Memorizing key combinations takes some work, but once you have, shortcuts make using an operating system so much more efficient. Many people know the everyday keyboard shortcuts, such as how to copy, cut, and paste text with the keyboard, how to close a window, and how to lock a PC. That's a solid start--but there are even more powerful keyboard shortcuts lurking beyond the basics. Here are some of our favorite less commonly used shortcuts. We've grouped these by operating system to make it easier for users of Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 to see what's available for their system.
Compared to reaching for the mouse or navigating a menu, a single keyboard shortcut shaves a moment off your task. This might not seem like much, but add up all those saved moments over a week or a month, and you're gaining a substantial chunk of time. That's why it's important to know as many shortcuts as possible for your operating system. Try a keyboard command a few times, and you'll find out just how useful it can be. Here are 20 of the most indispensable keyboard shortcuts for a Microsoft Windows computer.
The right keyboard shortcuts can save you a huge amount of time. Whether you're browsing the web or editing a document, these commands will cut the precious moments you spend reaching for the mouse and sifting through menus. Over hours, days, and weeks, that saved time really adds up. Here are 20 of the most useful shortcuts for Apple computers. This works across multiple programs, whether you've accidentally deleted a file, applied an image filter you don't like, or erased pages of carefully crafted prose.
When I was a kid, I'd absorb hints and cheat codes for the latest Nintendo games through a sort of osmosis. On playgrounds or at friends' houses, we'd trade these bits of wisdom as if they were arcane secrets--even though most of us had simply picked them up by reading Nintendo Power. Those days are long gone, of course, but if a grown-up version of this phenomenon existed, it might be the way we talk about keyboard shortcuts. Discovering a new way to save time in your work can feel like a superpower, even if it's a little less thrilling than learning about the Konami Code. I still remember, for instance, reading this Twitter post from indie game publisher Mike Rose last year and sitting back in astonishment.
Before the Creators Update came around I was always hesitant to use the Game Bar in Windows 10. It always slowed my budget gaming PC to a crawl, but in the Creators Update it's a usable feature. Now that I'm turning to the Game Bar more often, I want to be able to customize the keyboard shortcuts that call up various commands such as opening the Game Bar, taking a screenshot, recording a game highlight, and starting a broadcast. Microsoft makes it easy to customize those shortcuts in the Creators Update. You can't choose just any keyboard shortcut you want, but if, for example, taking a screenshot with Windows key Alt PrtScrn doesn't work for you, here's how to change that.