The 14 Most Useful Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

The 14 Most Useful Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows has tons of hidden tips and tricks under the hood, and you probably have your own choice ones that you use on a daily basis. But, the Windows operating system is a huge application, developed with tons of users in mind. Some of these users only utilize Windows for normal browsers and basic word processors, and other users are power users, content creators, and programmers who desire more depth and functionality. Whatever kind of user you are, there are destined to be some useful Windows keyboard shortcuts and tricks that you can use to expedite your work, make the most out of your time, and get the best user experience out of Windows.

In this article, I’ll share some insight on some hidden tips and shortcuts that I’ve picked up as a power user and programmer over the years, which I think are the most useful windows keyboard shortcuts and tricks. Hopefully some of them will help you out and save you some time.

14. ctrl + arrow keys and ctrl+shift+arrow keys

Particularly when typing on a laptop or coding, these keyboard shortcuts come in handy a ton! Ctrl+arrow keys moves your typing location left or right by 1 word, or, when in a coding situation, over by one slash, dash, or dot. Ctrl+shift+arrow keys does the same thing, but highlights as you go. No more clicking and dragging with a track pad to highlight!

13. ctrl+backspace

Similarly to 14, ctrl+backspace backspaces by the word!

12. alt+tab and Windows key+tab

Alt+tab is an incredible time-saver when multitasking. Alt+tab opens a window selection menu, and repeatedly hitting tab while holding alt will switch the selector to other active windows. Alt+Windows key does the same, but has a more interesting graphical effect.

11. ctrl+f

A classic, ctrl+f is a ubiquitous function across nearly all applications that searches for sequences of characters, also known as strings. You can use this shortcut to search through pdfs, browsers, and documents for words and characters. This one is a real time saver, and the uses are endless.

10. ctrl+c and ctrl+v

Another classic, ctrl+c will copy highlighted text and ctrl+v will paste it. These keys are next to each other, making copying and pasting insanely quick. No more right clicking to copy and paste, just get used to these keyboard shortcuts!

9. ctrl+z and ctrl+y

Similar to 10 but a bit less known, ctrl+z is the shortcut for undo and ctrl+y is the shortcut for redo. Even in programs where there is no explicit undo and redo button, these shortcuts often still work. Once you get used to these, they really come in handy!

8. ctrl+shift+t (This one is amazing!)

This shortcut works in browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox. This keyboard shortcut will reopen closed tabs, as long as they are not private/incognito tabs. This is INCREDIBLY useful. If you accidentally close a tab, or even if you accidentally close all of your tabs or your computer suddenly shuts down, you can use this shortcut to re-open ALL of the tabs that were most recently closed. Seriously, this one has got to be the most useful shortcut on this list.

7. alt+printscreen

Standard printscreen creates an image of all of the currently displayed content on your monitor and saves it to the clipboard, where you can paste it anywhere you please. However, a little known fact is that alt+printscreen takes a screenshot of only the active screen, (the one that contains the most currently used application). This one is extremely useful if you have multiple monitors, otherwise the functionality is the same as standard printscreen.

6. shift+delete

When deleting files, shift+delete will bypass the recycle bin and completely destroy them immediately. This shortcut is especially useful if you are deleting a bunch of files that you want to subsequently empty from the recycle bin anyway, or if you want to just save a bit of time when fully deleting a file.

5. ctrl+shift+esc

Ever since ctrl+alt+delete was changed from opening task manager to opening an option window, many Windows users have wished for a shortcut that immediately opens task manager. Well, this is it! ctrl+shift+esc directly opens task manager, saving you the hassle of ctrl+alt+delete-ing and just to click task manager anyway.

4. Windows key+shift+arrow

Very useful for multi-monitor setups. Windows key+shift+arrow (left or right) moves the currently active window left or right to different monitors.

3. Windows key+d

Also known as the panic button. Windows key+d minimizes everything and goes straight to the desktop. Useful in tons of work and personal situations!

2. Windows key+l

Especially useful at work, Windows key+l locks the computer. This shortcut is sure to save you a few clicks every day!

1. Windows key+e

Finally, Windows key+e opens file explorer. This one saves me a click every time I want to navigate to a file or directory. Once you get used to it, Windows key+e is a nice little shortcut.

Even more useful shortcuts

Finally, as you know, Windows has tons of keyboard shortcuts, and there are many more shortcuts out there that might be helpful for you. Check out this list of all Windows shortcuts if you’re still interested.

I’ve included the most useful Windows keyboard shortcuts that I know in this article, and I hope that some of them will be helpful for you. If you enjoyed, be sure to share some of them with friends. If you have any other ideas or thoughts, be sure to leave a comment or contact me. I’d love to hear from you!

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