Keyboard shortcuts are strange things. They seem complicated and difficult to remember, but once you use one, you seem to never forget it. And you’ll use it forever. That’s what I’ve discovered, anyway. In my day to day routine, I use keyboard shortcuts all the time. They make life faster. Just the way they’re supposed to.
I definitely have a few favorites. Copy and paste are two of them. If I’m in the mood, I’ll throw cut into the mix. There are others, which I’ll get to below. For now, I’d like to tell you why I’m writing this post.
Years and years ago, I worked for a cluster of radio stations in New York. The office my cube was in was inhabited by radio sales people. If you’ve ever seen sales people try to operate computers, you’ll most likely agree that they need some help in that department. I can remember, as clear as day, one guy I was friendly with double-clicking on every single link he ever tried to access. I continuously told him that he didn’t need to double-click and that a single click was fine. Nevertheless, he would double click all day long.
During my tenure at the stations, I came to realize how little the average user actually knew about how to operate a computer. I was asked, on a daily basis, how to print things, how to operate Microsoft Word, how to use email and about many other things. For me, these tasks were simple – for them, they’d spend hours trying to figure things out.
Keyboard shortcuts are perceived as operations best left for more advanced users. I’m not sure why this is. As I mentioned above, they’re fast and easy. Everyone should use them and if they did, they’d probably wonder why they ever feared them in the first place. Trust me when I say this – the regular red-blooded American knows very little about the computer in front of them, which is a shame because Microsoft has made things more simple and more intuitive than ever.
In today’s post, I’ll cover some very simple keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10. I’ll give you the shortcut and next to it, I’ll tell you what it does. Since I’m not going to tell you everything, I’ll share a link to Microsoft’s page that lists the entire array. On that page, you can even go back in time to access the shortcuts for previous versions of Windows.
Before I get to the shortcuts, I figured I’d show you which keys are used for the lion’s share of them. Although there is Shift, the function keys and others, you’ll primarily use the Ctrl, Alt and Windows keys for most shortcuts. I’ve circled them on the keyboard below.
Image courtesy of Steam Powered.
My Favorite Windows Keyboard Shortcuts
Below is a list of the shortcuts I’ve come to rely on through the years. If you have particular favorites that you’d like to share, please add them in the comment section below. Also, please remember that many of these shortcuts work in other applications, such as Photoshop, so I’d suggest you give them a try there too.
Ctrl+X – Cut the selected item
Ctrl+C – Copy the selected item
Ctrl+V – Paste the selected item
Ctrl+Z – Undo an action
Windows+L – Lock your PC
F5 – Refresh the active window
Alt+Page Up – Move up one screen
Alt+Page Down – Move down one screen
Ctrl+A – Select all items in a document or window
Ctrl+D – Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin
Ctrl+Y – Redo an action
Windows Key Shortcuts
Windows – Open or close Start
Windows+A – Open Action center
Windows+D – Display and hide the desktop
Windows+E – Open File Explorer
Windows+I – Open Settings
Windows+Tab – Open Task view
Windows+Ctrl+D – Add a virtual desktop
Windows+Ctrl+Right arrow – Switch between virtual desktops on the right
Windows+Ctrl+Left arrow – Switch between virtual desktops on the left
Windows+Ctrl+F4 – Close the virtual desktop you’re using
The Full List
It’s funny. As I was writing the list above, I realized that I use many more shortcuts than I remembered. By far, the ones I use the most are displayed at the top, but the others are just as handy. If you’re interested in seeing the full list of keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10, along with previous versions of Windows, click here. It’s the mother lode.