Windows 11 provides completely a different user experience than previous versions. The major difference is the touch user interface which can also be controlled using a mouse. In addition to various features, there are many shortcuts available in Windows to improve the productivity. Primarily, you can use one of the modifier keys like alt, control and shift keys for shortcuts. However, the Windows Logo key (key with Windows logo or simply Win key on your keyboard) also has many hidden shortcuts. In this article, let us explain the list of Win key shortcuts available in Windows 11.
History of Windows Logo Key or Win Key
Before going to the shortcuts, let us check out the history details of the Windows key. On a standard Microsoft keyboard layout, you can view the Windows key with the Windows operating system symbol as shown below:
Microsoft first introduced this key Microsoft Natural Keyboard during 1994. Initially, this key had different names like Windows key, start key, logo key, flag key, super key, command key or home key. Also, the keyboard has two Windows keys during initial days along with a menu key. This practice changed the number of keys on the keyboard from 101/102 to 103/104.
Win Key Shortcuts for Windows 11
Here is a complete list of Windows key shortcuts in Windows 11.
|Win Key Shortcuts||Description|
|Win + 1||Open first application in the taskbar.|
|Win + 2||Launch second application in the taskbar.|
|Win + 3||Open third application in the taskbar.|
|Win + 4||Open fourth application in the taskbar.|
|Win + 5||Launch fifth application in the taskbar.|
|Win + 6||Open sixth application in the taskbar.|
|Win + 7||Launch seventh application in the taskbar.|
|Win + 8||Open eighth application in the taskbar.|
|Win + 9||Open ninth application in the taskbar.|
|Win + +||Increase magnification or size.|
|Win + –||Decrease the magnification or size.|
|Win + .||Open emoji keyboard.|
|Win + ;||Open emoji keyboard.|
|Win + ,||Show desktop temporarily (toggle desktop).|
|Win + ?||Open Windows feedback app.|
|Win + A||Open action center.|
|Win + Alt + R||Start or stop screen recording on Xbox app.|
|Win + Ctrl + D||Create a new virtual desktop.|
|Win + Ctrl + F4||Close the current virtual desktop.|
|Win + D||Show desktop by minimizing all open windows on all connected monitors. You can press “Win key + D” again to restore the open windows like before.|
|Win + Down Arrow||Minimize the active window.|
|Win + E||Open explorer window.|
|Win + F||Open Windows feedback hub.|
|Win + F1||Open Windows help menu.|
|Win + G||Open Xbox Game bar.|
|Win + H||Open voice typing.|
|Win + Home||Minimize all open windows except the active window only on the current monitor. Toggle with pressing the keys again.|
|Win + I||Open settings menu.|
|Win + K||Open connect sidebar for connecting new Bluetooth devices.|
|Win + L||Used quickly to lock your computer by default, the usage can be changed to switch users.|
|Win + Left Arrow||Move the window to left side or right side of the screen.|
|Win + O||Screen lock.|
|Win + P||Opens screen sharing options with the projector (toggle between screen, projector, extend or duplicate display options).|
|Win + Pause/Break||Display system properties.|
|Win + Print Screen||Take screenshot of the virtual desktop and automatically save under “/Pictures/Screenshots” folder.|
|Win + PrintScreen||Take instant screenshot of your window using this key combination. The picture will be automatically stored in your “Pictures > Screenshots” folder as a PNG image.|
|Win + Q||Open Cortana search with the voice input.|
|Win + R||Open run windows for reaching command prompt.|
|Win + Right Arrow||Move the window to right side or right side of the screen.|
|Win + S||Open Cortana search with the type input.|
|Win + Space||Choose input language for keyboard.|
|Win + Tab||Show open windows and virtual desktops.|
|Win + U||Open “Ease of Access Center” from control panel with the options like Narrator, Magnifiers, On screen keyboard, etc.|
|Win + Up Arrow||Maximize the active window.|
|Win + W||Open search window with the default option as “Settings”.|
|Win + X||Open Windows 10 power menu at the start menu position. This will offer many useful links like Task Manager, Device Manager, Control Panel, Run, etc.|
|Win + X and F||Open search file option used to locate files in the computer.|
Few Example Usages
Some of the above shortcuts are really useful to save you lot of time. Here we explain few example usages of Windows key.
Launch Apps from Taskbar
You can use Windows key along with number keys to open applications from the taskbar. For example, “Win + 1” will the first icon from the taskbar in Windows 10 which is Internet Explorer in the below screenshot.
This shortcut works differently in Windows 11 as the taskbar contains default Microsoft apps like Start Menu, Search, Desktops, Widgets and Chat. In this case, when you press “Win + 1”, it will open the first custom aplication in the taaskbar by ignoring the default apps.
Open Emoji Keyboard
Emoji keyboard will help you to quickly insert emoticons and smileys in Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and other Windows applications. Press “Win and ;” keys or “Win and .” keys to open emoji keyboard. You can find symbols by typing the name like “hand” to filter the results. This emoji keyboard was introduced in Windows 10 and primarily used to insert emoij and other symbols.
In Windows 11, emoji keyboard has been enhanced to show GIF images and various categories of symbols. You can also use the search box to easily filter relevant symbols.
View All Open Windows
Many Windows users press “Alt + Tab” keys to rotate through all open windows. However, you can also use “Win + Tab” shortcuts to view all open windows along with available virtual desktops. You can toggle current active window and view all open windows by pressing “Win + Tab” keys alternatively.
Win Key Shortcuts Guide with PowerToys App
There is also an easy way to reveal quickly used Win key shortcuts as a guide with a keyboard shortcut. Go to Microsoft Store and install PowerToys app. Open the app and go to “Shortcuts Guide” tab from the left sidebar. Turn on the switch against “Enable Shortcut Guide” option to enable the Win key shortcuts guide on your computer.
By default, you can reveal the Win key shortcuts by pressing “Win + Shift + /” keys. However, you can also hold the Windows key for specified time to show the shortcuts guide. For this to work, click on the dropdown showing against “Activation method” and select “Hold down Windows key” option. Now, set the duration in milliseconds for holding the Windows key to reveal shortcuts guide. You can also apply a theme, change opacity and exclude apps to turn off shortcuts guide.
When you are using any app, simply use the activation method (Win + Shift + / or hold Win key for set duration). This will open Windows key shortcuts guide as an overlay in a full screen. You can find the Windows key shortcuts and use instantly to navigate. For example, press “Win + A” to open Action Center or press “Win + ,” to temporarily peek at the desktop screen. If you do not wish to use any shortcut press escape key to quit the shortcuts guide.