1. Switch between open applications:
This is perhaps the most common desktop activity: switching between applications opened by you as and when you need one. You can use the mouse, but here’s the faster way:
- Alt + Tab: Hold down the Alt key, and press Tab repeatedly until the window you want is active. Then let go of both keys.
- Windows + Tab + Enter: Alternatively, cycle through your Taskbar buttons using Windows + Tab and press Enter to open the application you want.
- Alt + Esc: Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened.
2. Switch to the last window you had open:
Many a time, you’ll need to switch to (sometimes you might even have forgotten) the last application you were working with. There will also be frequent need of toggling between two open applications a lot of times. This shortcut is a real time saver:
- Alt + Tab: One quick press and release of Alt + Tab is all it takes to take you back to the open application you were just using. .
3. Minimize all open windows and return to the desktop:
This one is also quite handy, especially when you have a lot of windows open and you want to go the desktop fast. There you go, in a flash:
4. Restore all the windows:
Say, you are done with what you wanted to do after minimizing all the open windows. Wouldn’t it be nice to get your context (all windows you had open) restored back? Here’s a lightning-fast way:
- Shift + Windows + M: Note the use of Shift.
- Windows + D: If that’s the key combination you used to minimize them.
5. Windows Explorer:
How many times in a day does one open Windows Explorer (or click My Computer / My Documents icons, for that matter) as a first step to navigating to a file or folder one is looking for? I do it quite frequently. If you do it too, here’s a shortcut to open Windows Explorer swiftly:
Forming a new habit takes time. You might find consciously thinking about a shortcut to recall what it is before pressing the keys in the beginning. With practice, however, these (and other keyboard shortcuts) will be second nature to you and trip off your fingers with ease!
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