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Work Smarter, Not Harder: 70 Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts to Master Your PC

 Work Smarter, Not Harder: 70 Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts to Master Your PC


Microsoft is nearing the end of its support for Windows 10, with security updates finishing on Oct. 14, 2025. You can pay to continue using Windows 10 securely, but if you want to continue to use Windows for free, it’s best you hop on over to Windows 11 if you haven’t already.

This story is part of 12 Days of Tips, helping you make the most of your tech, home and health during the holiday season.

Even if you’ve never used Windows 11 before, you can quickly boot up your computer and easily use it to surf the web, watch videos and play music. All you really need is your mouse to get to where you need, but if you want to be a Windows power user, and not just a Windows novice, you should know about all the keyboard shortcuts that Windows has to offer.

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In this story we’ll cover the most important keyboard shortcuts for Windows 11, many of which carry over from Windows 10 and earlier versions of Microsoft’s operating system. That includes the basics, like copying highlighted items and undoing a previous action, as well as lesser-known shortcuts, like snapping an active window into place.

You don’t need to know all of them, but there are likely a handful here that you’ll want to employ in your Windows workflow to improve your overall productivity. And if you want to check out more on Windows 11, here are nine hidden Windows 11 features and how to make Windows 11 act more like Windows 10.

Windows 11 shortcut basics

To start, here are the ones you’ll use most often.

  • Ctrl + A: Select all items in a window.
  • Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert: Copy selected or highlighted item (text, images and so on).
  • Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert: Paste selected or highlighted item.
  • Ctrl + X: Cut selected or highlighted item.
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo previous action.
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo action.
  • Ctrl + N: When File Explorer is your current window, open a new File Explorer window with the same folder path as the current window.
  • Windows key + F1: Open “how to get help in windows” Bing search in default browser.
  • Alt + F4: Close the current app or window.
  • Alt + Tab: Switch between open apps or windows.
  • Shift + Delete: Delete selected item permanently (skip the Recycle Bin).

Start menu and taskbar

You can use these keyboard shortcuts to open, close and otherwise control the Start menu and the taskbar.

  • Windows key or Ctrl + Esc: Open Start menu.
  • Windows key + X: Open the secret Start menu.
  • Windows key + T: Cycle through the apps (including pinned apps) on the taskbar.
  • Windows key + [Number]: Open the app pinned in the [number] position on the taskbar. For example, if you have Edge pinned in the first position on the taskbar and you click Windows key + 1, Edge will open. If the app is already open, a new instance or window will open.
  • Windows key + Alt + [Number]: Open the right-click menu for the app pinned in the [number] position on the taskbar.
  • Windows key + D: Show or hide desktop (Windows key + , will display the desktop briefly).

Watch this: Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Screenshots

Windows 11 also has several ways to take a screenshot, including three different keyboard shortcuts.

  • PrtScn: Take a screenshot of your entire screen and save it to your clipboard.
  • Windows key + PrtScn: Take a screenshot of your entire desktop and save it to a folder on your computer.
  • Windows key + Shift + S: Open Snipping Tool menu to take a screenshot of only a section of your screen.

Watch this: Windows 11: 4 quick ways to take a screenshot on your PC

The desktop: Windows, Snap Assist and virtual desktops

These shortcuts control how individual windows act on your desktop, including virtual desktops.

  • Windows key + M: Minimize all open windows.
  • Windows key + Shift + M: Restore minimized windows.
  • Windows key + Home: Minimize all windows except the selected or currently active window.
  • Windows key + Up arrow: Maximize selected window.
  • Windows key + Shift + Up arrow: Maximizes the active window vertically while maintaining its width.
  • Windows key + Down arrow: Minimize selected window.
  • Windows key + Left arrow: Snap selected window to the left half of the screen.
  • Windows key + Right arrow: Snap selected window to the right half of the screen.
  • Windows key + Alt + Up: Snap selected window to top half of the screen.
  • Windows key + Alt + Down: Snap selected window to bottom half of the screen.
  • Windows key + Shift + Left arrow or Right arrow: Move selected window to the left or right monitor.
  • Windows key + Tab: Open Task view (virtual desktops).
  • Windows key + Ctrl + D: Add new virtual desktop.
  • Windows key + Ctrl + Right arrow: Move to the next virtual desktop (to the right).
  • Windows key + Ctrl + Left arrow: Move to the previous virtual desktop (to the left).
  • Windows key + Ctrl + F4: Close current virtual desktop.

The Windows key

These keyboard shortcuts use the Windows logo key to perform various tasks, such as launching both Windows and third-party apps.

  • Windows key + A: Open the Action Center.
  • Windows key + S: Open Cortana in text mode, so you can type in the search bar. (Windows key + Q does the same thing.)
  • Windows key + C: Open Microsoft Copilot
  • Windows key + E: Open File Explorer.
  • Windows key + F: Open the Windows 10 Feedback Hub.
  • Windows key + Ctrl + F: Search for PCs on a network.
  • Windows key + G: Open the Game bar.
  • Windows key + H: Open the Share sidebar.
  • Windows key + I: Open the Settings menu.
  • Windows key + K: Open the Connect sidebar (for connecting to new Bluetooth devices or Miracast).
  • Windows key + L: Lock your computer.
  • Windows key + O: Lock screen orientation.
  • Windows key + P: Open presentation or projection sidebar.
  • Windows key + R: Open the Run window.
  • Windows key + U: Open Ease of Access center.
  • Windows key + W: Open the Windows Ink Workspace for scribbling on tablets or touchscreen laptops.
  • Windows key + (+) or (-): Zoom in and out with magnifier.
  • Windows key + Esc: Exit magnifier.

The F keys

The F keys at the top of your keyboard can perform a number of actions when used with other keys, but they’re also useful on their own.

  • F2: Rename a selected item.
  • F3: Quickly search for files in File Explorer. 
  • F4: Highlight the address bar in File Explorer.
  • F5: Refresh your active window.
  • F6: Cycle through elements (tab, buttons, search bar, etc.) in a window or your desktop.
  • Alt + F8: Show login password on the start screen.
  • F10: Activate the menu bar in the active window.

Windows Command Prompt

You can use these keyboard shortcuts inside the Windows Command Prompt.

  • Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert: Copy selected text to the clipboard.
  • Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert: Paste copied text inside the Command Prompt.
  • Ctrl + A: Select all text on the current line. (If the current line has no text, all text inside the Command Prompt will be selected.)
  • Ctrl + Up or Down: Move screen one line up or down.
  • Ctrl + F: Search Command Prompt via Find window.
  • Ctrl + M: Enter Mark mode (allows you to select text with mouse). Once Mark mode is enabled, you can use the arrow keys to move the cursor around.
  • Shift + Up or Down: Move cursor up or down one line and select text.
  • Shift + Left or Right: Move cursor left or right one character and select text.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Left or Right: Move cursor left or right one word and select text.
  • Shift + Page Up or Page Down: Move cursor up or down one screen and select text.
  • Shift + Home or End: Move cursor to beginning or end of current line and select text.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Home/End: Move cursor to beginning or end of screen buffer and select text and beginning or end of Command Prompt’s output.



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