The best windows shortcuts to save time

| Blog, IT tips and tricks, Technology Insights

Most people know the ol’ Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V, but how many more shortcuts do you know and use on a daily basis?

It might not seem like much, but using shortcuts can save you a fair amount of time. Here are some more useful shortcuts for a Microsoft Windows computer:


No matter what program you’re running, Ctrl+Z will roll back your last action. Whether you’ve just overwritten an entire paragraph in Microsoft Word or deleted a file you didn’t mean to, this one is an absolute lifesaver.

Ctrl+W: Close the program you’re working in

Another shortcut that works just about everywhere, Ctrl+W will close down whatever you’re viewing. Shut that File Explorer window, browser tab, or open image file without bothering to hone in on the close button.

Windows +DShow or hide the desktop

This keyboard combo minimises all your open windows, making your home screen visible. If you store rows and rows of files and shortcuts on your desktop, Windows +D will let you access them in seconds.

Windows + L: Lock your screen

Heading out for lunch or into a meeting and want to lock your screen from unwanted eyes? Simply click the windows and L keys to lock your screen which will return you to the login screen.

Windows +PrtScnSave a screenshot

No need to open a dedicated screenshot tool: Windows +PrtScn grabs the whole screen and saves it as a PNG file in a Screenshots folder inside your Pictures folder. At the same time, Windows will also copy the image to the clipboard. If you don’t want to snap the whole screen, press Alt+PrtScn instead and this will take a screenshot of just the active window, but it will only copy this image to the clipboard, so you won’t get a saved file.

Windows + E 

Simple. This one opens the Windows File explorer in one click.

Alt+TabSwitch Apps

This one is a classic Windows shortcut and it can be hugely useful when you’re running multiple applications. Just press Alt+Tab and you’ll be able to quickly flick through all your open windows.

Ctrl + F: find what you’re looking for

Whether you are in an excel spreadsheet, on a website, in a Word or PDF Document, with Ctrl + F you can easily find a phrase, or a word you are looking for. Ctrl + F opens up a navigation panel in which you can simply type in your search term, press enter and it will highlight the searched word if it exists in the document you’re searching in.

Alt+F4Close apps

Another old-school shortcut, Alt+F4 shuts down active apps so you can skip the process of hunting down their on-screen menus. Don’t worry about losing unsaved work with this command—it will prompt you to save your documents before closing them.


Simply highlight a file and hit F2 to give it a new name. This command also lets you edit text in other programs—tap F2 in Microsoft Excel, for example, and you’ll be able to edit the contents of the cell you’re in.


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