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Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

On Windows 10, keyboard shortcuts are quick ways to navigate and perform actions using one or multiple key combos, which otherwise would take many more clicks and time to complete the task with the mouse.

The system has tons of keyboard shortcuts, but you don’t need to learn every shortcut on Windows 10. You only need to remember those that can help you make your life easier and improve productivity.

In this Windows 10 guide, we will list all the most helpful keyboard shortcuts to navigate and operate the desktop and apps. You can also check out these additional shortcuts that you will need to know for Windows 11.

Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

This comprehensive list includes the most helpful keyboard shortcuts to perform tasks on Windows 10 a little faster.

  • Essential shortcuts
  • Desktop shortcuts
  • File Explorer shortcuts
  • Settings page shortcuts
  • Command Prompt shortcuts
  • Microsoft Edge shortcuts
  • Windows key shortcuts

Essential shortcuts

These are the essential keyboard shortcuts that every Windows 10 user has to know.

Keyboard shortcut Action
Ctrl + A Select all content.
Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert) Copy selected items to clipboard.
Ctrl + X Cut selected items to clipboard.
Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) Paste content from clipboard.
Ctrl + Z Undo an action, including undelete files (limited).
Ctrl + Y Redo an action.
Ctrl + Shift + N Create new folder on desktop or File Explorer.
Alt + F4 Close active window. (If no active window is present, a shutdown box appears.)
Ctrl + D (Del) Delete selected item to the Recycle Bin.
Shift + Delete Delete the selected item permanently, skipping Recycle Bin.
F2 Rename selected item.
Esc Close current task.
Alt + Tab Switch between open apps.
PrtScn Take a screenshot and stores it in the clipboard.
Windows key + I Open Settings app.
Windows key + E Open File Explorer.
Windows key + A Open Action center.
Windows key + D Display and hide the desktop.
Windows key + L Lock device.
Windows key + V Open Clipboard bin.
Windows key + Period (.) or Semicolon (;) Open emoji panel.
Windows key + PrtScn Capture a full screenshot in the “Screenshots” folder.
Windows key + Shift + S Capture part of the screen with Snip & Sketch.
Windows key + Left arrow key Snap app or window left.
Windows key + Right arrow key Snap app or window right.

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Desktop shortcuts

On Windows 10, you can use these keyboard shortcuts to open, close, navigate, and perform tasks more quickly throughout the desktop experience, including the Start menu, Taskbar, Settings, and more.

Keyboard shortcut Action
Windows key (or Ctrl + Esc) Open Start menu.
Ctrl + Arrow keys Change Start menu size.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open Task Manager.
Ctrl + Shift Switch keyboard layout.
Alt + F4 Close active window. (If no active window is present, a shutdown box appears.)
Ctrl + F5 (or Ctrl + R) Refresh current window.
Ctrl + Alt + Tab View open apps.
Ctrl + Arrow keys (to select) + Spacebar Select multiple items on desktop or File Explorer.
Alt + Underlined letter Runs command for the underlined letter in apps.
Alt + Tab Switch between open apps while pressing Tab multiple times.
Alt + Left arrow key Go back.
Alt + Right arrow key Go forward.
Alt + Page Up Move up one screen.
Alt + Page Down Move down one screen.
Alt + Esc Cycle through open windows.
Alt + Spacebar Open context menu for the active window.
Alt + F8 Reveals typed password in Sign-in screen.
Shift + Click app button Open another instance of an app from the Taskbar.
Ctrl + Shift + Click app button Run app as administrator from the Taskbar.
Shift + Right-click app button Show window menu for the app from the Taskbar.
Ctrl + Click a grouped app button Cycle through windows in the group from the Taskbar.
Shift + Right-click grouped app button Show window menu for the group from the Taskbar.
Ctrl + Left arrow key Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word.
Ctrl + Right arrow key Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word.
Ctrl + Up arrow key Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
Ctrl + Down arrow key Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph.
Ctrl + Shift + Arrow key Select block of text.
Ctrl + Spacebar Enable or disable Chinese IME.
Shift + F10 Open context menu for selected item.
F10 Enable app menu bar.
Shift + Arrow keys Select multiple items.
Windows key + X Open Quick Link menu.
Windows key + Number (0-9) Open the app in number position from the Taskbar.
Windows key + T Cycle through apps in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Alt + Number (0-9) Open Jump List of the app in number position from the Taskbar.
Windows key + D Display and hide the desktop.
Windows key + M Minimize all windows.
Windows key + Shift + M Restore minimized windows on the desktop.
Windows key + Home Minimize or maximize all but the active desktop window.
Windows key + Shift + Up arrow key Stretch desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows key + Shift + Down arrow key Maximize or minimize active desktop windows vertically while maintaining width.
Windows key + Shift + Left arrow key Move active window to monitor on the left.
Windows key + Shift + Right arrow key Move active window to monitor on the right.
Windows key + Left arrow key Snap app or window left.
Windows key + Right arrow key Snap app or window right.
Windows key + S (or Q) Open Search.
Windows key + Alt + D Open date and time in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Tab Open Task View.
Windows key + Ctrl + D Create new virtual desktop.
Windows key + Ctrl + F4 Close active virtual desktop.
Windows key + Ctrl + Right arrow Switch to the virtual desktop on the right.
Windows key + Ctrl + Left arrow Switch to the virtual desktop on the left.
Windows key + P Open Project settings.
Windows key + A Open Action center.
Windows key + I Open Settings app.
Backspace Return to the Settings app home page.

File Explorer shortcuts

File Explorer includes keyboard shortcuts to help you get things done a little quicker.

These are the most useful shortcuts for the default file manager on Windows 10.

Keyboard shortcut Action
Windows key + E Open File Explorer.
Alt + D Select address bar.
Ctrl + E (or F) Select search box.
Ctrl + N Open new window.
Ctrl + W Close active window.
Ctrl + F (or F3) Start search.
Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel Change view file and folder.
Ctrl + Shift + E Expands all folders from the tree in the navigation pane.
Ctrl + Shift + N Creates a new folder on desktop or File Explorer.
Ctrl + L Focus on the address bar.
Ctrl + Shift + Number (1-8) Changes folder view.
Alt + P Display preview panel.
Alt + Enter Open Properties settings for the selected item.
Alt + Right arrow key View next folder.
Alt + Left arrow key (or Backspace) View previous folder.
Alt + Up arrow Move up a level in the folder path.
F11 Switch active window full-screen mode.
F2 Rename selected item.
F4 Switch focus to address bar.
F5 Refresh File Explorer’s current view.
F6 Cycle through elements on the screen.
Home Scroll to the top of the window.
End Scroll to the bottom of the window.

Settings page shortcuts

This list includes the keyboard shortcuts for the dialog box legacy settings pages (for example, Folder Options).

Keyboard shortcut Action
Ctrl + Tab Cycles forward through the tabs.
Ctrl + Shift + Tab Cycles back through the tabs.
Ctrl + number of tab Jumps to tab position.
Tab Moves forward through the settings.
Shift + Tab Moves back through the settings.
Alt + underline letter Actions the setting identified by the letter.
Spacebar Checks or clears the option in focus.
Backspace Opens the folder one-level app in the Open or Save As dialog.
Arrow keys Select a button of the active setting.

Command Prompt shortcuts

If you use Command Prompt, these keyboard shortcuts will help to work a little more efficiently.

Keyboard shortcut Action
Ctrl + A Select all content of the current line.
Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert) Copy selected items to clipboard.
Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) Paste content from clipboard.
Ctrl + M Starts mark mode.
Ctrl + Up arrow key Move the screen up one line.
Ctrl + Down arrow key Move screen down one line.
Ctrl + F Open search for Command Prompt.
Left or right arrow keys Move the cursor left or right in the current line.
Up or down arrow keys Cycle through the command history of the current session.
Page Up Move cursor one page up.
Page Down Move cursor one page down.
Ctrl + Home Scroll to the top of the console.
Ctrl + End Scroll to the bottom of the console.

Microsoft Edge shortcuts

If Microsoft Edge is your preferred browser, you will benefit from these keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts apply to any version of Windows.

Keyboard shortcut Action
Ctrl + Shift + B Show or hide the favorites bar.
Alt + Shift + B Focus on the first item in the favorites bar.
Ctrl + D Save the tab as a favorite.
Ctrl + Shift + D Save open tabs as favorites inside a new folder.
Alt + D (or Ctrl + L or F4) Select the URL in the address bar to edit.
Ctrl + E (or Ctrl + K) Start search in the address bar.
Alt + E (or Alt + F or F10 + Enter) Open the Settings (three-dotted) menu.
Ctrl + F (or F3) Open the Find on page feature.
Ctrl + G Cycle through search matches in the Find Bar.
Ctrl + Shift + G Reverse cycle through search matches in the Find Bar.
Ctrl + H Open the History page in a new tab.
Ctrl + Shift + I (or F12) Open Developer Tools console.
Alt + Shift + I Open the Send feedback experience.
Ctrl + J Open the Downloads page in a new tab.
Ctrl + Shift + K Create a duplicate of the tab.
Ctrl + Shift + L Paste and search or Paste and go.
Ctrl + M Mute the current tab.
Ctrl + Shift + M Sign in as a different user in the browser or use Guest user.
Ctrl + N Open a new tab in a new window.
Ctrl + Shift + N Open a new InPrivate window.
Ctrl + O Launch Open dialog.
Ctrl + Shift + O Open Favorites management page.
Ctrl + P Print the current page.
Ctrl + Shift + P Open print settings to print page.
Ctrl + R (or F5) Reload the current page.
Ctrl + Shift + R (or Shift + F5) Reload the page, ignoring cached content.
Ctrl + S Save loaded page.
Ctrl + T Open a new tab and switch to new tab.
Ctrl + Shift + T Reopen the last closed tab and switch to the tab.
Alt + Shift + T Focus on the first item in the toolbar.
Ctrl + U View page source code.
Ctrl + Shift + U Controls Read Aloud feature.
Ctrl + Shift + V Paste without including formatting.
Ctrl + W (or Ctrl + F4) Close the current tab.
Ctrl + Shift + W Close the current window and tabs.
Ctrl + Shift + Y Open Collections feature.
Ctrl + 0 Reset zoom level setting.
Ctrl + 1, 2, … 8 Switch to a specific open tab.
Ctrl + 9 Switch to the last tab of the window.
Ctrl + Enter Add “www.” to the link you typed.
Ctrl + Tab (or Ctrl + PgDn) Switch to the next open tab.
Ctrl + Shift + Tab Switch to the previous open tab.
Ctrl + Plus (+) Zoom in.
Ctrl + Minus (-) Zoom out.
Ctrl + (PDF) Toggle PDF between fit to page or fit to width.
Ctrl + [ (PDF) Rotate PDF counter-clockwise 90 degree.
Ctrl + ] (PDF) Rotate PDF clockwise 90 degree.
Ctrl + Shift + Delete Open clear browsing data options.
Alt (or F10) Focus on the Settings (three-dotted) button.
Alt + Left arrow Go back.
Alt + Right arrow Go forward.
Alt + Home Open home page.
Alt + F4 Close the current window.
F1 Open Help page.
F6 Switch focus to the next pane.
Shift + F6 Switch focus to the previous pane.
F7 Enable or disable caret browsing.
F9 Enter or exit Immersive Reader.
Shift + F10 Open browser context menu.
F11 Enter fullscreen.
Esc Stop loading page, close dialog, or close pop-up.
Spacebar (or PgDn) Scroll down the webpage one screen at a time.
Shift + Spacebar (or PgUp) Scroll up the webpage one screen at a time.
Tab Go to the next tab stop.
Shift + Tab Go to the previous tab stop
Home Scroll to the top of the page, or move keyboard focus to the first item of the pane.
End Scroll to the bottom of the page, or move keyboard focus to the last item of the pane.

Windows key shortcuts

The Windows key combined with other keys allows you to perform many useful tasks, such as launch Settings, File Explorer, Run command, apps pinned in the Taskbar, or open specific features like Narrator or Magnifier. You can also complete tasks like controlling windows, and virtual desktops, taking screenshots, locking the computer, and more.

Here’s a list of all the most common keyboard shortcuts using the Windows key.

Keyboard shortcut Action
Windows key Open Start menu.
Windows key + A Open Action center.
Windows key + S (or Q) Open Search.
Windows key + D Display and hide the desktop.
Windows key + L Locks computer.
Windows key + M Minimize all windows.
Windows key + B Set focus notification area in the Taskbar.
Windows key + C Launch Cortana app.
Windows key + F Launch Feedback Hub app.
Windows key + G Launch Game bar app.
Windows key + Y Change input between desktop and Mixed Reality.
Windows key + O Lock device orientation.
Windows key + T Cycle through apps in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Z Switch input between the desktop experience and Windows Mixed Reality.
Windows key + J Set focus on a tip for Windows 10 when applicable.
Windows key + H Open dictation feature.
Windows key + E Open File Explorer.
Windows key + I Open Settings.
Windows key + R Open Run command.
Windows key + K Open Connect settings.
Windows key + X Open Quick Link menu.
Windows key + V Open Clipboard bin.
Windows key + W Open the Windows Ink Workspace.
Windows key + U Open Ease of Access settings.
Windows key + P Open Project settings.
Windows key + Ctrl + Enter Open Narrator.
Windows key + Plus (+) Zoom in using the magnifier.
Windows key + Minus (-) Zoom out using the magnifier.
Windows key + Esc Exit magnifier.
Windows key + Forward-slash (/) Start IME reconversion.
Windows key + Comma (,) Temporarily peek at the desktop.
Windows key + Up arrow key Maximize app windows.
Windows key + Down arrow key Minimize app windows.
Windows key + Home Minimize or maximize all but the active desktop window.
Windows key + Shift + M Restore minimized windows on the desktop.
Windows key + Shift + Up arrow key Stretch desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows key + Shift + Down arrow key Maximize or minimize active windows vertically while maintaining width.
Windows key + Shift + Left arrow key Move active window to monitor on the left.
Windows key + Shift + Right arrow key Move active window to monitor on the right.
Windows key + Left arrow key Snap app or window left.
Windows key + Right arrow key Snap app or window right.
Windows key + Number (0-9) Open the app in number position in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Shift + Number (0-9) Open another app instance in the number position in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Ctrl + Number (0-9) Switch to the last active window of the app in the number position in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Alt + Number (0-9) Open Jump List of the app in number position in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + Number (0-9) Open another instance as an administrator of the app in the number position in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Ctrl + Spacebar Change previous selected input option.
Windows key + Spacebar Change keyboard layout and input language.
Windows key + Tab Open Task View.
Windows key + Ctrl + D Create a virtual desktop.
Windows key + Ctrl + F4 Close active virtual desktop.
Windows key + Ctrl + Right arrow Switch to the virtual desktop on the right.
Windows key + Ctrl + Left arrow Switch to the virtual desktop on the left.
Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + B Wake up the device when black or a blank screen.
Windows key + PrtScn Capture a full screenshot in the “Screenshots” folder.
Windows key + Shift + S Create part of the screen screenshot.
Windows key + Shift + V Cycle through notifications.
Windows key + Ctrl + F Open search for the device on a domain network.
Windows key + Ctrl + Q Open Quick Assist.
Windows key + Alt + D Open date and time in the Taskbar.
Windows key + Period (.) or Semicolon (;) Open emoji panel.
Windows key + Pause Show System Properties dialog box.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

  • Windows 11 on Windows Central — All you need to know
  • Windows 11 help, tips, and tricks
  • Windows 10 on Windows Central — All you need to know

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