Apple 12.9 inch Magic Keyboard

If you have a keyboard for your Apple iPad or iPad Pro, you can get more out of the experience if you know a handful of the most useful keyboard shortcuts. Here are some of our favorites.

The Basics

Just like a Mac, the iPad includes a slate of basic keyboard shortcuts that work with every app. They help you navigate iPadOS, launch apps, and edit text. These are the shortcuts that you’ll probably use most often.

System Shortcuts

  • Command+H: Show home screen
  • Command+Tab: Open app switcher
  • Command+Space: Open Spotlight Search
  • Option+Command+D: Show Dock
  • Shift+Command+3: Take a screenshot
  • Shift+Command+4: Take a screenshot and edit

Text Editing

  • Command+C: Copy
  • Command+X: Cut
  • Command+V: Paste
  • Command+Z: Undo
  • Shift+Command+Z: Redo
  • Command+B: Bold
  • Command+I: Italicize
  • Command+U: Underline
  • Command+A: Select all
  • Command+Up Arrow: Jump to top of the page
  • Command+Down Arrow: Jump to bottom of the page

App-Specific Shortcuts

Pickaxe Media/

On the iPad, each app includes its own custom set of keyboard shortcuts. Some of them are similar between apps, such as Command+F to find or Command+N to open a new document, but others are less obvious. Let’s take a look at some of the most useful ones.


  • Command+T: Open a new tab
  • Command+W: Close the current tab
  • Command+L: Open URL or search
  • Command+R: Reload page
  • Command+F: Find within current tab
  • Command+[: Go Back
  • Command+]: Go Forward
  • Shift+Command+N: New Private tab
  • Shift+Command+T: Reopen the last closed tab
  • Shift+Command+Backslash (“\”): Show tab overview


  • Command+N: Create a new document
  • Command+O: Open an existing document
  • Command+W: Close the current document
  • Command+S: Save the current document
  • Command+P: Print the current document


  • Command+N: New email
  • Command+Shift+N: New email in a new window
  • Command+R: Reply to an email
  • Shift+Command+R: Reply all to an email
  • Shift+Command+F: Forward email


  • Command+N: New note
  • Shift+Command+N: New note in a new window
  • Command+D: Delete a note
  • Command+L: Lock current note


  • Command+T: Show traffic
  • Command+Z: Undo the last map action
  • Command+F: Search for a location
  • Command+D: Add current location to favorites


  • Command+N: Create document
  • Shift+Command+N: Create folder
  • Command+Delete: Delete file
  • Command+F: Find within Files app
  • Command+D: Duplicate file

RELATED: The Best macOS Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Be Using

A Built-in Cheat Sheet

Safari command keyboard shortcut pop-up on iPad

If the big list of shortcuts above seems overwhelming, don’t worry: You don’t need to memorize all of them. iPadOS includes a dynamic “cheat sheet” that lists the most important keyboard shortcuts in each app.

To see the list of available keyboard shortcuts in an app, press and hold the Command key on your physical iPad keyboard until the menu appears on your screen. This overlay menu will change depending on which app you are using, and you can even use it on the home screen. Good luck, and happy keyboarding!

Of course, you’ll need a keyboard to use these shortcuts, and the iPad doesn’t come with one. A keyboard case is one of our favorite iPad accessories. You can also use any Bluetooth keyboard you have laying around.

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Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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