what are they and what are they for

As you can see there are a lot of key combinations that few people can memorize, however, it is not that we have to learn each and every one of the keyboard shortcuts available in the Microsoft operating system. It is enough that each user learns the key combinations that allow them to execute those actions that they use most on a daily basis so that their productivity increases.

What is a keyboard shortcut

A keyboard shortcut, access key, accelerator key, shortcut, key combination or as it is known in English, hotkey, is a key or set of keys that execute an action that is previously defined by the application developer or the operating system. Actions that are also available through the different options of a menu or using the mouse pointer to choose the corresponding option.

Therefore, they are a way of executing one or more commands that may be available through a menu, the user interface of any software in its different levels or even in the command console and that help us to speed up or execute said commands. operations.

Having said that, we are going to show below all the keyboard shortcuts available in Windows 10, from the general ones, those associated with the Windows key, those that allow us to execute command prompt actions, in the dialog boxes or Explorer of Windows 10 files, virtual desktops, settings page, and system taskbar.

General key combinations

There are certain general keyboard shortcuts that we can use on a daily basis that will probably make life a little easier for us. Surely some of you already know many of them and you will even be using them every day. However, these are the general key combinations of Windows 10.

Ctrl + X -> Cut the selected item.
Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert) -> Copy the selected item.
Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) -> Paste the selected item.
Ctrl + Z –> Undo an action.
Alt + tab -> Switch between open applications.
Alt + F4 -> Close the active item or exit the active application.
Windows + L -> Lock the computer.
Windows + D -> Show and hide the desktop.
F2 -> Rename the selected item.
F3 -> Search for a file or folder in File Explorer.
F4 -> Show the address bar list in File Explorer.
F5 -> Update the active window.
F6 -> Scroll through items on the screen in a window or on the desktop.
F10 -> Activate the menu bar in the active application.
Alt + F8 -> Show password on login screen.
Alt + Esc -> Scroll through the items in the order they were opened.
Alt + underlined letter -> Execute the command corresponding to that letter.
Alt + Enter -> See the properties of the selected element.
Alt + Spacebar -> Open the context menu of the active window.
Alt + Left Arrow -> Back.
Alt + Right Arrow -> Go forward.
Alt + Page Down -> Upload a screen.
Alt + Page Down -> Download a screen.
Ctrl + F4 -> Close the active document (in applications that are open to full screen and that allow you to have several documents open simultaneously).
Ctrl + A -> Select all the elements in a document or a window.
Ctrl + D (or Del) -> Delete the selected item and move it to the recycle bin.
Ctrl + R (or F5) -> Update the active window.
Ctrl + Y -> Redo an action.
Ctrl + Right Arrow -> Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word.
Ctrl + Left Arrow -> Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word.
Ctrl + Down Arrow -> Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph.
Ctrl + Up Arrow -> Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph.
Ctrl + Alt + Tab -> Use the arrow keys to switch between all open applications.
Alt + Shift + arrow keys -> When a group or an icon has the focus on the Start menu, move it in the specified direction.
Ctrl + Shift + arrow keys -> When a window has focus on the Start menu, move it to another window to create a folder.
Ctrl + arrow keys -> Resize the Start menu when it opens.
Ctrl + arrow key (to move to an item) + Space bar -> Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop.
Ctrl + Shift with an arrow key -> Select a text block.
Ctrl + Esc -> Open Start.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc -> Open Task Manager.
Ctrl + Shift -> Change keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are available.
Ctrl + Spacebar -> Enable or disable the Input Method Editor (IME) for Chinese.
Shift + F10 -> Show the context menu of the selected item.
Shift with an arrow key -> Select multiple items in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document.
Shift + Del -> Delete the selected item without moving it to the recycle bin.
Right arrow -> Open the next menu on the right or open a submenu.
Left arrow -> Open the next menu on the left or close a submenu.
Esc -> Stop the current task or exit it.
Print Screen -> Take a screenshot of the full screen and copy it to the Clipboard. You can change this shortcut so that the screen clipping also opens, allowing you to edit your screenshot. To do this, we open the Settings page> Accessibility> Keyboard and activate the toggle button located under Direct access to print screen.

keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts with the Windows key

The Windows key is located in the lower left part of our keyboard and although it is basically used to show or hide the system’s Start menu, the truth is that in combination with other keys it offers us a lot of interesting functions.

Windows -> Open or close Start.
Windows + A -> Open the Activity Center.
Windows + B -> Bring the focus to the notification area.
Windows + C -> Open Cortana in listening mode. This shortcut is disabled by default. To activate it, we open the Configuration> Cortana page and activate the toggle button in Allow Cortana to hear our commands when we press Windows + C.
Windows + Shift + C -> Open the access buttons menu.
Windows + D -> Show and hide the desktop.
Windows + Alt + D -> Show and hide the date and time on the desktop.
Windows + E -> Open File Explorer.
Windows + F -> Open Opinion Center and take a screenshot.
Windows + G -> Open the game bar with an open game.
Windows + H -> Start dictation.
Windows + I -> Open Settings.
Windows + J -> Focus on a Windows suggestion when one is available.
Windows + K -> Open the Connect quick action.
Windows + L -> Lock the device or change account.
Windows + M -> Minimize all windows.
Windows + O -> Lock device orientation.
Windows + P -> Choose a presentation mode.
Windows + Ctrl + Q -> Open Quick Assistance.
Windows + R -> Open the Run dialog box.
Windows + S -> Open search.
Windows + Shift + S -> Take a screenshot of part of the screen.
Windows + T -> Scroll through the applications on the taskbar.
Windows + U -> Open the Accessibility Center.
Windows + V -> Open the Clipboard. To activate this shortcut, we open the Configuration> System> Clipboard page and activate the toggle button located under Clipboard History.
Windows + Shift + V -> Scroll through notifications.
Windows + X -> Open the Quick Link menu.
Windows + Y -> Change entry between Windows Mixed Reality and desktop.
Windows + Z -> Show the commands available in an application in full screen mode.
Windows + period (.) Or semicolon (;) -> Open the emojis panel.
Windows + comma (,) -> Temporarily browse the desktop.
Windows + Pause -> Show System Properties dialog box.
Windows + Ctrl + F -> Search for computers (in a network).
Windows + Shift + M -> Restore minimized windows on the desktop.
Windows + number -> Open the desktop and start the application anchored to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the application is already running, switch to that application.
Windows + Shift + number -> Open the desktop and start a new instance of the application anchored to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows + Ctrl + number -> Open the desktop and switch to the last active application window anchored to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows + Alt + number -> Open the desktop and open the list of application shortcuts pinned to the taskbar at the position indicated by the number.
Windows + Ctrl + Shift + number -> Open the desktop and open a new instance of the application located in the determined position in the taskbar as administrator.
Windows + Tab -> Open the Task View.
Windows + Up Arrow -> Maximize the window.
Windows + Down Arrow -> Remove the current application from the screen or minimize the desktop window.
Windows + Left Arrow -> Maximize the application or desktop window on the left side of the screen.
Windows + Right Arrow -> Maximize the application or desktop window on the right side of the screen.
Windows + Start -> Minimize everything except the active desktop window (repeat the action to restore all windows).
Windows + Shift + Up Arrow -> Expand the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows + Shift + Down Arrow -> Restore / minimize vertically active desktop windows while preserving width.
Windows + Shift + Left or Right Arrow -> Move an application or desktop window from one monitor to another.
Windows + Spacebar -> Switch between input language and keyboard layout.
Windows + Ctrl + Spacebar -> Switch to a previously selected entry.
Windows + Ctrl + Enter -> Activate Narrator.
Windows + More (+) -> Open the Magnifier.
Windows + forward slash (/) -> The IME conversion begins.
Windows + Ctrl + V -> Open animated notifications.
Windows + Ctrl + Shift + B -> Activate the PC from a black or blank screen.

Keyboard shortcuts for dialog boxes

Dialog boxes are one of the elements of the system with which we interact the most throughout the day when we use our computer. In this type of windows we can use certain very interesting keyboard shortcuts as you can see below:

F4 -> the elements of the active list.
Ctrl + Tab -> Advance through the tabs.
Ctrl + Shift + Tab -> Go back through the tabs.
Ctrl + number (number 1–9) -> Move to the nth tab.
Tabulator -> Advance through the options.
Shift + Tab -> Go back through the options.
Alt + underlined letter -> Execute the command (or select the option) used with the letter.
Space bar -> If the active option is a box, activate or deactivate it.
Recoil -> Open a folder from a higher level if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box.
Arrow keys -> If the active option is a group of radio buttons, select a button.

File Explorer keyboard shortcuts

Of course, one of the utilities that we use the most every day since we turn on the PC is the Windows file explorer. From there we go to any path where we have saved certain files that we want to use or move. In addition, from it we have access to system drives, default system folders, etc.

Alt + D -> Select the address bar.
Ctrl + E -> Select the search box.
Ctrl + F -> Select the search box.
Ctrl + N -> Open a new window.
Ctrl + W -> Close the active window.
Ctrl + mouse wheel -> Change the size and appearance of file and folder icons.
Ctrl + Shift + E -> Show all folders located on the selected folder.
Ctrl + Shift + N -> Create a new folder.
Num Lock + asterisk (*) -> Show all subfolders of the selected folder.
Num Lock + plus sign (+) -> Show the content of the selected folder.
Num lock + minus sign (-) -> Collapse the selected folder.
Alt + P -> Show preview panel.
Alt + Enter -> Open the Properties dialog box of the selected element.
Alt + Right Arrow -> See the following folder.
Alt + Up Arrow -> View the folder that contained the folder.
Alt + Left Arrow -> See the previous folder.
Recoil -> See the previous folder.
Right arrow -> Show current selection if collapsed or select first subfolder.
Left arrow -> Collapse the current selection if it is expanded or select the folder that contained the folder.
End -> Show bottom of active window.
Start -> Show the top of the active window.
F11 -> Maximize or minimize the active window.

Virtual desktop shortcuts

Virtual desktops is a feature that Microsoft incorporated into Windows 10 so that users can organize their desk in a much more comfortable way. Now this implies that we have to move from one desk to another to find what we need. With these keyboard shortcuts, you will surely be much more comfortable handling your virtual desktops.

Windows + Tab -> Open the Task View.
Windows + Ctrl + D -> Add a virtual desktop.
Windows + Ctrl + Right Arrow -> Toggle between the virtual desktops you have created on the right.
Windows + Ctrl + Left Arrow -> Toggle between the virtual desktops you have created on the left.
Windows + Ctrl + F4 -> Close the virtual desktop you are using.

Taskbar keyboard shortcuts

The taskbar is another important element in Windows 10, since it is where open applications are displayed on the desktop, even if they are minimized and where the icons of certain applications appear running in the background or access to certain settings. Although the truth is that we can access any of these options with a couple of clicks, these keyboard shortcuts can also be very useful.

Shift + click a button on the taskbar -> Open an application or quickly open another instance of an application.
Ctrl + Shift + click a button on the taskbar -> Open an application as an administrator.
Shift + right-click a button on the taskbar -> Show the menu of the application window.
Shift + right-click a button on the grouped taskbar -> Show the group window menu.
Ctrl + click a button on the grouped taskbar -> Scroll through the group windows.

keyboard shortcuts

Shortcuts for command prompt

Although for many the command prompt is still a great unknown, the truth is that these keyboard shortcuts can help us, and a lot, when we use the command line in Windows 10 to execute certain options or tasks.

Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert) -> Copy the selected text.
Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) -> Paste the selected text.
Ctrl + M -> Access the brand mode.
Alt + select key -> Start selection in block mode.
Arrow keys -> Move the cursor in the specified direction.
Page Up -> Move the cursor up one page.
PAGE DOWN -> Move the cursor down one page.
Ctrl + Home (mark mode) -> Move the cursor to the beginning of the buffer.
Ctrl + End (mark mode) -> Move the cursor to the end of the buffer.
Ctrl + Up Arrow -> Upload a line in the output history.
Ctrl + Down Arrow -> Move down a line in the output history.
Ctrl + Home (browsing history) -> If the command line is empty, move the window to the top of the buffer. Otherwise, it removes all the characters to the left of the cursor on the command line.
Ctrl + End (browsing history) -> If the command line is empty, move the window to the command line. Otherwise, it removes all the characters to the right of the cursor on the command line.

Configuration page keyboard shortcuts

To access most of the system’s settings and options, it is necessary to open the Windows 10 Configuration page. Navigating all the options is quite simple, but we can also do it quickly with these two keyboard shortcuts.

Windows + I -> Open Configuration page.
Recoil -> Return to the main Configuration page.

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