My Top 10 Windows Shortcut keys

Okay, for many people reading my blog (all 3 of you) this is not news but in case somebody stumbles here in a post Guinness haze, here is my IT tip for the week: shortcut keys. The time saving gems of the world of Windows.

I thought everybody knew them but two occasions this week have shown me that some people don’t and I’m not ashamed to admit I learnt Windows + D myself only very recently (last week). Here is my Top 10

1.       Ctrl + C: copies the currently selected item (text, image, whatever). I must use this a million times a day.

2.       Ctrl + V: pastes the current contents of the clipboard (or whatever you just copied with Ctrl +C)

3.       Ctrl +X: cuts the currently selected item and puts it in the clipboard

4.       Ctrl + S: save. Tres handy in Word when you wanna do a quick save after typing out War and Peace without one save in between.

5.       Alt + Tab: shuffle through your currently open programs

6.       Ctrl + A: select all. Works wonderfully in a document, web pages or file explorer

7.       Windows Logo+D: Minimizes all open windows and displays the desktop

8.       Windows Logo+E: Windows Explorer

9.       Windows Logo+L: Lock your machine (password protect)

10.     ALT+F4: Quit program


Hope you found at least one new one? If you have others to add, be my guest and we’ll do a Top 20.

Comments (14)

  1. Mariano says:

    I use those shortcuts a gazillion times a day too.  They work great for the average user, and I’m surprised a LOT of people don’t know them.

    Now, for a top 20 (and maybe a bit more power user-ish) I’d add:

    11. Windows Logo + R: man, how many times a day I go WL+R  cmd Enter.

    12. Ctrl + Tab: switch between windows in the same program. Now that IE7 has tabs, everyone should know this.

    13. Ctrl + Esc: Before the Windows Logo Key, this is how we opened the Start Menu πŸ™‚ Works on other OS too!

    14. F1:  RTFM!! nuff said!!

    15. Tab: That’s right. Plain old Tab. The other day I saw my girlfriend logging into her Hotmail account. She selected the username textbox with the mouse, typed her username, used the mouse to go to the password textbox, then again the mouse to click on Login!!

    We often take a lot of things for granted… Never forget the power of TAB!!

  2. gclass says:

    You’re forgetting Start + break (brings up the "System Properties")

    Really nifty when you are trying to figure out what video card, how much ram, and so forth a machine has and either don’t have a mouse or are back seat driving πŸ™‚

  3. Surely we need to add:

    Window+Tab – new rollerdex application switching in Vista

    Ctrl+Shift+Esc – Task Manager

    Alt+Prt Sc – get a screen print of the current window

    Finally, one for those really new to computers – Shift – yes, I do still see people using CAPS LOCK to get capital letters!!



  4. mozka says:



    12. Ctrl + Tab: switch between windows in the same program. Now that IE7 has tabs, everyone should know this.


    if this one doesn’t work try Ctrl+F6, some older programs take this shorcut

  5. J.C. Coll says:

    Don’t forget about the "Right click" button on the keyboard!

    ALT+SPACE,X – Maximize a window

    ALT+SPACE,N – Minimize a window

    ALT+SPACE,E,P – Paste into a command window

    ALT+SPACE,E,K – Copy from a command window (use arrow keys).

    Something very useful that I do to speed up launching apps is I create a folder called "X" in "%HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%Start Menu" and then I create entries for common apps I use with a unique starting letter (or folder name).

    Ex: "M – MSDN", "N – Notepad", "C – CMD", "O – Outlook", "F – Firefox", "I – Internet Explorer", …

  6. Mike J says:

    Have you mentioned:

    Ctrl+Z– Undo

    F3 for repeat find.

    F2 for change file name, I also use it to copy file name.

  7. vips_bhagat says:


    For bringing Print Window.

    Handy feature.

  8. In Excel, F2 to go into edit mode for a cell. Very handy.

  9. RADl0PASlV says:

    Alt+-, X   maximize MDI window

  10. Steve Marsh says:

    How about Windows Key + S to make a screen clipping for OneNote 2007?

Skip to main content