If you’d like to ditch the mouse, save time and increase productivity, keyboard shortcuts will help, giving you a quick way to navigate around documents, and perform tasks which would usually require several clicks. 

Now you may be thinking you know how to cut and paste but don’t have head space to remember anymore, but while there are many keyboard shortcuts available on Windows, you only need to focus on a few to make your life easier. 

This guide relates to the most helpful keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10, to help you to speed up when performing tasks: 

Ctl key combinations 

Keyboard shortcut Action
Ctrl + A Select all content 
Ctrl + C  Copy items selected to clipboard
Ctrl + Insert Copy items selected to clipboard 
Ctrl + X Cut items selected to clipboard 
Ctrl + V Paste from clipboard
Ctrl + Y  Redo 
Ctrl + Z  Undo – this could even include undeleting files 
Ctrl + Shift + N Create new folder on desktop or File Explorer 
Ctrl + D (Del) Delete selected item and send to Recycle Bin 

Window key combinations 

Keyboard shortcut Action
Window key + I  Open Settings app 
Windows key + E  Open File Explorer
Windows key +A Open Action Centre 
Windows key + D Display and hide the Desktop  
Windows key + L Lock device 
Windows key + V Open clipboard bin 
Windows key + full stop (.) or semicolon (;) Open emoji panel 
Windows key + PrtSc Capture full screenshot in “Screenshots” folder
Windows key + Shift + S Capture part of the screen with Snip and Sketch 
Windows key + Right arrow key  Snap app or window right 
Windows key + Left arrow key  Snap app or window left 

Other desktop shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut Action
Shift + Delete  Delete item permanently, do not send to recycle bin 
Alt + F4 Close active window/ bring up shutdown options
Esc  Close current task 
F2  Rename selected item 
Alt + Tab Switch between open apps 
PrtSc Screenshot and save to clipboard

Desktop shortcuts

These shortcuts help you to perform tasks quickly through the desktop, including the Start menu, Settings, and Taskbar – open close and navigate with these quick keys… 

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, then 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 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 Settings app home page.

File Explorer shortcuts

File Explorer includes many keyboard shortcuts to help you get things done a little quicker on Windows 10.

This is a list of the most useful shortcuts for File Explorer.

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.
F5 Refresh the instance of File Explorer.
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

Here’s the list of the keyboard shortcuts you can use in a 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 on Windows 10, 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 cursor left or right in the current line.
Up or down arrow keys Cycle through 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.

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, virtual desktops, taking screenshots, locking the computer, and a lot 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 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 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.