Windows 10 focused a lot on creating a better Desktop experience than ever before. We've got new features and options, like the support for multiple virtual Desktops, Cortana - a witty digital assistant, a new Start Menu and so on. While you can use a mouse or a touchscreen to navigate through Windows 10 and all its features, all the "user - computer" interaction can be faster and simpler, if you choose to also use the keyboard shortcuts available for this operating system. In this article, our goal is to present you some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts from Windows 10. We won't include each and every available keyboard shortcut - we'll only share the ones we consider both easy to remember and useful from a productivity perspective. Let's get started:
Shortcut Keys For The Desktop
The Desktop is surely the most used user interface part, so any keyboard shortcut that helps you do stuff faster on it, is surely a good thing. So here are some of the most useful Desktop keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10:
Windows - Opens and closes the Start Menu.
Windows + A - Opens the Action Center.
Windows + D - Switches between Show Desktop and the initial state your Desktop was in. To say it in other words: it hides or shows any applications and windows from your Desktop.
Windows + E - Launches File Explorer.
Windows + I - Open the Settings app.
Windows + K - Opens the Connect pane, from which you can initiate connections to wireless displays and audio devices.
Windows + L - Locks your Windows 10 computer or device and takes you to the Lock screen.
Windows + M - Minimizes all the open windows from your Desktop.
Windows + O - Locks the display orientation of your Windows 10 device. This is useful when you want your Windows 10 tablet or hybrid to stay in Portrait or Landscape mode, even if you re-orientate it.
Windows + P - Opens the Project pane and allows you to search and connect to external displays and projectors.
Windows + R - Launches the Run window.
Windows + X - Opens the advanced menu from the lower-left corner of the screen. It's also known as the WinX menu or the power user's Start Menu.
Windows + Print Screen - Takes a picture of your screen and automatically saves it in your Screenshots folder. By default, it's located in This PC -> Pictures -> Screenshots.
Windows + , - Gives you a peek at the Desktop.
Windows + Spacebar - Switches between available input languages and keyboard layouts.
Shortcut Keys For Working With Cortana
Cortana is one of the best new features from Windows 10. She's very easy to find on your taskbar, and it's even faster to simply call her by saying "Hey Cortana!". However, there are people out there that would surely like to use the keyboard to start interacting with her:
Windows + S - Launches Cortana and you can start using her right away.
Windows + C - Launches Cortana into listening mode, so you can begin to speak to Cortana immediately.
Shortcut Keys For Switching Between Apps In Windows 10
When you find yourself working with lots of apps at the same time, having the ability to quickly switch between them without having to move away from your keyboard can be quite useful:
Alt + Tab - Repeatedly pressing the Tab key while holding Alt pressed cycles through open windows and apps. Release the Tab key on the window or app that you want to open.
Ctrl + Alt + Tab - Displays the list of open windows and apps and keeps the list on screen even after you release the keys. You can then navigate through open windows and apps using the arrow keys.
Windows + Tab - Opens Task view, from where you can switch between open windows or virtual Desktops.
Shortcut Keys For Managing App Windows
In addition to switching between apps, managing multiple windows found simultaneously on your screen can also be faster if you can do it exclusively from your keyboard:
Windows + Left Arrow - Snaps the active window to the left half of your screen.
Windows + Right Arrow - Snaps the active window to the right half of your screen.
Windows + Up Arrow - Maximizes the active window both vertically and horizontally.
Windows + Down Arrow - Restores your active window to its initial state, or minimizes it.
Windows + Shift + Up Arrow - Maximizes the active window vertically, maintaining its width.
Windows + Shift + Down Arrow - Restores or minimizes your active window vertically, maintaining its width.
Windows + Home - Minimizes all inactive windows and restores them all if you use the key combination again.
Windows + Shift + Left Arrow - If you have multiple monitors, moves the active window to the monitor on the left.
Windows + Shift + Right Arrow - If you have multiple monitors, moves the active window to the monitor on the right.
Alt + Space - Launches the title bar menu of the current window. You can also access this menu by right clicking the title bar of the current window. The menu generally includes options to resize the window and other application specific options.
F11 - Enables or disables the full screen view of the active window. It works only for the applications that support this feature, like File Explorer and most of the web browsers.
Shortcut Keys For Virtual Desktops In Windows 10
Windows 10 brought us the ability to use multiple virtual Desktops. It's a very nice feature that can surely improve your productivity. However, using your mouse is not the fastest way to manage your virtual Desktops. A faster way to do it is to use your keyboard, and here are some of the shortcut keys you could use:
Windows + Ctrl + D - Creates a new virtual Desktop.
Windows + Ctrl + Left Arrow - Switches to the previous virtual Desktop.
Windows + Ctrl + Right Arrow - Switches to the next virtual Desktop.
Windows + Ctrl + F4 - Closes the current virtual Desktop.
Shortcut Keys For The Taskbar In Windows 10
The taskbar is one of the definitory parts of the Windows operating systems. Being able to quickly jump or access apps pinned to it is definitely useful:
Windows + 1, Windows +2, etc. - Launch the first, second, third... application pinned to the taskbar, and so on. For instance, Windows + 1 launches whichever application is first in the list, numbered from left to right.
Windows + T - Highlights the first application in the taskbar. You can use the arrow keys to cycle through the taskbar applications. The applications that are running also display a thumbnail above their icon when you select them.
Windows + B - If the Notification Area Icons are set to "Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar", this keyboard shortcut highlights the first application in the system tray. You can use the arrow keys to cycle through all the applications found in the system tray. If the "Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar" is disabled, this keyboard shortcut highlights the "Show hidden icons" arrow. You can then press Enter to display the hidden icons or use the arrow keys to cycle through the applications found in the system tray.
Shift + click on a taskbar application - Launches a new instance of the selected application. It works only for applications which support running in multiple instances, like Microsoft Office or Internet browsers.
Ctrl + Shift + click on a taskbar application - Launches a new instance of the selected application with administrator rights. It works only for applications which support running in multiple instances, like Microsoft Office or Internet browsers.
Shift + right click on a taskbar application - Launches the contextual menu for that application instead of the list with recent items or pinned tasks or folders.
Shortcut Keys For Accessibility Options In Windows 10
If you are need to quickly and easily launch Accessibility options from Windows 10, here are a few keyboard shortcuts you can use:
Windows + U - Launches the Ease of Access Center.
Windows + Enter - Launches Narrator.
Windows + + - Launches Magnifier and zooms in.
Windows + - - If Magnifier is opened, it zooms out.
Windows + Escape - Closes Magnifier.
We tried to share a selection with the most useful keyboard shortcuts available in Windows 10. We didn't include absolutely everything, only those that we consider the most useful when using this operating system and its new features.
Let us know if you enjoy our collection and if you would like to know the keyboard shortcuts for performing actions that were not presented in this guide.