Windows Shortcuts Every Student Should Know

8 mins read

Many students look for shortcuts to deal with academic pressure. Some may turn to math homework help while others use essay writing services. Using these timesavers makes academic life easier and leaves room for other activities. But, they are not the only shortcuts students will find helpful.

Achieving higher education means spending countless hours using a PC or a laptop. Chances are that most of them run on Windows. Many features of this OS can be accessed with keyboard commands. Almost all students know the basic Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V and Ctrl+P shortcuts. But, there are many more.

Windows Navigation Shortcuts

Ctrl+Esc: Open the Start Menu

This key combo opens the Windows Start menu. Students can also access it by tapping the Windows button. One can navigate this menu with the combination of Tab/Shift+Tab keys or using the mouse cursor.

F2: Rename

This key shortcut is very simple. Click on a file, press F2, and rename it. This is faster than trying to select the name with a cursor. This shortcut also works in other Windows Programs. For example, students can edit the content of cells in Microsoft Excel by pressing F2.

F5: Refresh

F5 is another important shortcut for working with documents and pages. Pressing it also refreshes the folder content. After reloading, it displays the latest version of the page.

Tab/Shift+Tab: Navigate Through Options

These commands move options forward (Tab) or backward (Shift+Tab) in a dialog box. Boxes with many tabs can be navigated by hitting the Ctrl+Tab or Ctrl+Shift+Tab keys. Students can also press them to switch between browser tabs.

Win+D: Show/Hide The Desktop

This combination of keys minimizes all open windows and shows the bare home screen. It is a great way of getting quick access to things like folders, files, and shortcuts on your desktop.

Win+Left Arrow or Win+Right Arrow: Snap Windows

A combination of these buttons allows opening a window on the left or right side of the screen. For example, you have Chrome open full screen. Pushing Win+left one time will move it to the left. This is faster than resizing windows manually.

Win+Tab: Switch Apps

Instead of looking through open apps one by one, press Win+Tab. This combination activates the Windows application switcher. Once active you can switch from app to app using arrow keys.

Advanced Windows Shortcuts

Win+C: Activate Cortana

This combination enables the listening mode in Cortana. Students have to activate it before using it. Do the following:

  1. Open the Cortana application in search
  2. Press the cog icon
  3. Turn on the Win+C shortcut

Once the shortcut is active, you can access the digital assistant whenever necessary. There is no need to say “Hey Cortana” every time.

Ctrl+H: Find and Replace

This shortcut is a life-saver for students. It allows searching for all instances of a word or phrase in the text. For example, if they have been writing the name of some organization wrong in the document. It can be replaced with the appropriate one by hitting Ctrl + H. Next they will be able to type the wrong word and its replacement.

Win+I: Open Windows Settings

This combination provides a fast way of accessing Windows settings. There is an alternative Win+A combo that opens the Action Center panel. It shows notifications and offers quick access to a couple of system settings.

Win+L: Lock PC

If you want to keep documents safe, hit this combination before going away from the computer. The desktop will stay locked on the login screen. You will gain access after reentering the user password.

Win+PrtScn: Save A Screenshot

Using this tool saves time on installing a dedicated tool for screenshots. Win+PrtScn takes a snapshot of the entire screen. It is saved as a PNG file in the Pictures folder. The tool also copies the image to the clipboard.

Those who don’t want to snapshot the whole screen can press Alt+PrtScn. It screenshots the active window. There is no automatic file generation, and the image is only copied to the clipboard.

Win+S: Search Windows

A combination of these keys opens access to the OS taskbar. It gives access to Cortana, as well as saved files and applications. This makes the process way faster than going through folders and directories.

Ctrl+Shift+Esc: Open the Task Manager

Sometimes the PC can malfunction and freeze. For example, students may open too many tabs and cause a browser to not respond. They can fix this by hitting this combination. It will open the Windows task manager that allows shutting down apps by force.

Win+Ctrl+D: Add a Virtual Desktop

This key combination allows the creation of virtual screens. They can come in handy when managing workspace for windows and applications. Once created, you can press the Task View button on the right of the taskbar search box. This way you can switch between virtual desktops.

This can be done with the combination of Win+Ctrl+arrow. Press Win+Ctrl+F4 to close screens no longer in use. Opened windows and applications will be moved to the next virtual desktop.

Win+X: Activate The Hidden Menu

Not every Windows user knows that the OS has a hidden Start menu. It’s called the Quick Link menu and provides access to system key areas. From there one can go to the Device Manager to check and configure hardware.

You can change settings for printers, keyboards, and other things. It can also be used to access the PowerShell tool. This window provides access to advanced system commands.

In Conclusion

Being a student means coming up with ways to work smarter, not harder. These shortcuts will save precious minutes on desktop navigation. Having more time means concentrating on assignments and completing deadlines. All of this will ensure that your education goes smoothly.

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