LinkedIn logo on a blue background.

When you press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Win+L in Windows, your default browser opens and loads the LinkedIn social networking website. But why? We’ll get to the bottom of this mystery.

Secrets of The Office Key

In October 2019, Microsoft introduced a new keyboard design that included a dedicated “Office” key. The key is typically positioned between the right Alt and the Emoji key near the space bar, and it has a Microsoft Office logo printed on it.

Office key location next to left alt
Microsoft

The idea behind the Office key is that it functions as a new meta key than can launch Office apps with shortcuts. For example, you can press Office+W to open Microsoft Word, Office+X to open Excel, or Office+L to open the LinkedIn website. These shortcuts have been in Windows 10 since the May 2019 update, and they were included in Windows 11 since launch.

So here’s the secret: For compatibility reasons, when you push the Office key, it’s the equivalent of pushing Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Windows on a normal keyboard. That’s the signal it sends to your computer and the signal Windows is listening for. That means you can press this key combination and access Office keyboard shortcuts on any keyboard.

So when you press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Windows+L, it’s like pressing Office+L, and LinkedIn opens in your browser. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site owned by Microsoft. Microsoft wants to promote its products, so it included this shortcut in its Office shortcuts.

Other Long Office Shortcuts

Just like the LinkedIn shortcut mentioned above, you can unlock other office apps using Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Windows. Here’s a partial list of other Office Key shortcuts you can press on a regular keyboard to launch Office and Microsoft apps.

  • Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Win+W opens Word
  • Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Win+X opens Excel
  • Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Win+T opens Teams
  • Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Win+P opens PowerPoint
  • Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Win+O opens Outlook
  • Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Win+Y opens the Yammer website
  • Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Win+N opens web OneNote

As soon as you try any one of these, you’ll notice that Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Windows is a lot of keys to press at once. So whether these shortcuts are useful or not depends on your personal needs. But at least you know more about this strange chapter in Windows history. Happy computing!

RELATED: All of the Best Microsoft Word Keyboard Shortcuts

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Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. 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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