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List of Hotkeys Keyboard Shortcuts for Computers

  • Published: 2009-02-17 (Rev. 2015-09-14) - Contact: Ian Langtree at Disabled World
  • Synopsis: This handy list of computer keyboard hotkey shortcuts will make computing a lot easier for those with disabilities.

Main Document

"When the computer has stopped responding you may enter that hotkey combination which will bring you to the task manager."

A keyboard shortcut (or 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 those with disabilities.

Certain hotkeys must be pressed simultaneously to do certain tasks.

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.

When the computer has stopped responding you may enter that hotkey combination which will bring you to the task manager. Once inside the task manager you may choose to end the program that crashed your system, it is normally easy to spot which program is causing problems at the time by seeing the (Not Responding) which floats on the right of the software's name. For windows Vista Ctrl + Alt + Delete will bring you to another window with several options, in which task manager is included.

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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