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The Most Frequently Used Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

Are you an "always use the mouse" type of computer user or do you make use of the keyboard as much as possible? In this post, I will make a list of the most common Windows keyboard shortcuts for frequently performed tasks.


Even though we are currently living in a more mobile focused world where everyone handles their personal and business communication and important daily tasks via smartphones, tablets and other devices with touchscreens; our good old friends, the mouse and the keyboard are still the perfect duo when it comes to performing certain tasks on computers such as writing and editing text, coding, designing graphics, organizing files and folders, playing games, in short doing everything that can't be done without a keyboard or mouse, or doing things that can be done faster with them.

One of the nice things about using a keyboard is that it offers many shortcuts (hotkeys) that allow you to do most tasks easier and quicker compared to doing them via selecting menus and options, which may require a couple of clicks, hence take more time. Especially when you are using a web design software, a graphic design program, an office tool or when you are writing an article, having a good grasp of the available keyboard shortcuts will make you more productive and reduce the overall time you spend for most repetitive tasks considerably in the long term.

In general, software applications such as office programs, web browsers, editing tools, design and development software, music and video programs have their own set of keyboard shortcuts that you can use on that specific program. Often times, those software even let you customize and assign your own hotkeys to further improve your efficiency while working on them. Other than the specific keyboard shortcuts different programs use, there are also kind of global shortcuts that you can use on Windows operating systems.

Common Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Most of the common keyboard shortcuts in Windows are shared among various software programs, i.e. they function the same on those programs, as well as while working with files and folders on Windows. Now, let's see what these common shortcuts are.

Keyboard ShortcutFunction
AltPrepares the top menu of the active program for selection.
Alt + Double ClickOpens Properties window of the selected item.
Alt + EscCycles through opened programs.
Alt + F4Closes the active program.
Alt + TabCycles between the last and currently active programs.
Caps LockActivates and deactivates capital letters.
Ctrl + ASelects all available items or elements.
Ctrl + Alt + DelOpens computer management screen.
Ctrl + BMakes the selected text bold.
Ctrl + CCopies the selection.
Ctrl + EndGoes to the end of the document.
Ctrl + EscOpen Windows start menu.
Ctrl + FOpens Find dialog box.
Ctrl + GOpens Go To dialog box.
Ctrl + HOpens Replace dialog box.
Ctrl + HomeGoes to the beginning of the document.
Ctrl + IMakes the selected text italic.
Ctrl + NCreates a new document in the active program.
Ctrl + OOpens the Open File dialog box.
Ctrl + PPrepares the document for Printing.
Ctrl + PgDnSelects the next window or tab within the same program.
Ctrl + PgUpSelects the previous window or tab within the same program.
Ctrl + SSaves the active document.
Ctrl + ShiftCreates a shortcut if pressed while dragging the item to another place.
Ctrl + UMakes the text underlined.
Ctrl + VPastes the selection to the target.
Ctrl + WCloses the active window or tab within a program.
Ctrl + XCuts the selection.
Ctrl + YRepeats the last action.
Ctrl + ZTakes back the last action.
DelDeletes the selection.
EndGoes to the end of the line, or folder.
EnterOpens the file, folder, link or button.
EscCloses the opened dialog box.
F1Opens Help pages.
F2Renames the selection.
F5Refreshes the current page.
HomeGoes to the start of the line or to the first item.
Left, RightSelects previous /next item.
PgUp, PgDnScrolls up and down.
Shift + Arrow KeysMakes a continous selection in the arrow key direction.
Shift + DelDeletes selected files and folders permanently.
Shift + EndSelects till the end of the line or the last item.
Shift + HomeSelects till the beginning of the line or the first item.
Shift + PgDnMakes a one-page worth continous selection downwards.
Shift + PgUpMakes a one-page worth continous selection upwards.
Shift + TabMoves to the previous control.
SpaceClicks the focused item/link/button.
TabMoves to the next control.
Windows + DGoes to desktop by minimizing all opened programs and windows.
Windows + FFinds files and folders.
Windows + LLocks the computer.
Windows + ROpens Run dialog box.

These are the most commonly used Windows keyboard shortcuts that will save you a lot of time if you get used to them while working on your computer. You can find a few more shortcuts on this support page of Microsoft, though they are not as commonly used as the ones that are listed above.

Also Check:
- Google Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts
- Mozilla Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts
- Facebook Keyboard Shortcuts
- Yahoo Mail Keyboard Shortcuts
- Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts
- Skype Keyboard Shortcuts


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