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List of Hotkeys Keyboard Shortcuts for Computers

Outline: This handy list of computer keyboard hotkey shortcuts will make computing a lot faster and easier for people with disabilities.

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What Are HotKeys?

A computer, or other electronic device, keyboard shortcut, also known as an accelerator key, shortcut key, key binding, keybinding, key combo, etc., is a key, or set of keys, that performs a predefined function. These functions can often be done via some other, more indirect mechanism, such as using a menu, typing a longer command, and/or using a pointing device. By reducing such sequences to a few keystrokes, this can often save the user time, hence "shortcut" and make computing a lot easier for people with disabilities.

Certain Hotkeys Can Pressed Simultaneously

An overhead shot of a MacBook with a draft of an executive summary on a wooden surface - Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash.
An overhead shot of a MacBook with a draft of an executive summary on a wooden surface - Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash.

For example ctrl + alt + delete will bring up the task manager.

Although there is another way to put sticky keys mode on. One of the fastest ways is to press "SHIFT" 5 times. Sticky keys will make it so that you can press one key at a time when doing hotkey combinations instead of having to have all the combined keys pressed down at the same time.

Ctrl + Alt + Delete

Mostly used in case of emergency.

Also see: Using Sticky Keys for Windows and Mac Computer Accessibility - Sticky Keys are designed for people who have difficulty holding down two or more keyboard keys simultaneously.

A List of Commonly Used Windows HotKeys:
Hotkeys and Keyboard Shortcuts
  • 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 + M: Minimize all windows.
  • Win + Shift + M: Undo minimize all windows.
  • Win + D: Toggle minimize all windows.
  • Win + B (XP only): Activate system tray. Arrow keys select, Enter double-clicks, and AppsKey or Shift + F10 right-clicks.
  • Win + L (XP Only): 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 (XP Only): 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. (XP).
  • Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow: Undo inversion.
Generic HotKeys
  • Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert: Copy.
  • Ctrl + X or Shift + Delete: Cut.
  • Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert: Paste/Move.
  • Ctrl + N: New... File, Tab, Entry, etc.
  • Ctrl + S: Save.
  • Ctrl + O: Open...
  • Ctrl + P: Print.
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo.
  • Ctrl + A: Select all.
  • Ctrl + F: Find...
  • Ctrl + F4: Close tab or child window.
  • F1: Open help.
  • F11: Toggle full screen mode.
  • Alt or F10: Activate menu bar.
  • Alt + Space: Display system menu. Same as clicking the icon on the titlebar.
  • Escape: Remove focus from current control/menu, or close dialog box.
Generic Navigation - Keyboard Shortcut Keys
  • Tab: Forward one item.
  • Shift + Tab: Backward one item.
  • Ctrl + Tab: Cycle through tabs/child windows.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Cycle backwards through tabs/child windows.
  • Enter: If a button's selected, click it, otherwise, click default button.
  • Space: Toggle items such as radio buttons or checkboxes.
  • Alt + (Letter): Activate item corresponding to (Letter). (Letter) is the underlined letter on the item's name.
  • Ctrl + Left: Move cursor to the beginning of previous word.
  • Ctrl + Right: Move cursor to the beginning of next word.
  • Ctrl + Up: Move cursor to beginning of previous paragraph. This and all subsequent Up/Down hotkeys in this section have only been known to work in RichEdit controls.
  • Ctrl + Down: Move cursor to beginning of next paragraph.
  • Shift + Left: Highlight one character to the left.
  • Shift + Right: Highlight one character to the right.
  • Shift + Up: Highlight from current cursor position, to one line up.
  • Shift + Down: Highlight from current cursor position, to one line down.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Left: Highlight to beginning of previous word.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Right: Highlight to beginning of next word.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Up: Highlight to beginning of previous paragraph.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Down: Highlight to beginning of next paragraph.
  • Home: Move cursor to top of a scrollable control.
  • End: Move cursor to bottom of a scrollable control.
Generic File Browser - HotKeys
  • Arrow Keys: Navigate.
  • Shift + Arrow Keys: Select multiple items.
  • Ctrl + Arrow Keys: Change focus without changing selection. "Focus" is the object that will run on Enter. Space toggles selection of the focused item.
  • (Letter): Select first found item that begins with (Letter).
  • BackSpace: Go up one level to the parent directory.
  • Alt + Left: Go back one folder.
  • Alt + Right: Go forward one folder.
  • Enter: Activate (Double-click) selected item(s).
  • Alt + Enter: View properties for selected item.
  • F2: Rename selected item(s).
  • F7: New folder.
  • Ctrl + NumpadPlus: In a Details view, resizes all columns to fit the longest item in each one.
  • Delete: Delete selected item(s).
  • Shift + Delete: Delete selected item(s); bypass Recycle Bin.
  • Ctrl while dragging item(s): Copy.
  • Ctrl + Shift while dragging item(s): Create shortcut(s).
In tree pane, if any:
  • Left: Collapse the current selection if expanded, or select the parent folder.
  • Right: Expand the current selection if collapsed, or select the first subfolder.
  • NumpadAsterisk: Expand currently selected directory and all subdirectories. No undo.
  • NumpadPlus: Expand currently selected directory.
  • NumpadMinus: Collapse currently selected directory.
Keyboard - Accessibility Aids
  • Right Shift for eight seconds: Toggle FilterKeys on and off. FilterKeys must be enabled.
  • Left Alt + Left Shift + PrintScreen: Toggle High Contrast on and off. High Contrast must be enabled.
  • Left Alt + Left Shift + NumLock: Toggle MouseKeys on and off. MouseKeys must be enabled.
  • NumLock for five seconds: Toggle ToggleKeys on and off. ToggleKeys must be enabled.
  • Shift five times: Toggle StickyKeys on and off. StickyKeys must be enabled.
Microsoft Natural Keyboard - with IntelliType Software Installed.
  • Win + L: Log off Windows.
  • Win + P: Open Print Manager.
  • Win + C: Open control panel.
  • Win + V: Open clipboard.
  • Win + K: Open keyboard properties.
  • Win + I: Open mouse properties.
  • Win + A: Open Accessibility properties.
  • Win + Space: Displays the list of Microsoft IntelliType shortcut keys.
  • Win + S: Toggle CapsLock on and off.
Remote Desktop - Connection Navigation
  • Ctrl + Alt + End: Open the NT Security dialog.
  • Alt + PageUp: Switch between programs.
  • Alt + PageDown: Switch between programs in reverse.
  • Alt + Insert: Cycle through the programs in most recently used order.
  • Alt + Home: Display start menu.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Break: Switch the client computer between a window and a full screen.
  • Alt + Delete: Display the Windows menu.
  • Ctrl + Alt + NumpadMinus: Place a snapshot of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing Alt + PrintScreen on a local computer.
  • Ctrl + Alt + NumpadPlus: Place a snapshot of the active window in the client on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing PrintScreen on a local computer.
Mozilla Firefox - Browser Shortcuts
  • Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl + PageDown: Cycle through tabs.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab or Ctrl + PageUp: Cycle through tabs in reverse.
  • Ctrl + (1-9): Switch to tab corresponding to number.
  • Ctrl + N: New window.
  • Ctrl + T: New tab.
  • Ctrl + L or Alt + D or F6: Switch focus to location bar.
  • Ctrl + Enter: Open location in new tab.
  • Shift + Enter: Open location in new window.
  • Ctrl + K or Ctrl + E: Switch focus to search bar.
  • Ctrl + O: Open a local file.
  • Ctrl + W: Close tab, or window if there's only one tab open.
  • Ctrl + Shift + W: Close window.
  • Ctrl + S: Save page as a local file.
  • Ctrl + P: Print page.
  • Ctrl + F or F3: Open find toolbar.
  • Ctrl + G or F3: Find next...
  • Ctrl + Shift + G or Shift + F3: Find previous...
  • Ctrl + B or Ctrl + I: Open Bookmarks sidebar.
  • Ctrl + H: Open History sidebar.
  • Escape: Stop loading page.
  • Ctrl + R or F5: Reload current page.
  • Ctrl + Shift + R or Ctrl + F5: Reload current page; bypass cache.
  • Ctrl + U: View page source.
  • Ctrl + D: Bookmark current page.
  • Ctrl + NumpadPlus or Ctrl + Equals (+/=): Increase text size.
  • Ctrl + NumpadMinus or Ctrl + Minus: Decrease text size.
  • Ctrl + Numpad0 or Ctrl + 0: Set text size to default.
  • Alt + Left or Backspace: Back.
  • Alt + Right or Shift + Backspace: Forward.
  • Alt + Home: Open home page.
  • Ctrl + M: Open new message in integrated mail client.
  • Ctrl + J: Open Downloads dialog.
  • F6: Switch to next frame. You must have selected something on the page already, e.g. by use of Tab.
  • Shift + F6: Switch to previous frame. Apostrophe ('): Find link as you type.
  • Slash (/): Find text as you type.
BBCodes - While text is selected:
  • Alt + B: Format text in bold.
  • Alt + I: Format text in italics.
  • Alt + U: Format text as underlined.
  • Alt + Q: Format text as a quote.
  • Alt + C: Format text as code.
  • Alt + L: Format text as a list.
  • Alt + O: Format text as an ordered list.
  • Alt + P: Format url as a hotlinked image.
  • Alt + W: Format url as a hyperlink.
GMail - Must have "keyboard shortcuts" on in settings.
  • C: Compose new message.
  • Shift + C: Open new window to compose new message.
  • Slash (/): Switch focus to search box.
  • K: Switch focus to the next most recent email. Enter or "O" opens focused email.
  • J: Switch focus to the next oldest email.
  • N: Switch focus to the next message in the "conversation." Enter or "O" expands/collapses messages.
  • P: Switch focus to the previous message.
  • U: Takes you back to the inbox and checks for new mail.
  • Y: Various actions depending on current view: Has no effect in "Sent" and "All Mail" views.
  • Inbox: Archive email or message.
  • Starred: Unstar email or message.
  • Spam: Unmark as spam and move back to "Inbox."
  • Trash: Move back to "Inbox."
  • Any label: Remove the label.
  • X: "Check" an email. Various actions can be performed against all checked emails.
  • S: "Star" an email. Identical to the more familiar term, "flagging."
  • R: Reply to the email.
  • A: Reply to all recipients of the email.
  • F: Forward an email.
  • Shift + R: Reply to the email in a new window.
  • Shift + A: Reply to all recipients of the email in a new window.
  • Shift + F: Forward an email in a new window.
  • Shift + 1 (!): Mark an email as spam and remove it from the inbox.
  • G then I: Switch to "Inbox" view.
  • G then S: Switch to "Starred" view.
  • G then A: Switch to "All Mail" view.
  • G then C: Switch to "Contacts" view.
  • G then S: Switch to "Drafts" view.

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