Windows 10 has a rich collection of Windows keyboard shortcuts it can speed up the use of a PC, if you remember. Fortunately, thanks to PowerToys, you can quickly see a handy pop-up guide for the most useful ones. Here is how to use it.
The secret is Microsoft PowerToys
With a PowerToys module called Shortcut Guide, you can hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and see an on-screen overlay that shows you partially contextual keyboard shortcuts. You can use it as a reference whenever you forget some important shortcuts.
To get this handy pop-up shortcut guide, you’ll first need to install PowerToys, a collection of useful Windows 10 utilities from Microsoft. You can download it for free by Github.
Once you have installed PowerToys, run the PowerToys installer and click on “Shortcut Guide” in the sidebar. Then make sure that “Enable shortcut guide” is enabled.
This is optional, but while you are in the PowerToys settings, you can change the opacity of the shortcut guide, whether it displays in a dark or light coloring, and the length of time you need to hold down the Windows key. before seeing the guide.
Once you are satisfied, close the PowerToys settings. The Shortcut Guide will always be active in the background. Anytime you need a handy reference for Windows Key commands, just hold down the Windows key for about a second, and it will appear.
Here are some of the shortcuts displayed when you view the Shortcut Guide, listed in alphabetical order:
Windows + A: Open Action Center
Windows + D: Hide or show the desktop
Windows + E: Open File Explorer
Windows + G: Open the Xbox Game Bar
Windows + H: Open the dictation bar
Windows + i: Open Windows settings
Windows + K: Open the Connect sidebar
Windows + L: Lock your pc
Windows + M: Minimize all windows
Windows + R: Open the “Run” window
Windows + S: Open research
Windows + U: Show Ease of Access Center
Windows + X: Open “Power User” menu
Windows + comma (,): Take a look at the desktop
Bonus Windows key shortcuts
There are also lists that reference Windows virtual desktop keyboard commands, How? ‘Or’ What snap windows to parts of the screen with the keyboard, and more. Overall, there are at least 30 essential Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts that most users would find useful, and this guide covers most of them.
Coolest of all is that with the Shortcut Guide, recalling those shortcuts is just a keystroke if you forget. Have fun exploring and learning more powerful ways to use Windows 10.