#TBT: Windows keyboard shortcuts

This post originally ran in April 2008. I am reposting it now, as part of my throwback thursday project, to give some of my older quality posts some love. Many of these, I still use daily, and yet others I had completely forgotten about. Useful stuff, though. Yes, even that last one. If you’ve ever had an IBM ThinkPad, you’ll know why…

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to see the desktop of your computer quickly? Or maybe you wanted to open the Windows Task Manager quickly? You might have needed to see how much RAM your computer has installed, wanted to get Windows Explorer open, or even the Run-dialog box without needing to much about going to the start-menu?

There are many ways of doing all of these tasks, there are the ones most people know, and many tasks also have keyboard shortcuts. I prefer using the keyboard to using a mouse most of the time, and keyboard shortcuts, or hotkeys as they are often called, saves time. It has come to the point where I don’t think about the keyboard combination, but just punch it in.

There are many hotkeys around, and not all of them apply to every users needs. My needs are different to those of a user that spends most of their time in Photoshop. The keyboard shortcuts I have listed below are used in Windows, and are not dependent on any other software. If there are shortcuts you feel I’ve overlooked, feel free to tell me about them in the comment field.

Windows key+Pause – Opens the System Properties dialog box
Windows key+E – Opens the Windows Explorer
Windows key+D – Minimizes all windows and shows the Desktop, second use will revert to previous state
Windows key+R – Opens the Run dialog box
Windows key+L – Locks the computer
Windows key+F – Opens a Search window
Windows key+F1 – Displays the Windows Help Menu
Ctrl+Shift+Esc – Opens the Task Manager
Alt+Tab – Switches between windows
Alt+F4 – Closes the currently active window. If there is no active window this opens the Shut Down dialog box.
Ctrl+Esc – Opens the Windows menu



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