Keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11: Practical overview

Shortcuts in Windows 11 allow you to open Windows Settings or perform actions without using a mouse or touchpad. Although many important shortcuts remained unchanged in the transition from Windows 10 to Windows 11, some new changes have been implemented, such as [Windows] + [W] (for new Widgets), [Windows] + [Z] (for Snap Assistant), and [Windows] + [A] (for Quick Settings).

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New Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts

Windows keyboard shortcuts have been around since Windows 95. Each new version of Windows has added helpful shortcuts that perform new actions without using a mouse or touchpad. The following keyboard shortcuts were added with the introduction of Windows 11:

  • [Windows] + [A]: Opens the Windows 11 Quick Settings
  • [Windows] + [N]: Opens the Windows 11 Notification Center (Info Center) + Calendar
  • [Windows] + [W]: Opens Web widgets
  • [Windows] + [Z]: Opens the Snap Assistant/Window Manager for the layout and arrangement of open windows (e.g. as split screen)

Using Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts with the Windows Key

If you’re not familiar with Windows shortcuts, you’re missing out on all the helpful features that can be used with the Windows key. The following Windows keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11 are essential:

  • [Windows] + [C]: Opens the Microsoft Teams chat
  • [Windows] + [D]: Navigates from current window to the desktop (and back to current window by pressing it again)
  • [Windows] + [E]: Opens Windows Explorer
  • [Windows] + [F]: Opens Windows Feedback Hub
  • [Windows] + [G]: Opens Gaming Menu for recording games
  • [Windows] + [H]: Starts Voice Recognition
  • [Windows] + [I]: Opens Windows Settings
  • [Windows] + [K]: Connects to wireless display/audio devices
  • [Windows] + [L]: Locks the screen of the device (log in again with password)
  • [Windows] + [M]: Minimizes all currently open windows/programs
  • [Windows] + [N]: Opens Notification Center (Info Center) and Calendar
  • [Windows] + [P]: Projects device output to another screen
  • [Windows] + [Q] / [Windows] + [S]: Opens Windows Search
  • [Windows] + [Ctrl] + [Q]: Requests Remote Assistance
  • [Windows] + [R]: Opens the “Run” dialog box
  • [Windows] + [Shift] + [S]: Screenshot function for selected area
  • [Windows] + [U]: Opens “Accessibility” settings
  • [Windows] + [X]: Opens the administrative menu/quick link menu with functions such as Device Manager, PowerShell, Apps & Features, or System
  • [Windows] + [.]: Opens the emoji menu
  • [Windows] + [+]: Opens the screen magnifier (deactivate with [Windows] + [Esc])
  • [Windows] + [Print]: Creates and saves a screenshot of the whole screen in the “Screen Captures” folder
  • [Windows] + [Space]: Switches between installed languages

Window management:

  • [Windows] + [Arrow keys]: Splits open windows/apps as split screen with [Windows] + [Arrow key left/right] or shows up to four windows simultaneously on screen. [Windows] + 2x [Arrow down] minimizes the selected window
  • [Windows] + [Ctrl] + [Arrow left/right]: Switches between existing virtual desktops
  • [Windows] + [Tab]: Switches to the overview of all the open windows and programs
  • [Windows] + [Z]: Opens snap layouts for arranging apps and windows (e.g. as split screen)

Other helpful Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts

Other useful functions are available with the following key combinations:

The following shortcuts are also available:

  • [Ctrl] + [A]: Selects entire text/page content
  • [Ctrl] + [C]: Copies all selected elements/content
  • [Ctrl] + [X]: Cuts selected elements/content
  • [Ctrl] + [V]: Pastes all cut or copied elements/content
  • [Ctrl] + [Esc]: Opens the start menu
  • [Ctrl] + [Shift]: Switches between keyboard layouts
  • [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [V]: Pastes cut/copied elements without formatting
  • [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc]: Opens Task Manager
  • [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Del]: Displays the security options
  • [Ctrl] + [Z]: Undoes last action/entry
  • [Ctrl] + [Y]: Repeats last action/entry
  • [Ctrl] + [W]: Closes current window
  • [Ctrl] + [N]: Opens new window/document
  • [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [N]: Creates a new folder
  • [Ctrl] + [F]: Searches within an Explorer folder
  • [Ctrl] + [Back]: Deletes the last entered word
  • [Ctrl] + [Shift] + click on taskbar: Opens apps with Administrator Rights
  • [Alt] + [Tab]: Switches between currently open apps
  • [Alt] + [Enter]: Shows the properties of a selected item
  • [Alt] + [Arrow left/right]: Navigates back or forward
  • [AltGr] + keys with third party mapping: Uses the third-party mapping of other keys

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