Hey, welcome back to another Windows 10 Shots blog post. I hope you read my last post, Windows 10 Shots – Cortana.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, with most shots, after about a handful things will start to get a little hazy. But, with Windows 10 Shots (this new series of posts), the hope would be that the opposite would happen. That clarity and insight into the highly anticipated release would free your mind to great new features and power of Windows 10.
I have worked with a lot of Windows users over the years, and one thing I have noticed is that there are users who love to use the mouse and there are users who love to use the keyboard. Sure there are those in the middle, and I actually prefer to use the mouse most of the time, but you have to admit, when you watch someone who has the keyboard down to a science, windows, screens, emails, etc. are flashing all of the screen like a firework show. It can be confusing to those watching, but for the person who has become proficient with the keyboard, productivity is the name of the game.
So, I have decided to create a series of posts dedicated to those who love to wield the keyboard like a sword and chop up all work or play tasks that dare to stand in their way. The first post, which will be todays set of keyboard shortcuts, will focus on General Windows 10 (with a bonus of Action Center). While current and future posts will include the following:
- General Windows 10
- Virtual Desktops
- Microsoft Edge (The Windows 10 magical internet surfing application)
- Game Bar
I will attempt to keep this short by explaining as quickly as I can: the shortcut we are going to use, what it does and a quick description with an occasional screen shot to drive it home. That being said, the General Window 10 and Microsoft Edge posts will have more content. So, let’s get typing…
General Windows 10
Here is a list of general Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts. From opening various windows to moving them around to one screen or multiple screens, you can use most of these shortcuts to get it done.
Action – Start Menu
Shortcut Key – Windows Key
Description: This brings up the well-known Windows Start Menu. This can show up in two flavors with Windows 10, default and full screen.
Action – Start Menu Context Menu
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + X
Description: Windows has a content menu for the Start Menu that has quick access into a number of Windows features.
Action – Previous Window
Shortcut Key – Alt + Tab
Description: This shortcut will bring the last window (if any) to the foreground. Holding Alt down while pressing Tab will cycle through all the applications for you to choose. Simply tab to the application you would like to bring to the top and let go of the keys.
Action – Close Current Window
Shortcut Key – Alt + F4
Description: This will close the current active window.
Action – Cycle Apps on Task Bar
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + T
Description: Cycle through the application on your task bar. You will only see a thumbnail for currently open applications.
Action – Move Current Window to Monitor
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + Shift + [Left][Right]
Description: Move the active window to a monitor on the left or right. If there aren’t any other monitors, it won’t move the window. The application will cycle left/right on the monitors. Once it hits the end, it will snap to the furthest monitor in the other direction.
Action – File Explorer
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + E
Description: This shortcut opens a new instance of a Windows File Explorer window.
Action – Launch Task View
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + Tab
Description: Windows 10 now contains a new view called, Task View. Here you will see all your desktops and applications currently running. You can setup Windows to show only the applications that are on the currently selected desktop, or all the applications running across all desktops.
Action – Windows Lock
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + L
Description: When you leave your computer unattended, usually you will want to lock it so that nobody can use your account. This shortcut will allow you to lock the machine so you don’t have to worry about others tampering with it.
Action – Peek at Desktop
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + ,
Description: Do you have files on your desktop, or want to see that beautiful background you have? Look no further, try this shortcut sequence.
Action – Settings
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + I
Description: Bring up the main Windows Settings screen to adjust Windows to make it work best for you.
Action – Desktop
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + D
Description: Using this keyboard shortcut, you can hide all your windows and go directly to the desktop. Perfect for when you want to clean up the desktop instantly. Hit the combination again, and restore all your applications.
Action – Task Manager
Shortcut Key – CTRL + Shift + Esc
Description: Is your system running slow? Wondering why things are taking so long to load? Well, check out the Task Manager and see how much memory you are using, or what application is using all your CPU.
Action – Command Prompt
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + R
Description: Need to pull out your old school skills and run command line tools, etc.? Well, this shortcut will get you there fast. Just hit Enter.
Action – Zoom In
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + Plus Sign
Description: Eye’s going bad? Or trying to show something on a projector? Need it a little bigger? Well, Windows 10 has an answer for that, Zoom! Look Familiar?
Action – Zoom Out
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + Minus Sign
Description: Oop’s, zoomed a little too much using the last Shortcut? Simply zoom out using this keyboard shortcut.
Action – Project Screen
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + P
Description: So, you want to project your awesome presentation or work on multiple monitors? Well, by using this shortcut, you have the option of displaying your content on your PC screen only, Duplicate your PC Screen, Extend your desktop or just display out to another screen, like a projector.
Action – Quick Connect
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + K
Description: Do you want to quickly connect to a wireless device? Try this combo out.
Action – Share
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + H
Description: Maybe you want share your screen with someone quickly. Hitting this key combination will allow you to share a screen shot with compatible sharing applications.
Also, if you are in an application that supports Windows 10 sharing, you will get the opportunity to share the content with other share applications. For example, say you are Microsoft Edge and you want to share a webpage you are viewing.
Action – Windows Feedback
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + Shift + ?
Description: Love something about Windows 10 and want to share it with Microsoft? What about something you think should be better? Well, this keyboard shortcut will open the Windows Feedback application so you can share your thoughts?
Action – Screenshot
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + Print Screen
Description: Something on your screen that you want to share later or keep in your files to access later? This shortcut will take a screen shot and save it to a folder, Screenshots, under your user account.
Action – Switch to Desktop, Minimize All Apps
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + M
Description: Want to clean up the desktop by just minimizing all your open apps and go directly to your desktop? This keyboard is similar to the Windows Key + D shortcut, but doesn’t allow you to hit the combination again to reverse the effect.
Once of the new features in Windows 10 is the Action Center. It is a place to quickly see any notifications that you might have missed along with the ability to act on them. For example, notifications from Email, Twitter, Facebook, System Updates, Xbox, etc. will all show up here.
Also, the action center allows you to manage some of the actions that are common on your device, such as, Wi-Fi, Battery, Airplane Mode, Tablet Mode, Bluetooth, Quiet Hours, etc. You can even access All or settings or create a Note.
Here is an example of my Action Center and the shortcuts you can use to get to your Action Center using your keyboard.
Action – Open Action Center
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + A
Description: Open the Action Center to the right of your main screen. Hit the sequence again and it will close the action center.
Action – Cycle Notifications
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + V
Description: This key combo lets you cycle thru your notifications.
Action – Set Focus on Notification Area
Shortcut Key – Windows Key + B
Description: This allows you to set focus to the Notification Area.
So, all you keyboard crazies out there, I hope this post helps you by identifying the many (but not all) of the keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 so that you can blaze a path of productivity using the most productive operating system in the world, Windows 10.
Be sure to look for the next post in this series, Windows 10 Shots – Virtual Desktop Keyboard Shortcuts.
Well, I tried to keep it short and simple like a good shot but like always, I seem to go a little long. I promise, the next few posts will be smaller, keeping to the “shot” analogy.
If you liked this post, please share it with others and don’t forget to come back for a new feature focused Windows 10 Shot. Because remember, just like drinking, “1 shot”, probably won’t affect someone, but multiple shots, well, that changes everything.
BONUS: If you are a software developer, be on the lookout for a blog post coming soon that will show you how to integrate Cortana into your application.