Another quiet week in the tech world gives us some more time for actual technology tips. Lets look at some keyboard shortcuts you can use to make your life easier with Microsoft’s Windows.
High Contrast: SHIFT + ALT + PRINT
In its default setting, this shortcut opens a warning window before applying any changes. Click Yes or simply hit Return to switch to the high contrast setting.
This will enlarge the font on all open windows and change colors to high contrast. For example, the desktop will turn black, what was black text on white background before will be reversed. Clicking the same key combination again reverts the changes.
Switch Between Open Windows: ALT + TAB
This keyboard shortcut launches a layover window that shows all open programs. Hold onto the ALT key and click the TAB key to move to the next application. Release both keys to open the selected window.
You can reverse the direction by holding ALT + SHIFT while pressing the TAB key.
Delete Without Confirmation: SHIFT + DEL
Do you hate these nagging windows asking you whether you really want to do this or that. If you want to quickly delete something, without being harrassed for a confirmation, use this shortcut.
Do you want to make the instant delete route your default setting? Right click the Recycle Bin on your desktop, select Properties, and remove the checkmark next to Display delete confirmation dialog.
Show Desktop / Restore Open Windows: Windows key + D
Rather than moving your mouse into the bottom right corner of your screen to see your desktop, press this keyboard shortcut. Press it again to restore your windows exactly as they were before.
Lock System: Windows key + L
You should never leave your desktop unattended. Before you head out to the loo or to grab another coffee, press this keyboard shortcut to lock your system. When you return and log back in, all programs and windows will appear the way you left them.
Run Command Prompt as Administrator: Windows key + R, type cmd, hold CTRL + SHIFT, hit ENTER
This is one complex chain of commands. But if you manage to do it right, you’ll have instant Administrator access to the command prompt.
Unfortunately, this shortcut doesn’t seem to work anymore as of the Windows 10 Creators Update. Alternatively, press Windows key + X to open the Quick Access Menu, then use the UP/DOWN arrow keys to move the Command Prompt (Admin) entry, and hit ENTER.
Shut Down: Windows key + X, U, I / U / R / H / S
You can shut Windows down with a few button clicks. It all starts with Windows key + X to open the Quick Access Menu, followed by the U key to expand the Shut down or sign out options. Finally, press I to sign out, U to shut down, R to restart, H to hibernate, and S to sleep.
Create Your Own Desktop Keyboard Trick
Are there folders or applications you need a lot? Why not create your own keyboard shortcut to quickly access these tools.
Note: This will only work for shortcuts located on your desktop!
First you need to create an actual desktop shortcut. In Windows 10, this has become a little more tricks. Right-click on the application in its program folder or send it from the Start Menu to the Taskbar and SHIFT + right-click its Taskbar icon, then select Create Shortcut from the context menu.
Make sure the shortcut sits on your desktop. Now right-click the shortcut and select Properties. You should see a line that says Shortcut Key: None. Click that line and then click a letter on your keyboard, for example P. This will create a shortcut, here CTRL + ALT + P.
And there you go, now you have your own personal shortcut key.