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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 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.
Here are a few Shift key hacks you can use to boost your productivity in Windows 10:
- Ctrl+ Shift + V: Paste without formatting.
- Shift + F10: Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.
- Ctrl + Shift + N: Create a new folder in File Explorer.
- Ctrl + Shift + E: Display all folders above the selected folder in the File Explorer.
- Ctrl + Shift: Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are available.
- Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open the Task Manager.
- Windows key + Shift + V: Cycle through notifications in reverse order.
- Shift + click a taskbar icon for an app: Open an app or quickly open another instance of an app.
- Ctrl + Shift + click a taskbar icon for an app: Open an app as an administrator.
- Shift + Right-click a taskbar icon for an app: Show the window menu for the app.
- Shift + Right-click a grouped taskbar icon for an app: Show the window menu for the group
- 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.
- 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.
- Windows key + Shift + Up arrow: Stretch the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.
- Windows key + Shift + Down arrow: Restore/minimize active desktop windows vertically, maintaining width.
- Left Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock: Turn Mouse Keys on or off.
- 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?