Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Use

Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Use - person typing on a keyboard

There really are Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts you should use. In this post, I’m going to share some of them with you.

Going back to the early years of computing, keyboard shortcuts were very popular for getting things done. In fact, they were essential since we didn’t have the nice GUIs (Graphic User Interfaces) that we do now. Once GUIs took over, many people forgot about keyboard shortcuts. However, they really can be helpful and can cut down on your time getting things done. Let’s have a look.

General Keyboard Shortcuts

All of these first shortcuts involve the Windows key. That’s the key with the four little windows showing at the taskbar of Windows 11. The key is usually abbreviated as “Win.”

  • Win: Just activating the Win key alone opens or closes the Start Menu.
  • Win + A: This combination opens the Action Center. (Lower right-hand side of your screen.)
  • Win + I: What a fast way to get to Settings! Try it!
  • Win + L: Need to step away from your computer and not let anyone else on it? This combination locks your profile. If you use a password, anyone trying to get to your account will need it.
  • Win + D: Absolutely one of my favorite shortcuts. With this combo, you can show or hide the desktop.
  • Win + Tab: This combination opens the Task View to see all open windows and virtual desktops.

Search and File Explorer Shortcuts

  • Win + S: If you don’t have the Search field showing on your taskbar, these two keys will bring it up so you can search.
  • Win + E: This opens Windows Explorer.
  • Ctrl + Shift + N: With this shortcut, I’m using the Control Key (Ctrl) plus two other keys. This shortcut is a little tricky. If you already have Windows Explorer open and it’s the active window, using this 3-key combo will create a new folder. However, if you’re not in Windows Explorer, the same mixture will open an Incognito window in either Edge or Chrome, if you have either of them open. (Whew! I know that’s a lot to take in. Just re-read what I wrote and give it a try.)

Taskbar Shortcuts

  • Win + 1-9: You have to try this one to see what it does. Using Win + 1 will open or switch to the application pinned to the #1 position on the taskbar. You can press Win + any number between 1-9 and you’ll see what it does. Try it!
  • Win + T: This combination allows you to cycle through the applications on the taskbar. While holding down the Win key, just keep tapping the T key.
  • Win + B: This sets the focus on the notification area on the taskbar. (Lower right-hand corner.)

Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Use – Conclusion

There are tons more keyboard shortcuts but I don’t want to overload you! Here’s my suggestion: try all of these one at a time. Find the ones you like and adopt them in the future to save you time. If there are ones you don’t care for (Win + 1-9 is one of mine. I find it annoying!), just put them out of your head!

One other thing: if you’d like a written copy of these keyboard shortcuts, just click the PDF icon at the bottom of this page – before the comment area. Or, if you want to print it immediately, just click the printer icon.