Article ID : 00009260 / Last Modified : 07/16/2015Print

Keyboard shortcuts for the Windows operating system.

    IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check Applicable Products and Categories for details.


    • Most of these keyboard shortcuts work for all Windows operating systems, but some are limited to the more current Windows operating systems.
    • More information is also available in the Microsoft KB Article ID KB126449.

    Windows keys:

    • TAB: Move forward through the available options on the active window.
    • SHIFT+TAB: Move backward through the options on the active window.
    • SHIFT+Home: To highlight all text from the location of the cursor to the beginning (Home position) of that line of text.
    • CTRL+SHIFT+Home: To highlight all text from the location of the cursor to the begining (Home position) of the entire page.
    • SHIFT+End: To highlight all text from the location of the cursor to the end of that line of text.
    • CTRL+SHIFT+End: To highlight all text from the location of the cursor to the end of the entire page.
    • CTRL+TAB: Move forward through the tabs on the active window.
    • CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move backward through the tabs on the active window.
    • ENTER: Perform the command for the active option or button.
    • SPACEBAR: Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box.
    • ARROW (Up, Down, Left, Right): Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons.
    • BACKSPACE: Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box.
    • END: Display the bottom of the active window.
    • HOME: Display the top of the active window.

    Windows system key combinations:

    • F1: Help.
    • F2: Rename the selected item.
    • F3: Search for a file or a folder.
    • F4: Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
    • F5: Update (Refresh) the active window.
    • F6: Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop.
    • CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu.
    • ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs.
    • ALT+F4: Quit program.
    • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently.

    Windows program key combinations:

    • CTRL+A: Selects all the items in the active window.
    • CTRL+C: Copy.
    • CTRL+X: Cut.
    • CTRL+V: Paste.
    • CTRL+F: Displays the Find all files dialog box.
    • CTRL+G: Displays the Go to folder dialog box.
    • CTRL+N: Displays the New dialog box.
    • CTRL+O: Displays the Open dialog box.
    • CTRL+P: Displays the Print dialog box.
    • CTRL+S: Displays the Save dialog box.
    • CTRL+B: Bold.
    • CTRL+U: Underline.
    • CTRL+I: Italic.
    • CTRL+Z: Undo the last command.

    Mouse click/keyboard modifier combinations for shell objects:

    • SHIFT+right click: Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands.
    • SHIFT+double click: Runs the alternate default command (the second item on the menu).
    • ALT+double click: Displays properties.
    • SHIFT+DELETE: Deletes an item immediately without placing it in the Recycle Bin.

    General keyboard-only commands:

    • F1: Starts Help (within Windows and within some applications).
    • F10: Activates menu bar options.
    • SHIFT+F10: Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right-clicking an object).
    • CTRL+ESC: Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item).
    • CTRL+ESC or ESC: Selects the Start button (press TAB to select the taskbar, or press SHIFT+F10 for a context menu).
    • ALT+DOWN ARROW: Opens a drop-down list box.
    • ALT+TAB: Switch to another running program (hold down the ALT key and then press the TAB key to view the task-switching window).
    • SHIFT: Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature.
    • ALT+SPACE: Displays the main window's System menu (from the System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the window).
    • ALT+ESC: Cycles through items in the order that they had been opened.
    • ALT+- (ALT+hyphen): Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) child window's System menu (from the MDI child window's System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the child window).
    • CTRL+TAB: Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program.
    • ALT+underlined letter in menu: Opens the menu.
    • ALT+F4: Closes the current window.
    • CTRL+F4: Closes the current active document window.
    • ALT+F6: Switch between multiple windows in the same program (for example, when the Notepad and Find dialog box are displayed, ALT+F6 switches between the Find dialog box and the main Notepad window).
    • CTRL+F6: Opens the next document window in the active application.
    • Windows Logo: Display or hide the Start menu.
    • Windows Logo+BREAK: Display the System Properties dialog box
    • Windows Logo+F1: Opens Windows Help & Support.
    • Windows Logo+D: Minimizes all open windows and displays the desktop.
    • Windows Logo+E: Opens Windows Explorer.
    • Windows Logo+F: Opens Find files or folders.
    • CTRL+Windows Logo+F: Find computer.
    • Windows Logo+ L: Lock the keyboard.
    • Windows Logo+M: Minimize all.
    • Windows Logo+SHIFT+M: Undo minimize all (restore the minimized windows).
    • Windows Logo+U: Open the Utility Manager.
    • Windows Logo+R: Open the Run dialog box.
    • Windows Logo+X: Opens Windows Mobility Center.
    • CTRL+Windows Logo+TAB: Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray (use RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW to move focus to items on the Quick Launch toolbar and the system tray).
    • Windows Logo+TAB: Cycle through taskbar buttons.
    • Application key: Displays a shortcut menu for the selected item.

    Shell objects and general folder/Windows Explorer shortcuts:

    • For a selected object:
      • F2: Rename object.
      • F3: Find all files.
      • CTRL+X: Cut.
      • CTRL+C: Copy.
      • CTRL+V: Paste.
      • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete selection immediately, without moving the item to the Recycle Bin.
      • ALT+ENTER: Open the properties for the selected object.
    • To copy a file:
      • Press and hold down the CTRL key while you drag the file to another folder.
    • To create a shortcut:
      • Press and hold down CTRL+SHIFT while you drag a file to the desktop or a folder.

    General folder/shortcut control:

    • F4: Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer).
    • F5: Refreshes the current window.
    • F6: Moves among panes in Windows Explorer.
    • CTRL+G: Opens the Go To Folder tool (in Windows 95 Windows Explorer only).
    • BACKSPACE: Switch to the parent folder.
    • SHIFT+click+Close button: For folders, close the current folder plus all parent folders.
    • CTRL+SHIFT+ESC: Opens Task Manager directly.

    Windows Explorer tree control:

    • NUM LOCK+Asterisk sign (*): Expand (display) all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder.
    • NUM LOCK+Plus sign (+): Expands (display) the contents of the selected folder.
    • NUM LOCK+Minus sign (-): Collapses the content of the selected folder.
    • RIGHT ARROW: Expands the current selection if it is not expanded, otherwise goes to the first child.
    • LEFT ARROW: Collapses the current selection if it is expanded, otherwise goes to the parent.

    Properties control:

    • CTRL+TAB/CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move through the property tabs.

    Accessibility shortcuts:

    • Press the SHIFT five times: Toggles StickyKeys on and off.
    • Press and hold the right SHIFT key for eight seconds: Toggles FilterKeys on and off.
    • Press down and hold the NUM LOCK key for five seconds: Toggles ToggleKeys on and off.
    • Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK: Toggles MouseKeys on and off.
    • Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN: Toggles high contrast on and off.

    Microsoft Natural Keyboard with IntelliType software installed:

    • Windows Logo+L: Log off Windows.
    • Windows Logo+P: Starts Print Manager.
    • Windows Logo+C: Opens Control Panel.
    • Windows Logo+V: Starts Clipboard.
    • Windows Logo+K: Opens Keyboard Properties dialog box.
    • Windows Logo+I: Opens Mouse Properties dialog box.
    • Windows Logo+A: Starts Accessibility Options (if installed).
    • Windows Logo+SPACEBAR: Displays the list of Microsoft IntelliType shortcut keys.
    • Windows Logo+S: Toggles CAPS LOCK on and off.

    Dialog box keyboard commands:

    • TAB: Move to the next control in the dialog box.
    • SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous control in the dialog box.
    • SPACEBAR: If the current control is a button, this clicks the button. If the current control is a check box, this toggles the check box. If the current control is an option, this selects the option.
    • ENTER: Equivalent to clicking the selected button (the button with the outline).
    • ESC: Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button.