Windows Shortcut Keys

What are Windows shortcut keys?

Windows shortcut keys are keys on your keyboard that you can press to make things happen. Sometimes you might have to press one key on the keyboard, however usually it will be a combination of keys together. For example  you can press the WINKEY and the letter D on your keyboard to minimize all open applications and show your computers desktop.

When will you need to use Windows Shortcut keys?

A perfect example when you will need to know a few Windows shortcut keys is when your mouse decides to not work. The rest of the time, Windows Shortcut keys are just there to make life easier and help you get your tasks done quicker.

I have some favorite shortcut keys that I like to use almost every day. These include:

CTRL and A to select all.

This is if you want to select all the text on the page. For example if you are on a Microsoft word page you can click on the page, and then press CTRL and the letter A on the keyboard to select all of the text and make it blue.

CTRL and Z to undo.

This is one of those Windows shortcut keys that is very important, especially if you cannot find an undo button. Pressing the CTRL key and the Z key on the keyboard has saved me many a time.

Short keysWhat they do
Alt + FFile menu options in current program.
Alt + EEdit options in current program
F1Universal Help in almost every Windows program.
Ctrl + ASelect all text.
Ctrl + XCut selected item.
Shift + DelCut selected item.
Ctrl + CCopy selected item.
Ctrl + InsCopy selected item
Ctrl + VPaste
Shift + InsPaste
HomeGoes to beginning of current line.
Ctrl + HomeGoes to beginning of document.
EndGoes to end of current line.
Ctrl + EndGoes to end of document.
Shift + HomeHighlights from current position to beginning of line.
Shift + EndHighlights from current position to end of line.
Ctrl + Left arrowMoves one word to the left at a time.
Ctrl + Right arrowMoves one word to the right at a time.
Alt + TabSwitch between open applications.
Alt + Shift + TabSwitch backwards between open applications.
Alt + Print ScreenCreate a screen shotonly for the program you are currently in.
Ctrl + Alt + DelBring up the Windows Task Manager.
Ctrl + EscBring Up start menu.
Alt + EscSwitch Between open application on taskbar.
F2Renames selected Icon.
F3Starts find from desktop.
F4Opens the drive selection when browsing.
F5Refresh Contents.
Alt + F4Closes Current open program.
Ctrl + F4Closes Window in Program.
Ctrl + (the ‘+’ key on the keypad)Automatically adjust the widths of all the columns in Windows explorer
Alt + EnterOpens properties window of selected icon or program.
Shift + F10Simulates right-click on selected item.
Shift + DelDelete programs/files without throwing into the recycle bin.
Holding ShiftBoot safe mode or by pass system files.
Holding ShiftWhen putting in an audio CD, will prevent CD Player from playing.
Windows key ShortcutsThese are my favourites
Windows + DBrings the desktop to the top of all other windows.
Windows + MMinimizes all windows.
Windows + SHIFT + MUndo the minimize done the above 2
Windows + EOpen Microsoft Explorer.
Windows + TabCycle through open programs through the taskbar
Windows + FDisplay the Windows Search / Find feature.
Windows + CTRL + FDisplay the search for computers window.
Windows + F1Display the Microsoft Windows help.
Windows + ROpen the run window.
Windows + Pause / Break keyOpen the system properties window.
Windows + LLock the computer (Windows XP and above only).

Please see more Computer Basics articles.