Unformatted text preview: Microsoft Windows shortcut keys
Below is a listing of all the major Windows shortcut keys for every
version of Microsoft Windows. If you are looking for shortcut keys for
specific Windows programs, see our other computer keyboard
General Windows keyboard shortcuts
Windows function key shortcuts
Windows key shortcuts
How to navigate Windows using a keyboard
Other computer keyboard shortcuts General Windows keyboard shortcuts
Alt + Tab
Switch between open applications in all versions of Windows. Reverse the
direction by pressing Alt + Shift + Tab at the same time.
Ctrl + Tab
Switches between program groups, tabs, or document windows in
applications that support this feature. Reverse the direction by pressing Ctrl
+ Shift + Tab at the same time.
Alt + double-click
Display the properties of the object you double-click on in Windows 95 and
later. For example, doing this on a file would display its properties.
Alt + Print Screen
Create a screen shot only for the active program window in all versions of
Windows. For example, if you opened the calculator and did this only the
calculator window would be created as a screen shot. If just the Print
Screen key is pressed the whole screen will be made into a screen shot. Ctrl + Alt + Del
Open the Windows option screen for locking computer, switching user, Task
Manager, etc. in later versions of Windows. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del multiple
times will reboot the computer.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc
Immediately bring up the Windows Task Manager in Windows 2000 and later.
Ctrl + Esc
Open the Windows Start menu in most versions of Windows. In Windows 8
this opens the Start screen and in Windows 3.x this would bring up the Task
Alt + Esc
Switch between open applications on Taskbar in Windows 95 and later.
Alt + Space bar
Drops down the window control menu for the currently open Windows
program in Windows 95 and later.
Alt + Enter
Opens properties window of selected icon or program in Windows 95 and
Shift + Del
Will delete any file or other object without throwing it into the Recycle Bin in
Windows 95 and later.
Hold down the Shift key
When putting in an audio or data CD that uses Autoplay, holding down the
Shift key will prevent that CD from playing. Windows function key shortcuts
Below is a listing of keyboard shortcuts that use the keyboard function keys.
See our what are F1 through F12 keys page for a full listing of what function
keys do with all other programs.
Activates help for current open application. If you're at the Windows Desktop,
this will activate the help for Windows.
Renames a highlighted icon, file, or folder in all versions of Windows.
Starts find or search when at the Windows Desktop in all versions of
In Windows 95 and later this opens the drive selection or address bar when
browsing files in Windows Explorer. Pressing Alt + F4 closes the current open program window without a
prompt in all versions of Windows. Pressing Ctrl + F4 closes the open window within the current active
window in Microsoft Windows. This only works in programs that support
multiple windows or tabs in the same program window.
F6 While in Windows Explorer, this will move the cursor to different Windows
Explorer pane or in Windows 7 browse available drives.
F8 Pressing F8 over and over as the computer is booting will start the computer
in Safe Mode.
Activates the File menu bar in all versions of Windows. Simulates a right-click on selected item. This is useful if right-click is
difficult or impossible using the mouse. Windows keyboard key shortcuts
Below is a listing of Windows keys that can be used on computers running a
Microsoft Windows 95 or later and using a keyboard with a Windows key. In
the below list of shortcuts, the Windows key is represented by "WINKEY" and
because not all these shortcuts will work in all versions of Windows we've
mentioned what versions of Windows support each Windows key shortcut
All versions of Windows
Pressing the Windows key alone opens or hides the Windows Start menu. In
Windows 8, this opens or hides the Start screen.
WINKEY + F1
Open the Microsoft Windows help and support center.
WINKEY + Pause / Break key
Open the System Properties window.
WINKEY + D
Opens the Desktop to the top of all other windows.
WINKEY + E Open Microsoft Windows Explorer.
WINKEY + F
Display the Windows Search or Find feature.
WINKEY + Ctrl + F
Display the search for computers window.
WINKEY + L
Lock the computer and switch users if needed (Windows XP and above only).
WINKEY + M
Minimizes all windows.
WINKEY + Shift + M
Undo the minimize done by WINKEY + M and WINKEY + D.
WINKEY + R
Open the run window.
WINKEY + U
Open Utility Manager or the Ease of Access Center.
Windows XP only
Windows 7 and 8 only
Windows 8 only
Windows XP only
WINKEY + Tab
Cycle through open programs through the Taskbar.
Windows 7 and 8 only WINKEY + 1-0
Pressing the Windows key and any of the top row number keys from 1 to 0
opens the program corresponding to the number of icon on the Taskbar. For
example, if the first icon on the Taskbar was Internet Explorer, pressing
WINKEY + 1 would open that program or switch to it if already open.
WINKEY + (Plus (+) or Minus (-))
Open Windows Magnifier and zoom in with the plus symbol (+) and zoom out
with the minus symbol (-). Press the WINKEY + ESC to close the Magnifier
WINKEY + Home Minimize all windows except the active window.
WINKEY + P
Change between the monitor and projection display types or how second
screen displays computer screen.
WINKEY + T
Set the focus on the Taskbar icons
WINKEY + Left arrow
Shrinks the window to 1/2 screen on the left side for side by side viewing.
WINKEY + Right arrow
Shrinks the window to 1/2 screen on the right side for side by side viewing.
WINKEY + Up arrow
When in the side by side viewing mode, this shortcut takes the screen back
to full size. WINKEY + Down arrow
Minimizes the screen. Also, when in the side by side viewing mode, this
shortcut takes the screen back to a minimized size.
Windows 8 only
WINKEY + ,
Peek at the Windows Desktop.
WINKEY + .
Snap a Windows App to the sides of the screen. Pressing it multiple times will
switch between the right and left-hand side of the screen or unsnap the app.
WINKEY + Enter
Open Windows Narrator
WINKEY + C
Open the Charms.
WINKEY + G
Cycle through Desktop gadgets.
WINKEY + H
Open Share in Charms.
WINKEY + I
Open the Settings in Charms.
WINKEY + J
Switch between snapped apps.
WINKEY + K Open Devices in Charms.
WINKEY + O
Lock the screen orientation.
WINKEY + X
Open the power user menu, which gives you access to many of the features
most power users would want to use such as Device Manager, Control Panel,
Event Viewer, Command Prompt, and much more. Additional information
ctrl+ C or Ctrl + Insert
Both Ctrl + C and Ctrl + Insert will copy the highlighted text or selected
item. If you want to cut instead of copy press Ctrl + X. Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert
Both the Ctrl + V and Shift + Insert will paste the text or object that's in
the clipboard. Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y
Undo any change. For example, if you cut text, pressing this will undo it. This
can also often be pressed multiple times to undo multiple changes. Pressing
Ctrl + Y would redo the undo. Ctrl + F Pressing Ctrl + F opens the Find in any program. This includes your Internet
browser to find text on the current page. Alt + Tab or Ctrl + Tab
Quickly switch between open programs moving forward.
Tip: Press Ctrl + Tab to switch between tabs in a program.
Tip: Adding the Shift key to Alt + Tab or Ctrl + Tab will move
backwards. For example, if you are pressing Alt + Tab and pass the
program you want to switch to, press Alt + Shift + Tab to move
backwards to that program.
Tip: Windows Vista and 7 users can also press the Windows Key
+ Tab to switch through open programs in a full screenshot of the
Window. Ctrl + Back space and Ctrl + Left or Right
Pressing Ctrl + Backspace will delete a full word at a time instead of a
Holding down the Ctrl key while pressing the left or right arrow will move
the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time. If you
wanted to highlight one word at a time, you can hold down Ctrl + Shift and
then press the left or right arrow key to move one word at a time in that
direction while highlighting each word. Ctrl + S
While working on a document or other file in almost every program, pressing
Ctrl + S saves that file. This shortcut key should be used frequently anytime
you're working on anything important. Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End Ctrl + Home will move the cursor to the beginning of the document and
Ctrl + End will move the cursor to the end of a document. These shortcuts
work with most documents, as well as web pages. Ctrl + P
Open a print preview of the current page or document being viewed. For
example, press Ctrl + P now to view a print preview of this page. Page Up, Space bar, and Page Down
Pressing either the page up or page down key will move that page one
page at a time in that direction. When browsing the Internet, pressing the
space bar also moves the page down one page at a time.
Tip: If you are using the space bar to go down one page at a time,
press the Shift key and space bar to go up one page at a time. Other Recommended Shortcuts
We also recommend the following keyboard shortcuts, as they can be very
useful: Ctrl + O
Allows you to select and open a file within the current software program. This
works in most programs, including Internet browsers. F2
After highlighting or selecting a file, pressing F2 changes the file name to be
editable, allowing you to rename the file. ...
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- Spring '14
- Marketing, Windows Vista, Windows Explorer, Computer keys
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