The best Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can speed up even the most mundane of Windows 10 tasks. Learning the best of them can make your PC experience faster, more efficient, and, in some cases, even more enjoyable.

These are the essential Windows 10 shortcuts that can make you feel more like a PC wizard. A master of the keys, so to speak.

New Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Close up of HP Elite Folio's keyboard.
Mark Coppock/Pro Well Tech

Windows 10 opened up a world of new keyboard shortcuts to better navigate and utilize the operating system’s interface and features. Below, you’ll find nearly 20 keyboard functions added to Microsoft’s popular OS since 2015.

Remember that many commands require you to hold down the Windows key (⊞) located on the spacebar’s left before punching the appropriate letter or key. Also, don’t feel bad about referring back to this chart as needed — memorization will come in time.

⊞ Win + SOpens Search
⊞ Win + IOpens Settings
⊞ Win + AOpens Action Center
⊞ Win + XOpens Quick Link menu
⊞ Win + Left ArrowSnaps active window to the left
⊞ Win + Right ArrowSnaps active window to the right
⊞ Win + Up ArrowMaximizes the current window
⊞ Win + Down ArrowMinimizes or hides current window
⊞ Win + Ctrl + DCreates a new virtual desktop
⊞ Win + Ctrl + Left ArrowCycles through virtual desktops to the left
⊞ Win + Ctrl + Right ArrowCycles through virtual desktops to the right
⊞ Win + Ctrl + F4 (some keyboards may require Win + Fn + Ctrl + F4)Closes current desktop
⊞ Win + TABAccesses all desktops and apps in Task View
⊞ Win + PrtScTakes a screenshot and saves it to Screenshots folder
⊞ Win + GOpens Game bar
⊞ Win + Alt + GRecords the last 30 seconds (for Xbox Game bar)
⊞ Win + Alt + RManually starts and stops recording (for Xbox Game bar)

Command Prompt shortcuts

The revised Windows 10 Command Prompt also includes updated shortcuts for easier use.

Shift + Left ArrowHighlights text on the cursor’s left
Shift + Right ArrowHighlights text to the cursor’s right
Ctrl + CCopies selected text to clipboard
Ctrl + VPastes text from clipboard
Ctrl + ASelects all text

General Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

There are plenty of returning keyboard shortcuts to go along with all the new Windows 10 shortcuts. The following are some of the most basic, general, and sought-after keyboard shortcuts for general day-to-day use in Windows.

Keyboard shortcutFunction
⊞ WinDisplays or hides Start
Ctrl + Shift + EscOpens the Task Manager
⊞ Win + MMinimizes all windows
⊞ Win + Shift + MRestores all minimized windows
⊞ Win + ROpens the Run dialogue box
⊞ Win + F1 (some keyboards may require Win + Fn + F1)Opens Windows Help and Support
⊞ Win + Plus (“+”)Zooms in using Magnifier
⊞ Win + Minus (“-“)Zooms out using Magnifier
⊞ Win + LLocks your PC or switches accounts
Alt + F4Closes the current item or exits the current app
Alt + EnterDisplays properties for the selected item
Alt + SpacebarOpens shortcut menu for an active window
Ctrl + XCuts a selected item
Ctrl + VPastes a selected item
Ctrl + YRedo a previous action
Ctrl + ZUndo a previous action
F1 (some keyboards may require Fn + F1)Displays help (app-specific)
F2Renames a selected item
F3Searches for a file or folder in File Explorer
F4Displays the address bar list in File Explorer
F5Refreshes an active window
F10Activates the menu bar in an active app
⊞ Win+ DDisplays and hides desktop

You can capitalize on maximum efficiency with this list of shortcuts, and your keyboard will be your new favorite tool. Older keyboards may not possess the capacity for such optimization, so we recommend that you purchase a new keyboard to take full advantage of all these shortcuts. We can help you find the best new keyboard.

First, decide on the keyboard type you like. (Wireless keyboards are excellent for unconventional/mobile setups. Ergonomic keyboards are great for those prone to wrist problems.) Second, be sure to check out our roundup of the latest deals on wireless keyboards and our list of the best keyboards.

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