10 little-known keyboard or mouse shortcuts to perform quick actions on Windows PC
In the guide that follows we have collected the best shortcuts and hotkeys used to work quickly from the PC, using an intelligent combination of mouse and keyboard (present on all computers). The guide is valid for both PCs with Windows 11 and for PCs with Windows 10.
READ ALSO -> Most useful keyboard shortcuts on Chrome, Edge and Firefox
1) Windows keyboard shortcuts
The keys to memorize to work immediately on the PC are the following:
- Copy: CTRL + C
- Size: CTRL + X
- Paste: CTRL + V
- Maximize window: F11, alternatively Windows + UP arrow
- Open Task View: Windows + TAB
- Switch between open apps: ALT + TAB
- PC lock: Windows + L
- Show and hide the desktop: Windows + D
- Take a screenshot: Windows + PrtScn or Fn + Windows + Spacebar
To discover other shortcuts and hotkeys for Windows we can read our guide to key combinations for Windows 10 and 11.
2) Taskbar shortcuts
The Windows taskbar supports some very useful hotkeys and shortcuts to memorize:
- Open new app instance: Shift + left click
- Open app as administrator: SHIFT + CTRL + left click
- Show window menu for app: CTRL + right click
- Show window menu for group: CTRL + right click on group
- Scroll group windows: CTRL + click on a button on the group
These can be particularly useful if we open many programs together or often use administrator permissions.
3) Shortcuts for File Explorer
When we open File Explorer on PC we can use very comfortable keyboard shortcuts, such as those seen below:
- Select the address bar: ALT + D
- Select the search box: CTRL + E
- Open new tab (Tabbed File Explorer): CTRL + T
- Open new window: CTRL + N
- Change the size of files and folders: CTRL + mouse wheel
- Create a new folder: CTRL + SHIFT + N
- Display the preview panel: ALT + P
- Open Properties for selected item: ALT + ENTER
- View parent folder: ALT + UP ARROW
- View next/previous folder: ALT + LEFT/RIGHT ARROW
We will thus be able to move very quickly between Windows files and folders.
4) Command prompt shortcuts
Who often uses the command prompt do well to remember the following shortcuts, since they can become very useful when we have many commands to use:
- Copy selected text: CTRL + C or CTRL + INS
- Paste selected text: CTRL + V or SHIFT + INSERT
- Move the cursor in the specified direction: Arrow keys
- Move the cursor up or down: PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN
- Autocomplete command or path: TAB
- Activate flag mode: CTRL + M
- Move cursor to start of buffer: CTRL + HOME (in flag mode)
- Move cursor to end of buffer: CTRL + END (in flag mode)
- Move down one row: CTRL + DOWN ARROW
- Move up one row: CTRL + UP ARROW
To learn more we can read our article ai command prompt (CMD) tricks.
5) More PC shortcuts and hotkeys
To complete this guide we will also show you suggestions collected over many years of using Windowsso that we can use them every time we sit in front of the PC and need to speed up operations.
1) Press and hold the key Shift For select portions of text or groups of files in a folder: an inconvenient and widespread practice is to select multiple files in a folder or a piece of text on a Word sheet by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the selection.
2) Much easier and more accurate instead is to press once with the left key on the first file, keep pressed Shift on the keyboard and then press again with the mouse at the end of the selection, on the last file.
On a text sheet, click on the first character, then press the shift key, choose the last character, click here and release the key Shift.
3) Press and hold the key Ctrl For select different pieces of text or single files together. If with Shift you select from the first to the last, with the same procedure you can keep the key pressed Ctrl to select only clicked files in a folder.
4) At the same motion, with Ctrl you can select several non-contiguous parts of a text.
Press and hold the key Ctrl while selecting and, holding it down, select another piece of text, and so on.
5) Holding down Shift and then pressing the right mouse button on the Windows desktop or on a file or folder opens a larger context menuwhich includes some hidden options.
6) The Zoom with the mouse wheel + Ctrl; this trick works both on the desktop, or on a sheet of text, or in a browser surfing the internet, or looking at a folder or whatever, if you press the CTRL key on your keyboard and then move the mouse wheel, you can zoom in or out. It is therefore immediate to zoom in or out of text, icons, images and whatever you want.
7) With a double click of the mouse in the center of the title bar of a window, it is maximized or minimized. A less known trick is instead the one whereby, with a double click in the left corner of any window or program, it is closed.
8) On internet browsers you can hold down the key Ctrl For open a link in the background, in a new tab, thus leaving the one you are looking at open; the same thing can be done by clicking on the links with the wheel.
9) On any browser like Chrome, Edge or Firefox, you can close a tab simply by pressing on it with the mouse wheel button. This method is much faster than clicking on the cross or key combination.
10) For Turn on Mouse Click Lock we enter the Windows Control Panel and, in the Mouse section, activate the option of the “Block clicks“. We can thus modify the behavior of dragging icons or other objects, so that we don’t always have to hold down the left button to do the “Drag And Drop” or the selection of elements.
11) Other mouse tricks have been described in other articles, using plugins or small additional tools:
Let’s read them all to quickly become real experts of shortcuts on the computer.
Shortcuts and hotkeys have been accompanying computer users for decades, but only a few users can say they have good knowledge about it. Given the convenience of using these commands we advise you to memorize the most useful onesso as to use them mechanically every time we sit down in front of a PC, be it at work, study or gaming.
To learn more we can read our guides on how hide mouse cursor automatically and about how record and repeat mouse and keyboard movements and clicks.
To give a touch of personality to the PC we can also read the guide on how change the mouse arrow by creating custom cursors and pointers.