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16 Common Windows Keyboard Shortcut Keys Everyone Should Know

Kent is a content creator who enjoys sharing her knowledge about consumer tech. She enjoys playing Black Desert Mobile.

Commonly searched Windows keyboard shortcuts.

Commonly searched Windows keyboard shortcuts.

Windows has a long list of keyboard shortcuts. If you try to memorize all of them, it’ll surely take you a long time! The good news is you don’t need to do it all at once! You can at least start with shortcuts for the most common Windows commands.

If you know the most common shortcuts without referring to any list or cheat sheet, your confidence in using your computer without a mouse will certainly increase.

Why Use Windows Keyboard Shortcuts?

You can think of keyboard shortcuts as a quicker alternative to executing commands on your computer. Instead of clicking multiple options using your mouse, you can simply press one or two keys (or even more).

Another advantage to knowing the most common Windows shortcuts is that you can use your computer without fully relying on a mouse. So even if something goes wrong such as your mouse malfunctioning, you can still get things done.

So without further ado, here are some of the most common Windows keyboard shortcuts. Trying to get yourself familiar with these shortcuts won’t take much of your time.

16 Most Common Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Reminder: While these shortcuts were tested and proven to function as intended on Windows 10, they’re also generally known to work on older versions of Windows as well.

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  1. Alt+Tab: Switch between open programs.
  2. PrtScn: This is the print screen (Windows screenshot) shortcut key. What it does is pretty much self-explanatory. It takes a screenshot of your computer screen.
  3. Windows logo key + . (period): This is the Windows emoji shortcut. It opens the emoji keyboard. So for those who don’t know yet, yes, there is a built-in emoji keyboard on your computer! There’s even a kaomoji keyboard which is quite useful for making cute text sparkles!
  4. Ctrl + Alt + Del: This is the shutdown shortcut key. When pressed simultaneously, it will immediately display the shutdown dialog.
  5. Win + Shift + S: Windows keyboard shortcut key for the snipping tool.
  6. Ctrl + Shift + Esc: This will open the Windows task manager when pressed simultaneously.
  7. Win + Ctrl + O: When pressed simultaneously, this shortcut will display or hide your computer’s On-Screen Keyboard.
  8. Ctrl + Shift + N: This is the “New Folder” shortcut key. To execute this, you must be on your File Explorer window. Remember to press the keys at the same time, not one at a time.
  9. Win + Arrow Down: This minimizes your current screen or window.
  10. Win + Arrow Up: The maximize window shortcut restores the minimized window into its maximized state.
  11. Win + X then press U then S: This puts your computer into sleep mode.
  12. Win + X then press U then R: Similar to the Windows sleep shortcut, this keyboard key combination restarts your computer.
  13. F11: This is a very common keyboard shortcut for Windows which shifts your window to full screen. In cases where the F11 full-screen shortcut does not work, try Fn + F11. Just press the same key or key combo again to exit full-screen.
  14. F2: This is the shortcut key for rename. Given that you’ve already selected the folder that you wish to rename, pressing this keyboard key will automatically highlight the current folder name. Once it does that, you simply need to type the new folder name then hit Enter. What if the F2 shortcut doesn’t work? Try combining it with the function key so it goes like Fn + F2.
  15. Win + Ctrl + D: When pressed at the same time, this useful shortcut will create a new virtual desktop on your computer or laptop.
  16. Win + R then type control then hit Enter: The control panel shortcut key may involve a few steps, but it’s way quicker than using your mouse to access it via taskbar!

How to Open the Control Panel in Windows 10 Using a Mouse?

If you want to open the Control Panel using a mouse, you simply need to right-click on any empty area on your taskbar. Right-clicking should open your taskbar menu. From the menu, go to Toolbars, then select Desktop. You should now see the Desktop toolbar on the taskbar. Once you see it, simply click the double arrow right beside it. From the menu that appears, search for the Control Panel. Click it and done!

What to Do When Your Windows Keyboard Shortcuts Are Not Working

If the keyboard shortcuts on your computer aren't working, one thing you could do is inspect if any of your keyboard keys are broken. If that is the case, then it could be a keycap problem and can be easily resolved by replacing the broken keycap.

If your keyboard keys are working properly, you could try and run the keyboard troubleshooter to find and fix the problems related to your computer keyboard.

If you're using an external keyboard or wireless keyboard, check if it's properly connected. It could be that the problem lies in your external keyboard, and you may need to purchase a replacement.

Don’t Wait to Learn the Hard Way!

Taking time to learn the most common Windows keyboard shortcuts is beneficial in many ways. For one, it’s good for boosting productivity. Also, it will come in handy in unexpected situations. If your mouse malfunctions, then you can simply use keyboard shortcuts to perform basic computer commands.

More importantly, don’t wait until such a situation happens before you put in some effort to learn. If you do, you may have to experience learning things the hard way!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Kent Peligrino

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