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Five of the most useful Windows key shortcuts

Unless you’re rich enough to own an Apple Mac, the chances are high that the laptop you use at work runs Windows. Unless it’s even older than the author of this article, the chances are equally high that the laptop’s keyboard has this mysterious key:

This is called the Windows key, and allows you to get at many useful short-cuts (anything which saves time has to be good news). Here’s my selection of the 5 most useful Windows short-cut keys: see how many you know! I’ve also added a bonus fun short-cut key at the end.

Opening Windows Explorer

One of the most common tasks in Windows is to go into Windows Explorer, so that you can find a file or folder. To do this, hold down the Windows Key and press “E” for Explorer (note that none of the Windows key short-cuts is case-sensitive, so holding down the Windows Key and pressing “e” would work just as well).

Locking your screen

Whenever you leave your computer you should lock your screen, to stop anyone accessing confidential data (or using your mail client to send an incriminating email to your manager ...). To lock your screen, don’t bother pressing ALT + CTRL + DEL; instead, just hold down the Windows key and press L for Lock.

Going to the desktop

One way to go to your desktop so that you can see its icons is to click on the thin vertical bar at the extreme bottom right of your screen (you’ve probably never even noticed this existed!). However, an even easier way is to hold down the Windows key and press D for Desktop.

Using a Projector

If you’re in the middle of a presentation, it’s often convenient to switch output from your computer to an external monitor (or conversely, to stop broadcasting what you’re doing when you want to check your email). The key – quite literally – in both cases is to hold down the Windows key and press P for Projector.

Splitting the screen

Let’s suppose you want to do two things at once (as an example, you might want to write this article and at the same time watch cat videos). Ideally you’d like to split your screen into two equal parts, like this:

 

One easy way to do this is to go to one of the two applications running, then hold down the Windows key and press the left or right arrow key.  This will move the program to the left or right side of your computer’s screen.  You can then click on the other program which you want to be visible, which will then fill the other side of your screen.

Finally, a bonus short-cut key (albeit a somewhat frivolous one).  When you’re typing, you can hold down the Windows key and press the ; (semi-colon) key to choose an emoji to type in.  Here’s what you’ll see in Windows 10:

And with that, it’s time to finish this article in an appropriate way - ! Hope you’ve found it useful.

About the Author

Andy Brown
Wise Owl Training - friendly and professional computer training for UK businesses.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 88 33 606
Website: www.wiseowl.co.uk

Disclaimer

The above blog has been kindly supplied by the above mentioned author. The inclusion of this content and any links to another web site, or any reference to any product or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by D2N2 Growth Hub.

 


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