Windows 10 Shortcuts

A new focus on the desktop brings new keyboard shortcuts for desktop users, so rejoice! Here are all the new keyboard shortcuts you need to know in Windows 10. Windows 10 has a bunch of new features that bring new keyboard shortcuts along with them.

From window management with Snap and Task View to virtual desktops and the Command Prompt, there are lots of new goodies for keyboard users in Windows 10. Here’s a list of the best keyboard shortcuts to know to make your time with Windows 10 more efficient.

With Windows 10, Microsoft has added a ton of new keyboard shortcuts to give you easier access to the new Action Center, Cortana, Task View, and virtual desktops. So much so, in fact, that Microsoft recently released a handy-dandy Word document with Windows 10’s Windows key shortcuts to aid in your study.

Windows 10 Shortcuts

Windows 10 Newest Shortcuts

  • Windows key + A: Open the Action Center
  • Windows key + C: Launch Cortana in listening mode (for voice commands)
  • Windows key + I: Open the Settings app
  • Windows key + S: Launch Cortana
  • Windows key + Tab: Open Task View
  • Windows key + Ctrl + D: Create a new virtual desktop
  • Windows key + Ctrl + F4: Close the current desktop
  • Windows key + Ctrl + left or right arrow: switch between virtual desktops

Window Snapping

Windows 10 offers improved support for Snap — known as “Aero Snap” on Windows 7. You can now snap windows vertically — one on top of each other, instead of side-by-side — or snap windows to a 2×2 grid.

  • Windows Key + Left – Snap current window to the left side of the screen.
  • Windows Key + Right – Snap current window the the right side of the screen.
  • Windows Key + Up – Snap current window to the top of the screen.
  • Windows Key + Down – Snap current window to the bottom of the screen.

Combine these shortcuts to snap into a corner — for example, Windows Key + Left and then Windows Key + Up would snap a window into the top-left quadrant of the screen. The first two keyboard shortcuts aren’t new, but the way they work with the 2×2 snapping feature is.

You can also use the mouse — drag and drop a window to the left or right edges of your screen, or drag and drop them into one of the four corners to snap into quadrants.

Task View / Window Management

The Task View is a new interface that combined an Exposé-like window switching and virtual desktops — an awful lot like Mission Control on Mac OS X. In addition to clicking the “Task View” button on the taskbar to open it, you can use these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows Key + Tab – This opens the new Task View interface, and it stays open — you can release the keys. Only windows from your current virtual desktop will appear in the Task View list, and you can use the virtual desktop switcher at the bottom of the screen to switch between virtual desktops.
  • Alt + Tab – This isn’t a new keyboard shortcut, and it works just like you’d expect it to. Pressing Alt+Tab lets you switch between your open Windows. Tap Tab again to flip between windows and release the keys to select a window. Alt+Tab now uses the new Task View-style larger thumbnails. Unlike Windows Key + Tab, Alt + Tab lets you switch between open windows on all virtual desktops.
Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

Virtual Desktops

There are also some keyboard shortcuts for quickly managing virtual desktops.

  • Windows Key + Ctrl + D – Create a new virtual desktop and switch to it.
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + F4 – Close the current virtual desktop.
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + Left / Right – Switch to the virtual desktop on the left or right.

Sadly, there’s not yet a key combination that will move the current window between virtual desktops. How about Windows Key + Shift + Ctrl + Left / Right — please, Microsoft?

Command Prompt

The new Command Prompt keyboard shortcuts may not be enabled by default, so be sure to open the Command Prompt’s properties window and enable them first.

Copying and Pasting Text / Ctrl Key Shortcuts

  • Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert – Copies the selected text to the clipboard.
  • Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert – Pastes text at the cursor.
  • Ctrl + A – Select all text in the current line if the line contains text. If it’s an empty line, select all text in the Command Prompt.

Selecting Text / Shift Key Shortcuts: Many of the standard Shift key shortcuts for text editing now finally work in the Command Prompt! These include:

  • Shift + Left / Right / Up / Down – Moves the cursor left a character, right a character, up a line, or down a line, selecting the text along the way. Continue pressing arrow keys to select more text.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Left / Right – Moves the cursor one word to the left or right, selecting that word along the way.
  • Shift + Home / End – Moves the cursor to the beginning or end of the current line, selecting text along the way.
  • Shift + Page Up / Page Down – Moves the cursor up or down a screen, selecting text.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Home / End – Moves the cursor to the beginning or end of the “screen buffer,” selecting all text between the cursor and the beginning or end of the Command Prompt’s output.
Windows 10 Command Prompt Shortcuts

More Windows 10 Shortcut Keys

  • Ctrl + Up / Down – Moves one line up or down in the Command Prompt’s history — it’s like using the scroll bar.
  • Ctrl + Page Up / Page Down – Moves one page up or down in the Command Prompt’s history — it’s like scrolling even farther.
  • Ctrl + M – Enter “mark mode,” which helps for selecting text. Previously, the only way to do this was by right-clicking in the Command Prompt and selecting Mark. Thanks to the new Shift key shortcuts, this mode is no longer as important.
  • Ctrl + F – Opens a Find dialog for searching the Command Prompt’s output.
  • Alt + F4 – Closes the Command Prompt window.

Finding your way around

Besides all the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts, there are plenty of old classics that have survived successive versions of the operating system and are still going strong. Here are the combinations you’re going to need to navigate around the interface.

  • Windows Key + , — temporarily hide apps to briefly show the desktop.
  • Windows Key + D — minimize apps to go straight to the desktop.
  • Ctrl + Shift + M — restore all minimized windows to full-size (useful after a Win + D)
  • Windows Key + Home — minimize all windows except the one you’re actively using
  • Windows Key + L — lock your PC and go to the lock screen.
  • Windows Key + E — launch File Explorer (aka Windows Explorer).
  • Alt + Up — go up one level in File Explorer.
  • Alt + Left — go to the previous folder in File Explorer.
  • Alt + Right — go to the next folder in File Explorer.
  • Alt + Tab — switch between windows. (Hold down Alt while tapping Tab to pick visually).
  • Alt + F4 — close the current window.
  • Windows Key + Shift + Left (or Right) — move a window to your next monitor.
  • Windows Key + T — cycle through taskbar items (hit Enter to launch).
  • Windows Key + Any Number Key — open the app pinned to the taskbar in the numbered position.

Microsoft will hopefully add even more keyboard shortcuts as they continue developing Windows 10. For now, the new keyboard shortcuts are very useful — especially to Command Prompt users!