10 Handy (and Relatively Obscure) Keyboard Shortcuts You May Not Know!
Mike Sanders / 12 months ago
While it might seem like we lead an exciting life here at eTeknix (which we may do depending on your definition of it) I think it’s a fair summarization to say that the vast majority of what we do work-wise is typing on our keyboards. – We write reviews, scripts, compose video layouts, edit notes, emails, articles, and masses of other things that we, unfortunately, can’t put off until tomorrow (as much as we might want to!).
In other words, we definitely put our keyboards through their paces!
When it comes to aspects of efficiency and general performance though, it’s hard to deny that knowing a solid bunch of keyboard ‘shortcuts’ can be more than a little useful. – If not for speeding things up, then at least in trying to work smarter rather than harder!
With this in mind, therefore, let’s see if we can give some of you a little help by listing 10 relatively obscure keyboard shortcuts you might not be aware of. – And no, we’re not going to cover the basics here like copy and paste. – If we wanted to clickbait we’d have put “aND YoU wONT BeLIEvE nUMBer 5!!!!!” in the title.
We hope that what we’re about to list below will genuinely be useful and new for some of you!
10 Keyboard Shortcuts You May Not Know!
Just to kick things off with a little disclaimer, the shortcuts we’re about to list below are predominantly (if not exclusively) for Windows-based operating systems. – Yes, some may work on other platforms (and we freely encourage you to try), but we’re simply going to try and please the many here rather than the few! – Additionally, where I type ⊞ below, I’m referring to the ‘Windows’ key on your keyboard (generally located in between CTRL and ALT in the bottom left corner – see image below though if you’re struggling).
So, with that out of the way, let’s see if we can throw you some keyboard shortcuts you weren’t aware of!
#1 – Locking Your Computer
This one has a number of excellent uses. Need to pop the toilet but have something pretty sensitive on your desktop? Want to make yourself a cup of tea but can’t trust your cat to not tap dance on your keyboard? Has your significant other walked in while you’ve been having some ‘personal time’? Then the lock function might be just what you need!
What does it do? It simply kicks you back to the main Windows log-in screen! – Enter your password and resume when you want as if nothing happened! – Audio, however, is NOT muted for those of you who may perhaps fall into the third scenario I listed above, so beware, and be aware!
Command – ⊞ + L
#2 – Show/Hide Desktop
Sometimes you need to just minimise everything and get back to your desktop. And in certain situations, that little icon in the bottom right corner of your windows display (next to the clock) simply doesn’t want to work! – In my experience, generally while gaming. – Good news though, there is a keyboard shortcut that does (at least in my experience) seem to work all the time!
Command – ⊞ + D
There’s also another one if you literally just want a sneaky peak at your desktop (it disappears when you let go of the Windows key)
Command – ⊞ + , (comma)
#3 – Task Manager (The Fast Way)
I daresay that many of you are familiar with accessing the task manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL and then manually clicking it. Did you know there was a faster way to get to this though? – Admittedly, this method requires the finger dexterity of a concert pianist, but hey, it gets your straight there!
Command – CTRL + SHIFT + ESC
#4 – Restore a Closed Browser Window
One of my personal favourites here! – Having multiple tabs open is pretty commonplace in browsers these days (I have 11 open as I write this). with this in mind though, accidentally closing the wrong one down can be a very frustrating mistake! – With this shortcut though, consider this the ‘undo’ of both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. – Yes, one keyboard command can restore your last closed browser tab! – Try it now if you don’t believe me! – I’ll still be here waiting for you!
Command – CTRL + SHIFT + T
#5 – Auto Snap windows (not the operating system)
As I’m sure many of you are aware, it’s possible to arrange multiple windows by simply dragging them to one of the sides of your screen. In terms of the orientation and size, however, it can often take several attempts to get things to snap neatly. Particularly if you’re looking to basically split your screen in half. – Although I believe that this may be limited to Windows 11, through one simple command you can get snaps done instantly!
Command – ⊞ + Arrow Key
#6 – Quick Access Windows Commands
Unlike older Windows platforms, on 10 and 11 it’s somewhat harder to find the more traditional and technical menus. ‘Device Manager’, ‘Disc Manager’, ‘Run’, etc. you get the idea! – They are, of course, still all there, but Microsoft since decided to bury them in, shall we say, more user-friendly (and convoluted) menus. – With just one command though, you can pretty much access every technical feature Windows has!
Command – ⊞ + X
And if you just want settings (again, another menu fairly well hidden these days, there’s one you can do for that too!
Command – ⊞ + i
#7 – Quick Display Settings (For Multiple Screen Outputs)
With multiple monitors becoming a relatively common feature (for the more serious among you), managing these can, at times, be a little tricky. With one command though, you can set a number of different settings with one easy click and also, if you need to dig a little deeper, access the display settings for your system.
Command – ⊞ + P
#8 – Quick and Covenient Screenshots!
There might be times when you need to record some information on your screen very quickly. Particularly so on a webpage that is constantly updating or in a live chat for example. While there are tools to do this, however, none of them are particularly instantaneous. – With this one though, it’s 2 key presses away from instantly capturing everything.
Once done, the file will be located in the users ‘picture’ file under the name ‘screenshots’.
Command – ⊞ + PrintScreen
There’s also a feature within Windows 11 that allows a screen capture and immediate ‘bug’ report!
Command – ⊞ + F
There’s ALSO (if the above wasn’t enough) a way to specifically capture only a specific portion of the screen. With the command below you are given the open to crop the screenshot!
Command – ⊞ + Shift + S
#9 – Accessibility Settings
For those of you who may need to sometimes adjust the way in which Windows displays or operates (for someone who may be visually impaired for example), the accessibility settings can be instantly accessed and from here you can tweak many things such as font size, magnifier, or turning the narration on!
Command – ⊞ + U
#10 – Restart Your Graphics Adaptor (Disclaimer Below)
This is, hopefully, one that you shouldn’t need to use too often. If ever at all. If you do, however, encounter a black screen in Windows (with you being fully aware that the system is running, but something has seemingly gone wrong in the graphics department) you can attempt to resolve the problem by asking the operating system to, basically, restart the drivers. (Yes, I know, this isn’t what it really does, but let’s keep things simple folks!).
I understand that this has helped many people who are having trouble getting multiple monitor setups to do what they want. So at the very least, try and bear this one in mind!
Command – ⊞ + Ctrl + Shift + B
Do you Have Any Good Tricks?
So, there you have it, 10 keyboard shortcuts. And all going well, there’s at least one there that you didn’t know about. – Let’s take it a step further though. Do you know any useful and/or obscure keyboard shortcuts on Windows?
If so, please let us know in the comments!