17 Shift Key Shortcuts You Should Remember in Windows

Saikat Basu 28-09-2017

Keyboard shortcuts have always remained the quickest “hack” for productivity. It may not seem so, but trying to do everything with the mouse does add up over time. Turn to your keyboard instead.


If you are on Windows, then learning the many Windows shortcuts Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Guide Keyboard shortcuts can save you hours of time. Master the universal Windows keyboard shortcuts, keyboard tricks for specific programs, and a few other tips to speed up your work. Read More can take a while. The best advice I can give? Practice one shortcut for a week. That’s still 54 in a year, which is a lot, so here are some of the most valuable ones you should start with.

Start With the Modifier Keys

The Shift key has been a modifier from the days of the typewriter (the 19th century). A modifier key is a special key combination that temporarily modifies the usual function of another key when pressed together.

Shift Key Shortcut in Windows 10

Here are a few Shift key hacks you can use to boost your productivity in Windows 10:

  1. Ctrl+ Shift + V: Paste without formatting. 
  2. Shift + F10: Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.
  3. Ctrl + Shift + N: Create a new folder in File Explorer.
  4. Ctrl + Shift + E: Display all folders above the selected folder in the File Explorer.
  5. Ctrl + Shift: Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are available.
  6. Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open the Task Manager.
  7. Windows key + Shift + V: Cycle through notifications in reverse order.
  8. Shift + click a taskbar icon for an app: Open an app or quickly open another instance of an app.
  9. Ctrl + Shift + click a taskbar icon for an app: Open an app as an administrator.
  10. Shift + Right-click a taskbar icon for an app: Show the window menu for the app.
  11. Shift + Right-click a grouped taskbar icon for an app: Show the window menu for the group
  12. Windows key + Shift + a number from 1-9: Start a new instance of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
  13. Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + a number from 1-9: Open a new instance of the app located at the given position on the taskbar as an administrator.
  14. Windows key + Shift + Up arrow: Stretch the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.
  15. Windows key + Shift + Down arrow: Restore/minimize active desktop windows vertically, maintaining width.
  16. Left Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock: Turn Mouse Keys on or off.
  17. Shift + Delete: Permanently delete all files.

Is It the Most Versatile Key?

For my money, the Ctrl key is more adroit around the keyboard and other applications. But, the Shift key does hold its own. I have left out some obvious Shift key shortcuts for Windows like the Ctrl + Shift + Arrow option to select a block of text. But that’s what the comment section is for.


Tell us the keyboard combo you use most often. Is there a productive Shift key shortcut that’s not on the list?

Related topics: Keyboard Shortcuts, Windows 10.

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  1. suneel
    July 9, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    very useful information about shift keys

  2. Anjli
    June 1, 2019 at 7:33 am

    Nice but improvment is required

  3. JP Norton
    October 3, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    I use Alt + Tab all the time to shift between applications.

    There lots of others I use all the time (being a touch typist it's more instinctual for me to use the keyboard rather than go for the mouse).

  4. Patrick Fonseca
    October 3, 2017 at 3:22 am

    Very Cool! Thanks XD

  5. Brad
    October 2, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Shift + Tab: Within a form (web browser, document with entry fields, etc) takes you to the previous form field.

  6. ParsOptics
    October 1, 2017 at 8:47 am

    The keys Windows + G open windows to take screenshot and record video.

  7. johnnybegood
    September 29, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    A Key-Combo I really miss in windows is ALT+'Tidle' , a Combo that works in Ubuntu-Gnome to switch between multible instances of an opened window.

    On my Win7-System I installed some scripts to handle two kinds of Shortcuts that don't come with Windows natively:
    - Resize spezific windows and re-position them to pre-defined locations on the screen.
    - 'Always on top', a function that was natively supported with WinXP, but discontinued with Win7.

  8. Johnny
    September 29, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Actually, the "Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are available." shortcut is Alt + Shift.

  9. Johnny
    September 29, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Actually, the "switch keyboard" shortcut is Alt + Shift.

  10. Andrew
    September 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    A few in Excel...
    CTRL + ; inserts current date into the cell
    CTRL + : (or CTRL + SHIFT + ;) inserts current time into the cell

  11. Joe
    September 28, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Ctrl-Shift-V doesn't seem to do anything. I tried in both OneNote and Word. Is this something added only in the Creator's Update?

    • Del
      September 29, 2017 at 7:10 am

      It works in Gmail.

      • Joe
        September 29, 2017 at 7:25 am

        Looks like it does, but that implies it's a Gmail-specific shortcut and not a Windows shortcut if it doesn't work anywhere else, especially within Windows applications.

    • Perry F. Bruns
      October 6, 2017 at 1:22 am

      It worked in some previous editions of Office apps, but it seems to have gone away with recent versions.