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Last Updated on December 8, 2020

25 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Now

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25 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Now

If you are using Windows regularly, using these Windows keyboard shortcuts will definitely increase your productivity. Compiled below is an exclusive list of shortcuts that will help you breeze through your daily work.

You might know some of them, but there are certainly some hidden gems that you wouldn’t have heard of before. Once you start using them, you will notice how easy navigating and operating on Windows has become.

Basic Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

These are the most basic shortcuts and ones you’ll likely have heard of. They are key in moving through your work quickly and easily.

1. Ctrl+Z : Undo

shortcut

    Irrespective of what you are doing, or where you are doing it, Ctrl + Z is a lifesaver. One possibly can’t survive without this function.

    Whatever program you’re running, this function helps you get back to your last input. So don’t worry about all the mistakes as this particular shortcut will save you every time.

    2. Ctrl + A : Select All

    Nordam: – Sig Nordal, Jr.

      Again, irrespective of which program you are running, this shortcut key selects all of the text, files, folders, or elements in any given program or page.

      Instead of spending your time dragging your mouse all over the page, use this to grab everything in one go.

      3. Ctrl + C : Copy

      shortcut

        You’ve selected what you wanted to. Now you’d like to copy it.

        This is probably one of the top shortcut keys people use when working on their Windows system. Easily copy whatever you like, and it stays with you until you are ready to paste it.

        4. Ctrl + V : Paste

        shortcut

          Easily paste all that you have copied. It could be a text, file, image, or folder. In any case, this is a very useful feature to bring everything together.

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          If you would like to paste plain, simple text without original formatting, just add Shift to it, i.e. Ctrl + Shift + V.

          5. Ctrl + X : Cut

          shortcut

            Don’t want a piece of text/table/image/file in a particular place?

            Simply select it and use the shortcut Ctrl + X. The piece gets removed and copied. Then, use the paste shortcut to paste it anywhere you like.

            6. Alt + Tab : Switch Screen/Tabs

            shortcut

              This one has been around for a while and has been enhanced with upgrades in the Windows OS. Simply press Alt and then the Tab key, and you will switch to the next tab/screen.

              Holding down the Alt button and tapping on Tab let’s you move and choose between multiple screens. Talk about multi-tasking!

              7. Ctrl + Alt + Del : Start Task Manager

              shortcut

                What happens when an application starts to lag or stops responding, or your windows OS stands still and you can’t move a thing? You summon Ctrl + Alt + Del! When you press them together, a magical box called the task manager opens up.

                You can then check out which programs/apps were making your PC slow and shut them down from the task manager itself, bringing your PC back to life.

                8. Alt + F4 : Close App

                ALT + F4 | Media Literacy at OSU Newark Spring 2017

                  This shortcut has been around for decades now! Simply press Alt plus the function F4 key and the application you’re using will close.

                  However, it is smart enough to ask you to save your work before it shuts down. It also works almost on anything right from your browser to games and custom applications.

                  9. Ctrl + F : Find

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                  How to Do Basic Keyboard Shortcut in Windows

                    You know you just wrote that sentence, and now you can’t find it! Or you really need to find a particular keyword in a document or a browser? Ctrl + F is the handy shortcut that will open a quick bar where you can type in the keyword, and it will show you all the results in the document matching your request.

                    10. Ctrl +H : Find and Replace

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                      You just finished your essay, and you realize you’ve been spelling the name of that scientist wrong the whole time! Now you not only need to find the keyword but replace all uses of it with something else. Not a problem at all. The Ctrl + H shortcut comes in handy here.

                      Just hit the keys and a box will open. You can simply type in the word that you need to find and replace. This works for most document types.

                      11. Ctrl + E : Select the Search Box

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                        Whether you are in your file explorer or browser, pressing Ctrl+E will select your search/navigation bar, and you can directly start typing into it. This will make your life easier when you need quick search.

                        12. Ctrl + N : Open a New Window

                        shortcut

                          Pressing Ctrl+N together will open up a new file or a window depending on if you are working in your browser or offline. This Windows keyboard shortcut works well with most offline applications and online browsers made for Windows.

                          13. Ctrl + Mouse Scroll Wheel : Zoom In/Out

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                            Text too small? Want to see the details more clearly? Viewing an infographic that requires zooming in? This shortcut provides exactly that.

                            If you are in a document, this command will make your files and folders appear larger, and if you are on your browser, it will simply zoom in on the page. Talk about attention to detail!

                            Advanced Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

                            14. Win + L: Lock Screen

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                              Stepping away, but don’t want to shut down or put your system to sleep? Win + L is a great shortcut. It helps you lock down your screen, and unless you re-enter your password nobody can open it (assuming you have a password set for your system).

                              15. Win + D : Show Desktop

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                                This is actually a quick minimize option. No matter how many tabs/windows are open, this shortcut quickly minimizes all of them and shows you the desktop, allowing you to access files or an application in a couple of clicks.

                                16. Win + Tab (+ Shift) : Toggle Task View

                                Awesome Windows Shortcut Keys – SVEN TECHNOLOGY

                                   

                                  This shortcut is very similar to what Alt + Tab does, but it is a more advanced level Windows app navigator. When you press it, you will see tiles of all the open programs and most used programs.

                                  You can scroll or jump between them by additionally pressing the shift key with the Win + Tab command.

                                  17. Win + C : Opens Cortana

                                  These Short Keys are Going to Make Your Life So Much More Productive

                                     

                                    Are you a fan of voice control or like using Cortana to get things done quickly? You can summon her by using the Win + C shortcut. She’ll then be available to grant your every request.

                                    18. Win + Prt Sc : Save Screenshot

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                                      While Prt Sc allows you to take a screenshot, pressing the Windows button at the same time allows you to automatically save the screenshot. There is a folder named “screenshot” in your pictures destination, where PNG files of the screenshot will get saved. No need to add another screenshot tool!

                                      19. Win + I : Open Settings

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                                        Need to quickly open the settings tab? Now, you don’t need to browse through 3-4 destinations to reach the settings tab. Just hit Win + I to open up the settings menu for Windows.

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                                        20. Win + S : Search for Windows

                                        10 Great Keyboard Shortcuts to Make Life Easy

                                          You will always have that file or application that you can’t find on your PC. For this, Windows introduced the search bar.

                                          You can easily open it by pressing Win + S and typing in the file name you want to look up. Additionally, since Cortana is integrated with the search function, you can use it to ask additional questions as well.

                                          21. Fn + F2 : Rename

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                                            Depending on the hardware manufacturer, F2 keys perform various tasks, like volume up/down or turn Wifi off/on. However, using the Fn + F2, you can quickly use the Rename file option when a file/folder is selected. Say goodbye to the right click.

                                            22. Fn + F5 : Refresh

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                                              Your PC stuck is stuck and the processor can’t keep up. Refresh is a good method to get things moving. Pressing Fn + F5 can refresh Windows, or if you are working on your browser, it can refresh that, too.

                                              23. Win + X : Hidden Menu

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                                                Did you know that windows had a hidden menu? Press Win + X and see it pop-up. It will give you access to all the essential areas of the system.

                                                24. Win + V : Navigate Through Notifications

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                                                  If you have configured notifications and alerts on your systems, this shortcut will help you easily toggle through all of them. It’s extremely useful for people who are especially popular or busy.

                                                  25. Win + Ctrl + B : Open App That Displayed a Notification

                                                    You’re working, and a notification pops up that needs your attention. Use Win + Ctrl + B, and the explorer will switch to the application that sent you the notification. Swift.

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                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                    You might be excited to start using all of these Windows keyboard shortcuts right away. While I advise you to try them all out, it entirely depends on how you engage with your system and what work you do. Any number of them can be generally useful. Start experimenting today.

                                                    More Tips on Using Windows

                                                    Featured photo credit: freestocks.org via unsplash.com

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                                                    Harsh Binani

                                                    Harsh has helped a lot of multi-national corporations and startups to leverage technology for greater productivity.

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                                                    Last Updated on August 11, 2021

                                                    18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2021 Updated)

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                                                    18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2021 Updated)

                                                    No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

                                                    If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there (such as an effective planner like this), you’re definitely missing a trick.

                                                    But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

                                                    Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

                                                    Let’s dive straight into the list.

                                                    1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

                                                      If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

                                                      RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                      Pro tip: If you tend to procrastinate as well, you may want to sign up for this free Fast Track Class – No More Procrastination and learn how to end this bad habit once and for all!

                                                      2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

                                                        If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

                                                        This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

                                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                                                        3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

                                                          This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

                                                          Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

                                                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                          Pro tip: Staying focused all the time isn’t easy, especially when distractions are everywhere these days! Grab the Full Life Planner and learn how to sharpen your focus!

                                                          4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

                                                            Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

                                                            Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

                                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                            5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

                                                              There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

                                                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                              6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                                                                Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

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                                                                Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

                                                                  Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                                                                  This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                                                                  Available on iOS and Desktop

                                                                  8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                                                                    This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                                                                    This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                                                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                    9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                                                                      Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                                                                      MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                      10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

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                                                                        1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                                                        Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                        11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                                                                          When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                                                                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                          12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                                                                            This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                                                                            Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                                                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                            13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                                                                              This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                                                                              Available on desktop (macOS)

                                                                              14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                                                                Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                                                                The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

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                                                                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                                                                15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

                                                                                  Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                                                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                                  16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                                                                    Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                                                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                                    17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                                                                      This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                                                      Available on iOS and Android

                                                                                      18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                                                                        Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                                        Final Thoughts

                                                                                        The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

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                                                                                        So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

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