Since the Windows operating system has been around so long, it’s easy to believe that we know everything there is to know about it. I was surprised to learn recently, however, that there are a lot of tips that I hadn’t heard of before. And they’re simple to begin using and will help to increase productivity and save time.
Most Important Power Tip for Windows
The biggest tip for power users is to switch between open programs by holding down the Alt key and then tapping the Tab key. To remain at a program, simply release the Alt key.
Most of these shortcuts are done using the Windows key and some other combination of keys. (The Windows key is the one with four panes that mimics a window.)
- If you have several monitors and want to switch between them quickly, just press the Windows key and P. That will give you a list of ways to output. You can switch between those by maintaining the Win key and pressing P at each switch. Release Win and it will be applied.
- Windows + W lets you take a screenshot and crop/draw on it, and either copy it to your clipboard or save it as a PNG.
- Windows + Shift + S skips straight to the snipping tool area selection and then puts the selected areas on your clip board (Windows 10).
- To temporarily lock your computer while you are away, press Windows + L.
- To quickly access your system properties, press the Windows key + the Pause Break key.
- Instantly minimize all of your windows by pressing Windows + M.
- Windows + E opens the Explorer file window.
- To zoom in on your screen using the Magnifier app, press Windows + plus sign. Windows + minus sign will zoom out.
The Function keys have unique purposes, too.
- F1 is the Help key.
- F2 is the Rename a File key.
- F3 will help you find a file.
- F5 refreshes your screen.
Bonus: YouTube Shortcuts
If you’re a big YouTube fan, here are some tips to make you a power user:
- Press K to pause the video.
- Press F to make the video full screen.
- You can use , and . to reverse and fast forward a video frame by frame.
- M mutes the video.
- C toggles captions on/off.
- J and I will fast forward and reverse the video by 10 seconds.
I hope that you try out some of these tips to save you time. Let me know what you think about them!