Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts allow quicker access to basic functions, making computer use easier and more intuitive.

The list provided on this page is not comprehensive. For a complete listing, see the Microsoft keyboard shortcuts page.

Keyboard Shortcuts List

Windows System Key Combinations

  • <F1>: Help
  • <CTRL> + <ESC>: Open Start menu
  • <ALT> + <TAB>: Switch between open programs
  • <ALT> + <F4>: Quit program
  • <SHIFT> + <DEL>: Delete item permanently

Windows Program Key Combinations

  • <CTRL>  + <C>: Copy
  • <CTRL> + <X>: Cut
  • <CTRL> + <V>: Paste
  • <CTRL> + <Z>: Undo
  • <CTRL> + <B>: Bold
  • <CTRL> + <U>: Underline
  • <CTRL> + <I>: Italic

Mouse Click/Keyboard Modifier Combinations for Shell Objects

  • <SHIFT> + <RIGHT CLICK>: Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands
  • <SHIFT> + <DOUBLE CLICK>: Runs the alternate default command (the second item on the menu)
  • <ALT> + <DOUBLE CLICK>: Displays properties
  • <SHIFT> + <DELETE>: Deletes an item immediately without placing it in the Recycle Bin

General Keyboard-Only Commands

  • <F1>: Starts Windows Help
  • <F10>: Activates menu bar options
  • <SHIFT> + <F10>: Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right-clicking an object
  • <CTRL> + <ESC>: Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item)
  • <CTRL> + <ESC> or <ESC>: Selects the Start button (press <TAB> to select the taskbar, or press <SHIFT> + <F1> for a context menu)
  • <ALT> + <DOWN ARROW>: Opens a drop-down list box
  • <ALT> + <TAB>: Switch to another running program (hold down <ALT> and press <TAB> to view the task-switching window)
  • <SHIFT>: Press and hold down <SHIFT> while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature
  • <ALT> + <SPACE>: Displays the main window's System menu (from the System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the window)
  • <ALT> + <->: Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) child window's System menu (from the MDI child window's System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the child window)
  • <CTRL> + <TAB>: Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program
  • <ALT> + <underlined letter in menu>: Opens the menu
  • <ALT> + <F4>: Closes the current window
  • <CTRL> + <F4>: Closes the current Multiple Document Interface (MDI) window
  • <ALT> + <F6>: Switch between multiple windows in the same program (for example, when the Notepad Find dialog box is displayed
  • <ALT> + <F6> switches between the Find dialog box and the main Notepad window)

Shell Objects and General Folder/Windows Explorer Shortcuts

For a selected object:

  • <F2>: Rename object
  • <F3>: Find all files
  • <CTRL> + <X>: Cut
  • <CTRL> + <C>: Copy
  • <CTRL> + <V>: Paste
  • <SHIFT> + <DELETE>: Delete selection immediately, without moving the item to the Recycle Bin
  • <ALT> + <ENTER>: Open the properties for the selected object

General Folder/Shortcut Control

  • Press and hold down <CTRL> + <SHIFT> while you drag a file to the desktop or a folder: Create a shortcut
  • Press and hold down <CTRL> while you drag the file to another folder: Copy a file
  • <F4>: Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer)
  • <F5>: Refreshes the current window
  • <F6>: Moves among panes in Windows Explorer
  • <CTRL> + <Z>: Undo the last command
  • <CTRL> + <A>: Select all the items in the current window
  • <BACKSPACE>: Switch to the parent folder
  • <SHIFT> + <CLICK>+ <Close button>: For folders, close the current folder plus all parent folders

Windows Explorer Tree Control

  • <NUM PAD *>: Expands everything under the current selection
  • <NUM PAD> +: Expands the current selection
  • <NUM PAD ->: Collapses the current selection
  • <RIGHT ARROW>: Expands the current selection if it is not expanded, otherwise goes to the first child
  • <LEFT ARROW>: Collapses the current selection if it is expanded, otherwise goes to the parent

Properties Control

  • <CTRL> + <TAB>: Move forward through the Property tabs
  • <CTRL> + <SHIFT> + <TAB>: Move backward through the Property tabs

Accessibility Shortcuts

  • Press <SHIFT> five times: Turns Sticky Keys on and off
  • Press down and hold <RIGHT SHIFT> for eight seconds: Turns Filter Keys on and off
  • Press down and hold <NUM LOCK> for five seconds: Turns ToggleKeys on and off
  • <LEFT ALT> + <LEFT SHIFT> + <NUM  LOCK>: Turns MouseKeys on and off
  • <LEFT ALT> + <LEFT SHIFT> + <PRINT SCREEN>: Turns high contrast on and off

Dialog Box Keyboard Commands

  • <TAB>: Move to the next control in the dialog box
  • <SHIFT> + <TAB>: Move to the previous control in the dialog box
  • <SPACE>:
    • If the current control is a button, this clicks the button
    • If the current control is a check box, this toggles the check box
    • If the current control is an option, this selects the option
  • <ENTER>: Click selected (outlined) button
  • <ESC>: Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button
  • <ALT> + <underlined letter in dialog box item> : Move to the corresponding item

Other Accessibility Options

In addition to keyboard shortcuts, Windows comes with many built in Accessibility features. They can be used to modify the behavior of the keyboard, mouse, and monitor, making them easier to use. For more information and to activate these features, click on "Accessibility Options" in the Windows Control Panel.

Last modified: August 13, 2013