36 hotkeys that work on Windows, to help increase productivity [Tip]

With lots of keyboard shortcuts on Windows, it’s usually hard for anyone to remember even half of them. Today we are taking our time to provide you with a list of 36 hotkeys which will definitely help you. It will especially help people who work with their computer daily or spend an enormous amount of time typing or using the keyboard (aka everyone). Using different combinations of shortcut keys not only makes your work easier but increases productivity and efficiency.

That said, here we go…


Most all of the hotkeys listed here work on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. However, some hotkeys only work on later versions on Windows (e.g. Windows 7 or Windows 8) because the features triggered by those hotkeys are not found in earlier versions of Windows.

36 Windows Hotkeys

CTRL hotkeys

  • CTRL + A : Select all Text
  • CTRL + C : Copy Text/File
  • CTRL + V : Paste Text/File
  • CTRL + X : Cut Text/File
  • CTRL + Z : Undo last action
  • CTRL + Y : Redo last action
  • CTRL + O : Open a folder/file
  • CTRL + P : Prints the Screen
  • CTRL + S : Save a file/webpage
  • CTRL + F or only F3 : Open Search/Find Box
  • CTRL + Shift + ESC : Opens the task manager so you don’t need to press ctrl + alt + del to open it
  • CTRL + Shift + N : Creates a new folder

Windows key hotkeys

  • Win + D : Shows your desktop
  • Win + 1,2,3… etc : Launches programs in your taskbar in the position specified by the number


  • Win + ALT + 1,2,3… etc : Opens the jump-list for each program specified by the number


  • Win + T : Cycles through each program in the taskbar


  • Win + R : Opens the run dialog box


  • Win+ Up or Down arrow : Maximize or minimizes windows
  • Win + left or right arrow : Maximize the windows to the left or right side of desktop
  • Win + G : Cycles through gadgets
  • Win + Tab : Switches through windows and shows a fancy preview of open windows
  • Win + E : Opens ‘My Computer’
  • Win + M : Minimizes open windows
  • Win + Shift + M : Reopens minimized windows

Hotkeys for browsers (note: some hotkeys may vary from browser to browser)

  • CTRL + N : Opens a new browser
  • CTRL + SHIFT + N : Opens a new incognito mode window
  • CTRL + T : Open a new tab
  • CTRL + Tab : Cycles through open tabs
  • Click a link with middle mouse button : Opens the link in a new tab
  • Shift + Click a link : Opens link in a new window
  • CTRL + SHIFT + T  : Opens the tab you recently closed
  • CTRL + SHIFT + Tab : Switches to previous tab

Other hotkeys

  • PrtScn : Captures an image of your screen (Screenshot) . Go to paint, paste the image and save it
  • ALT + Enter : Opens the file properties to view information about it .  You don’t need to right click and select properties
  • Shift + Del : Deletes a file permanently without storing it in the recycle bin
  • F2 : Renames a file or folder


Know any hotkeys we didn’t mention above? Have some favorite ones? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • kevbo


    Ctrl + turn mouse wheel = makes text bigger/smaller

  • Gioneo

    The one I use the most Win+L – Locks screen.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    [@bkp13] I like to emgiggen the text as well. That’s why I find myself reading more on my iPad these days.

  • Mikerman

    [@bkp13] And to get back to the default text size, Ctrl 0 (that’s the Ctrl key and zero key pressed together).

  • bkp13

    My favorite I use all the time is Ctrl + makes text bigger. Ctrl – makes text smaller

  • Alihassan

    [@Bob] Yes , it has been fixed . Thanks

  • patara

    1. Win+Home makes all other open windows minimise except for the one being worked on. Click again and they will return to where they were.
    2. Another way of doing this is using Aero Shake. Grab the Title Bar of the active folder and give it a good shake. All other open windows will be minimised. To get them back, shake the Title Bar again.
    3. Win+P brings up possible screen display options, like dual monitors, seeing the laptop on a monitor or projector screen etc.
    4. Win+X opens the new Start Icon’s Context Menu.
    5. Turn all open windows transparent by hovering on the small rectangle on the far right of the taskbar. Click it and they will be minimised.
    6. Holding the Shift key before right clicking an item will insert into the context menu the hidden “Copy as Path”.
    7. Ctrl+click on desktop or in a folder and then scroll with mouse wheel to enlarge or shrink thumbnails.

  • Bob

    Click a link with mouse button : Opens the link in a new tab

    should be:

    Click a link with middle mouse button : Opens the link in a new tab

  • Jennifer Wilness

    Just go through all the keys on your keyboard while holding down the Windows key, almost all of them do something. In Windows 8, just tap the Windows key only and it sends you to the “Start” window. Tap again and it brings you back to the closed window.

  • pedro-rafael

    Ctrl/W close the active tab or window

  • GF

    CTRL + Ins : copy
    Shift + Ins : paste
    Shift + Del : cut

  • Merlin

    When Win + D pressed a second time also restores your windows after a goto desktop

  • Kevin

    Win + Shift + (left or right) will throw windows on a different monitor. Clearly, this is only useful if you have more than one display. I have three screens going right now, and I use this one all the time.