The Best Window 10 Keyboard Shortcuts and Hotkey Commands

The best Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts can save you time, and every Windows laptop is capable of these mighty mini-hacks. Windows 10 has a long list of keyboard shortcuts that help you launch Cortana, navigate around the OS, and organize your desktop layout with ease, among other things. And while you might already know how to create keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10, you may be surprised to find some new tricks below. 

Cortana shortcuts

Windows + Q: Opens Cortana’s Home View, enables search by speech or keyboard input.

Windows + C: Opens Cortana’s speech prompt

Windows 10 desktop

Windows Key + A: Opens Windows 10 notifications

Windows Key + I: Opens Windows 10 settings

Windows Key + Ctrl + D: Creates new virtual desktop

Windows Key + Ctrl + F4: Closes current virtual desktop

Windows Key + Ctrl + Left or Right: Switches between virtual desktops

Windows Key + F1: Opens Edge and Searches “How do I get help in Windows 10” with Bing (formerly opens Help)

Windows Key + Print Screen Key: Creates a screenshot of the whole screen in the Photos app. 

Windows standards

Windows Key: Shows the Windows 10 Start Menu 

Windows Key + L: Locks your Windows 10 device

Windows Key + Tab: Launches Windows 10 Task View

Windows Key + Enter: Opens Narrator, a program that reads text for you and shows you tips.

Desktop commands

Windows Key + X: Opens Start button context menu

Windows Key + Left, Right, Up or Down: Moves the active window around on your screen. Left and Right snap the window to either side so it takes up half of the screen, Up and Down shrink the window to a quarter-size and move it to that corner. Once you have used Windows Key + Up to place it in the top corner, pressing that command again makes the window take up your whole screen. If you have hit Windows Key + Down to place a window in the bottom corner, hitting that command again minimizes the window.

Windows Key + D: Show Windows desktop (also available with Windows Key + M)

Windows Key + ,: Temporarily show desktop

Connecting and sharing

Windows Key + H: Share content (if supported by current app)

Windows Key + K: Connect to wireless displays and audio devices 

Windows Key + E: Open Windows Explorer

Traditional keyboard shortcuts

Windows Key + Space: Switch keyboard input language (if you have added at least a second one)

Windows Key + Shift + Left or Right: Move current Window from one monitor to another (when using a multiple monitor setup)

Windows Key + 1, 2, 3 and so on: Open programs that are pinned to task bar

Windows Key + R: Run a command

Windows Key + P: Project a screen

Alt + Tab: Switch to previous window

Windows Key + T = Cycle through screenshots of open apps

Alt + F4: Close current window, but if you perform this combination when viewing the desktop, you open Power dialogue to shut down or restart Windows, put your device in sleep mode, sign out or switch the current user.

Windows 10 basics

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