Top 10 keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 & how to use them

Arif Bacchus

Updated on:

Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’re always busy using your PC, then you might want to consider using some of Windows 10’s built-in keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts are designed to help you eliminate a mouse click, and accomplish some common tasks in Windows, without clicking through menus.

You might already be familiar with some common shortcuts like Ctrl+Z to undo, or Crtl+V to paste, but today, we’ll go beyond that. Here’s a look at the top 10 keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 and how you can use them to your advantage.

1. Windows Key+E: Open File Explorer

File Explroer

First on our list is a shortcut that is useful for opening File Explorer. This shortcut helps avoid having to click through to the bottom of the screen for the File Explorer icon each time you want to go browse for a file. It opens a brand new File Explorer window, giving you quick access to all your files. Quick, easy, and simple!

2. Windows Key+L: Lock your PC

Screenshot of Windows 10 lockscreen

Need to lock your PC in a hurry? That’s what our second keyboard shortcut is for. With this one, you won’t need to worry about clicking through to the Start Menu to lock your screen and hide whatever is on your screen right away. Clicking this keyboard combination forces your PC to lock itself, and whoever is trying to unlock it will need a password to get back in.

3. Windows Key+ (.): Summon the emoji picker

Poop Eomihi

If you’re feeling a little expressive when typing out something in Windows 10, you might be looking for an emoji for the moment. That’s what our third shortcut is for. Pressing Windows Key and period on your keyboard will summon the emoji picker. You can then type out what you’re feeling (say smile or poop) and pick it from the list in place of your actual words. No need to copy and paste emojis anymore!

4. Windows Key+V: Search through your clipboard history

Clipboard History Shortcut

You probably know that Ctrl+V will paste files in Windows 10, but did you know about Windows Key+V. This one needs to be enabled in the Windows 10 settings (search for clipboard settings and turn on Clipboard history) but it can prove to be quite the lifesaver. With this shortcut, you can end up seeing your entire clipboard history, from all your Windows 10 devices, and even your Android Phone. It even holds pictures, too! Again, this is a great way to search for a specific bit of text or a word that you might have copied earlier but forgot about.

5. Windows Key+I: Open Windows 10 settings

Windows Settings

Forth on our list is a quick way to get to Windows 10 settings. With Windows Key and I, you can open up Windows 10 settings on the fly. This will help you skip out on the need to click the dedicated settings cog on the Start Menu or search for Windows 10 settings using Cortana or the Search Bar. Like the others on our list, it’s quick and super easy!.

6. Windows Key+ 1, 2, 3: Launch a pinned program on your Taskbar

Pinned Apps Taskbar Windows 10

Want to open an app you have pinned on your taskbar without the need to actually click it? That’s what our next Windows 10 keyboard shortcut is for. Simply hit Windows Key, and then the number of the app pinned in your taskbar to launch it. The numbers go left from right, so in our example above, Windows key+1 would open up HP Performance Center, Windows key+2 would open up File Explorer, and so on and so forth.

7. Ctrl+Shift while clicking a program icon to run as admin

Run As Admin Windows 10 Shortcut

There always comes a time when you’ll need to run something in Windows 10 as an admin. Usually, this means having to right-click the program icon and choose to run as administrator. however, Windows 10 has your back with a quick keyboard shortcut. If you hold Ctrl and Shift while clicking a program, it will automatically launch it as an administrator, without the need to right-click!

8. Windows Key+ Alt+D: Get to the date and time

Date And Time Windows Taskbar

One of the most commonly clicked areas in Windows 10 is the date and time in the taskbar. Again, usually getting here involves clicking on the actual area, but Microsoft has you covered. If you hit Windows Key+Alt+D on your keyboard, you’ll end up getting quick access to the date and time. This can prove useful if you’re hoping to start a new event, check your reminders, or more. No more need to mouse over!

9. Windows Key+G: Xbox Game Bar to record screen

Xbox Game Bar in Minecraft

Do you need to record something in a program in Windows 10? Usually, you’d download a third-party screen recorder like OBS studio, but did you know Windows 10 has one built-in. We’re talking about the Xbox Game Bar, which you can summon with Windows Key and G. Once you summon it, you’ll see a record button appear on your screen. Click the record button and you can record the active program that you’re in. Just keep in mind that you won’t’ be able to record your desktop, Start Menu using this shortcut. It’s only for active programs.

10. Windows Key+Shift+S: Quick Screenshots

snip & sketch, snipping tool

Need a screengrab? No need to hit the Print Screen button on your keyboard. Windows 10 has a built-in Snip & Sketch tool that can help. It’s summoned by clicking the Windows Key+Shift+S keys together at once on your keyboard. This keyboard combo will let you snip part or all of your screen, or even freeform snip part of it, too. You’re in control here, and any screen snips will save to your clipboard just like print screen would.

Check out the full list!

We’ve only highlighted 10 of our favorite keyboard shortcuts, but there’s a lot more. We previously looked at all the keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10, so give it a read if you want to learn more. And, as always, check out our Windows 10 news hub where we have all the latest news and information, and more how-to guides just like this one.