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News & Press: Feature

Windows Hotkeys - Tips and Tricks

Thursday, January 14, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jim Henry
Recently, while working with a client on why one should lock their workstation when they walk away, I was surprised to hear "Well, it takes too long. I have to hit Ctrl + Alt + Delete, then click lock". My reply was a quick, "No, you just hit Windows + L". Blank stare! Taking this as an educational moment, I thought to myself "Huh, just because I, who have been doing IT for 25 + years, know these short cuts and use them daily, does NOT mean the average user does!" Obvious, but we're known to overlook the obvious!

We came up with a longer list of shortcuts and such, but I thought I'd start with this short list. Let me know if you find this useful or if this falls under the obvious for you.

Ctrl + Escape or Win: Display start menu.
Shift + F10 or AppsKey: Display context menu.
Win + E: Open Windows Explorer.
Win + R: Open Run dialog.
Win + D: Toggle minimize all windows.
Win + B: Activate system tray. Arrow keys select, Enter double-clicks, and AppsKey or Shift + F10 right-clicks.
Win + L: Locks keyboard. Similar to Lock Workstation.
Win + F or F3: Open Find dialog. (All Files) F3 may not work in some applications which use F3 for their own find dialogs.
Win + Control + F: Open Find dialog. (Computers)
Win + U: Open Utility Manager.
Win + F1: Open Windows help.
Win + Pause: Open System Properties dialog.
Win + Tab: Cycle through taskbar buttons. Enter clicks, AppsKey or Shift + F10 right-clicks.
Win + Shift + Tab: Cycle through taskbar buttons in reverse.
Alt + Tab: Display CoolSwitch. More commonly known as the AltTab dialog.
Alt + Shift + Tab: Display CoolSwitch; go in reverse.
Alt + Escape: Send active window to the bottom of the z-order.
Alt + Shift + Escape: Activate the window at the bottom of the z-order.
Alt + F4: Close active window; or, if all windows are closed, open shutdown dialog.
Shift while a CD is loading: Bypass AutoPlay.
Ctrl + Alt + Delete or Ctrl + Alt + NumpadDel (Both NumLock states): Invoke the Task Manager or NT Security dialog.
Ctrl + Shift + Escape: Invoke the task manager. On earlier OSes, acts like Ctrl + Escape.
Printscreen: Copy screenshot of current screen to clipboard.
Alt + Printscreen: Copy screenshot of current active window to clipboard.
Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow: Invert screen. Untested on OSes other than XP.
Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow: Undo inversion.

There are a ton of these out there. Again, some of these are very obvious, but in creating this list, I learned a few more myself!

Jim Henry
Project Manager / Tex R Us, LLC
(Also your 2009 Association Vice President)

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