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10 Keyboard Shortcuts for Everyday Use

 I recently had the misfortune of watching my laptop break down completely, and, of course, being absolutely helpless without it, sent it immediately for repair. But technology has a mind of its own, so when the laptop was returned to me in working condition, the mouse (touchpad in this case) unfortunately, was not.

The technician’s only response to my panicked cries of anguish was, “Well, you know your keyboard shortcuts, so you’ll be fine.”

I did not. And I was not. 

But all's well that ends well. The genius technician convinced me to buy a highly overpriced external mouse and then I went on a hunt to learn those few shortcut keys I knew I would need to know, should this horror ever occur again. So, without further ado, here are the 10 keyboard shortcuts I believe can help make your Windows 10 experience easier.

The Window Key

This little guy gets his own introduction because the window key on your keyboard is for more than just opening the start menu. Many functions you might want to do on your computer are made easy by this one key that, combined with others, can help you do things faster.

 
1. Windows Key + E

Windows Logo Key, E Key, Short Cut, File Explorer, Open Files
This little combo has a very simple but important purpose; to open the file explorer. This is especially important if your major use for your computer is work. It also makes it easier if you prefer watching movies on your computer because, used with other shortcuts like for searching, it simplifies the process of opening the folders and finding them. 

Windows key, E key, File explorer, Search, Documents, Shortcut

This folder, or something similar, should open when you use the Windows Key and E together. 

 

2. Windows + I

Windows Key, I Key, Shortcuts, Keyboard, Mouse-free

This nifty shortcut lets you open your computer/user settings, where all your account information, added devices, security protocols, etc. are managed. It's something that you will need access to at some point or the other, with or without your mouse. To make things even easier, once you’ve got the Settings Window open, you can move to and select the setting you wish to change or check using the Tab key. 

settings, Windows key, I key, search, account, devices, shortcut

Your settings page should open, which will look something like this. Click on the picture to see the full image! 

 

3. Windows + S 

Windows Key, S Key, keyboard, shortcuts, Search
The “S”, quite expectedly, stands for “Search”. If you’re trying to search for an app or a program on your computer, say for example Paint, or Candy Crush, or my personal favorite, Solitaire, you just need to press these keys and type in whatever you’re looking for. 

Windows key, S key, search, computer, shortcut, keyboard

Your search bar will probably look something like this.

 

4. Windows + M 

Windows Key, M Key, Shortcuts, Keyboard, Minimize
This quick fix shortcut lets you minimize all open windows with one stroke of the keyboard. It’s the best way to clear your screen when you’re in a rush to leave the house. Or if there is just too much clutter on your screen. 

Windows key, M key, minimize, applications, shortcut

Why are so many things open? 

Windows key, M key, minimize, applications, shortcut

Ahh. Much better. 

 

5. Windows + Home

Windows Key, Home Key, minimize, shortcuts, keyboard
The “Home” button is located, usually, on the right-hand side of your keyboard, in the topmost row, alongside the multiple “F” keys. This combo is what I like to call a stroke of concentration. See what I did there. Pressing these keys simultaneously minimizes all windows except the one you are currently working on or have open. Its great for when other windows are popping up behind the screen you're working on and you want to clear them out with one stroke.

Windows key, home key, minimize, current application, open, shortcut

Oh no, how did I end up back here again? I just wanted to use skype.  

Windows key, home key, minimize, current application, open, shortcut

Okay, it's all good now. 

 

6. Windows + X 

Windows Key, X Key, keyboard, shortcuts, shut down options, settings
Pressing these two keys will take you straight to the shutdown options for your system. This may also open a set of options that allows you to open file explorer, search, settings, device manager (to manage the printers, fax machines, Bluetooth devices, etc connected to your system), battery options, and many others. 

Windows Key, X Key, shut down options, settings, file explorer, shortcut.

It's like a shortcut to all the shortcuts! Click the picture for the full image. 

 

7. Windows + Up Arrow Key/ Windows + Down Arrow Key

Windows key, Up key, Down key, keyboard, shortcuts, maximize, minimize

These two combinations have their own simple yet unique functions. Pressing the Windows key and Up Arrow key simultaneously lets you maximize the screen open in front of you. Conversely, the Windows key with the Down Arrow Key minimizes the screen of your choosing – which you can toggle between without your mouse using a nifty trick listed below in number 9.

Windows Key, Down Arrow key, minimize, shortcut, keyboard 

Windows key + down arrow key = Minimize. 

Windows key, up arrow key, maximise, shortcut, keyboard

Windows key + Up arrow key = Maximize!

 

Control/Alt

8. Control (Crtl) + Tab

Control Key, Tab Key, keyboard, shortcuts, internet, tabs
There are just too many articles, posts, videos and social media pages out there. It’s a great new way to absorb content, but it can be tough to jump from one internet tab to the other with the mouse. So, this mix of keys is great as it lets you switch between your open internet tabs in order, without having to use the mouse.

Control key, tab key, internet tab, switch, keyboard shortcut

.........1 

Control key, tab key, internet tab, switch, keyboard shortcut

........2

Control key, tab key, internet tab, switch, keyboard shortcut

.........3! It's that easy! 

 

9. Alt + Tab

Alt key, Tab key, keyboard, shortcut, change, windows, select
I’ve got a skype call to take, a game open in another window, and I’m trying to make a note on Word. The best way to manage is to use the Alt and Tab keys together, which lets you toggle between the different windows you have open. Make sure you hold the Alt key down when you’re selecting the window. 

Alt key, tab key, toggle, search, select, application, windows, shortcut, keyboard

This is what your screen will most likely resemble when you use the Alt + Tab shortcut to toggle between applications. 

 

10. Alt + Left Arrow key/ Alt + Right Arrow key

Alt Key, Left arrow key, right arrow key, keyboard, shortcuts, forward, backward
When you’re viewing a webpage and another page opens or you click a link by accident, pressing Alt key + Left Arrow Key takes you back to your previous page. And in case you want to move forward to the next page again, pressing the Alt key and the Right Arrow key takes you forward. 

alt key, right arrow key, forward, shortcut, keyboard

Looks like I've gone one step too far. Better turn back. 

alt key, left arrow key, backward, shortcut, keyboard

There. Back to where I started. Although... I do have an excess of cucumber at home. Better alt + right key and move forward again! 

 

We hope this post helps you, and we hope you share it with your friends! So no one gets caught off guard (like I did) when your mouse decides to have a mind of its own. 

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