Alongside the new features and refreshed UI, Windows 11 has also brought several new keyboard shortcuts that can greatly help improve the efficiency of your workflow. We will learn about all the new keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft’s latest OS and discuss the existing ones. While some of the keyboard shortcuts in this article are familiar to long-term Windows users, others may not be as widely known to some. With that said, here are the most useful keyboard shortcuts you should use in Windows 11.

Best Keyboard Shortcuts to Use in Windows 11 (July 2021)

We will start with the new keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11 and then navigate our way through the existing ones. The list includes some keyboard shortcuts introduced in Windows 10, while most others have been around for ages. Irrespective of whether they are new or old, the one common thread between all these keyboard shortcuts is that they will improve your workflow in Windows 11. So let’s get started right away.

Note: The following keyboard shortcuts have all been tested on Windows 11. If you are still using Windows 10, you should check out our article on the best Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts you can use. On the other hand, if you are a Linux user, learn about the 12 must-use keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu.

New Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 11

There are multiple new keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11 that weren’t present in earlier versions of the OS. We will list all of them below, along with their functions. Just so you know, the “Win” or “Win” key in this article refers to the Windows key on your keyboard.

1. Open Action Center – Win + A Shortcut

Technically, the Win + A shortcut is also available in Windows 10, but it works slightly differently in Windows 11. In Windows 10, this keyboard shortcut opens up the Control Center and the Notification Panel. But in Windows 11, it launches just the Action Center with the Quick Settings panel. That’s the case because Microsoft has separated Action Center and Notifications Panel in its latest desktop OS.

Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 11

2. Open Notifications Panel – Win + N Shortcut

The Win + N keyboard shortcut is a new addition to Windows 11. It opens up the Notification Panel, which is now tucked away under the clock icon in the System tray. Using this keyboard shortcut will show all your unread notifications.

Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 11

3. Open Widgets Panel – Win + W Shortcut

Windows 11 comes with a dedicated widgets panel, giving you access to the weather, news, and your calendar at a glance. While the Widgets panel has a dedicated button on the taskbar in Windows 11, you can also access it using the Win key + W keyboard shortcut.

4. Quick Access to Snap Layout – Win + Z Shortcut

Snap Layouts in Windows 11 is a new feature that improves upon the Snap window management in Windows 10. It shows a pop-up that displays possible Snap window layouts when you hover over the “Maximize” button on any active window. Microsoft is calling this “Snap Assist”, and you can also access this feature with the dedicated Win + Z keyboard shortcut.

Existing Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts

We are dividing the list of existing keyboard shortcuts into 11 segments to help you better remember and access them. There are dozens of keyboard shortcuts available in Windows under the following categories:

  • general keyboard shortcuts
  • screenshot shortcuts
  • browser shortcuts
  • dialog box shortcuts
  • accessibility shortcuts
  • Command Prompt shortcuts
  • File Explorer shortcuts
  • Taskbar shortcuts
  • Game Bar shortcuts
  • desktop and virtual desktop shortcuts, and more.

General Shortcuts

Following are the must-know Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts that everyone should be using for an efficient workflow and enhanced productivity. They work with most apps, under most conditions, and in all recent versions of Windows.

Note: Some of the shortcuts in this article have been listed under multiple headers if they work with different apps under different scenarios. In some cases, they work slightly differently based on the scope of the app or app category.

  1. Alt + F4: Close active window. When you are on the desktop with no active window selected, this shortcut opens the shutdown dialog box with options to restart, sleep, hibernate, log out, or shut down your PC.
  2. Win + L: Lock your computer
  3. Win + D: Minimizes all open windows and takes you. to the Desktop
  4. Alt + Tab: Switch between the running applications (Task Switcher)
  5. Win + Tab: Open Task View
  6. Ctrl + Z: Undo an action
  7. Ctrl + Y: Redo an action
  8. Ctrl + Delete: Move selected item to Recycle Bin:
  9. Shift + Delete: Delete the selected item permanently
  10. Win + X: Open Start Button context menu
  11. Esc: Stop or close the current task
  12. F11: Enter/ Exit full-screen mode
  13. F2: Rename selected item
  14. F5: Refresh the active window. This shortcut also refreshes the Windows desktop when no active window is selected.
  15. F10: Open the Menu bar in the current app
  16. Win + I: Open Windows 11 Settings
  17. Win + R: Open Run command
  18. Alt + Page Up: Move up one screen
  19. Alt + Page Down: Move down one screen
  20. Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Keyboard shortcut to open Task Manager in Windows 11
  21. Win + S or Win + Q: Open Windows Search
  22. Ctrl + P: Print the current page
  23. Shift + Arrow keys: Select more than one item
  24. Ctrl + S: Save the current file (works on apps like Office 365, Notepad, Paint, etc.)
  25. Ctrl + Shift + S: Save As
  26. Ctrl + O: Open a file in the current app
  27. Alt + Esc: Cycle through the apps on the taskbar
  28. Alt + F8: Display your password on the login screen
  29. Alt + Spacebar: Open the shortcut menu for the current window
  30. Alt + Enter: Open properties for the selected item
  31. Alt + F10: Open the context menu (right-click menu) for the selected item
  32. Ctrl + N: Open a new program window of the current app
  33. Backspace: Go back to the Settings home page (while on any Windows Settings page)
  34. Win + period (.) or Win + semicolon (;): Windows 11 keyboard shortcut to access the Emoji keyboard
  35. Win + P: Project a screen
  36. Win + H: Launch Voice Typing

Screenshot Shortcuts

You can learn more about how to take screenshots in Windows 11 as well as how to take scrolling screenshots from our dedicated articles on the subject, but here are some of the common native screenshot keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11:

  1. PrtScn/ Print Screen: Take a screenshot of the entire desktop
  2. Alt + PrtScn: Take a screenshot of the Active Window
  3. Win + Shift + S: Capture any part of the screen with Snip & Sketch

Dialog Box and Text Editor Shortcuts

Most of the following keyboard shortcuts work with all the dialog boxes and text fields, whether on the web or your PC. That includes website forms, CMS softwares such as WordPress, as well as Notepad, WordPad, MS Word, etc. However, some of these are exclusive only to Rich Text Editors and won’t work on apps like Notepad.

  1. Ctrl + A: Select all content
  2. Ctrl + C: Copy the selected items
  3. Ctrl + X: Cut the selected items
  4. Ctrl + V: Paste the clipboard items
  5. Ctrl + B: Bolden selected text (Rich Text Editors only)
  6. Ctrl + I: Italicize selected text (Rich Text Editors only)
  7. Ctrl + U: Underline selected text (Rich Text Editors only)
  8. Home: Move the cursor to the start of the current line
  9. End: Move the cursor to the end of the current line

Browser Shortcuts

The following shortcuts work on all major Windows browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera. You can easily change your default browser in Windows 11 without worrying about the compatibility of these keyboard shortcuts. In general, these are among the keyboard shortcuts that I use the most.

  1. Alt + Left Arrow: Move back one page (back arrow)
  2. Alt + Right Arrow: Move forward one page
  3. Ctrl + Numbers (1-9): Move Between Tabs
  4. Ctrl + Tab: Move to the tab on the right
  5. Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Move to the tab on the left
  6. Ctrl + F: Open on-page Search (works on text editors, word processors, Command Prompt, etc.)
  7. Shift + Home: Move the cursor to the start of the current line and select text
  8. Shift + End: Move the cursor to the end of the current line and select text
  9. Shift + Right/ Left Arrow keys: Select/ highlight one character at a time
  10. Shift + Up/ Down Arrow Keys: Select/ highlight one line at a time

All the dialog box shortcuts mentioned above also work with browsers, as do many of the general ones, like Alt+F4 to close windows, etc. The tab shortcuts, meanwhile, also work on other tabbed apps, like Windows Terminal.

Desktop and Virtual Desktop Shortcuts

    1. Windows key: Open Start Menu
    2. Ctrl + Shift: Switch the keyboard layout
    3. Alt + Tab: View all open apps
    4. Ctrl + Arrow keys + Spacebar: Select more than one item on the desktop
    5. Win + M: Minimize all open windows
    6. Win + Shift + M: Maximize all minimized windows
    7. Win + Home: Minimize or maximize all but the active window
    8. Win + Left Arrow Key: Snap the current app or window to the Left
    9. Win + Right Arrow Key: Snap the current app or window to the Right
    10. Win + Shift + Up arrow key: Stretch the active window to the top and bottom of the screen
    11. Win + Shift + down arrow key: Restore or minimize active desktop windows vertically, maintaining width
    12. Win + Tab: Open Desktop view
    13. Win + Ctrl + D: Add a new virtual desktop
    14. Win + Ctrl + F4: Close the active virtual desktop
    15. Win + Ctrl + Right Arrow: Switch to the virtual desktops on the Right
    16. Win + Ctrl + Left Arrow: Switch to the virtual desktops on the Left
    17. Ctrl + Shift: Create a shortcut (while dragging file or folder icon)
    18. Win + Comma (,): Windows Peek (Take a peek at the desktop)
    19. Win + Ctrl + Shift + B: Keyboard shortcut to restart your graphics driver instantly in Windows 11

Command Prompt Shortcuts

The Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell, and Terminal support the standard text editing shortcuts to copy, paste, and edit commands. Additionally, they also support the following dedicated keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Ctrl + Home: Scroll to the top of the Command Prompt window
  2. Ctrl + End: Scroll to the bottom of the Command Prompt window
  3. Ctrl + A: Select everything on the current line
  4. Page Up: Move the cursor up a page
  5. Page Down: Move the cursor down a page
  6. Ctrl + M: Enter “Mark” mode
  7. Ctrl + Home: Move the cursor to the beginning of the buffer in Mark mode
  8. Ctrl + End: Move the cursor to the end of the buffer in Mark mode
  9. Up/ Down Arrow keys: Cycle through command history of active session
  10. Left/ Right arrow keys: Move cursor left or right in the current command line
  11. Shift + Home: Move the cursor to the start of the current line
  12. Shift + End: Move the cursor to the end of the current line
  13. Shift + Page Up: Move the cursor up one screen and select text
  14. Shift + Page Down: Move the cursor down one screen and select text
  15. Ctrl + Up arrow: Move the screen up one line
  16. Ctrl + Down arrow: Move the screen down one line
  17. Shift + Up arrow: Move cursor up one line and select the text
  18. Shift + Down arrow: Move cursor down one line and select the text
  19. Ctrl + Shift + Arrow Keys: Move the cursor one word at a time

File Explorer Shortcuts

The File Explorer comes with its own set of keyboard shortcuts that make navigating the Windows file system a breeze. Here are the nearly two dozen shortcuts that work with the Windows File Explorer:

  1. Win + E: Open the File Explorer
  2. Ctrl + E or Ctrl +F: Select Search in File Explorer
  3. Ctrl + N: Open the current page in a new window
  4. Ctrl + W: Close active window
  5. Ctrl + Mouse Scroll: Change the file and folder view (switch between small icons, large icons, list, detailed view, etc.)
  6. Ctrl + Shift + Number (1-8): Changes folder view
  7. F6: Switch between left and right panes
  8. Ctrl + Shift + N: Create a new folder
  9. Ctrl + Shift + E: Expand all subfolders in the navigation pane on the left
  10. Alt + D: Select address bar of the File Explorer
  11. Alt + P: Display the preview panel
  12. Alt + Enter: Open the Properties settings for the selected item
  13. Alt + Right arrow: Go to the next folder
  14. Alt + Left arrow (or Backspace): Go to the previous folder
  15. Alt + Up arrow: Go to the parent folder for the current file/folder
  16. F4: Switch focus to address bar
  17. Right Arrow: Expand the current folder tree in the left pane. This shortcut selects the first subfolder within a parent folder if the latter is already expanded.
  18. Left Arrow: Collapse the current folder tree. This shortcut selects the parent folder if it’s already collapsed.
  19. Home: Move to the top of the active window
  20. End: Move to the bottom of the active window

Taskbar Shortcuts

The following shortcuts help you easily launch apps in specific ways or under specific conditions using the Windows taskbar icons:

  1. Ctrl + Shift + Left-click on app icon: Open an app as administrator from the Taskbar
  2. Win + Ctrl + Shift + Number key (0-9): Open a second instance of an app with administrator privileges.
  3. Win + Number key: Open apps from their pinned taskbar icons. that means Win + 1 will open the first app whose icon is pinned on the Taskbar, while Win + 2 will open the second app, etc., depending on their position on the Taskbar.
  4. Win + T: Cycle through apps in the taskbar
  5. Win + Alt + D: View Date and Time from the taskbar
  6. Shift + Left Click app icon: Open another instance of an app from the taskbar
  7. Shift + Right-click grouped app icon: Show the window menu for the group apps from the taskbar
  8. Win + B: Highlight the Overflow key (upwards arrow) in the Notification Area (Once highlighted, you can press Enter and then use arrow keys to toggle between each icon under the overflow menu)
  9. Alt + Windows key + Number Key (0-9): Open a Taskbar icon’s Jump List
  10. Win + Shift + Number Keys (0-9): Open another instance of an open app
  11. Win + Ctrl + Number key (0-9): Switch to the last active window of a pinned app

Accessibility Shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts help activate and make use of accessibility features in Windows 11:

  1. Win + U: Open “Ease of Access” Centre in Windows Settings
  2. Win + plus (+): Turn on Magnifier and Zoom
  3. Win + minus (-): Zoom out using Magnifier
  4. Win + Esc: Exit Magnifier
  5. Alt + Ctrl + D: Switch to the docked mode in Magnifier
  6. Alt + Ctrl + F: Switch to full-screen mode in Magnifier
  7. Alt + Ctrl + L: Switch to lens mode in Magnifier
  8. Alt + Ctrl + I: Invert colors in Magnifier
  9. Alt + Ctrl + M: Cycle through views in Magnifier
  10. Alt + Ctrl + R: Resize the lens with the mouse in Magnifier
  11. Alt + Ctrl + Arrow keys: Pan in Magnifier
  12. Ctrl + Alt + mouse scroll: Zoom in or out
  13. Win + Enter: Open Narrator
  14. Win + Ctrl + O: Open on-screen keyboard with this shortcut in Windows 11
  15. Hold down Right Shift for eight seconds: Turn Filter Keys on and off
  16. Left Alt + Left Shift + PrtSc: Turn High Contrast on or off
  17. Left Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock: Turn Mouse Keys on or off
  18. Press Shift five times: Turn Sticky Keys on or off
  19. Press Num Lock for five seconds: Turn Toggle Keys on or off

Windows Game Bar Shortcuts

Originally introduced in Windows 10, the Windows Game Bar offers many dedicated keyboard shortcuts for convenience and ease of use.

  1. Win + G: Open Game Bar
  2. Win + Alt + G: Record the last 30 seconds of active game
  3. Win + Alt + R: Start or stop recording active game
  4. Win + Alt + PrtSc: Take a screenshot of active game
  5. Win + Alt + T: Show/ hide recording timer of active game

Miscellaneous Shortcuts

Apart from the ones listed above, Windows 11 offers many other shortcuts, not all of which can be classified under any particular category. Here they are:

  1. Win + forward slash (/): Start IME reconversion
  2. Win + F: Open Feedback Hub
  3. Win + K: Open the “Connect” quick setting
  4. Win + O: Lock your device orientation
  5. Win + Pause: Display System Properties (About page) in Windows Settings
  6. Win + Ctrl + F: Search for PCs (if you are on a network)
  7. Win + Shift + Left/ Right arrow key: Move an app or window from one monitor to another
  8. Win + Spacebar: Switch input language and keyboard layout
  9. Win + V: Open Clipboard History
  10. Win + Y: Switch input between desktop and Windows Mixed Reality
  11. Win + C: Launch Cortana (has to be installed separately)

Use the Best Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 11

Now that you know about the best keyboard shortcuts on Windows 11, you should use them to get the best out of Microsoft’s new operating system. Of course, most of the shortcuts work on Windows 10 and older versions as well, so they will come in handy even if you are yet to make the jump to Windows 11.

Meanwhile, if you are using Windows 11 but aren’t liking the changes, here’s a guide to help you roll back to Windows 10 from Windows 11 on your PC. Conversely, if you are stuck with Windows 10, check out how you can get Windows 11 features in Windows 10 right now. Finally, since you are interested in using keyboard shortcuts for improved productivity, learn how to clear browsing history using keyboard shortcuts in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

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