Scott Hanselman

Collecting Windows 10 "Anniversary Edition" Keyboard Shortcuts

August 05, 2016 Comment on this post [40] Posted in Win10
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The new Windows 10 Calendar widget is lovelyI'm a big fan of keyboard shortcuts.

There's a fantastic list of Windows 10 shortcuts *inside* the Windows 10 Insiders "Feedback Hub" app. The in-app direct link (not a web link) is here but I think the list is too useful not to share so I don't think they will mind if I replicate the content here on the web.

There is also a nice support page that includes a near-complete list of Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10.

"We asked our engineers on the team to share some of their favorite (and lesser-known) keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10. Here is the list!"

Note: [NEW] denotes a new keyboard shortcut introduced in the the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Quick access to basic system functions:

  • Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Opens Task Manager.
  • WIN + F: Opens the Feedback Hub with a screenshot attached to your feedback. 
  • WIN + I: Opens the Settings app. 
  • WIN + L: Will lock your PC. 
  • WIN + X: Opens a context menu of useful advanced features.
  • WIN + X and A: Opens Command Prompt with administrative rights. 
  • WIN + X and P: Opens Control Panel. 
  • WIN + X and M: Opens Device Manager.
  • WIN + X and U then S: Puts your PC to sleep. 
    • Scott: Or just push the power button on most laptops or close the lid
  • WIN + Down: Minimizes an app. 
  • WIN + Up: Maximizes an app. 

Capturing what’s on your screen:

  • Alt + PrtScrn: Takes a screenshot of open window and copies to your clipboard. 
  • WIN + PrtScrn: Takes a screenshot of your entire desktop and saves it into a Screenshots folder under Photos in your user profile. 
  • WIN + Alt + R: Start/stop recording your apps & games. 

Mastering File Explorer:

  • Alt + D in File Explorer or browser: Puts you in the address bar. 
  • F2 on a file: Renames the file. 
  • Shift + Right-click in File Explorer: Will give you option to launch Command Prompt with whatever folder you are in as the starting path. 
  • Shift + Right-click on a file: “Copy as path” is added to the context menu.
    • Scott: These two are gold. Copy as path has been around for years and is super useful.

For the taskbar:

  • WIN + <number>: Opens whatever icon (app) is in that position on the taskbar. 
  • [NEW] WIN + Alt + D: Opens date and time flyout on the taskbar.  
    • Scott: I love the new calendar stuff in Windows 10. You just click the clock in the corner and you get not only clock and calendar but also your agenda for the day from your calendar. I think Windows 10 should include more stuff like this going forward - integrating your mail, calendar, plan, trips, commutes, directly in the OS and not just in Apps. That's one of the reasons I like Live Tiles. I like to see information without launching formal apps.  I like widgets on iOS and Android.
  • WIN + S: Search for apps and files. Just type the app name (partially) or executable name (if you know it) and press Enter. Or Ctrl + Shift+ Enter if you need this elevated.
  • WIN + Shift + <number>: Opens a new window of whatever icon (app) is in that position on the taskbar (as will Shift + Click on the icon). 
  • WIN + Shift + Ctrl + <number>: Opens a new window of whatever icon (app) is in that position on the taskbar with administrative rights. 

Remote Desktop and Virtual Desktop:

  • CTRL + ALT + Left Arrow: VM change keyboard focus back to host.   
  • CTRL + ALT + HOME: Remote Desktop change keyboard focus back to host.

For example, in a VM, CTRL + ALT + Left Arrow then ALT + TAB lets you get focus back and switch to an app on your dev machine besides the VM.


  • [NEW] WIN + Shift + C: Opens Cortana to listen to an inquiry. 

Other neat keyboard shortcuts:

  • Alt + X in WordPad: Using on a selected character or word in WordPad will show/hides the Unicode.
  • Alt + Y on a UAC prompt: Automatically chooses yes and dismisses the prompt. 
  • Ctrl + mouse scroll-wheel: Scrolling will zoom and un-zoom many things across the OS. Middle clicking on the mouse scroll-wheel will dismiss tabs, open windows in taskbar, and notifications from the Action Center (new). 
  • Shift + F10: Will open the context menu for whatever is in focus. 

Here are some useful keyboard shortcuts on Surface devices: 

  • Fn + Left arrow: Home
  • Fn + Right arrow: End
  • Fn + Up arrow: Page Up
  • Fn + Down arrow: Page Down
  • Fn + Del: Increases screen brightness.
  • Fn + Backspace: Decreases screen brightness.
  • Fn + Spacebar: Takes a screenshot of the entire screen or screens and puts it into your clipboard. 
  • Fn + Alt + Spacebar: Takes a screenshot of an active window and puts it into your clipboard.

What are YOUR favorite keyboard shortcuts for Windows?

Sponsor: I want to thank Stackify for sponsoring the blog this week, and what's more for gifting the world with Prefix. It's a must have .NET profiler for your dev toolbox. Do yourselves a favor and download it now—free!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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August 05, 2016 17:24
Ctrl+C copies the contents of message boxes. Handy for bug reports.
August 05, 2016 17:24
Just like to add that some of these shortcuts can differ depending on language.
August 05, 2016 17:32
The shift+right-click to get the "Copy path" option is cool, but I found it much more handy to add "Copy path" to the quick access toolbar. (In file explorer, select the "Home" tab in the ribbon, right-click "Copy path" and select "Add to quick access toolbar".) One of the few things I use that toolbar for, but then copy path is only one click away.
August 05, 2016 17:53
One of my favorite shortcuts - Windows Logo + Number of the program pinned on Taskbar.
Eg. Win + 1, Win + 2
August 05, 2016 18:37
My favorites definitely have to do with dual monitors:

WIN + Shift + <Left or Right Arrow>: Move currently focused window to the monitor to the left/right
WIN + Shift + <4,8,6,2>: Moves the currently focused window around the current monitor in a clockwise fasion, taking up just a quarter or half of the monitor. Each time you press one of the numbers, the window will resize and/or move position.
WIN + M: Minimize all windows
WIN + D: Minimize/Restore all windows
August 05, 2016 19:03
Win + Shift + /: Seems to open Windows Feedback.
I haven't found this one documented anywhere but I used the same shortcut (until recently learning about Win + Shift + Left/Right Arrow) to move windows between monitors using Actual Multiple Monitors.

Alt + D, cmd, Enter: Open cmd.exe in the current directory. Also works for PowerShell (or pretty much any application, I like it for gvim too). The one down side to this is that the address bar will contain the path to the executable so if you go to copy the path from the address bar (e.g. Alt + D, Ctrl + C) you'll get the just run executable path instead.
August 05, 2016 19:45
What is this Win key you speak of? Yeah, there is one on the laptop (I use an old IBM Model M)
August 05, 2016 21:21
Win + Down does restore down for me, not minimize.
August 05, 2016 21:25
Hey Scott, you need to convince someone on the Windows team to add a keyboard shortcut to move windows between Virtual Desktops.

As it is, they are useless!
August 05, 2016 21:36
Another golden shortcut for those of us with multiple input languages is LEFT ALT + SHIFT - it switches current input language.
August 05, 2016 21:46
You've got most of the ones I use. One that I would call out is when you are RDP'd into a machine CTRL + ALT + END acts like CTRL + ALT + DELETE on the remote machine.
August 05, 2016 22:01
In file explorer, CTRL + L will also put you in the address bar. I like it more than ALT + D since it's the same keyboard combo as in web browsers. Also, CTRL + F4 will put you in the address bar, bit it will also show you a drop down of history.
August 05, 2016 22:01
Win - Left / Win - Right helps to bring windows side by side.
Win + tab as an alternative to alt + tab
August 05, 2016 22:55
Not shortcut related but StExBar is a nice toolbar for explorer that adds cmd prompt here, copy path, show extenions, and allows for custom buttons that can run scripts. Just thought I was somewhat related to the topic.

August 05, 2016 23:29
some shortcuts are different in other languages - just saying :)
August 06, 2016 4:02
Scott! Ctrl + Shift + V seems to be broken in Windows 10... Oh wait, for some reason the Visual Studio Clipboard Ring hasn't been implemented yet, guess I'll keep using ClipX :(
August 06, 2016 7:49
What is the shortcut for pasting into a bash shell?
August 06, 2016 9:46
Nice collection! There are some that I didn't know about.

A shortcut I use a lot is Win+Space to switch between input languages. The Spanish layout sucks for coding and I need to switch to English for that kind of tasks.
August 06, 2016 16:33
Do you have any wikis that document these or should I just start adding them to mine:
August 06, 2016 20:27
Not sure if I'm doing it correctly but those Win + X and other key do not work well for me. For example, cmd with admin rights - if I keep hitting that combo it will eventually open cmd but I get a lot of context menu and action windows opening in the process
August 06, 2016 21:23
Ah I see - it's based off the context menu
August 07, 2016 3:05
Cool Article. "Win+X +[x]" saved win 10 in my book.
This article needs to be linked from your dev tools page!
August 07, 2016 11:08
Thanks Scott,
very handy shortcuts it will helped.
August 08, 2016 4:50
I use: WIN + CTRL + left/right arrow keys to move between virtual desktops.

Wish they wouldn't have changed WIN + C to WIN + Shift + C
Wish WIN + PRT SCR would be the keys to capture a WINdow.

Thank you for the list. Look forward to using: Alt+Y.
Nice to know about Shift + F10. My MSI keyboard doesn't have that key.
August 08, 2016 14:07
WIN + B - Go to Notification Area (then using Enter or Arrow Keys you can navigate through the icons)
August 08, 2016 15:25
"[NEW] WIN + Shift + C: Opens Cortana to listen to an inquiry. "

Cortana needs a simpler shortcut. I was thinking it should activate when you press the WIN key to bring up the start menu, you are in text search mode at that point anyway so why not also allow voice search at the same time (unless disabled).
August 08, 2016 16:46
Win D shows the desktop; win D again restores all your windows
Win R opens the "run" dialog
on remote desktop, control alt END is the same as doing control alt DEL on that remote box
August 09, 2016 0:31
Anyone knows a shortcut to open the calculator *and* give focus to it?
August 09, 2016 0:32
WIN + E - File Explorer
August 09, 2016 18:00
@Eduardo: You can get a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 with a dedicated Calculator button ;)

Those of us who used Windows 8 extensively had Win+C change substantially from a relatively light operation to pull out the charms to a somewhat heavier one that turns on Cortana's listen mode.
August 09, 2016 19:08
@Nick: I already own one, but it infuriates me when the calc pops up, but WITHOUT focus, so you start typing the numbers but nothing happens (or your currently open Word/Excel document gets all the numbers)
August 09, 2016 19:29
@Eduardo: Huh, mine usually comes up with focus, I'm guessing there's some weird thing going on where an application "holds focus" that prevents the new process from having startup focus.
August 09, 2016 22:13
@Eduardo Same here.
August 10, 2016 3:09
I use Alt + Tab the most
August 10, 2016 3:26
I use f4 instead of alt+d in file explorer.
August 10, 2016 3:50
Thought of one more.

Ctrl+shift+N -- in explorer with create a new folder with focus on renaming it.

August 10, 2016 11:23
WIN + Alt + <number>: Open jump list
August 10, 2016 20:39
@Eduardo I also just noticed that problem after upgrading from Win 7 to Win 10 last week. I also use a Microsoft keyboard with a dedicated calculator button, although it is an older one (Microsoft Keyboard Elite for Bluetooth, circa 2005). It's an annoyance, for sure!
August 11, 2016 7:37
Instead of shift+right click for context menu, use Shift+F10 or context menu button.
August 23, 2016 22:28
I am really enjoying Win10 because it has some exciting features that I love most. by the way thanks for this article to provide new shortcuts which I didn't know :)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.