Six Essential Windows Shortcuts You’re Not Using But Should Be

A blue background with CTRL V and CTRL C icons

Windows shortcuts might shave only a moment off your task, but these moments add up to minutes and across a week or a month, and you can save a substantial chunk of time. 

We’re sure you’re familiar with the basic Windows shortcuts such as CTRL+C to copy and CTRL+V to paste, but here’s six more to add to your toolkit and improve your productivity. 

  • Alt + Tab : Switch Screen/Tabs
    One of Windows’ golden oldie shortcuts, tapping ALT+Tab simultaneously will switch you to the next tab/screen. Holding down the Alt button and tapping on Tab will let you choose between multiple screens.
  • Alt + F4 : Close App
    Press the Alt key and the F4 key and the application you’re using will close, with the bonus of asking you to save your work before it shuts down. It works almost on anything right from your browser to games and custom applications.
  • Ctrl + F : Find
    Use this shortcut to find a particular keyword in a document or a browser screen. Ctrl + F is your go-to Windows shortcut that will open a search bar where you can type in the keyword, and it will show you all the results that match your request in the document or window you are currently viewing.
  • Win + L: Lock Screen
    Win + L will lock down your screen, and unless you re-enter your password nobody can open it (assuming you have a password set for your system).
  • Win + D : Show Desktop
    No matter how many tabs/windows are open, this shortcut quickly minimises all of them and shows your desktop, allowing you to access files or an application in a couple of clicks.
  • Windows+Shift+S : Snipping Tool
    To open the built-in Snipping Tool on Windows 10 or 11, press the Windows+Shift+S keyboard shortcut on your keyboard. Once you press those keys, your screen will turn darker indicating the tool is active. At the top of your screen, you will see five icons, four of which allow you to choose the shape for your screenshot.

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