A Comprehensive Guide to the most vital Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts you need to know

Dave W. Shanahan

windows 11 keyboard

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In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts, unveiling a plethora of timesaving and productivity-boosting techniques that will elevate your computing experience. With our expertly curated list of keyboard shortcuts, you will unlock a new level of efficiency and convenience in navigating your Windows 11 or even your Windows 10 system.

New Keyboard shortcuts introduced in Windows 11

Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 11 brings along several new keyboard shortcuts to enhance your workflow and streamline your multitasking. These shortcuts are designed to make the most out of Windows 11’s new features and user interface, allowing for a more seamless and productive experience. Let’s explore some of these exciting additions:

  1. Win + Z = Open snap layouts: Windows 11 introduces snap layouts, a feature that lets you arrange and organize your windows in various layouts. With this shortcut, you can quickly access the snap layouts and optimize your window positioning for improved multitasking.
  2. Win + Shift + Left/Right arrow = Move a window between multiple monitors: For users with multi-display setups, this shortcut is a game-changer. Easily move a window from one monitor to another, boosting productivity when working with multiple screens.
  3. Win + Alt + G = Record the last 30 seconds in Xbox Game Bar: Windows 11 enhances gaming with the Xbox Game Bar, and this shortcut allows you to capture those exciting gaming moments effortlessly.
  4. Win + Alt + B = Turn HDR on or off (requires compatible monitor hardware): With Windows 11, the Xbox Game Bar introduces HDR support. Use this shortcut to toggle HDR settings and enjoy a stunning gaming experience on compatible monitors.

These are just a few examples of the new keyboard shortcuts introduced in Windows 11. Now, let’s move on to explore the most widely used and essential shortcuts that are available in both Windows 11 and Windows 10 systems. Say goodbye to tedious mouse clicks and embrace the power of quick keystrokes, so let’s dive right in!

The Essential Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts for Everyday Tasks

1. Navigating and Managing Windows

windows 11 keyboard

Win + D = Quickly minimize all open windows and show the desktop. Use the shortcut again to restore all previously minimized windows.
Alt + Tab = Switch between open applications with ease, allowing for smooth multitasking.
Win + Left/Right arrow = Snap windows to the left or right side of the screen, maximizing screen real estate for better multitasking.
Win + E = Open File Explorer instantly, providing quick access to your files and folders.

2. Text Editing and Formatting

Ctrl + C/V/X = Copy, paste, or cut selected text, respectively, simplifying text manipulation tasks.
Ctrl + Z/Y = Undo or redo an action, providing an easy way to revert your changes.
Ctrl + B/I/U = Apply bold, italic, or underline formatting to selected text, enhancing document creation, and editing.
Ctrl + Shift + Arrow Keys = Select text word by word, to make more efficient text selection.

3. Virtual Desktops

windows 11 keyboard shortcuts
Win + Ctrl + D = Create a new virtual desktop, allowing for organized and clutter-free workspace management.
Win + Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow = Switch between virtual desktops, optimizing multitasking by seamlessly shifting between different desktop environments.
Win + Ctrl + F4 = Close the current virtual desktop, maintaining a tidy and efficient workspace.
Win + Tab = Activate the Task View for an immersive virtual desktop experience, optimizing virtual desktop navigation.

Advanced Keyboard Shortcuts for Power Users

1. Taskbar Shortcuts

Win + Number (1-9) = Launch or switch to the application pinned to the taskbar at the corresponding position, providing rapid access to frequently used programs.
Shift + Win + Number (1-9) = Open a new instance of the application, improving multitasking efficiency.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc = Open Task Manager.

2. System Operations

Win + X = Access the Quick Link menu for essential system tools, empowering users with quick access to critical functions.
Win + L = Lock your computer quickly, ensuring security and privacy when stepping away.
Win + Print Screen = Capture a screenshot and save it to the Screenshots folder, simplifying the process of capturing and saving visuals.
Win + Shift + S = Open the Snipping Tool to take a screenshot.
Win + I = Open the Windows Settings menu.

3. File Explorer Navigation

windows key alphabet

Alt + D = Focus on the address bar in File Explorer, enabling speedy navigation to specific locations.
Ctrl + Shift + N = Create a new folder, making folder organization and management a breeze.
Ctrl + Shift + E = Displays all the folders that are above a folder that is currently selected. .
Alt + Enter = Opens the Properties menu for the selected file or folder.

4. Accessibility

Win + Plus sign (+)/Esc = Turn the Magnifier on or off.
Win + Plus (+) or Minus(-) (while the Magnifier is open) = To zoom in or out using the Magnifier.
Ctrl + Shift + F = Switch to Full screen view on your desktop.
Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar = See the full desktop when using full screen view.

Productivity-Boosting Keyboard Shortcuts for Professionals

1. Windows Management

Win + Up/Down arrow = Maximize or minimize the current window, easily controlling window size for better multitasking.
Win + Shift + Left/Right arrow = Move a window between multiple monitors, enhancing productivity in a multi-display setup.
Win + Z = Open snap layouts.

2. Command Prompt

Ctrl + C/V = Copy or paste text within the command prompt, streamlining command input and output.
Ctrl + A = Select all text in the command prompt, facilitating quick editing and manipulation.

3. Web browsing in Microsoft Edge

Ctrl + T: Open a new tab.
Ctrl + W: Close the current tab.
Ctrl + Shift + T: Reopen the most recently closed tab.
Ctrl + Tab: Switch between open tabs.

4. Xbox Game Bar


Win + G = Open Xbox Game Bar.
Win + Alt + G = Record the last 30 seconds, you can change the Xbox Game Bar settings to extend the amount of time recorded.
Win + Alt + R = Start or stop recording.
Win + Alt + B = If you have the capable monitor hardware, this shortcut turns HDR on or off. Keep in mind this setting applies to Xbox Game Bar app version 5.721.7292.0 or newer.
Win + Alt + PrtScn = Take a screenshot while you are playing a game.

Additional Information if needed

If you have the time or are looking for a specific Windows 11 keyboard shortcut, accessibility, or Microsoft-specific apps, check out the links that contain every keyboard shortcut you could want or need below!

  1. Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts for navigating within the operating system
  2. Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts for accessibility
  3. Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft apps, like Microsoft Edge, Xbox Game Bar, and more

Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts can transform the way you interact with your computer, providing you with greater control and efficiency. By incorporating these time-saving shortcuts into your daily workflow, you’ll quickly become a power user, navigating through Windows with speed and precision.

Remember, practice is key to making these shortcuts second nature. So, take some time to familiarize yourself with the shortcuts mentioned in this guide, and you’ll be amazed at how much time you can save! What are your favorite Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts? Let us know in the comments!