Unlock the Power of these 12 Little-Known Windows Shortcuts

As an experienced Windows user, you may not be aware of all the tricks to get the most out of the operating system. For example, did you know that Windows has a hidden emergency restart option? When it comes to Windows shortcuts, you might think you know them all, but there are still many hidden gems to discover.

Jen Gentleman, a member of the Windows engineering team at Microsoft, shared a list of her favorite hotkeys, and I’ve incorporated many of them into my daily use. Here are some of my personal favorites that work in both Windows 10 and 11:

1. Copy text from a Windows dialog window: When you encounter an error message in Windows, you can simply press Ctrl + C to copy the entire message and paste it into a document.

2. Switch to the correct app window quickly: Hold Ctrl and then click on the app’s icon in the taskbar to cycle through all of its open windows.

3. Open a new instance of an app: Hold Shift while clicking with your mouse on a taskbar icon to open a new instance of the app.

4. Make Windows UWP apps fullscreen: Press Win + Shift + Enter to make apps installed through the Microsoft Store app full screen.

5. Run apps with elevated permissions: Hold Ctrl + Shift while double-clicking the app to open it with admin permissions.

6. Open a new window for an app: Hold Win + Shift and then the number for the app’s position in the taskbar to open a new window for that app.

7. Quick access to emoji (and kaomoji!): Press Win + ; or Win + . to bring up Windows’ on-screen emoji keyboard.

8. Fix a black screen: Press Win + Ctr + Shift + B to try and fix a black screen on your PC.

9. Access your Command Prompt history: Tap F7 to see the history of commands you ran in the Command Prompt.

10. Open file properties instantly: Hold down Alt while double-clicking on a file to access its properties.

These are just a few of the helpful Windows shortcuts that can help you navigate the operating system more efficiently. Additionally, several other useful shortcuts exist, including opening the Windows Snipping Tool, the Settings app, the Quick Link menu, a File Explorer window, and more. If you want even more Windows keyboard shortcuts, you can install PowerToys, a set of advanced utilities that includes a Keyboard Manager module for creating custom shortcuts.