Favorite keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10 from our engineers
We asked our engineers on the team to share some of their favorite (and lesser-known) keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10. Here is the list!
Note: [NEW] denotes a new keyboard shortcut introduced in the the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
Quick access to basic system functions:
- Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Opens Task Manager.
- WIN + F: Opens the Feedback Hub with a screenshot attached to your feedback.
- WIN + I: Opens the Settings app.
- WIN + L: Will lock your PC.
- WIN + X: Opens a context menu of useful advanced features.
- WIN + X and A: Opens Command Prompt with administrative rights.
- WIN + X and P: Opens Control Panel.
- WIN + X and M: Opens Device Manager.
- WIN + X and U then S: Puts your PC to sleep.
- WIN + Down: Minimizes an app.
- WIN + Up: Maximizes an app.
Capturing what’s on your screen:
- Alt + PrtScrn: Takes a screenshot of open window and copies to your clipboard.
- WIN + PrtScrn: Takes a screenshot of your entire desktop and saves it into a Screenshots folder under Photos in your user profile.
- WIN + Alt + R: Start/stop recording your apps & games.
Mastering File Explorer:
- Alt + D in File Explorer or browser: Puts you in the address bar.
- F2 on a file: Renames the file.
- Shift + Right-click in File Explorer: Will give you option to launch Command Prompt with whatever folder you are in as the starting path.
- Shift + Right-click on a file: “Copy as path” is added to the context menu.
For the taskbar:
- WIN + <number>: Opens whatever icon (app) is in that position on the taskbar.
- [NEW] WIN + Alt + D: Opens date and time flyout on the taskbar.
- WIN + S: Search for apps and files. Just type the app name (partially) or executable name (if you know it) and press Enter. Or Ctrl + Shift+ Enter if you need this elevated.
- WIN + Shift + <number>: Opens a new window of whatever icon (app) is in that position on the taskbar (as will Shift + Click on the icon).
- WIN + Shift + Ctrl + <number>: Opens a new window of whatever icon (app) is in that position on the taskbar with administrative rights.
Remote Desktop and Virtual Desktop:
- CTRL + ALT + Left Arrow: VM change keyboard focus back to host.
- CTRL + ALT + HOME: Remote Desktop change keyboard focus back to host.
For example, in a VM, CTRL + ALT + Left Arrow then ALT + TAB lets you get focus back and switch to an app on your dev machine besides the VM.
- [NEW] WIN + Shift + C: Opens Cortana to listen to an inquiry.
Other neat keyboard shortcuts:
- Alt + X in WordPad: Using on a selected character or word in WordPad will show/hides the Unicode.
- Alt + Y on a UAC prompt: Automatically chooses yes and dismisses the prompt.
- Ctrl + mouse scroll-wheel: Scrolling will zoom and un-zoom many things across the OS. Middle clicking on the mouse scroll-wheel will dismiss tabs, open windows in taskbar, and notifications from the Action Center (new).
- Shift + F10: Will open the context menu for whatever is in focus.
Here are some useful keyboard shortcuts on Surface devices:
- Fn + Left arrow: Home
- Fn + Right arrow: End
- Fn + Up arrow: Page Up
- Fn + Down arrow: Page Down
- Fn + Del: Increases screen brightness.
- Fn + Backspace: Decreases screen brightness.
- Fn + Spacebar: Takes a screenshot of the entire screen or screens and puts it into your clipboard.
- Fn + Alt + Spacebar: Takes a screenshot of an active window and puts it into your clipboard.
For more keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 – click here.
Know of other lesser-known shortcuts that are not in the list above? Let us know.