If you are using an application or a program on day to day basis then it’s worth knowing the shortcut keys, they can help you to navigate faster and smarter.

Being a windows user for more than 15 years, one thing that saves me a lot of time is Keyboard Shortcuts. Shortcut Keys are difficult to remember at first but when you start using them regularly, you will see that it is far more convenient for navigating a program or application instead of using a mouse.

Today let us see the most used or most useful shortcut keys for a windows operating system. I didn’t want to list all the shortcut keys that are out there in Microsoft manual, so just listed those which will make your system usage more effective.

Useful Shortcut Keys

  • Right click on any drive, folder or file and press ALT + ENTER to view the properties of that object.
  • Whenever you want to rename a file, folder or drive select and just press F2 key.
  • In windows explorer when you want to quickly switch to different path press F4 key, your cursor will be placed in the windows explorer address bar for you to type your new path.
  • To view the system information quickly press the shortcut keys WINDOWS + PAUSE BREAK
  • To quickly minimize all windows and view your desktop, press the shortcut key WINDOWS + D
  • Press WINDOWS + E to open My Computer.
  • Windows key isn’t the only one that can help you to open start menu have you tried CTRL + ESC?
  • Launch Task Manager to view the running programs using CTRL + SHIFT + ESC
  • Launch the Run window by using the keys WINDOWS + R
  • Press ALT + F4 to quickly close any program that you don’t want. When you press the same shortcut key with all windows minimized or closed it will bring the Windows Shutdown dialog.
  • To quickly dock a windows to the right side of the screen press WINDOWS + RIGHT ARROW, should i say how to dock it on left?
  • Press CTRL + SHIFT + N to create a new folder in your computer.
  • Press SHIFT key and right click on any file or folder. You can see two options enabled – Copy as Path option, which will help you copy the full path of the file or folder and Open Command Window here option to launch and fire your commands, unfortunately this isn’t available on Windows XP.

Shortcut Key to Open Folder in New Window

  1. Select the folder that you want to open in New Window.
  2. Hold CTRL key down and double click on the folder and it will open up in new window.

You can actually right click and select open in new window option, but it’s always good to know that there are shortcuts too.

Assigning Shortcut Keys for a Specific Program

Now all these shortcuts are predefined, how about assigning shortcut keys to some of your favorite programs? I agree that there are wonderful Program Launchers available to do the job but let’s just learn the trick so that we can use it for some of your most used programs.

Right click on any program shortcut from your start menu or desktop and click properties, as you can see I am doing this for Notepad++

Apply Shortcut to a program

In the shortcut key field you see the value None, now put your cursor in that area and press CTRL key.

Assign short cut key for NotePad

You should see that CTRL + ALT + is automatically populated, now just press any of the keys that you want to assign to it. That’s it now you can launch your program using the shortcut key that you had just assigned, cool isn’t it?

Now tell me what’s your favorite shortcut key?

Going for a break? Press WINDOWS + L, lock and walk :-)