The complete guide to Windows 7 Shortcut Keys - gHacks Tech News

The complete guide to Windows 7 Shortcut Keys

There's been a lot of talk recently about use use of shortcut keys in Windows 8, primarily because 90+% of the people who will be using that OS for the next few year won't have access to a touch screen.

What this has brought home though is just how many people still reply on the old shortcut keys, and I'm not just talking about Ctrl+X/C/V here.

With this in mind I thought I'd publish here the definitive list of all Windows 7 shortcut keys as taken from my Microsoft Press book, Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out.

General Shortcut Keys

To do this Press this key
Copy selected icon(s) CTRL+C
Cut selected icons(s) CTRL+X
Paste cut or copied text or item(s) to
current folder
Undo your most recent action CTRL+Z
Delete selected icon(s) to Recycle Bin DELETE or DEL
Delete selected icons(s) without moving to Recycle Bin SHIFT+DELETE
Rename selected icon(s) F2
Extend selection through additional icons SHIFT+any
arrow key
Select all items in a document or window CTRL+A
Search for a file or folder F3
Display properties for selected icon ALT+ENTER
Close program in the active window ALT+F4
Open the shortcut menu for the active
Close the active document in multiple
document program
Show Flip 3D ~WS+TAB
Switch between open programs ALT+TAB
Cycle through open programs in the order
they were opened
Cycle through screen elements on the
desktop or in a window
Display the shortcut menu for the
selected item
Open/close the Start menu CTRL+ESC or ~WS
Open menu or perform menu command ALT+underlined letter
View menu bar in active program F10 or Alt
Move left or right in menu bar ¬ and ®
Move up or down in menu ­ and ¯
Select highlighted menu command ENTER
Refresh the active window F5
View the folder one level up Windows
Cancel the current task ESC
Open Task Manager CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
Copy dragged item to destination CTRL+drag
Move dragged item to destination CTRL+SHIFT+drag

Dialog Box Keyboard Shortcuts

Description Key
Choose option with underlined letter ALT+letter
Select a button if the active option is a
group of option buttons
Arrow keys
Open a folder one level up if a folder is
selected in the Save As or Open dialog box
Go to previous tab CTRL+SHIFT+TAB
Go to next tab CTRL+TAB
Same as clicking OK ENTER
Same as clicking Cancel ESC
Help F1 key
Display the items in the active list F4 key
Move to previous option SHIFT+TAB
Select or deselect the check box SPACEBAR
Move to next option TAB

Windows Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

Description Key
Collapse the selected folder – on numeric keypad
Display all the subfolders under selected
* on numeric keypad
Select or collapse parent folder ¬
Expand current folder or move to next
Display the contents of the selected
+ on numeric keypad
Display the bottom of the active window END
Display the top of the active window HOME
Open selected folder in new instance SHIFT+Double-Click

Ease of Access Keyboard Shortcuts

Description Key
Open Ease ofAccessCenter ~WS+U
Switch the MouseKeys either on or off LEFT ALT+LEFT SHIFT+NUM LOCK
Switch High Contrast either on or off LEFT ALT+LEFT SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN
Switch the ToggleKeys either on or off NUM LOCK for five seconds
Switch FilterKeys either on or off RIGHT SHIFT for eight seconds
Switch the StickyKeys either on or off SHIFT five times

Windows Help Shortcut Keys

To do this Press this key
Open Windows Help and Support F1 or ~WS+F1
Display the Table of Contents ALT+C
Display the Connection Settings menu ALT+N
Display the Options menu F10
Move back to the previously viewed topic ALT+¬
Move forward to the next (previously
viewed) topic
Display the customer support page ALT+A
Display the Help home page ALT+HOME
Move to the beginning of a topic HOME
Move to the end of a topic END
Search the current topic CTRL+F
Print a topic CTRL+P
Move to the Search box F3

Microsoft Natural Keyboard Shortcuts

Description Key
Display or hide the Start menu ~WS
Lock the computer ~WS+L
Display the System Properties dialog box ~WS+BREAK
Show the desktop ~WS+D
Open Computer folder ~WS+E
Search for file or folder ~WS+F
Search for computers CTRL+~WS+F
Display Windows Help ~WS+F1
Minimize all the windows ~WS+M
Restore all minimized windows ~WS+SHIFT+M
Open the Run dialog box ~WS+R
Show Flip 3D ~WS+TAB
Open Ease ofAccessCenter ~WS+U

Text Navigation and Editing Shortcuts

Description Key
Move cursor down one line ¯®
Move cursor left one character ¬
Move cursor right one character ®¯
Move cursor up one line ­
Delete character to left of cursor BACKSPACE
Move cursor to start of next paragraph CTRL+¯®
Move cursor to start of previous
Move cursor to start of previous word CTRL+¬
Move cursor to start of next word CTRL+®¯
Select all CTRL+A
Copy to Clipboard CTRL+C
Copy the selected text to destination CTRL+drag
Select to end of paragraph CTRL+SHIFT+®
Select to end of word CTRL+SHIFT+Æ
Select to beginning of word CTRL+SHIFT+¬
Select to beginning of paragraph CTRL+SHIFT+­
Select to end of document CTRL+SHIFT+END
Select to top of document CTRL+SHIFT+HOME
Paste Clipboard contents to cursor
Cut to Clipboard CTRL+X
Undo last action CTRL+Z
Delete selected text or character at
Cancel the current task ESC
Select to character in line above SHIFT+­
Select to character in line below SHIFT+¯®
Select character to left SHIFT+¬
Select character to right SHIFT+®¯
Select from cursor to here SHIFT+Click
Select to end of line SHIFT+END
Select to beginning of line SHIFT+HOME
Select text down one screen SHIFT+PAGE DOWN
Select text up one screen SHIFT+PAGE UP

Windows Character Map Shortcut Keys

Key Description
­ Move up one row
¯ Move down one row
¬ Move to the left or to the end of the
previous line
® Move to the right or to the beginning of
the next line
CTRL+END Move to the last character
CTRL+HOME Move to the first character
END Move to the end of the line
HOME Move to the beginning of the line
PAGE DOWN Move down one screen at a time
PAGE UP Move up one screen at a time
SPACEBAR Switch between Enlarged and Normal modes

Microsoft Internet Explorer Shortcuts

To do this Press this
Add “www.” to the beginning and “.com” to
the end of text in address bar
Add the current page to favorites CTRL+D
Click the Information bar SPACEBAR
Close current tab (or the current window
if tabbed browsing is disabled)
Close other tabs CTRL+ALT+F4
Close Print Preview ALT+C
Close the current window (if you have
only one tab open)
Copy selection to Clipboard CTRL+C
Display a list of addresses you’ve typed F4
Display a shortcut menu for a link SHIFT+F10
Display first page to be printed ALT+HOME
Display last page to be printed ALT+END
Display next page to be printed ALT+¯
Display previous page to be printed ALT+¬
Display zoom percentages ALT+Z
Find on this page CTRL+F
Go to home page ALT+HOME
Go to selected link ENTER
Go to the next page ALT+¯
Go to the previous page ALT+¬ or BACKSPACE
Go to the Toolbar Search box CTRL+E
Help F1
Move back through the items on a Web
page, the address bar, or the links bar
Move back through the list of
AutoComplete matches
Move backward between frames (if tabbed
browsing is disabled)
Move focus to the Information bar ALT+N
Move forward through frames and browser
elements (if tabbed browsing is disabled)
Move forward through the items on a Web
page, the address bar, or the links bar
Move forward through the list of
AutoComplete matches
Move selected item down in the Favorites
list in the Organize Favorites dialog box
Move selected item up in the Favorites
list in the Organize Favorites dialog box
Move the cursor left to the next
punctuation in the address bar
Move the cursor right to the next
punctuation in the address bar
Move to the beginning of the page HOME
Move to the end of the page END
Open a new tab in the foreground CTRL+T
Open a new tab in the foreground from the
address bar
Open a new Web site or page CTRL+O
Open a new window CTRL+N
Open Favorites CTRL+I
Open Feeds CTRL+J
Open History CTRL+H
Open links in a new background tab CTRL+click
Open links in a new foreground tab CTRL+SHIFT+click
Open search query in a new tab ALT+ENTER
Open the Organize Favorites CTRL+B
Page Setup ALT+U
Paste Clipboard contents CTRL+V
Print the current page or active frame CTRL+P
Refresh the current Web page F5
Refresh the current Web page regardless
of timestamp
Save the current page CTRL+S
Scroll down a line ¯
Scroll down a page PAGE DOWN
Scroll up a line ­
Scroll up a page PAGE UP
Select all items on the current Web page CTRL+A
Select frames to print in framed Web site ALT+F
Select the text in the address bar ALT+D
Set printing options and print the page ALT+P
Stop downloading a page ESC
Switch between tabs CTRL+TAB or CTRL+SHIFT+TAB
Switch to a specific tab number CTRL+n (where n is a number between 1 and
Switch to the last tab CTRL+9
Toggle between full-screen and regular
Toggle Quick Tabs on or off CTRL+Q
Type the number of the page you want
Zoom in 10 percent CTRL+PLUS SIGN
Zoom out 10 percent CTRL+MINUS SIGN
Zoom to 100 percent CTRL+0
Article Name
The complete guide to Windows 7 Shortcut Keys
A complete list of all shortcuts that are available on Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system.

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    1. Mark McC said on September 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      The Natural Keyboard list only seems to have Windows XP shortcuts.

      Windows 7 also allows:

      WS+UP – Maximize window
      WS+SHIFT+UP – Maximize window only vertically
      WS+DOWN – Minimize window
      WS+LEFT/RIGHT – Aero Snap window to left/right
      WS+SHIFT+LEFT/RIGHT – Move window between monitors
      WS+HOME – Minimize all windows except the current one (same as Aero Shake)
      WS+[1-0] on main keyboard – Activate or launch corresponding pinned taskbar icon.
      WS+G – Bring desktop gadgets to front
      WS+P – Open projector/monitor swticher

      There’s probably a few more still waiting to be discovered.

    2. tony said on September 30, 2011 at 12:10 am

      I find that alt-F4 does not always work, esp for microsoft office under XP. I have used alt-F4 since forever!!!

    3. KRS said on October 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Probably a dumb question, but you use non-keyboard characters in this shortcut list, including:

      How do I enter these? I assume WS is the Windows key, but does ~ mean the keyboard tilde or something else, and if so what?


    4. Rob said on August 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

      I find that the keyboard has become a series of shortcuts. Every letter I hit becomes a command… For example, I hit the “h” key and it brings up the history box. I did not access this feature intentionally, and I don’t know how to turn it on and off (other than restarting the whole computer). I cannot find the easy answer on the microsoft instructional pages…

    5. Sharon said on September 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      I would love to disable some of the hotkeys in Win7 but can’t figure out how to do it. Specifically, the “select all” combo of Ctrl + A. I hit those keys accidently all the time, and the next key I hit deletes everything I just typed. It’s seriously driving me crazy!

      Any help on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    6. Thepyshcoste said on March 16, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      To the “General Shortcut Keys” I have one to add:

      Create shortcut of selected item(s) in destination : Alt+drag

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