Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Based on our first “6 Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You May Not Know” post, we decided that it was time to do another one with even more shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts give you an easy way to accomplish certain tasks faster and more efficiently.

In this post, we’ll be going over some of the keyboard shortcuts that are also very useful, but most people aren’t familiar with (perhaps even “techy” people). So, without further delay, here are a few more shortcuts that you may not know:

Windows key + Pause/Break

This shortcut will bring up the System Properties box. Here, you can see things like which version of Windows you are running, the amount of memory installed on the computer, and other system-level specs. You can also quickly access Device manager from this dialog box as well.

Windows key + L

Needing to step away from your computer for a few minutes? This handy shortcut will log out and lock the computer until the user returns. Overall, it’s a quick way to restrict access and protect your data if you’re away from your desk for any reason, whether it be getting a fresh cup of coffee or taking a bathroom break.


While this isn’t a Windows specific shortcut exactly, it’s a very helpful browser shortcut that’s universal across browsers. It will reload both the current web page and web page cache. This can help resolve issues displaying or using certain sites. It also ensures that you have the latest version available of this site. A prime example is if you are on the hunt for an elusive Black Friday deal and the sales price isn’t updating because of your browser cache. For a more in-depth explanation of web/browser cache, check out this article on Web Cache.

Windows key + I

This shortcut opens “Settings” in Windows. Some computer techs know and use this one. It’s super handy if you’re needing to do things such as Uninstalling an App/Program, Modify Network/Connection settings, View Windows Update status, and other things that deal with how your system functions overall.

Windows key + PrtScn  (also ALT + PrtScn)

This helpful shortcut is very similar to the “standard” print screen (that only commits the screenshot to memory and requires pasting into an editing program such as Paint), except it goes one step further and actually saves the screenshot into a “Screenshots” folder in “Pictures”. This can simplify the process if you only need to email or send a quick screenshot by having the file saved and ready to attach.

A related shortcut to this is ALT + PrtScn, which allows you to do a “standard” print screen of only the currently active window. This can be helpful if you only need a screenshot of a website. It’s truly a blessing for those of us who use multi-monitor setups when we only need one window in a screenshot.

Windows key + CTRL + D

This nifty shortcut creates a new Windows Virtual Desktop. This gives you extra space for additional applications and browsers. Personally, I use this often when I need to quickly accomplish a task, but don’t want to disturb my currently open applications and workflow. I simply open up a new virtual desktop, and finish the task and go right back to my original desktop, exactly how it was!

Extra Tip: To navigate between the virtual desktops, you can press Windows key + CTRL + LEFT ARROW (or RIGHT ARROW).

These are just a few of the hundreds of shortcuts that are built directly into Windows and other programs. If you have any other blog topics you’d like to see covered or if you have any technology-related questions, feel free to reach out to your trusted IT solutions partner, SandStorm IT at 901-475-0275. Also, if you have any topics you would like to see us cover in a blog post, please contact us.