Windows Shortcuts

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Operating systems have had quick ways of achieving things built in from as early as I can remember, but they are not always well known or well publicised. Some are as simple as using the built in search to pear down possible options, while others are more specific. In any case, they're useful and come up in a lot of face to face conversations. So much so, that this page came into being.

There are a huge number of these, but below are the ones I use frequently. Microsoft has a more complete list.

  • Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

  • The Windows Button Win (Windows Key)A quick way of opening the Start menu (also Ctrl + Esc)
  • Open Explorer Win + E Opens the file explorer
  • Open 'Find' Win + F Opens the file/folder search window
  • Show Desktop Win + D Shows/re-clutters the desktop (similar to Win + M)
  • Minimise All Win + M Minimise all the open programs/windows
  • Maximise All Win + Shift + M Show all minimised programs/windows
  • Maximise/Show Window Win + Up Arrow Maximizses the selected program/window
  • Minimise/Hide Window Win + Down Arrow Minimises the selected program/window
  • Half-Screen Window Win + Left/Right Arrow Makes the selected program/window take up half the screen (can move between multiple screens)
  • Move Window Screen Win + Shift + Left/Right Arrow Makes the selected program/window move to the left/right second screen
  • Lock Machine Win + L Tells Windows to lock the computer
  • Switch Window Alt + Tab Allows you to switch between open programs/windows
  • Close Program Alt + F4 Allows you to request the program/window close, even when it is unresponsive
  • Cycle Programs Alt + F8 Allows you to cycle through open windows (in the order they were opened)
  • Rename F2 Specifically for working with files in file explorer (also works in save & open dialog boxes)
  • Search F3 (Ctrl + E) Jumps focus to the search bar
  • Jump to Address Bar F4 (Ctrl + L) Jumps focus to the location/address bar
  • Refresh Active Window F5 (Ctrl + R)Refreshes the active window, just like in a browser
  • Immediate Delete Ctrl + DeleteDeletes a file without sending it to the recycle bin
  • Typing Navigation Shortcuts

  • Move Cursor Left/Right Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow Jump to the beginning/end of the current word/next word
  • Select Text Shift + Arrow Keys Highlight text in that direction (from cursor start)
  • Bulk Select Text Ctrl + Shift + Arrow Keys Highlight text in that direction (words or lines at a time)
  • General (Expected) Program Shortcuts

  • Copy Ctrl + C Copy the text, file or folder that you have highlighted
  • Paste Ctrl + V Paste any text, file or folder that you have copied / cut
  • Cut Ctrl + X Copies & removes the text, file or folder that you have highlighted - it's in the "clipboard" so you can still paste it.
  • Bold Ctrl + B Bolds the text you have selected, or if nothing is selected - bolds the text you're about to type. (Ctrl + B again to turn off)
  • Italics Ctrl + I Italicises the text you have selected, or if nothing is selected - use to italicise the text you're about to type. (Ctrl + I again to turn off)
  • Underline Ctrl + U Underlines the text you have selected, or if nothing is selected - underlines the text you're about to type. (Ctrl + U again to turn off)
  • Select All Ctrl + A Selects all the text, files & folder within the area the cursor is currently in
  • Undo (last action) Ctrl + Z Does things from undo typing, to unto cut, to undelete the file I just deleted. If you did something wrong, try this first. :)
  • Redo (last undone) Ctrl + Y Redoes the action you just undid with Ctrl + Z
  • Save Ctrl + S Same as hitting the little disc icon or going to "File > Save" in the menu
  • Open Ctrl + O Open a file
  • New Ctrl + N If you want a new window in a browser, new email message or a new document in Word etc, then this'll work (odds on)
  • Print Ctrl + P Brings up the printer box on the screen in basically everything
  • Web Browser Shortcuts

  • New TabCtrl + T Opens a new tab (page within the same window)
  • Close TabCtrl + W Closes that tab
  • Reopen Closed TabCtrl + Shift + W Reopens the recently closed tab in order of time closed. (Some browsers remember this even between closing the whole browser.)
  • New WindowCtrl + N Opens a entire new browser window
  • Reopen Closed WindowCtrl + Shift + N Reopens closed new browser window (while you have another window from the same browser still open)
  • Refresh Page F5 (Ctrl + R) Refreshes the page
  • Microsoft Office / Office 365 Shortcuts

  • Do again (Word) Ctrl + Y Reapplies the modification you just made. For example, if you bold a selection of text + change it's colour, then select another section of text and press Ctrl + Y, it should apply the same actions on the newly selected text.