Master the art of navigating and managing your OS in the most efficient way
- by Antoniy Yushkevych
- in Tutorials
The amount of PC and laptop users is growing year by year. Whether you need a computer for your job, studies, or simply for entertainment, using certain built-in functions can greatly improve your experience. One such option is keyboard shortcuts, specifically ones for Windows systems.
Even if you are an experienced Windows user and know a few shortcuts, there are many more in existence than you originally thought. Today, we will go through a list of and explain what each one does.
These are the ones you probably already know, and if you don’t, you should.
Ctrl + X – Cut
Instead of right-clicking on an object and selecting “Cut”, you can simply press these 2 buttons.
Ctrl + C – Copy
Use this shortcut to copy a file (add it to the clipboard)
Ctrl + V – Paste
Paste the latest item from your clipboard
Ctrl + A – Select All
This one is self-explanatory and works almost in any situation
Ctrl + P – Print
Print the selected file or image.
Ctrl + Z – Undo
Works in all programs; Rolls back your last action
Ctrl + W – Close
Works almost in any condition; Closes down whatever you are viewing. Within apps that have multiple tabs, it will close the one that you are seeing right now.
Alt + Tab – Switch apps
Click both once and hold the Alt key. Then, click Tab to scroll between open apps.
Alt + F4 – Close app
This is a classic one, shuts down completely the app you are using.
Just like the basics, these are the shortcuts that any Windows users should know.
Ctrl +Shift + Esc – Open Task Manager
Ctrl + D – Move selected item to Recycle Bin
Shift + Delete – Bypass the recycle bin and delete the item fully
PrtScn – Take a screenshot and store it in the clipboard
Windows key + PrtScn – Take a screenshot and store it in “Screenshots” folder in “Pictures”
Windows key + I – Open Settings app
Windows key + D – Display and hide desktop
Windows key + E – Open File Explorer
Windows key + V – Open Clipboard bin
Windows key + L – Lock Device
Windows key + Shift + S – Capture a part of the screen using Snip & Sketch
File Explorer Shortcuts
These keyboard shortcuts will help you navigate and manage files and folders within the Windows File Explorer in a much more efficient way
Windows Key + E – Open File Explorer
Alt + D – Select the address bar
Ctrl + F – Select the search box
Ctrl + Shift + N – Create a new folder
Alt + Right Arrow – View next folder
Alt + Left Arrow – View previous folder
Alt + Enter – Open Properties settings for the selected item
F2 – Rename selected item
Windows Key Shortcuts
As you can guess, these shortcuts use the Windows key on the keyboard and will not work if you do not have one.
Windows key – open start menu
Windows key + A – open action center
Windows key + C – Launch Cortana (only for Windows 10)
Windows key + F – Launch Feedback Hub
Windows key + G – Launch Windows Game bar
Windows key + H – Open dictation feature
Windows key + R – Open Run command
Windows key + Tab – Open Task View
Of course, there are dozens more keyboard shortcuts that are not mentioned above, however, we only decided to mention the ones that are, in our opinion, the most useful to the average Windows user.
For the More Advanced Users
Keyboard shortcuts are not the only way you can make your Windows experience more efficient. By using the Run command (Windows key + R) and typing in certain commands, you can navigate to certain parts of the OS in a much faster way than clicking through many different menus.
Once you click Windows key + R , the box pictured above will pop up. These are the most useful commands to use within it:
Control – Open Control Panel
Despite having Settings within the start menu, if you want to be able to edit every slightest setting within your OS, you will need to open the Control Panel which can be done by typing “control” into the Run window.
Appwiz.cpl – Open Programs and Features
Although you can go first to the control panel and select the “Uninstall a program” option, the fastest way to get there is though typing “appwiz.cpl” into the Run window.
Mstsc – Open Remote Desktop
If you want to access a computer remotely, type “mstsc” into the Run window and it will open the Remote Desktop app.
Resmon – Open Resource Monitor
Is your computer lagging or outputting sub-par performance? Open the resource monitor and check what tasks or services are eating up your resources. Who knows, maybe you will find some hidden malware?
Main.cpl – Adjust mouse settings
One of the first things you do on a new system is adjusting the cursor size and speed to your liking. This will be the fastest way to get there.
Msconfig – Open System Configuration
A good way to add and remove apps from booting on startup or to edit your boot variations, either way, this is a useful command to know.
\ - Open the Windows drive
Open your (usually) C: drive and view the root folder.
Msinfo32 – Access System Information
A perfect command for when you are shopping for a used laptop. Instantly shows you all the PC specifications.
Regedit – Launch Registry Editor
WARNING: Only use this Windows utility if you are 100% sure in what you are doing. One wrong click might break the whole OS.