Windows engineers compile their favorite Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts, including some new ones

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As we’re nearing the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, now is a good time to evaluate if you have already mastered all the Windows 10 secrets to become a skilled ninja cat. If you have yet to unlock the “Windows shortcuts Master” achievement, it’s ok: Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Senior Program Manager on the Windows Insider Program Team, has shared today a list of the team’s favorite Windows shortcuts and you will soon know if you have still some training to do.

There are nearly 40 Windows shortcuts in the list and some of them are not well known. More interestingly, there are even some new ones that will be introduced in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. You can find the full list below:

Note: [NEW] denotes a new keyboard shortcut introduced in 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 + : 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 + : 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 + : 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.

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.

We hope this list will help you to master some new tricks to become more productive on Windows 10, let us know in the comments if you use other lesser-known shortcuts that are not in the list.