As with previous Windows versions, Win10 offers dozens of keyboard shortcuts to speed up your daily computing tasks — and some familiar shortcuts from previous versions have been reassigned in the new OS.
Some Windows users pride themselves on the number of keyboard shortcuts they’ve memorized. But most of us need a bit of help; here’s an A-through-X cheat sheet of useful Win 10 shortcuts.
For Win8 users, we’ll help with the transition to Win10 by pointing out shortcuts that have been reassigned, added, or deleted in the new OS.
And if you haven’t upgraded to Win10 just yet, you can review the common keyboard shortcuts for Win7 and Win 8 in the June 5, 2014, Top Story.
Master of the keyboard: The Windows-logo key
Arguably the most powerful key on the Windows keyboard is the one with the Windows logo embossed on it — commonly referred to as the Winkey. As you’ll see below, combining that key with another lets you do many useful things. (Note: Most of the following are simple two-key combos; unless specifically shown, they’re not Winkey + Shift + [letter].)
- Winkey + A – Opens the Action Center, giving quick access to the Windows Notification bar. (It’s new to Win10.)
- Winkey + B – Sets focus on the Show hidden icons icon in the taskbar. (In Win8, this combo switched to the Desktop from the Metro Start Screen.)
- Winkey + C – Opens Cortana in listening mode, if you have Microsoft’s AI assistant enabled. (Previously, this opened Win8’s Charms menu.)
- Winkey + D – Displays and hides all open applications on the desktop. (In Win8, this combo toggled between Desktop and Start screen.)
- Winkey + E – Opens File Explorer — as it has in previous Windows versions.
- Winkey + H – Opens the Share charm. (I bet you didn’t know that Win10 has remnants of the Win8 charms bar.)
- Winkey + I – Opens the Settings panel.
- Winkey + K – Opens the wireless connection panel to quickly connect to wireless devices such as printers, Bluetooth, mice, keyboards, and others.)
- Winkey + L – Locks the PC and returns you to the sign-in screen; it’s also a quick way to switch accounts.
- Winkey + M – Minimizes all open windows.
- Winkey + Shift + M – Restores minimized windows on desktop.
- Winkey + O – Locks device orientation on tablets and some laptops.
- Winkey + P – Offers quick access to Project mode, letting you choose a presentation mode for projectors or second monitors.
- Winkey + R – Opens the Run dialog box. If you type “cmd” there, you’ll open a command-prompt window. (Win10 has new commands; more on that below.)
- Winkey + S – Opens the search-bar window, where you can change search settings and enable/disable Cortana. If location services are switched on, items such as nearby restaurants, movie times, and other local events will appear. (This is new in Win10.)
- Winkey + T – Cycles through apps on the taskbar, starting with the left-most app.
- Winkey + U – Opens the Ease of Access Center; if your sound is on, you’ll hear an audible assistant (Narrator) introduce available functions. Otherwise, just click your selection.
- Winkey + V – Cycles through notifications if you have any pending; if none, this combo does nothing.
- Winkey + X – Opens the Quick Link menu in the lower-left corner of the desktop. (This menu can also be opened by right-clicking the Start button.)
Other Winkey shortcuts for editing/navigation
Some of Win10’s new features have accompanying key combos. For example:
Winkey + Tab opens Task view, which displays large thumbnails of all open applications. Alt + Tab performs a similar function.