What are some of the more useful keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11?
This question was answered on February 1, 2024.
Keyboard shortcuts are one of the most underutilized features of any operating system and Windows 11 has many new ones.
Shortcuts have been around since the beginning of personal computing with the most well-known shortcut in the early days being Ctrl + Alt + Del, which was used to restart DOS-based computers.
Today, it can still be used to perform a variety of tasks that include locking your PC, switching users, logging off, or opening the Task Manager.
Windows 11 has over 150 keyboard shortcuts, many of which may be obscure for most users and that’s not including the many useful shortcuts that are available in the rest of Microsoft’s productivity tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Improving Your Efficiency
Avoiding the need to move your hands off the keyboard and use the mouse can improve efficiency, especially if you spend most of your day on your computer.
Even if you don’t, knowing how and when to use these shortcuts can be very helpful.
Some of the most useful shortcuts like Copy (Ctrl + C), Paste (Ctrl + V), Select All (Ctrl + A), Cut selected item (Ctrl + X) and Undo (Ctrl + Z) work on all versions of Windows and the Mac when you use the Command key in place of Ctrl.
Some other useful daily shortcuts include the universal Help key (F1), Close or Exit an app (Alt + F4), Refresh the active window (F5), and Redo an action (Ctrl + Y).
Windows Logo Key Shortcuts
This special key (Win) has been around since the mid-1990s but few casual computer users seem to know how powerful it can be.
Pressing it by itself will open and close the Start menu, Win + L will Lock your PC, Win + D will Display or Hide the desktop, and Win + E will launch the File Explorer.
Using the Win + X will bring up a menu of many of the most important utilities in Windows, including Settings, Power Options, and Device Manager.
Win + A opens the Action Center, which controls things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and volume, while Win + N will bring up all your Notifications.
The Windows key and the + or - sign will open the magnifier tool, then continue to zoom in or out while Win + Esc will exit the magnifier.
One of my favorite shortcuts (Win + V) gives you the ability to view the Clipboard history of any of the last 25 items on the clipboard, which is awesome for those of us who Cut and Paste regularly.
Any item that you use often, like an address or disclaimer, can be pinned to the clipboard so it remains even if you clear the history or restart your computer.
Win + V also gives you access to emojis, GIFs, old-school emoticons, and special symbols that can be used to insert into anything you’re working on.
About the author
Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on February 1, 2024