard that’s starting to show its age, you might even want to purchase a new one to get as much functionality as you can out of it. We do have a few recommendations if you’re in the market for one.

Firstly, you should decide which kind of keyboard you’d like. The best wireless keyboards are great options for those who have unconventional or mobile setups, such as on the couch or in an RV. If wrist issues plague you, though, you might benefit more from the top ergonomic keyboards, especially if you type a lot.

Finally, if the above shortcuts won’t cut it for your daily needs, there are a few other options. With standalone tools, you can create your own Windows shortcut keys. Tools like the Shortkeys extension for Google Chrome let you customize your Windows 10 experience from the keyboard up.

Don’t rely on that functionality with every app, though, as not all of them support it.

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