15 Essential Windows Shortcut Keys

If you don’t like to use a mouse or want to speed up your task, there are hundreds of keyboard shortcuts you can use instead. Here are some most common keyboard shortcuts to use in Windows.

[ALT ] + [ Tab]

This shortcut lets you switch between windows and running applications. A list of windows that you can select is displayed. Just hold down the ALT key and then press the TAB key to view the task-switching window. You can also press the Shift key to cycle through the windows in reverse order.

[Alt]  + [Spacebar]

Display the window menu for the currently selected window. This system menu lets you to perform actions on the window, such as moving between windows, minimizing and closing the window.

[Windows Logo] + [M]

 Minimize all open windows.

[Windows Logo] + [D]

This is very helpful for getting all open windows out of the way and displays the desktop. This shortcut is the same as clicking the icon on your task bar to show the desktop (which will minimize all your windows/programs so you can see your desktop). This is handy if you have a lot of shortcuts on your Desktop.

[SHIFT]+ [Windows Logo] + [M]:

Undo minimizes all

[Alt] + [F8]

It is useful to resize the currently focused window. After pressing this shortcut, you can resize the window using either the mouse or the arrow keys. To finish the task, click the mouse or press any key on the keyboard.

[CTRL] + [F4]

Close the active document in programs that lets you to have multiple documents open simultaneously

[CTRL] + [Windows Logo] + [TAB]

Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray. To move focus between items we need to use Left arrow or Right arrow.

 [CTRL] + [F5]

Refresh the current webpage, even if the time stamp for the web version and your locally stored version are the same                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

[ALT] + [F6]

 Switch between multiple windows in the same program. This shortcut is the same as switching windows of Ms-Office 2007.

[Windows Logo] + [U]

 Open Utility Manager

[Windows Logo] + [Break]

 Display system properties like RAM, processor information.

[Windows logo] + [L]

This key is always used to lock the current user. If you use a computer at work or in your residence, this is a shortcut that you have to learn. It locks your computer without you having to click on the “START” button instead. It’s easy enough to do, so you have no excuse for leaving your computer unlocked when you go and get your tea.


This shortcut will open up Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer is obviously the program that allows you to browse around your computer. I’m sure you use it quite often for searching for your music files on your computer.


This key is always used to open “Run” dialog box.  Handy if you would like to use this as a way of running certain programs. An example is typing “calc” (without the quotes) into the Run dialog box to open up calculator.