The Windows key first appeared in 1994 and remains an essential tool for experienced Windows 10 users. Here is the most important Windows key keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10 you should know.
Starting with Windows 95, the Windows key can perform basic desktop tasks like opening the Start menu, minimizing all open windows, navigating through taskbar buttons, and more. Windows 2000 brought the welcome keyboard shortcut to lock your desktop. Windows XP brought new Windows Key shortcuts, such as selecting the first item in the notification area and opening “Find Computers”. The story continued with Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. Windows 10 has many useful shortcuts added to Windows over the past decades, as well as new ones.
There are many keyboard shortcuts involving the Windows key. Here are 30 of the most important you should know:
Open / close the Start menu.
Windows key + up arrow
Maximizes the selected window.
Windows key + down arrow
Reduces the size of the window. (Restore.)
Windows key + M
Minimizes all open windows.
Windows key + Shift + M
Open minimized windows.
Windows key + Tab
Shows Task view.
Windows key + L
Windows key + A
Open the action center.
Windows key + V
Open Clipboard history.
Windows key + I
Opens the Settings menu.
Windows key + F
Open the comments hub.
Windows key + H
Opens the dictation toolbar.
Windows key + P
Opens the projection settings.
Windows key +. (Windows key +;)
Open the emoji panel.
Windows key + C
Open Cortana in listening mode.
Windows key + C (Windows key + Q)
Open Windows search.
Windows key + G
Open the Xbox Game Bar.
Windows key + X
Opens the secondary boot menu.
Windows key +
Opens the application in the taskbar relative to entering the number.
For example, if Soft is the fourth taskbar app, using Windows Key + 4 will open Slack.
Windows key + Alt +
Opens the application context menu in the taskbar with respect to entering the number.
For example, if Slack is the fourth application on the taskbar, using Windows key + Alt + 4 will open the Slack context menu.
Windows key + D
Shows / hides open applications on the desktop.
Windows key + E
Open File Explorer.
Windows key + U
Opens the Ease of Access in the Settings menu.
Windows key + print screen
Take a screenshot of the desktop.
Windows key + Control + F
Opens the Find Computers window.
Windows key + Control + D
Create a virtual office.
Windows key + Control + Left arrow
Switch to the virtual desktop on the left.
Windows Key + Control + Right Arrow
Switch to the virtual desktop on the right.
Windows key + Control + F4
Close the active virtual desktop.
Windows key + Space
Toggles between installed languages (for writing text).