The Best Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

Ready to improve your tech game? Are you one of those people who uses the mouse and Windows menus to do everything? You know, one of those people? Fear not, because the Honeydogs Best Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows Guide will help you learn some of the easiest ways to speed up your workday with some outstanding keyboard shortcuts for Windows.

A lot of people don’t realize that many common Windows functions can be performed with simple keyboard shortcuts. These simple two, three, or sometimes four key press combinations can greatly speed-up all of your common computing tasks. Best of all, Windows keyboard shortcuts are easy to learn and memorize.

Let’s get started with the most common Windows functions, like opening the Start Menu or Locking your computer when you don’t want the boss to see that you’ve been reading your Facebook feed all day.

Windows System Key Shortcuts

F1 Help
CTRL + ESC Open Start menu
ALT + TAB Switch between open programs
ALT + F4 Quit program
SHIFT + DELETE Delete item permanently
Windows Logo + L Lock the computer


There you go. Six simple keyboard shortcuts in Windows that will have you running at full speed in no time. Ready to move onto something just a little more complicated? Sure you are…

Common Windows Program Key Combinations

OK, here’s where things get even more useful. Don’t be that person who copies and pastes text with the mouse. If you learn no other Windows keyboard shortcuts in your life, at least make sure the ones you know are CTRL + C and CTRL + V. Those seconds saved add up over a lifetime.

Everyone, and we mean everyone, should know all about CTRL + Z. Wouldn’t life be better in general if it had an undo shortcut?

CTRL + C Copy
CTRL + X Cut
CTRL + V Paste
CTRL + Z Undo
CTRL + B Bold
CTRL + U Underline
CTRL + I Italic


Mouse and Keyboard Combinations for Windows

Some keyboard shortcuts make your mouse mighty.

Mouse Click/Keyboard Modifier Combinations

Not all keyboard shortcuts in Windows are for replacing mouse actions. Some of the most useful ones are used in conjunction with the mouse. Here are four Windows keyboard shortcuts that modify your mouse clicks.


SHIFT + Right Click Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands
SHIFT + Double Click Runs the alternate default command (the second item on the menu)
ALT + Double Click Displays properties
SHIFT + DELETE Deletes an item immediately without placing it in the Recycle Bin


That last one comes in very handy when you absolutely know that you want to delete that file. Why waste time clicking again on the Recycle Bin to empty it when you really want something deleted for good? Like those really creepy midget porn files that you “accidentally” downloaded.

Keyboard-Only Commands

OK, grasshopper. Now it’s time to get all ninja and put that mouse away. Here is a list of some extremely useful keyboard-only commands that completely replace common mouse actions. Master these and you’ll be master of your desktop.

F1 Starts Windows Help
F10 Activates menu bar options
SHIFT + F10 Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right clicking an object)
CTRL + ESC Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item)
CTRL + ESC or ESC Selects the Start button (press TAB to select the taskbar, or press SHIFT + F10 for a context)
CTRL + SHIFT + ESC Opens Windows Task Manager
ALT + DOWN ARROW Opens a drop-down list box
ALT + TAB Switch to another running program (hold down the ALT key and then press the TAB key to view the task-switching window)
SHIFT Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature
ALT + SPACE Displays the main window’s System menu (from the System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the window)
ALT +- (ALT+hyphen) Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) child window’s System menu (from the MDI child window’s System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the child window)
CTRL + TAB Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program
ALT + underlined letter in menu Opens the menu
ALT + F4 Closes the current window
CTRL + F4 Closes the current Multiple Document Interface (MDI) window
ALT + F6 Switch between multiple windows in the same program (for example, when the Notepad Find dialog box is displayed, ALT+F6 switches between the Find dialog box and the main Notepad window)


Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows Explorer and Folders

We spend a lot of time on our Windows computers moving files around. Whether it’s moving files from one folder to another or off of your cluttered desktop, knowing some of the basic folder shortcuts for Windows Explorer can be very helpful. Several of these are exactly the same as some of the universal program shortcuts (we told you that CTRL + C and CTRL + V were going to be helpful!)


F2 Rename object
F3 Find all files
CTRL + X Cut
CTRL + C Copy
CTRL + V Paste
SHIFT + DELETE Delete selection immediately, without moving the item to the Recycle Bin
ALT + ENTER Open the properties for the selected object
F4 Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer)
F5 Refreshes the current window
F6 Moves among panes in Windows Explorer
CTRL + G Opens the Go To Folder tool (in Windows 95 Windows Explorer only)
CTRL + Z Undo the last command
CTRL + A Select all the items in the current window
BACKSPACE Switch to the parent folder
SHIFT + click + Close button For folders, close the current folder plus all parent folders


Advanced Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows Explorer

If you spend a lot of time dealing with files in Windows Explorer, you should also learn these advanced tricks.

Numeric Keypad * Expands everything under the current selection
Numeric Keypad + Expands the current selection
Numeric Keypad – Collapses the current selection
RIGHT ARROW Expands the current selection if it is not expanded, otherwise goes to the first child
LEFT ARROW Collapses the current selection if it is expanded, otherwise goes to the parent


There you have it. A comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts for Windows. Learn and memorize them and you’ll be zipping through your day with a lot more speed and a little less carpal tunnel syndrome.

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