Lesser Known Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

Shortcuts make life easier, quicker, and a breeze. The same holds for keyboard shortcuts on PCs. While the most common shortcuts, Ctrl+V, C, and X, are used by almost everyone daily, there is a wide range of Windows shortcuts that can make your user experience even better. In this article, we will learn about some lesser-known keyboard shortcuts for Windows, how to install additional shortcuts in Windows, and how to remap Windows shortcuts. Lesser Known Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

Why Use Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows

In the age of efficiency and productivity, keyboard shortcuts in Windows help you cut short the time taken to complete many tasks. With shortcuts, you can multitask better to switch between app windows, manage text better, and use apps faster. Using keyboard shortcuts will also prevent unnecessary wrist strain caused by frequent switching between mouse and keyboard. On top of this, with tools like Microsoft Powertoys at your disposal, you can customize shortcuts as you please and in a way that suits your workflow.

Lesser Known Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 11/10

This section will share lesser-known keyboard shortcuts that can save you precious time, help you troubleshoot, and make your work more efficient.

1] Snap Windows:

You can use the Windows+Left/Right arrow key to shift the currently open window on either half of the screen. Then, you can select a window for the other half of the screen, allowing you to multitask seamlessly.

Snap Windows Shortcut In Windows

2] Add Emojis, Kaomojis, and GIFs

To express yourself better while on chat, emails, or documents, you can add emojis, kaomoji, and GIFs using Windows+. (period) shortcut key. This will bring up a small window where you can insert the emojis or GIFs.

Emoji Shortcut In Windows

3] Open Pinned Apps From the Taskbar

Pinned apps in the Taskbar are available for quick access. You can access them even quicker using Windows+1, 2, 3, 4, or (any number key). This will open the app according to its placement number-wise. For example, if Chrome is placed as the fourth app on my taskbar, I will have to use Windows+4 to open it. Windows Pinned Apps In Taskbar Shortcut

4] Unfreeze Display

Many times, our PC displays freeze for no reason in particular. In this case, you may need to restart the graphics drivers. But you can’t do it on a display where nothing moves. That’s where you can use the Windows+Ctrl+Shift+B keyboard shortcut to restart the graphics drivers.

5] Virtual Desktop

A Virtual Desktop is a creative way to separate our workflows for different purposes. If you are a video editor and writer, you can use separate virtual desktops within the same PC to separate the workflow.

  • Create a New Virtual Desktop: Use the Windows+Ctrl+D key to create a new virtual desktop.
  • Switch Between Virtual Desktops: Use the Windows+Ctrl+Left/Right arrow key to switch between multiple virtual desktops.
  • View All Tasks and Virtual Desktops: Press the Windows+Tab key to open the task view, which displays all the app windows currently open and all the virtual desktops on your PC.

Task View In Windows

6] Minimize and Maximize App Windows

When working with multiple apps, it is expected to maximize one, minimize another, or vice versa; this can also be streamlined using Windows keyboard shortcuts.

  • Minimize and Maximize Active Window: Use the Windows+Down arrow key to minimize the active window and the Windows+Up arrow key to maximize the same.
  • Minimize All App Windows Other Than The Active: To minimize all other app windows other than the active one, use the Windows+home keyboard shortcut.
  • Minimize And Restore All Windows: To minimize and restore all the active windows at the blink of an eye, press the Windows+D keys, press it once, all windows minimize, press it once more, and all windows are restored.

7] Delete Entire Words

Pressing backspace is just an old-fashioned way to delete words. You can use the Ctrl+Backspace keyboard shortcuts to delete entire words.

8] Use Microsoft Powertoys For New Shortcuts And Features

Microsoft Powertoys is an open-source tool for Windows Powerusers, maintained and developed by developers at Microsoft. The tool introduces many powerful features to your Windows PCs, many of which can be accessed through shortcuts.

Features include color picker, text extractor, find my mouse, power rename, power run, screen ruler, and many others. New features are added to PowerToys now and then. You can also remap keys and shortcuts for specific functions using Microsoft Powertoys. We will discuss how to do that in the next section.

How To Use Microsoft Powertoys To Add New Shortcuts And Features To Windows PC?

Microsoft Powertoys now also allows you to remap keys and keyboard shortcuts to perform specific functions, such as opening specific URIs, running apps and specific functions, and creating specific shortcuts and responses for particular apps.

  • Download and Install the latest version of the Microsoft Powertoys.
  • Once Powertoys is installed, please open it, and from the left pane, scroll down to find Keyboard Manager.
  • In the Keyboard Manager, you will see the option to Remap a key or Remap a shortcut. Open the one you wish to.

Using Keyboard Manager In Microsoft Powertoys

  • To Remap Shortcuts, select the shortcut keys, then select the desired action: run the program, send text, open URI, or send key or shortcut. Configure the action and select the target app or all apps.

Remap a shortcut in Microsoft Powertoys

  • To Remap keys, select the key, select the action or key, configure it, and save it.

Remap Keys In Microsoft Powertoys

We hope you found the article helpful and learned about many lesser-known keyboard shortcuts for Windows 11/10.


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