Windows keyboard shortcuts

Using the keyboard to accomplish simple tasks such as opening, closing and switching between windows, copying and pasting is quicker and easier than using the mouse and navigating your way through menus to get to what you want.

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Figure 1 – The Windows key is used for many keyboard shortcuts.

There are many shortcuts available, and you can also create your own for tasks you carry out particularly often.

These are the shortcuts I find most useful. Most are available in all versions of Windows.

The Windows key is the key to the left of Alt, which is just to the left of the spacebar, with a symbol on it similar to a “flying” window, as shown in Figure 1. Older keyboards will have a slightly different symbol, but it’s similar. It is referred to in this article as WinKey.

Desired action Keyboard shortcut
Open Windows Explorer WinKey + E
Close all Windows to show Desktop WinKey+ D
Switch between open windows Alt + Tab
Open the Run window WinKey+ R
Open the Start menu WinKey on its own
Open search window WinKey + W
Copy selected text or object Ctrl + C
Cut selected text or object Ctrl + X
Paste selected text or object Ctrl + V
Undo Ctrl + Z
Close the current window Alt + F4
Set selected text as Bold Ctrl + B
Set selected text as Italic Ctrl + I
Underline selected text Ctrl + U
Lock the computer WinKey + L
Refresh the current window F5

There are many other keyboard shortcuts available, but these are the ones I would consider to be the ones that will make the most difference to your productivity using Windows. Any others that you find useful?

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