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Welcome to our section on Windows shortcut keys!  (This is a rather large page - give it a few seconds to fully load.)  In this section you will find many different sub-topics involving shortcut keys related to Windows and its applications.  (You may click on any of the topics below to jump to it.)  They are:

  • Windows System Key Combinations
  • Windows Program Key Combinations
  • Mouse Click/Keyboard Modifier Combinations for Shell Objects
  • General Keyboard-Only Commands
  • Shell Objects and General Folder/Windows Explorer Shortcuts
  • General Folder/Shortcut Control
  • Windows Explorer Tree Control
  • Property Sheet Control
  • Accessibility Shortcuts
  • Microsoft Natural Keyboard Keys
  • Microsoft Natural Keyboard with IntelliType Software Installed
  • Dialog Box Keyboard Commands
  • Microsoft Word

Some of these shortcuts will work throughout Windows, while others will only work in their certain section, or under certain applications.

There are a few simple things to keep in mind - when a shortcut says "CTRL+C" this means you press and HOLD the "Control" key, then tap the "C" key, then let go of "CTRL". If you try to press them both at the same time, you might not time it correctly.  On the other hand, if you try to hold them both down for awhile, you may find yourself executing the shortcut a bunch of times in a row!  (Both instances will only give you a headache.)

Having problems?  Got a question?  Just ask!

Shortcut Keys Description
Alt + F File menu options in current program.
Alt + E Edit options in current program
F1 Universal Help in 90% of Windows programs.
Ctrl + A Select all text.
Ctrl + X Cut selected item.
Shift + Del Cut selected item.
Ctrl + C Copy selected item.
Ctrl + Ins Copy selected item
Ctrl + V Paste
Ctrl + F6 Switches between the currently open child windows in an MDI form
Ctrl + Left click Deselects a specific item from a selected range. Works in Windows explorer
Crtl + Alt + Delete Brings up task manager in Windows 95/98. Brings up more options in NT/2000
Ctrl + W Closes the current window
Shift + F10 Brings up the context sensitive pop-up menu
Shift + Ins Paste
Home Goes to beginning of current line.
Ctrl + Home Goes to beginning of document.
End Goes to end of current line.
Ctrl + End Goes to end of document.
Shift + Home Highlights from current position to beginning of line.
Shift + End Highlights from current position to end of line.
Ctrl + Left arrow Moves one word to the left at a time.
Ctrl + Right arrow Moves one word to the right at a time.
Ctrl + Backspace Delete word to the left of cursor.
Ctrl + Del Delete word to the right of cursor.
Ctrl + Escape Brings up the windows start menu
Alt + F4 Closes the current window
Double left click Double left click on the system icon of a window closes that window
Windows Key + m Minimizes all windows
Ctrl + (+) key from the right hand side of the keyboard Rearranges the widths of the list view's columns properly


Shortcut Keys Operating System Description
Alt + Tab 3.X / 95 / 98 / NT / XP Switch between open applications.
Alt + Shift + Tab 3.X / 95 / 98 / NT / XP Switch backwards between open applications.
Ctrl + Tab 3.X / 95 / 98 / NT / XP Changes the tabs in a tabbed dialog box in forward direction. Also switches windows in an MDI form
Ctrl + Shift + Tab 3.X / 95 / 98 / NT / XP Changes the tabs in a tabbed dialog box in backward direction
Ctrl + Esc 95 / 98 / NT / XP Bring Up start button.
Alt + Esc 95 / 98 / NT / XP Switch Between open applications on taskbar.
F2 3.X / 95 / 98 / NT / XP Renames selected Icon
F3 95 / 98 / NT / XP Starts find from desktop
F4 95 / 98 / NT / XP Opens the drive selection when browsing.
F5 95 / 98 / NT / XP Refresh Contents
Alt + F4 3.X / 95 / 98 / NT / XP Closes Current open program.
Ctrl + F4 3.X / 95 / 98 / NT / XP Closes Window in Program
Alt + Enter 95 / 98 / NT / XP Opens properties window of Selected icon or program.
Alt + Space bar 95 / 98 / NT / XP Inside a window, press Alt + Spacebar to bring up the system menu of that window
Shift + F10 95 / 98 / NT / XP Simulates right click on selected item.
Shift + Del 95 / 98 / NT / XP Delete programs/files without throwing into the recycle bin.
Holding Shift 3.X / 95 / 98 / NT / XP Boot safe mode or by pass system files.
Holding Shift 95 / 98 / NT / XP When putting in an audio CD will prevent CD Player from playing.

Below is a listing of Windows keys that can be used on computers running a Microsoft Windows operating system and using a keyboard with a Windows key. In the below list of shortcuts the windows key is represented by "WINKEY".

Shortcut Keys  Description
WINKEY + D  Minimizes all windows and returns the user to the desktop.
WINKEY + M Minimizes all windows.
WINKEY + SHIFT + M Undo the minimize.
WINKEY + E Open Microsoft Explorer.
WINKEY + Tab Cycle through open programs through the taskbar.
WINKEY + F Display the Windows Search / Find feature.
WINKEY + CTRL + F  Display the search for computers window.
WINKEY + F1 Display the Microsoft Windows help.
WINKEY + R Open the run window.
WINKEY + Pause / Break key  Open the system properties window.
WINKEY + U Open Utility Manager.
WINKEY + L Lock the computer (Windows XP and above only)


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