Windows Shortcuts




Do you remember the days of the big old mainframe PC’s? Clumsy in appearance, no Windows to be seen, a crank to wind them up, slower than a 386, but they worked!

No bugs...

No Mice...

No Windows...

And better still, No Bill Gates!


With 20+ years computing experience and lived through Bill Gates being a nobody to an icon that everyone worldwide despises, or has him pinned to their dartboard. Stop and think, if we arranged to have him executed, where would it leave us? We would be jobless, homeless and have nothing to talk about.


I was a well-established ‘anorak’ (as we're better known), when Windows was first launched. I must say it terrified me!  “A mouse” I said, being a woman, thought I had to live with a mouse next to me. Starting my career, when cavemen were still roaming wild, being a touch typist, it took me a long time to get used to clicking here, clicking there. But now, we’re in an age, where each and every one of us, can’t live without this little rodent. Or can we?


Some say it’s the long way round, using keyboard shortcuts, but I think it’s a girly thing. We like to keep our hands on the home keys!


Have you tried using shortcuts?  It's a more efficient way to use your applications. Some will disagree, as it is my opinion and my opinion only, but why move your hand off the keyboard, when you don't need to?





Minimize or restore all windows

[Windows key] + [D]

Minimize all open windows

[Windows key] + [M]

Undo minimize all windows

[Shift] + [windows key] + + [M]

Cycle through button on the taskbar

[Windows key] + [tab]

Open an item’s context menu

[Application key]

Display ‘find all files and folders’

[Windows key] + [F]

Display ‘find computer’

[Ctrl] + [windows key] + [F]

Display help

[Windows key] + [F1]

Display the run command

[Windows key] + [R]

Display the start menu

[Windows key]

Display system properties dialog box

[Windows key] + [Pause]

Display windows explorer

[Windows key] + [E]



Dialog Box


Move forward through tabs

[Ctrl} + [Tab]

Move backward through tabs

[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Tab]

In a ‘save as or open’ dialog box, move up one folder


In a ‘save as or open’ dialog box, open save in or look in


Refresh the ‘save as or open’ dialog box


Display Help on a selected dialog box item


Cancel the current task


Click on a highlighted button

[Spacebar] or [Enter]

Select or clear a highlighted check box


Click on a highlighted option


Move forward through options


Move backward through options

[Shift] + [Tab]



Desktop, My Computer, Explorer


Copy a file

[Ctrl] while dragging a file

Create a shortcut

[Ctrl] + [Shift] while dragging a file

Refresh a window's content


Skip autoplay when inserting cd

[Shift] while inserting cd

Open 'find all files'


View an item's properties

[Alt] + [Enter] or [Alt] + double click

Delete an item, bypassing recycle bin

[Shift] + [Delete]

Rename an item


Select all items

[Ctrl] + [A]





Switch mouse keys on and off

[Left Alt] + [Left Shift] + [Num Lock]

Switch sticky keys on and off

[Shift] five times

Switch toggle key on and off

[Num Lock] for five seconds

Switch filter keys on and off

[Right Shift] for eight seconds

Switch contrast on and off

[Left Alt] + [Left Shift] + [Print Screen]






[Ctrl] + [V] or [Shift] + [Insert]

Go to the top of the document

[Ctrl] + [Home]

Go to the end of the document

[Ctrl + [End]


[Ctrl] + [Z] or [Alt] + [Backspace]


[Ctrl] + [X] or [Shift] + [Del]


[Ctrl] + [C] or [Ctrl] + [Insert]



My Computer and Explorer


Move forward to a previous view

[Alt] + [Right Arrow]

View the folder one level up


Close the selected folder and all parent folders

[Shift] while clicking on close

Move backward to a preview view

[Alt] + [Left Arrow]



Windows Explorer


Expand current selection, when collapsed

[Right Arrow]

Select first subfolder

[Right Arrow]

Expand all folders below selection

[Num Loc] + [*]

Switch between left and right pane


Collapse current selection

[Left Arrow]

Select parent folder

[Left Arrow]

Collapse selected folder

[Num Lock] + [-]



General Hints


Activate the menu bar in application


Close active program or window

[Alt] + [F4]

Display current window's system menu

[Alt] + [Spacebar]

Minimize active window

[Alt] + [Spacebar] + [N]

Maximize active window

[Alt] + [Spacebar] + [X]

Restore active window

[Alt] + [Spacebar] + [R]

Open a selected file or application

[Ctrl] + [Enter]

Display close program dialog box

[Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Del]

Close active window

[Alt] + [Spacebar] + [C]

Display start menu

[Ctrl] + [Esc]

Display system menu for MDI programs

[Alt] + [-]

Display properties for selected item

[Alt] + [Enter]

Minimize all windows

[Alt] + [M]

Cycle through taskbar programs or windows

[Alt] + [Esc]

Use task switches

[Alt] + [Tab]