How-To Geek

Create Keyboard Shortcuts to Applications in Windows

Do you need just one or a few special keyboard shortcuts for your favorite program(s)? A quick modification to program shortcuts will get you up and running without installing additional software.

Creating New Keyboard Shortcuts

Go to the start menu shortcut for the program, right-click on it, and select properties.


When the properties window opens click in the shortcut key text area. All that you need to do is choose an appropriate letter for the program (i.e. O for Opera, E for Editra, etc.) and type it in the blank.


You will not need to type any other keys or combination in…the “Ctrl + Alt +” will be automatically entered for you as soon as you type the letter in. Click OK to finish creating the new keyboard shortcut.


Those new keyboard shortcuts will speed up access to your favorite software.


Another example from our system using “I” for Iron Browser.


Certainly much quicker than using the start menu.



If you only need one or just a few special keyboard shortcuts then this method provides a quick and simple solution.

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 05/25/10

Comments (4)

  1. Randall

    Is there a way to create keyboard shortcuts that doesn’t involve Ctrl + Alt? For instance, my laptop used to use a music note-shaped button on it’s media strip to launch Windows Media Center on Vista. When I upgraded to Windows 7, that key no longer did it, and using this method and pressing the key doesn’t work as a shortcut. It was so convinient, too.

  2. B. Moore

    I would use that shortcut key option for everything except it has one HUGE flaw….

    There is one hell of a looong delay before the app/whatever launches that to me its faster just to click the shortcut with my mouse.

    From my digging I can not find a way to get rid of the delay, is it even possible to remove that delay???

  3. Daryl

    HTG – thanks, good reminder of that. Just had an interesting experiencing though of using to launch firefox using my CTL+ALT+F shortcut. Ended up with no Firefox launch but several new, blank, footnotes in the Word doc I was in :)

    @Randall – Have you checked that the software controlling your media keys runs in Win 7? If there’s an icon for it in the system tray it may just need re-assigning following the upgrade of your OS.

    @B. Moore – I’m on XP (at work here!) and there’s certainly no obvious delay. That probably doesn’t help you much other than to know that maybe it’s an issue with your machine..?

  4. nakuls

    For shortcuts that doesn’t involve, simple answer is AutoHotKey. I have been using it for more than a year now. Its really worth checking it out and learning it. How-to-Geek has number of tutorials and hacks associated with it.

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