Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Gain productivity and efficiency by discovering the most useful Windows keyboard shortcuts.

Written By Stephen Lancaster

Updated at September 28th, 2023

There's lots of shortcuts available to help make life easier when using your computer. We've compiled a list of some of the most helpful!


Basic Terminology for this guide:

Ctrl      – Means the Control key on your keyboard (Bottom left and right of keyboard)

Alt       – Means the Alt key on your keyboard (Bottom left and right of keyboard)

Win     – Means the Windows Icon on your keyboard (Between Alt and Ctrl)

Esc     - Escape Key (Top left of keyboard)

+          - Just means a combination of keys, does NOT mean the “+” key

()          -Means sometimes requires the specific key

/           -Provides an alternative key

*          -Requires text to be highlighted by the cursor



Ctrl + C*                 Copy – Creates a Copy of highlighted text for later

Ctrl + V                   Paste – Inserts Copied text. Select placement with cursor

Ctrl + S                   Save – Saves the current version of a file you are editing

Win + V                   Allows you to see what is in your Clipboard (Storage for Ctrl + C)

Ctrl + Z                    Undo – The way to undo any undesired changes

Ctrl + Y                    Redo – Opposite of Undo, Redoes a previous Undone action

Ctrl + X*                  Cut – Like Copy, but it removes the originally highlighted text

Ctrl + A                    Select all text in an area

Alt + F4                   Force close an application

Ctrl + W                  Closes an application (Nicer than Alt + F4)

Alt + Tab                 Switches the active window on your screen


Windows Navigation


Win + D                          Instantly Shows the desktop (Minimizes all windows, or shows all windows)

Win + E                          Opens the File Explorer

Win + Tab                       Shows the Task View – Allows switching Virtual desktops

(Shift) + Tab                    Allows navigation through options, without using the mouse.

Ctrl + Shift + Esc            Shows the Task Manager – Allows you to “kill” unresponsive apps


Advanced User Shortcuts


Win + L                            Signs out your user account

Win + I                             Opens Windows Settings

Win + S                           Opens Windows Search

Win + Shift + S                Allows you to Screen Snip part of your screen

Win + H                           Allows you to use Windows’ speech to text

Ctrl + Win + Left/Right     Allows you to switch Virtual desktops (Accessible via Task View – Win + Tab)

Ctrl + Win + D                  Adds an extra Virtual desktop

Win + X                            Opens an advanced start-up settings menu


Fun and Accessibility


Win + 1/2/3…                Allows you to open apps on taskbar, without a mouse

Win + T                          Allows you to select an app on the Taskbar, without a mouse

Win + +/-                        Allows you to magnify anywhere

Win + .                           Opens the emoji panel 😁

Win + Ctrl + Enter          Turns on Narrator to read out the screen


For more shortcuts offered by Microsoft, Go to