6 Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

What separates a novice computer user from a savvy one? It’s all about knowing clever shortcuts and knowing when to use them. Tech Talker shows you some simple Windows keyboard shortcuts to help you become a computer whiz!

Eric Escobar
4-minute read
Episode #161

Tip #4: Snap Those Windows [Win+Arrow Key]

In Windows, you can snap anything that’s open. Everyone is familiar with maximizing and minimizing windows, but since Windows 7 was introduced, you can also split them. Drag any open window to the right or left side of your screen, and it will format itself to that half of the screen. This lets you put two windows side by side. It's perfect for doing research, or watching a video in one window and surfing the internet in the other.

Surprise! This can also be done with your keyboard using the “Win+Arrow Key” shortcut. Simply hold the Windows key and press the right or left arrow to move the open windows around your screen. This will allow you to split your windows side by side. You can also use the top and bottom arrow keys while holding the Windows key, to maximize or minimize the current window.

Tip #5: Hook Up That Projector or TV [Win+P]

Have you ever tried to hook up your laptop to a TV or a projector? It can be embarrassing when you’re struggling to set up a presentation at a conference or meeting. While some computers have a special keyboard function to set up a projector, it’s hardly universal.

See also: How to Use Your Computer in Presentations


It can get pretty complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, try using the ‘Win+P’ shortcut to bring up the screen settings. From here you can:

  1. Duplicate your screen onto the other screen.
  2. Use the second screen/projector as an extension to your primary screen.
  3. Toggle between computer only and projector only display.

I’ve showed this to a number of nervous presenters and I’m pretty sure they'll never forget it.

Tip #6: Lock Your Computer [Win+L]

If you walk away from your computer often, you should always lock it using the “Win+L” shortcut. Simply press the Windows key and the letter “L” at the same time to instantly lock your computer. This is a simple way to make sure no one can tamper with what you’re doing (unless they know your password!).

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, most of these shortcuts involve the Windows key. If you don’t already know, the Windows key is usually located at the bottom left hand corner of your keyboard. It’s generally sandwiched between the Control and Alt keys.

If you liked these shortcuts, check out Microsoft’s full list of shortcuts to really learn your way around your computer. I recommend starting with only a few so you can build muscle memory before moving on. However, if there’s a task that you seem to be repeating over and over, just do a quick Google search to see if there’s a shortcut to make it easier!

Well, that’s it for today! Be sure to check out all my earlier episodes at quickanddirtytips.com/techtalker. And if you have further questions about this podcast or want to make a suggestion for a future episode, post them on Facebook.com/QDTtechtalker.

Until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!

Images of female hands typing on computer keyboard, presentation screen, and woman searching computer courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.