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HP PCs - Keyboard shortcuts, hotkeys, and special keys (Windows)

Discover useful keyboard features in Windows that can make navigation, tasks, and functions quicker and easier.

Common keyboard shortcuts

You can use key press combinations to perform common tasks in Windows.

Note:

The Windows key on your keyboard is labeled with a Windows flag icon and is used in many key press combinations.

Common keyboard shortcuts

Task

Keystroke

Result

Get help

f1

Get help about the software or app that is currently active. For help with Windows, press f1 while on the Windows desktop.

Copy

ctrl + c

Copy a selection to the Windows clipboard to be pasted later.

Paste

ctrl + v

Paste a previously cut or copied selection into an app.

Cut

ctrl + x

Delete a selection and copy it to the Windows clipboard to be pasted later.

Save

ctrl + s

Save a file from the currently active app.

Undo an action

ctrl + z

Undo the last action done in Windows. Repeat this key press combination to continue undoing previous actions.

Bold text

ctrl + b

Apply bold emphasis to selected text while text is being edited.

Underline text

ctrl + u

Underline selected text while text is being edited.

Italicize text

ctrl + i

Apply italicized emphasis to selected text while text is being edited.

Destroy a file

shift + delete

Delete a selected file in Windows without moving it to the Recycle Bin. The file is permanently deleted.

File properties

alt + enter (or double-click)

Quickly find a file's property information. The key press combination works from the desktop, File Explorer, or Windows Explorer.

Screenshot

prt scr (print screen)

Copy a picture of the screen to the Windows clipboard to be pasted as a graphic later. On some laptops, you may need to press and hold fn before pressing prt scr.

Take a picture of a window

shift + prt scr (print screen)

Copy a picture of the current window (not the entire screen) to the Windows clipboard to be pasted as a graphic later.

Close a window or web page

With the window active, press alt + f4 (function key f4)

Close the currently active window or app. This task can be useful when you want to close a webpage that does not have a close window button.

Shut down or restart Windows

With the Windows desktop active, press alt + f4 (function key f4)

Open a window where you can select power functions, such as Log off, Sleep, Hibernate, Restart, and Shut down.

Open the Start menu or Start screen

The Windows key or ctrl + esc

Open or close the Start menu or Start screen.

Open a window menu or menu item

alt + the letter key matching the underlined letter of the menu or menu item

Instead of using a mouse to open menus or select items within menus, use this key press combination.

Open a right-click (contextual) menu

shift + f10 (function key f10)

Instead of using a mouse to right-click an item in Windows, use this key press combination.

Run a command

Windows key + r

Open the Run dialog box to type Windows commands.

Switch between apps

alt + tab

Display all active windows. Switch to another window by repeatedly pressing the tab key while holding down the alt key.

Minimize window

Windows key + down arrow

Remove the current window from view without closing. You can access the window again by clicking the tray icon.

Maximize window

Windows key + up arrow

Change the size of the current window to fill the entire screen.

Minimize all windows

Windows key + m

Minimize all active windows.

Restore all minimized windows

Windows key + shift + m

Restore all active windows that were minimized to the system tray.

Ease of Access Center

Windows key + u

Open accessibility features, such as screen reading, high contrast screens, mouse alternative options, and more.

Open Task Manager

ctrl + shift + esc

Open the task manager utility to monitor currently running tasks and network activity.

Open System Properties

Windows key + pause / break

Open System Properties for quick access to basic system information and links to other helpful system tools.

Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Use key press combinations to quickly access common functions in Windows 10.

Windows 10 shortcuts

Function

Keystroke

Result

Search

Windows key + s

Open a search window to find files, folders, apps, settings, and websites.

Search for computers

Windows key + ctrl + f

Find computers on a local network.

Dictation

Windows key + h

Open the Dictation input feature.

File Explorer

Windows key + e

Open a File Explorer window to browse the files and folders on your computer.

Settings

Windows key + i

Open a Settings window where you can change the behavior of features in Windows.

Connect to devices

Windows key + k

Open the Connect or Devices view to connect to Bluetooth devices.

Lock the computer

Windows key + l

Lock the computer to prevent unauthorized access while you are away.

Screen orientation lock

Windows key + o

Prevent or allow the screen to rotate when the display device is rotated, if supported.

Advanced settings

Windows key + x

Open the Advanced Settings menu.

View active apps

Windows key + tab

Resize and display all currently active windows to fit proportionally on the screen (thumbnail view). Use this view to quickly see everything currently running and to close or switch between windows. Repeat this key press combination to return the windows to their previous size and placement.

Windows desktop

Windows key + e

Hide the Start screen or minimize all active windows and menus to display the desktop. Repeat this key press combination to restore the previous view.

Snap a Window

Windows key + left arrow or right arrow

Move and resize the current window to the left or right half of the screen.

Save a screenshot

Windows key + prt scr (print screen)

Saves a picture of your screen as a PNG graphic file to a Screenshots folder in your Pictures library.

Keys with icons or symbols

Most keyboards come with special symbols applied to the function keys. Your HP keyboard might have extra keys or buttons with icons as well.

Note:

On most laptop keyboards, you must press and hold the fn key before pressing the key with the symbol or icon to perform the function.

Keys with icons or symbols

Task

Symbol

Description

Enable wireless

Enable wireless icon

Turn wireless internet on or off. There is usually an LED or on-screen notification to indicate the status of Wi-Fi: on, off, or on and not connected. This symbol key does not turn on Bluetooth.

Airplane mode

Airplane mode icon

Enable or disable all wireless communications from the computer.

Presentation mode

Presentation mode icon

Switch to another display mode when an external display is connected.

Illuminate the keyboard

Illuminate keyboard icon

If your laptop is equipped with an illuminated keyboard, turn keyboard illumination on or off.

Search

Search icon

Open a search window to find files, folders, apps, settings, and websites.

Decrease screen brightness

Decrease brightness icon

Dim the brightness of the built-in display screen.

Increase screen brightness

Increase brightness icon

Increase the brightness of the built-in display screen.

Menu / Right-click

Menu right-click icon

Open a right-click menu.

Copy

Copy icon

Copy selection to clipboard. Same as pressing ctrl + c.

Lock the computer

Lock computer icon

Exit Windows to the sign-in screen.

Suspend the computer

Suspend computer icon

Place the computer in sleep or suspend mode.

Mute

Mute icon

Silence the speakers or headphones. Repeat the press to allow sound.

Volume down

Volume down icon

Decrease the volume of speakers or headphones.

Volume up

Volume up icon

Increase the volume of speakers or headphones.

Play / Pause media

Play Pause icon

Play or pause media, such as music or videos. This key does not work unless media is active.

Stop media

Stop icon

Stop playback of media, such as music or videos. This key does not work unless media is active.

Skip (media)

Skip icon

Play next section or track of audio or video.

Previous (media)

Previous icon

Restart current media from the beginning. If pressed repeatedly, plays the previous track or clip.

Share

Share icon

Open the Share menu where you can send files or messages to others.

Settings

Settings icon

Open a Settings window where you can change the behavior of features in Windows.

Scroll Lock

Scroll lock icon

Activates or deactivates scroll lock. Scroll lock uses the arrow keys to move within a window instead of using a mouse and the scroll bar. Scroll lock is only used by a few software apps, such as Microsoft Excel.

Connect to devices

Connect to devices icon

Open the Connect or Devices view where you can connect to Bluetooth devices.

Arrange app view

Arrange app view icon

Display apps side-by-side for simultaneous viewing.

Switch apps

Switch apps icon

Switch between open apps.

Show app commands

Show app commands icon

Show the app commands that are available for the app that is currently open.

List apps

List apps icon

List apps that are open in the background.

Connect to the internet

Connect to the internet icon

Open the default internet browser.

Frequently asked questions

Review these frequently asked questions (FAQs) to find answers to common questions about keyboard shortcuts.


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