ExpressBasics: All the Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know

Windows is full of various keyboard shortcuts that you can use with keys like Ctrl, Alt, and Shift in combination with the different letters on your keyboard to quickly perform common tasks and boost your productivity with relative ease.

In today’s edition of ExpressBasics, we’ll look at all the common keyboard shortcuts you can use in Windows 10, Windows 11, and even some older versions. Many of them will also be useful in Microsoft Office programs and can also be used in third-party programs that you use.

Ctrl shortcuts

Ctrl+A = Select All

Ctrl+B = Bold

Ctrl+C = Copy

Ctrl+D = Duplicate

Ctrl+E = Center alignment

Ctrl+F = Search

Ctrl+G = Go To

Ctrl+H = Replace

Ctrl+I = Italic

Ctrl+J = Justify

Ctrl+K = hyperlink

Ctrl+L = Left alignment

Ctrl+M = New Slide

Ctrl+N = New page

Ctrl+O = Open

Ctrl+P = Print

Ctrl+Q = Remove paragraph formatting

Ctrl+R = Right alignment

Ctrl+S = Save

Ctrl+T = Fit Tabs/Open New Tab

Ctrl+U = Underline

Ctrl+V = Paste

Ctrl+W = Close open tab/Word document

Ctrl+X = Cut

Ctrl+Y = Redo

Ctrl+Z = Undo

Ctrl + Home = Move cursor to top of document

Ctrl + End = Move cursor to end of document

Ctrl + Esc = Open Windows Start Menu

Ctrl + Tab = Switch between open tabs

Ctrl + Shift + Tab = Switch between open tabs (reverse)

Ctrl + Shift = Superscript

Ctrl + Page Up/Down = Next/Previous tab

Ctrl + left arrow = previous word

Ctrl + right arrow = next word

Ctrl + Del = Delete next word

Ctrl + Backspace = Delete previous word

Ctrl + Alt + left/right/up/down arrow = rotate screen

Ctrl + Shift + Esc = Open Task Manager

Ctrl + Alt + Del = Open Session Options/Task Manager (older versions of Windows)

Windows keys

Win key = Open/Close the Start menu

Win + A = Open Windows Action Center

Win + C = Open Cortana listening

Win + D = Show/Hide Desktop

Win + E = Open File Explorer

Win + G = Open Windows Game Bar

Win + H = Open Sharing Charm

Win + I = Open Settings

Win + K = Open Connect Quick Action

Win + L = Lock your PC

Win + M = Minimize all windows

Win + R = Open ‘Run’ dialog

Win + S = Open search

Win + U = Open Ease of Access Center

Win + X = Open quick links menu

Win + (numeric keys) = Open apps pinned to taskbar

Win + Left/Right/Up/Down arrow = Snap app windows

Win + , = Desktop Peek

Win + Ctrl + D = Add Virtual Desktop

Win + Ctrl + Left/Right = Switch between virtual desktops

Win + Ctrl + F = Close current virtual desktop

Win + Enter = Open Narrator

Win + Home = Minimize all but active application window

Win + PrintScreen = Screenshot and Save

Win + Shift + Up = Extend desktop window to top and bottom of screen

Win + Tab = Open Task View

Earn + [Plus key or Minus key (+ or -)] = Zoom in/out

Also note that a number of symbols can be entered even if your keyboard does not support them via Alt shortcuts. For example, Alt+0191 is the upside-down question mark, while Alt+251 is the square root symbol. You can view a list of all Alt codes at (

To use Alt shortcuts, users must press Num Lock (if necessary) and use the number keys on the numeric keypad while holding down the Alt key.

Lance B. Holton