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The Windows key made its first appearance in 1994, and it’s still an essential tool for Windows 10 power users. Here are the most important Windows key keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10 you should know about.

Starting with Windows 95, the Windows key could perform basic desktop tasks like opening the start menu, minimizing all open windows, cycling through taskbar buttons, and so on. Windows 2000 brought the much welcome keyboard shortcut for locking your desktop. Windows XP brought new Windows Key shortcuts, such as selecting the first item in the notification area and opening “Search for Computers.” The story continued with Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8,  and 8.1. Windows 10 offers many useful shortcuts added to Windows over the last several decades as well as some new ones.

There are numerous keyboard shortcuts involving the Windows key. Here are 30 of the important important ones you should know about:

Shortcut Keys Description
Windows Key Opens/closes the Start menu.
Windows Key + Up Arrow Maximizes the selected window.
Windows Key + Down Arrow Reduces the window size. (Restore down.)
Windows Key + M Minimizes all open windows.
Windows Key + Shift + M Opens minimized windows.
Windows Key + Tab Shows Task View.
Windows Key + L Locks the screen.
Windows Key + A Opens the Action Center.
Windows Key + V Opens Clipboard History.
Windows Key + I Opens the Settings menu.
Windows Key + F Opens the Feedback hub.
Windows Key + H Opens the dictation toolbar.
Windows Key + P Opens the projection settings.
Windows Key + . (Windows Key + ;) Opens the emoji panel.
Windows Key + C Opens Cortana in listening mode.
Windows Key + C (Windows Key + Q) Opens Windows Search.
Windows Key + G Opens the Xbox game bar.
Windows Key + X Opens the secondary start menu.
Windows Key + <number> Opens the app in the taskbar relative to the number input.

For example, if Slack is the fourth app on the taskbar, using Windows Key + 4 will open Slack.

Windows Key + Alt + <number> Opens the right-click menu for the app in the taskbar relative to the number input.

For example, if Slack is the fourth app on the taskbar, using Windows Key + Alt + 4 will open Slack’s right-click menu.

Windows Key + D Shows/hides open apps on the desktop.
Windows Key + E Opens File Explorer.
Windows Key + U Opens Ease of Access in the Settings menu.
Windows Key + Print Screen Takes a screenshot of the desktop.
Windows Key + Control + F Opens the Find Computers window.
Windows Key + Control + D Creates a virtual desktop.
Windows Key + Control + Left Arrow Switches to the virtual desktop on the left.
Windows Key + Control + Right Arrow Switches to the virtual desktop on the right.
Windows Key + Control + F4 Closes the active virtual desktop.
Windows Key + Space Switches between installed languages (for writing text).

RELATED: 42+ Text-Editing Keyboard Shortcuts That Work Almost Everywhere

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.
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