Skip to main content


Productivity Tips: Windows 7

There are copious amounts of blog posts where people talk about their favorite shortcuts, but I haven’t heard anyone complain about it, so I’m going to add one of my own. Actually, I’m going to write an entire series! This post will focus on Windows shortcuts. This involves shortcuts you can use pretty much anywhere in Windows. I’ll also include shortcuts for applications that come with Windows.
Windows Key (Wndw)

  • Wndw + M – Minimize all windows.
  • Wndw + D – Show the desktop (even modal windows)
  • Wndw + E – Windows Explorer
  • Wndw + L – Lock Computer
  • Wndw + Tab – Scroll through open windows (Aero only)
  • Wndw + R – Run Command (same as Start -> Run)
    • calc – Windows Calculator
    • cmd – Command Prompt
    • notepad – Notepad
    • [filepath] – Type any file/folder path and Windows Explorer will open to that path
    • mstsc – Remote Desktop
    • services.msc – Windows Services Console
    • inetmgr – Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • Wndw + Left Arrow – Application fills left side of screen
  • Wndw + Right Arrow  – Application fills right side of screen
  • Wndw + Up Arrow – Maximum application
  • Wndw + Down Arrow – Minimize application
  • Wndw + Shift + Left Arrow – Move application to the left monitor
  • Wndw + Shift + Right Arrow – Move application to the right monitor

Ctrl/Alt/Shift Shortcuts

  • Ctrl + X/C/V – Cut/Copy/Paste
  • Ctrl + Z – Undo
  • Ctrl + Y – Redo
  • Ctrl + A – Select all
  • Alt + F4 – Close active application
  • Alt + Tab – Switch between applications
  • Ctrl + F4 – Close current window in current application (i.e. browser tabs)
  • Ctrl + Tab – Switch between windows in current application
  • Alt + Print Screen – Screen shot of active window
  • Shift + Delete – Delete, bypass recycle bin
  • Ctrl + Alt + Delete – Logoff/switch user/ etc. screen
  • Ctrl + Alt + End – Same as above, but on remote computer (Remote Desktop)

Function Keys

  • F2 – Rename
  • F3 – Find
  • F5 – Refresh (Also “Run/Play” in some applications)

Windows Explorer

  • Shift + Right Click (on file/folder) – Adds “Copy As Path” option to context menu (will put the full path of the folder/file on your clipboard)
  • Shift + Right Click (in white space) – Adds “Open command window here” option to context menu (will open command prompt to current directory)
    • If you want to do the opposite (from command window to windows explorer) type “explorer .” (that is a space then a period)
  • Hold Shift (while dragging file/folder) – When dropped, the items will be moved
  • Hold Ctrl (while dragging file/folder) – When dropped, the items will be copied
  • Hold Alt (shile dragging file/folder) – When dropped, a shortcut will be created to the items

Mouse Shortcuts
Shorts aren’t just for the keyboard, the mouse has some useful shortcuts as well — though sometimes the keyboard is needed to help.

  • Click the mouse wheel…
    • In scrollable area – Area will scroll simply by moving the mouse
    • On a link in a browser – Open the link in a new tab
    • On an icon in the taskbar – Open new instance of application
    • On a preview window in the task bar (hover over stacked icons) – Close application instance
  • Left click and hold the title bar of a window (the top)…
    • Move the mouse to the left/right edge of the monitor – Application will fill left/right side of monitor
    • Moe the mouse to the top of the screen – Application will maximize application
    • Shake the mouse – All other applications will minimize
  • Ctrl + Mouse wheel up/down – Zoom in/Zoom out
  • Shift + Left click – Select items/text between starting item and item clicked (file/folers or text)
  • Ctrl + Left click – Add/Remove item from selection (file/folders only)
  • Double click title bar – Maximum application (or return to previous size if already maximized)

Feel free to leave comments with your own favorite shortcuts.

Thoughts on “Productivity Tips: Windows 7”

  1. Brian, thank you so much for this post! Alt + Tab is my go to, but I was unaware of many shortcuts you listed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.