If you are new to Windows 11 or Windows in general then these keyboard shortcuts will certainly help. The new Windows 11 was launched back in October 2021 but has since become the main operating systems for all new devices from Windows 11 Home to Windows 11 Pro.

Windows 11 is a great operating system, but if you are not use to it then some of the following keyboard shortcuts could be worthwhile knowing.

In this blog post, we will discuss 10x of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for beginners to help you navigate Windows 11 more easily and help to save time where possible.

Shortcut 1 – Copy and Paste

The copy and paste shortcuts have been around for a while, it copies the selected text, stores it in a clipboard then paste it where the user wants it. The simply shortcut is simply Ctrl+C for copy and Ctrl+V for paste.

If you are looking to copy an entire document or page, then simply use Ctrl+A and this will select all of the text in the document. Use this with the Ctrl+C to copy the document to your clipboard, then open a document and use Ctrl+V to paste the entire document or words depending on whats selected.

Shortcut 2 – Use the Shift Key

By using Shortcut 1 with Shortcut 2, it means you don’t necessarily need to have a mouse to select text/paragraph or document instead select an area of interest in the document and hold the shift key. Once you hold the shift key use the directions on your keyboard, left/right and/or up/down and it will select text based on your needs.

Try this with Shortcut one and it makes it easier to select entire paragraphs to copy and paste.

Shortcut 3 – The Windows Icon

If you are moving from Windows 10 you will realise the start menu has moved from the left to the centre, but the purpose of the menu icon remains.

The windows logo keyboard shortcuts allow you to quickly open the Windows 11 start menu, simply click the windows icon and a menu will appear. Alternatively, you may have a Windows key on your laptop if so click this and the same menu will appear.

From this point you can use your mouse and keyboard to navigate through the start menu similar to Windows 10, finding the program and/or application and files that you need.

Shortcut 4 – Windows File Explorer

Similar to Windows 10, file explorer is used to help dive into your files and folders by simply pressing the Windows Key + E on your keyboard and file explorer will open.

Windows File Explorer is a great tool to find documents quickly, so instead in finding the file explorer on your desktop or menu try the Windows Key + E.

Shortcut 5 – Changing between Windows/Applications

If you are working on a document/email/file and want to quickly flip between both, there are quick keyboard shortcuts to help you change you between windows or alternatively all of them.

Press Alt + Tab on your keyboard and it will allow you to view all the windows that are open on your laptop, once you have chosen the window you want simply release and the window will appear in front of all other applications.

This is quick and an easy way to switch between applications/files/folders without the need to use your mouse.

Shortcut 6 – Taskbar Shortcut

Similar to Windows 10 you have the ability to store your favourite applications in the menu bar at the bottom of your screen, however if you need to open an application without the need for a mouse then use the below shortcut.

To create a shortcut for your taskbar, simply press and hold the Alt key on your keyboard, followed by the number that corresponds to the app you want to choose.

For example, pressing Alt+1 will launch the first app on the taskbar, Alt +2 the second, Alt + 3 the third and so on.

If you want to launch a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app, then press and hold the Windows key, choosing the corresponding app you wish to launch.

This shortcut helps to save time and improve productivity especially when using your favourite apps that are stored on your taskbar.

Shortcut 7 – Command Prompt

Command prompt is a text-based interface for Windows 11 and was also present in Windows 10, it allows users to enter commands and receive output. This tends to be used by potentially more IT savvy technical people, but it can still be used for certain cases like checking internet or understanding your device.

Command Prompt can be opened in two ways either through the menu icon and searching command prompt or alternatively pressing the Windows Key + R at the same time. This will open the Run dialogue box, in this box simply type “cmd” and enter and the command prompt will open.

Test – trying opening the command prompt with Windows + R, then type cmd – a box will appear and simply type systeminfo and press Enter. This will provide you all the details of your device should you need it.

Shortcut 8 – Print Screen

In Windows 11, there are a multitude of ways to use the Print Screen function with keyboard shortcuts.

If you are simply looking to take a snapshot of a specific window, first select the window and then press Alt + Print Screen. This will take a snapshot of the specific window and save to your clipboard.

If you wish to edit the image, simply open up Paint for example and use Ctrl + V to paste (using a previous shortcut).

If you are looking to take a snapshot of an entire screen but do not want to save it as an image, simply press Ctrl + Print Screen – this will open it in the built-in snipping tool.

Shortcut 9 – Snipping Tool

Adding to the ability to use Ctrl + Print Screen above, many potentially are unaware of using the built-in snipping tool which is ideal to take some image snippets within Windows.

Although not a shortcut, its definitely worthwhile using to avoid needing to edit each image and crop – instead use the snipping tool to grab an exact image or size you need.

Shortcut 10 – Settings

The final of our shortcuts is the settings tab, by simply pressing the Windows key + I, this will open your settings window.

From here use your keyboard or mouse/trackpad to access any of the settings for your device.

The settings shortcut is a great way to access key settings for your device without the need for a mouse, once the window is open use the navigation keys to select your setting needed. Don’t forget to use Tab should you wish to move from left to right.  

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If you want to know more about Windows 11 or alternatively some of the benefits of Microsoft 365 then feel free to read some of our other blogs.