10 Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know

edited August 2023 in PC Tech

With the release of Windows 11 and all its new features, there is a lot to like about the options available to PC owners, including the greater consistency and efficiency of its design, the ability to run Android apps, and significant improvements to gaming, overall performance, and much more. In addition to the technological benefits of Windows 11, you should also be aware of the best keyboard shortcuts to save you time and effort. Learn more about the ten best Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts you need to know and make your PC activities much simpler and more enjoyable. 

Search for text with CTRL + F 

While this might seem an obvious choice to more experienced PC owners, the humble CTRL + F keyboard shortcut is one of the most valuable things to know, regardless of your familiarity with Windows. Rather than having to engage in the tedious and frustrating process of manually searching through a particular document, webpage, or other searchable information, you can enter CTRL + F to open the “Find” search bar. Once this is open, you can enter keywords to jump to your desired keywords instantly. Depending on the program in question, you can either jump from highlighted word to highlighted word or view all occurrences highlighted simultaneously.  

Select multiple items with CTRL + Click or Shift + Click 

 Engaging in the process of selecting multiple files to attach to an email or send to a different folder or directory can be a lengthy process at the best of times. While you could take the time and trouble to manipulate each file individually, why not send a block of adjacent items by using Shift + Click? If you need to send files that are not next to each other, simply use CTRL + Click to select non-adjacent items. 

Minimize all windows with Windows Key + M 

Sometimes you just need to clear your screen and eliminate the clutter of open app windows. You can minimize all your windows individually, but this can be a very lengthy process depending on the number of open programs. Rather than going through all that work, simply use the Windows Key + M, and you will return to your desktop with all windows minimized. Windows Key + Shift + M will restore all minimized windows, but you must remain on your desktop for this shortcut to work. 

Undo and Redo with CTRL + Z and CRTL + Y 

 The process of typing and editing is often filled with the need to undo and redo mistakes in formatting, pasting, and other related activities. Instead of navigating to the top of Microsoft Word or other word processing programs and painstakingly clicking through each keyboard entry, you can effortlessly use CRTL + Z to undo and CRTL + Y to redo. 

Instantly Launch File Explorer with Windows Key + E 

 If you find yourself needing to navigate Windows 11 File Explorer on a regular basis, you know that there are several methods available to launching the program, including searching for the program, creating a shortcut on your desktop, and pinning it to your taskbar. You can also just press the Windows Key + E simultaneously and instantly launch the program whenever you need it. 

Open the snap layouts panel with Windows Key + Z  

 Newly added in Windows 11, the snap layouts panel makes putting multiple apps side by side on your monitor incredibly simple. By pressing Windows Key + Z, you can select what kind of snap layout you would like to use as a default. There are six options available for layout, including side-by-side columns, the number of snap fields and more, depending on your preferences. 

Refresh the active window or page with F5 or Ctrl + R  

 Having a webpage or app fail to load correctly can be frustrating, to say the least, as is having to reload them manually to resolve the problem. In lieu of clicking on the refresh page button or opening and closing a particular active window, you can either use F5 or CTRL + R to refresh whichever page you are currently using 

Instantly Navigate to Any Open Window with CTRL + Alt + Tab 

If you are prone to having many programs operating simultaneously, finding your way back to a particular window or app can be difficult. By using the CTRL + Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut, you can quickly navigate to any open window and use the arrow keys to open specific programs. 

Snap Open Windows with Windows Key + Alt + Up/Down/Left/Right Arrow 

The ability to snap open windows and arrange your monitor according to your preferences is beneficial, but what if you could make the process even easier? You can snap your selected window in the corresponding direction by pressing Windows Key + Alt + Up, Down, Left, or Right. 

Move Active Window to Another Monitor with Windows Key + Shift + Right/Left Arrow 

This shortcut is handy for those who like using multi-monitor setups for efficiency and convenience. For example, if you need to transfer an active window from one monitor to the other, all you need to do is press Windows Key + Shift + Right or Left Arrow, and it will move to the corresponding display. 

Windows 11 offers a host of notable features, and these keyboard shortcuts will help make your PC use that much easier. Check out other keyboard shortcuts to find out more about what you can do with some simple keystrokes. 


About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of experience writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.


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