Most users are familiar with using their computer with a keyboard and mouse. After all, this is the most intuitive method for most people. The mouse makes it easy to know what you’re pointing at, selecting, and clicking, so even first-timers don’t take too long to get the hang of it. But for proficient users, the keyboard can be a much more powerful tool, and it allows you to get things done faster. That’s why there are a ton of keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11 that help with exactly that, and we’ve compiled a list of them to help you out.
Keyboard shortcuts can do all kinds of things, whether that’s something as simple as copying text to taking a screenshot, opening your notifications, and more. Here are the ones you need to know.
Snap allows you to put two to four windows side by side, making it easier to compare documents or do two things at the same time. You can use Snap with these keyboard shortcuts:
- Windows Key + Left – snaps the current window to the left side of the screen
- Windows Key + Right – snaps the current window to the right side of the screen
- Windows Key + Alt + Up (Windows 11 only) – snaps the current window to the top half of the screen
- Windows Key + Alt + Down (Windows 11 only) – snaps the current window to the bottom half of the screen
You can also select a snapped window and press Windows Key + Up/Down to move it to your desired corner of the screen.
You can also use keyboard shortcuts to navigate the Windows 10 or 11 taskbar. Here are the ones you need to know:
- Windows Key + T – cycle through opened and pinned apps on the taskbar
- Windows Key + (number) – open the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the app is already running, pressing this shortcut will switch to that app.
- Windows Key + Shift + (number) – start a new instance of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number, even if one is already open
Keyboard shortcuts for dialog boxes
Some apps can generate dialog boxes, which can include menus, properties pages, and more. Depending on the complexity of the dialog box, you may be able to use a few keyboard shortcuts to navigate it.
- F4 or Spacebar– Display items in an active list.
- Arrow keys – Select a button in a group of buttons or option in a list.
- Spacebar – Select or deselect an active item if it’s a checkbox.
- Ctrl + Tab – Switch through different tabs (also works in web browsers)
- Ctrl + Shift + Tab – Switch backwards through tabs
- Tab – Move through options on the current page
- Shift + Tab – Move backward through the options on the current page.
- Alt + (letter) – Select the option with the corresponding underlined letter in its description.
This window management feature allows you to see all of your opened windows and browser tabs so you can quickly return to a specific program, document, or web page. This is particularly useful if you have multiple windows open at once.
You can access Task View by clicking on its button on the taskbar or using these keyboard shortcuts:
- Windows Key + Tab – opens the Task View interface with windows from your current desktop
- Alt + Tab – switches between open windows and browser tabs on all desktops
- Ctrl + Alt + Tab – functions similarly to Alt + Tab but the thumbnails stay on the screen even after you release all the keys
Other general keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11
There are tons of keyboard shortcuts for actions that can be useful in different parts of Windows 11 or in different apps. Whether you want to copy and paste text or files, refresh a page, and so on, here are some extra shortcuts you may find useful.
- Ctrl + A – Select all text or items in a document, page, or window.
- Ctrl + D – Delete the selected text or item(s).
- Ctrl + X – Cut the selected item or text.
- Ctrl + C – Copy the selected item or text.
- Ctrl + V – Paste copied or cut content from the clipboard.
- Ctrl + Z – Undo your last action.
- Ctrl + Y – Redo an undone action.
- F2 – Rename the selected file or folder.
- F4 – Display the address bar list in File Explorer.
- F5 or Ctrl + R – Refresh the active window or page (works in various apps, including web browsers).
- Ctrl + F5 – In some web browsers, this refreshes the active window by forcing the browser to reload files even if they’ve previously been cached. This can help if changes have been made to a page but you’re unable to see them in your browser.
- F6 – Cycle through screen elements of the active window or desktop.
- F10 – Activate the menu bar in the active window or app.
- Alt + F8 – Show your password on the Windows sign-in screen
- Alt + (letter) – When menus are being displayed, select the option with the corresponding underlined letter in the text.
- Alt + Spacebar – Open the shortcut menu for the active window.
- Shift + F10 – Open the shortcut/context menu for the selected item.
- Left arrow (in menus) – Move to the left on the menu, or close an open sub-menu.
- Right arrow (in menus) – Move to the right on the menu, or open a selected sub-menu.
- Ctrl + F4 – Close the open document or tab in apps that allow you to open multiple documents or tabs at once, such as web browsers.
- Ctrl + E – Open search (in some apps).
- Ctrl + Right arrow – Move the text cursor to the beginning of the next word.
- Ctrl + Left arrow – Move the text cursor to the beginning of the previous word.
- Ctrl + Up arrow – Move the text cursor up one paragraph.
- Ctrl + Down arrow – Move the text cursor down one paragraph.
- Alt + Shift + (arrow key) – When focus is set to a pinned app in the Start menu, move the pinned app in the direction of the arrow.
- Shift + (arrow key) – In a document, select text starting from the position of the text cursor.
- Left arrow – Select the previous character. Right arrow deselects the last selected text.
- Right arrow – Select the next character. Left arrow deselects the last selected text.
- Up arrow – Select the previous line. Down arrow deselects the last selected line.
- Down arrow – Select the next line. Up arrow deselects the last selected line.
- Ctrl + Shift + (arrow key) – In a document, select a block of text starting from the position of the cursor:
- Left arrow – Select the previous word. Right arrow deselects the last selected text.
- Right arrow – Select the next word. Left arrow deselects the last selected text.
- Up arrow – Select the previous paragraph. Down arrow deselects the last selected paragraph.
- Down arrow – Select the next paragraph. Up arrow deselects the last selected paragraph.
- Esc – Stop or leave an ongoing task (use varies by app).
Don't take your keyboard and its shortcuts for granted! If you’re looking for more time-saving technology tips or have any questions about how Windows 10 or 11 can help streamline your operations, just give us a call.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and Training, Unified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.