The most common Windows keyboard shortcuts…

Windows keyboard shortcuts allow you to save a ton of time and steps when you are trying to work more efficiently with your files and applications in Windows. Knowing the correct combination of keys to press on the keyboard will allow you to quickly and easily copy, paste, close, or otherwise interact with your computer by just pressing a few buttons. With thousands of possible combinations, how are you to know which keys need to be pressed together to get the job done quickly and easily? Read on to see my list of common Windows keyboard shortcuts.

Common Windows keyboard shortcuts

I’ve compiled a list below of the most common Windows keyboard shortcuts that should help you with your daily Windows activities. Most of these shortcuts should work universally well in Windows itself as well as in specific programs like Word or Excel, so please read through the list of Windows keyboard shortcuts and if you have a question about one of the keyboard shortcuts, or, would like to know if a keyboard shortcut exists for a different command, e-mail me and I’ll be happy to help!


Keyboard Shortcut



Select all items in a document or window

Ctrl+C Copy the selected item
Ctrl+X Cut the selected item
Ctrl+V Paste the selected item
Ctrl+Z Undo an action
Ctrl+Y Redo an action
Delete Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin
Shift+Delete Delete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first
Ctrl+Right Arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word
Ctrl+Left Arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word
Ctrl+Down Arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
Ctrl+Up Arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
Ctrl+Shift with an arrow key Select a block of text
Shift with any arrow key Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document
F2 Rename the selected item
F3 Opens the Search window to search for a file or folder
F4 Display the address bar list in Windows Explorer
F5 Refreshes the active window
F6 Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop
F10 Activate the menu bar in the active program
Alt+F4 Close the active item, or exit the active program
Ctrl+F4 Closes the active document
Shift+F10 Display the shortcut menu for the selected item
Windows Key + Tab Cycles through open programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D task switcher
Windows Key + M Minimizes all open windows
Alt+Tab Switch between open items
Ctrl+Alt+Tab Opens task switcher window & allows use of the arrow keys to switch between open programs
Esc Cancels the current task
Alt+Esc Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened
Ctrl+Esc Open the Start menu
Ctrl+Shift+Esc Opens the Task Manager
Alt+underlined letter Display the corresponding menu
Alt+underlined letter Performs the menu command (or other underlined command)
Alt+Up Arrow View the folder one level up in Windows Explorer

A complete guide to all of the available windows keyboard shortcuts can be found directly from Microsoft’s Support page on Windows Keyboard Shortcuts.

More Windows keyboard shortcuts…

Do you have favorite windows keyboard shortcuts that you find invaluable to you? Do you use certain windows keyboard shortcuts everyday, and think other people might not know about it? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below so that other readers can learn from you as well!


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 By Jim Sabellico