Windows Shortcuts That Will Make You More Productive
If you're a Windows user, you're in luck. We've uncovered a number of quick, easy and efficient shortcuts that, with just a few quick clicks on the keyboard, will save you time.
Whether it's a simple Shift + Delete to move items to the trash or Windows key + Ctrl + D to create new virtual desktops, these Windows shortcuts will help make you more productive.
Open and navigate the start menu quickly
There's an efficient way to open, close and navigate the start menu on your Windows computer. Opening the start menu is simple -- you can either click the Windows key or hit Ctrl + Esc.
While the regular start menu gives you access to your most used programs, settings and power options, Windows also has a "secret" start menu, which expands beyond the regular menu to include even more features and functions such as the task manager, control panel, command prompt, disk management, network connections, system and more. To quickly get to the secret start menu, hit the Windows key + X.
To quickly navigate through your apps on the taskbar, which also included any of your pinned and most-used apps, hit Windows key + T. You can also easily jump right to any pinned apps, which are in certain number positions on your taskbar by clicking the Windows key + the number.
Switch between and open and close apps
Declutter your screen
Here's an oldie but a goodie. Whether you want to show your screen or hide it, Windows key + D will do the trick.
Sometimes you have tons of apps and websites open on your computer, and it can be tedious maneuvering through them all. To minimize all open windows on your desktop, hit the Windows key + M. To undo this and restore those minimized windows, hit the Windows key + Shift + M. To help you focus and pull up just that window that you need, there's also a way to minimize all the windows except for one you've selected or the one you're currently working on. To do so, click the Windows key + Home.
Also, to maximize a selected window, hit the Windows key + Up arrow and to minimize a selected window, hit the Windows key + Down arrow.
So, you now know how to quickly open, close, minimize and maximize windows, now it's time to learn even more shortcuts when it comes to minimizing and maximizing windows. You can maximize an active window vertically, while maintaining its width by hitting the Windows key + Shift + Up arrow. To move an active window to the left or right sides of your computer screen, click the Windows key + Left arrow or Right arrow.
Add a virtual desktop
Navigating virtual desktops
To move between your virtual desktops, just hit Windows key + Ctrl + Left arrow or Right arrow. (Note: if you've got 100 virtual desktops open, there's no way to jump from 1 to 100 without scrolling through all of them).
To move a window from one virtual desktop to another, Right Click the window, hit Move and choose the desktop you want to move the window to.
To close a virtual desktop, go to the one you wish to close and hit the Windows key + Ctrl + F4.
Open the Action Center
Customize your notifications
To customize the notifications that you want to receive in your action center, go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Quick actions. There you can choose the top four "quick actions" you want to receive, and put them above the break. Then, you will only see the entire list of quick actions when you hit "expand."
Now, to choose what notifications you receive, go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions and you can check which notifications to hide, which notifications to receive when your device is locked (alarms, events, etc.) and customize them even further under the "Get notifications from these senders."
Navigate File Explorer
To quickly open your File Explorer, hit the Windows key + E.
Once you're inside File Explorer, there are a number of efficient and simple shortcuts. To open a new window in File Explorer, hit Ctrl + N, and to create a new folder the shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + N. To move around, click Alt + Up to move up a folder or Alt + Right arrow or Left arrow to move forward and backward.
To open the properties window of a certain file or folder, click Alt + Enter.
Take and save screenshots
Zooming in and out
The need-to-know basics
To brush up on some other basics, here are a few important shortcuts you need to know (if you don't already):
To copy a selected item, hit Ctrl + C.
To paste, hit Ctrl + V.
To select all items in a window, hit Ctrl + A.
To cut a selected item, hit Ctrl + X.
To undo an action, hit Ctrl + Z.
To redo an action, hit Ctrl + Y.
To open a new window, hit Ctrl + N.
To permanently delete an item, hit Shift + Delete.
To lock your computer, hit Windows key + L.