22 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts for Non-Geeks

Although you may not be as comfortable with new technologies as others, in this generation of technology reliance it is important to be able to keep up. You don’t have to be a geek to utilize a computer. You can take advantage of the technology and learn some really great shortcuts to make your life little bit easier. Hopefully this list of essential keyboard shortcuts for Windows can help you do just that. Note: These keyboard shortcuts are specifically for computers with the Windows operating system.

The basics

These are the essential keyboard shortcuts for Windows you definitely can’t live without.

1. Copy selected item: Ctrl+C


Copy any line of text or photos to your clipboard, while keeping a copy of the text in its original location.

2. Cut selected item: Ctrl+X


Cut a selected line of text or photos. Caution: If done incorrectly, you can lose the item since you no longer have a copy of it in the original location.

3. Paste selected item: Ctrl+V


Paste a selected cut or copied item into a new location. Note: If you need the item pasted in different formats (e.g. text only), you might still need to paste it from the right-click of the mouse.

4. Undo action: Ctrl+Z


Reverses an action. For example, if you accidentally delete a line of text, this keyboard shortcut should bring it back.

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5. Redo action: Ctrl+Y


This is the opposite to the ‘undo’ shortcut. Did you accidentally undo something you shouldn’t have? Don’t worry, this keyboard shortcut should redo it.

6. Select everything: Ctrl+A


Selects every item on the page. Useful for when you need to copy whole webpages into Word documents.

7. Print page(s): Ctrl+P


The quickest way to bring up the print options. Printing takes long enough as it is, why not save some time?

8. Take screenshot of current screen: PrntSc

Normal Keyboard

Takes a screenshot of whatever you can see on your screen to the clipboard. You can then paste the image anywhere from Paint to Word documents.

9. Save file*: Ctrl+S

Normal Keyboard

Using this keyboard shortcut every few minutes or so ensures a lowered chance of losing precious work progress.

10. Create new file*: Ctrl+N


Immediately brings up a new, blank page for you to start working on. It is definitely easier that going through the normal tedious process of creating a new blank document.

11. Open file*: Ctrl+O

Normal Keyboard

Brings up a window where you can choose to open a previous saved file, image, video, etc. *Use for programs such as Microsoft Office, Paint, Adobe, etc. Does not work for everything, especially over the internet.

Changing Format of Selected Text

Especially useful in Word documents or notepads

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12. Underline text: Ctrl+U

Normal Keyboard

13. Bold text: Ctrl+B

Normal Keyboard

14. Italic text: Ctrl+I

Normal Keyboard

Highlight a selection of text and use any of these shortcuts to change the text format. It is much easier than having to look for the appropriate button on the toolbar. Note: These shortcuts don’t work in situations where you are unable to manipulate text (e.g. social networking)

15. Switch between open windows: Alt+Tab


Brings up all open windows onto the screen, including Internet Explorer, Word documents, media player, etc. Hold Alt and continue pressing Tab until you have reached the desired window.

16. Refresh the page: F5

Normal Keyboard

You will often be required to reload/refresh your browser, and you can do so quite easily with the push of a single button.

17. Rename a file: F2


Select the file or files and press this key to rename. Note: To rename all files in a folder, use the shortcut Ctrl+A then press F2

18. Power down: Ctrl+Alt+Delete


This famous keyboard shortcut brings you to a page where you are able to select whether you want to put the computer on sleep, shut down, log out, lock the device, etc.

19. Move through tabs: Ctrl+Tab


In a browser, this shortcut will allow you to move through tabs which you can see at the very top of the page.

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20. Close current window: Ctrl+W


If you are working with a lot of unnecessary windows open, this keyboard shortcut should close the window you are currently on.

21. Move to bottom of current page: End


There is often important information displayed at the bottom of a webpage. This key will bring you straight there.

22. Visit browser home page: Alt+Home


This keyboard shortcut brings you back to the default home page of your browser.

View more information: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/22-essential-windows-keyboard-shortcuts-for-non-geeks.html

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