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Boost Your Productivity With Our Top 20 Windows 11 Keyboard

Despite the choices of voice-to-text, contact screens, and different strategies of PC enter, we nonetheless primarily work together with our computer systems by the keyboard. It’s in all probability secure to say that almost all PCMag readers are aware of frequent keyboard shortcuts, resembling Ctrl-C to repeat, Ctrl-V to stick, and Alt-Tab to modify home windows. But Windows 11 presents a number of highly effective, lesser-known key combos, a lot of which make use of the Windows key. I exploit a number of of them a number of instances a day.

With Windows, you additionally get special-function keys that fluctuate from keyboard to keyboard. Particularly helpful are media keys, resembling quantity, play/pause, and mute. Those apart, let’s take a look at our high keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11.

First, we’ll run down probably the most helpful shortcuts which have made the leap from Windows 10 (numbers 1-13), after which the all-new ones for Windows 11 (numbers 14–20). I’ve loosely ordered them by how typically I exploit them and the way helpful I think about them to be.


1. Windows Key-Shift-S: Take Screenshots

Pressing Windows Key-Shift-S opens the Snipping Tool display screen seize interface. It takes a screenshot of a rectangle or freeform form you draw, a full window, or all the display screen. A notification panel opens providing to open the screenshot in an enhancing window for enhancing and sharing. This shortcut is not the one solution to take a screenshot in Windows 11, however I exploit it a minimum of 20 instances a day.

Windows 11 Clipboard History


2. Windows Key-V: Paste History

This key combo brings up the most effective issues to return to Windows within the final 20 years: Clipboard History. The Clipboard History permits you to copy a number of issues from one doc or webpage after which paste them into one other, with out you having to shuttle for every merchandise. It works with each textual content and pictures you’ve copied to the clipboard. Note that for Windows 11, the panel that pops up is mixed with the subsequent keyboard shortcut I’ll focus on.

Windows 11 emoji, symbol, special character panel


3. Windows Key-. (interval): Special Characters

This shortcut opens a panel providing emoji, particular characters, symbols, and even GIFs to enter on the cursor. I typically use it to enter em dashes and en dashes. It’s additionally nice for getting into accented characters, Greek letters, and different symbols that are not on a normal US keyboard. A useful characteristic of this device is that it provides you fast entry to your most lately used symbols. 

Task View in Windows 11


4. Windows Key-Tab: Task View

Sure, you’ll be able to nonetheless use plain-old Alt-Tab to modify amongst operating functions (holding down the Alt key after the preliminary press reveals all apps within the present desktop). The Windows key taste reveals the complete Task view, that means you’ll be able to see and swap amongst all of your a number of desktops and all of the apps operating in every of them. You can then drag apps from one desktop to a different. I wish to have a piece desktop and a private one, so when a private app, like WhatsApp sneaks into my work desktop, Windows Key–Tab lets me drag its tile onto the suitable desktop.

Voice typing in Windows 11


5. Windows Key-H: Voice Typing

Pressing Windows Key-H opens Voice Typing; it saves you from having to kind together with your fingers and as a substitute permits you to enter textual content together with your voice. Voice Typing works anywhere the place you’d usually kind. If you haven’t used speech recognition shortly, you’re more likely to be blown away by how good it’s grow to be. The shortcut additionally works in Windows 10, however the interface (proven above) is now easier. The solution to keep in mind this shortcut is the H stands for “hear.” If you are fascinated by speech-to-text, see our tips about how you can use Voice Typing in Windows.


6. Ctrl-Windows Key-Left/Right Arrow: Switch Desktop

To shortly transfer backwards and forwards between digital desktops in Windows 11, simply press Ctrl-Windows Key-Left/Right Arrow. On a desktop, I exploit this one day by day. On a laptop computer with a trackpad, swiping 4 fingers left or proper does the identical factor.


7. Windows Key-D: Show the Desktop

Windows Key-D reveals the naked desktop. It’s helpful when your display screen is cluttered with a plethora of app home windows, and also you wish to begin with a contemporary palette. You also can activate desktop peek, which helps you to transfer the cursor to the bottom-right nook of the display screen to get the identical end result.

Task Manager in Windows 11


8. Ctrl-Shift-Esc: Task Manager

This keyboard shortcut, which has been round because the early days of Windows, opens the Task Manager. It’s helpful when your PC appears sluggish, and also you wish to discover out which utility is hogging the CPU cycles or reminiscence. When it’s good to kill an unruly utility or course of, Task Manager is your buddy.

Game bar in Windows 11


9. Windows Key-G: Game Bar

To see the Xbox Game Bar, use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key-G. It presents a bunch of controls and shows for issues like efficiency, audio settings, buddy exercise, and display screen recording. It might be helpful even for nongamers like yours actually. For extra on gaming within the new OS, learn Jordan Minor’s piece, With Windows 11, Microsoft Makes Every PC an Xbox.


10. Windows Key-L: Lock Screen

Pressing Windows Key-L merely locks the PC to the lock display screen. It’s helpful for a enterprise or public setting the place you don’t wish to go away your laptop open for anybody to see or use however you don’t wish to shut it down fully.


11. Windows Key-I: Settings

Windows Key-I opens the Windows Settings app. The Windows 11 interface makes entry to this considerably much less distinguished than Windows 10 did, so utilizing the keyboard shortcut can alleviate that. You can keep in mind it because the I standing for data.


I have to confess that I don’t use this darn-useful keyboard shortcut a lot, however I plan on altering that. After all, urgent one key is so simple as it will get, and the way typically do I open the Start menu? (Often.) Its shut relative is Windows Key-S (or Windows Key-Q), which opens the Search panel the place you’ll be able to search your PC in addition to the net.


13. Windows Key-E: File Explorer

Windows Key-E opens the File Explorer and is one other key command that I plan to make use of extra typically since I must open that utility many instances per day.

Widgets panel in Windows 11


A brand new keyboard shortcut for Windows 11, Windows Key-W opens the Widgets panel. After it opens you should use Tab to maneuver from part to part and the Arrow keys to maneuver from one merchandise to a different inside a piece. The chosen merchandise has a top level view round it, as seen within the Weather widget above.

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Quick Settings panel in Windows 11


15. Windows Key-A: Quick Settings

This shortcut opens the brand new Quick Settings panel (which replaces some features of Windows 10’s Action Center, therefore the A). Once the panel’s open, you’ll be able to toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Battery Saver, Focus Assist, and Accessibility options. You also can alter the display screen brightness and speaker quantity with sliders. The choices are customizable in case you click on the pencil icon, and the gear icon takes you to the complete Windows 11 Settings app.

Notification panel in Windows 11


16. Windows Key-N: Notifications

A counterpart to the earlier shortcut, Windows Key-N opens the Notification panel, which was once within the Action Center in Windows 10. As you would possibly suspect, you see any notifications which have arrived alongside together with your calendar on the underside. Sadly, the calendar has misplaced quite a lot of performance within the transfer from Windows 10 to Windows 11; you’ll be able to now not see or add occasions in your schedule.


17. Windows Key-Z: Snap Layouts

This combo opens the Snap Layouts characteristic. It’s equal to hovering the mouse cursor over a window’s maximize button, nevertheless it’s really faster.


18. Windows Key-Alt-Up Arrow: Resize to Half Screen

This key mixture resizes the present utility to precisely the highest half of the display screen. Similarly, you should use Windows Key-Alt-Down Arrow, Windows Key-Alt-Left Arrow, and Windows Key-Alt-Right Arrow to fill precisely half the display screen with the app in these instructions.

Cast media from Windows 11


Windows Key-Okay permits you to solid (kast?) your display screen to a wi-fi show. You also can add a button to the Quick Settings panel, however this shortcut saves you the difficulty.


20. Windows Key-C: Chat in Teams

C is for chat—this new keyboard shortcut for Windows 11 opens the non-public model of Microsoft Teams chat. Not even quite a lot of Windows followers use this private model, so good luck with it, Microsoft. One important plus on its aspect, although, is its capability to allow you to textual content chat with SMS to cellphone customers, with no particular account setup required.

More Ways to Boost Your Windows 11 Productivity

PCMag has a raft of ideas and tips that will help you together with Microsoft’s new working system. Start with our Best Windows 11 Tips roundup that covers every part from the Start menu to operating Android apps, then try Everything You Need to Know About Windows 11. For the complete up to date record of all protection, head to our Windows 11 index web page.

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