Windows 7: 10 Cool Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are 10 keyboard shortcuts to help you open and close files, switch between apps, and move windows around your screen or to another monitor, all without touching the mouse

Keyboard shortcuts are wonderful time-savers but many of us are either too accustomed to the mouse or too lazy to get beyond Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.

But with Windows 7, there are too many useful keyboard shortcuts to ignore. Why go through four mouse clicks when you can get the same results by simply holding down two keyboard buttons.

Here are 10 keyboard shortcuts to help you open and close files, switch between apps, and move windows around your screen or to another monitor, all without touching the mouse.

Ctrl+Shift+N

To create a new folder before Windows 7 you had to take the following steps: Right Click-->New-->Folder. Now Ctrl+Shift+N on the keyboard does the trick. You can use this shortcut to create a new folder anywhere on your Windows 7 PC where a folder can be created.

Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts demo courtesy of Lifehacker.com.

Win+Space Bar

Pressing the Windows logo key (also the option key) along with the space bar minimizes all open windows and shows the desktop. This is the keyboard shortcut equivalent of mousing over the "show desktop" button in the lower right corner of the screen.

Win+Home

This shortcut minimizes all open windows except the active window.

Win+Up/Down/Right/Left Arrows

Holding the Windows logo key and the arrow buttons allows you to move a window in the direction it is meant to go. Win+Up maximizes a window; Win+Down restores a window if it's maximized and then minimizes it to the taskbar. Win+Right and Left arrows move a window from side to side.

Win+T

Pressing the Windows logo key and tapping the letter T allows you to toggle through the applications pinned in the Windows 7 taskbar.

Win+1, Win+2, Win+3... etc.

Pressing the Windows logo key and the number corresponding to the location of the app on the taskbar will open and minimize that app.

Shift+Win+1, +2, +3... etc.

Holding Shift and the Windows logo key and the number corresponding to the location of the app on the taskbar will open a new instance of that application (i.e. a blank Word doc or new Firefox browser session).

Win+(+/-)

Holding the Windows logo key and the plus (+) or minus (-) keys allows you to zoom in or zoom out of any application.

Dual Monitors: Win+Shift+Left/Right Arrow Key to Move Active Window to Left or Right Monitor

If you are on a dual monitor setup using Windows 7 then you could press Win+Shift+Left or Right arrow key to move the active application window to the left or right monitor.

Win+Pause to Check System Properties

If you want to know your PC's system information such as what processor you're using, how much RAM you have, or if your operating system is 32- or 64-bit you could click the Windows Start button-->Control Panel-->System and Security-->System. But in Windows 7 you can just hold down the Windows logo key and the Pause key.

Shane O'Neill covers Microsoft, Windows, Operating Systems, Productivity Apps and Online Services for CIO.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Shane at soneill@cxo.com.

Read more about applications in CIO's Applications Drilldown.

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Shane O'Neill

CIO (US)
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