Is this you: Eat lunch at your desk because you don’t have time to go out? Can’t stop for five minutes to chat at the coffee machine? Wear your wireless headset into the restroom because conference calls and biological necessities conflict? Tired of always leaving work just five minutes too late to beat the afternoon traffic jam?

Take heart, for in this post we’re going to share with you 111 tips to help you put nine hours of productivity into an eight-hour day, or maybe just steal back a little bit of “me time” for yourself. We’ve culled the best of the Internet, along with some secret files that were delivered to us by an anonymous secret agent with a Redmond accent to bring you the best of the best for saving every little slice of time, and making your daily grind as efficient as possible. Let’s start with:

Windows keyboard/mouse shortcuts

Microsoft Support offer a ton of keyboard and mouse short-cuts designed to save you time and let you work more efficiently. You probably know some of these, but I bet there’s a trick or two in here even hard core Windows gurus don’t know. Here are some of our favorites from that Knowledge Base article:

Windows system key combinations

1. F1: Help for the currently selected item

2. CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu

3. ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs

4. ALT+F4: Quit program

5. SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently

6. Windows Logo+L: Lock the computer (without using CTRL+ALT+DELETE)

7. Win+F1 : Load the Help system (it will have a generic start page so you can search help on anything + it provides a quick start guide for windows).

Mouse click/keyboard modifier combinations for shell objects

Windows keyboard/mouse shortcuts

8. SHIFT+right click: Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands

9. SHIFT+double click: Runs the alternate default command (the second item on the menu)

10. ALT+double click: Displays properties.

General keyboard-only commands

11. F10: Activates menu bar options

12. SHIFT+F10: Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right-clicking an object)

13. CTRL+ESC: Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item)

14. Win+F : Loads the Search for files and folders

15. CTRL+SHIFT+ESC: Opens Windows Task Manager

16. ALT+DOWN ARROW: Opens a drop-down list box

17. SHIFT: Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature

18. ALT+SPACE: Displays the main window’s System menu

19. ALT+- (ALT+hyphen): Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) child window’s System menu

20. CTRL+TAB: Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program

21. ALT+underlined letter in menu: Opens the menu

22. ALT+F4: Closes the current window

23. CTRL+F4: Closes the current Multiple Document Interface (MDI) window

24. ALT+F6: Switch between multiple windows in the same program.

Shell objects and general folder/Windows Explorer shortcuts

25. F2: Rename object

26. F3: Find all files

27. SHIFT+DELETE: Delete selection immediately, without moving the item to the Recycle Bin

28. ALT+ENTER: Open the properties for the selected object

29. To copy a file, press and hold down the CTRL key while you drag the file to another folder

30. To create a shortcut, press and hold down CTRL+SHIFT while you drag a file to the desktop or a folder.

General folder/shortcut control

31. F4: Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer)

32. F5: Refreshes the current window

33. F6: Moves among panes in Windows Explorer

34. BACKSPACE: Switchs to the parent folder

35. SHIFT+click+Close button: For folders, close the current folder plus all parent folders

36. Double-click the title bar of a window to maximize it.

Windows Explorer tree control

37. Numeric Keypad *: Expands everything under the current selection

38. Numeric Keypad +: Expands the current selection

39. Numeric Keypad -: Collapses the current selection.

40. RIGHT ARROW: Expands the current selection if it is not expanded, otherwise goes to the first child

41. LEFT ARROW: Collapses the current selection if it is expanded, otherwise goes to the parent.

Properties control

42. CTRL+TAB/CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move through the property tabs.

Accessibility shortcuts

43. Press SHIFT five times: Toggles StickyKeys on and off

44. Press down and hold the right SHIFT key for eight seconds: Toggles FilterKeys on and off

45. Press down and hold the NUM LOCK key for five seconds: Toggles ToggleKeys on and off

46. Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK: Toggles MouseKeys on and off

47. Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN: Toggles high contrast on and off.

Dialog box keyboard commands

48. TAB: Move to the next control in the dialog box

49. SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous control in the dialog box

50. SPACEBAR: If the current control is a button, this clicks the button. If the current control is a check box, this toggles the check box. If the current control is an option, this selects the option.

51. ENTER: Equivalent to clicking the selected button (the button with the outline)

52. ESC: Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button

53. ALT+underlined letter in dialog box item: Move to the corresponding item.


Windows 7 shortcuts

Here’s some Windows 7 specific shortcuts that you may also find in Windows 8:

Window shortcuts

Windows 754. Win+R: Active the run dialog

55. Win+Home: Clear all but the active window

56. Win+Space: All windows become transparent so you can see through to the desktop

57. Win+Up arrow: Maximize the active window

58. Shift+Win+Up arrow: Maximize the active window vertically

59. Win+Down arrow: Minimize the window/Restore the window if it’s maximized

60. Win+Left/Right arrows: Dock the window to each side of the monitor

61. Shift+Win+Left/Right arrows: Move the window to the monitor on the left or right.


You can also interact with windows by dragging them with the mouse:

62. Drag window to the top: Maximize

63. Drag window left/right: Dock the window to fill half of the screen

64. Shake window back/forth: Minimize everything but the current window

65. Double-Click Top Window Border (edge): Maximize window vertically.

Taskbar shortcuts

66. Win+number (1-9): Starts the application pinned to the taskbar in that position, or switches to that program

67. Shift+Win+number (1-9): Starts a new instance of the application pinned to the taskbar in that position

68. Ctrl+Win+number (1-9): Cycles through open windows for the application pinned to the taskbar in that position

69. Alt+Win+number (1-9): Opens the Jump List for the application pinned to the taskbar

70. Win+T: Focus and scroll through items on the taskbar

71. Win+B: Focuses the System Tray icons

72. Shift+Click on a taskbar button: Open a program or quickly open another instance of a program

73. Ctrl+Shift+Click on a taskbar button: Open a program as an administrator

74. Shift+Right-click on a taskbar button: Show the window menu for the program (like XP does)

75. Shift+Right-click on a grouped taskbar button: Show the window menu for the group

76. Ctrl+Click on a grouped taskbar button: Cycle through the windows of the group.

More helpful shortcuts

77. Ctrl+Shift+N: Creates a new folder in Windows Explorer

78. Alt+Up: Goes up a folder level in Windows Explorer

79. Alt+P: Toggles the preview pane in Windows Explorer

80. Shift+Right-Click on a file: Adds Copy as Path, which copies the path of a file to the clipboard

81. Shift+Right-Click on a file: Adds extra hidden items to the Send To menu

82. Shift+Right-Click on a folder: Adds Command Prompt Here, which lets you easily open a command prompt in that folder

83. Win+P: Adjust presentation settings for your display

84. Win+(+/-): Zoom in/out

85. Win+G: Cycle between the Windows Gadgets on your screen

86. Win+M: Minimize all open windows to the taskbar

87. Win+Home: Minimize all open windows to the taskbar except the active one

88. Win+E: Open Explorer

89. Win+P: Connect to an external monitor or projector and toggle through extend or duplicate modes

90. Win+Spacebar: Show your desktop by making all open windows transparent

91. Win+Shift+Left Arrow: Move the active window to the left desktop (multiple monitors only)

92. Win+Shift+Right Arrow: Move the active window to the right desktop (multiple monitors only)

93. Win++ and Win+-: If you have a keyboard with a number pad, hold the Windows key down and then press the + key to activate the screen magnifier. + will zoom in, – will zoom out

94. Win+Tab: Aero version of ALT+TAB that lets you quickly cycle through open windows.

Shell shortcuts

These all get you to special locations within your file system quickly and easily. They are all used by Win+R and then typing shell: +

95. Profile: Takes you straight to your profile directory

96. Personal: Takes you straight to your Documents folder

97. SendTo: Takes you to the folder where you store “send to” shortcuts. See #109 below for more on this

98. Startup: Takes you to the Startup directory for your profile

99. Common Startup: Takes you to the Startup directory for all profiles

100. ConnectionsFolder: Takes you straight to your network connections like in the days of old

101. Programs: Takes you to your profile’s start menu entries

102. Common Programs: Takes you to all the profiles’ start menu entries

103. AppData: Takes you to the normally hidden Roaming Application Data folder

104. Local AppData: Takes you to the normally hidden Local Application Data folder

105. Cookies: Takes you to your cookies folder

106. Cache: Takes you to your Temporary Internet Files folder

107. Desktop: Takes you to the folder that is represented by your Desktop

108. Downloads: Takes you to your Downloads folder.

Make your own shortcuts

109. Use #97 above to get to your Send To folder and then add your own shortcuts to the SendTo menu. You can use drive letters, UNC paths, or shortcuts to other apps.

110. Add a folder to your Favorites by browsing to it in Explorer, and then right-clicking Favorites in the left hand pane. Then just click “Add current location to Favorites”.

111. You can right-click any program and pin it to the task bar or start menu to make it easier to launch the next time you need it.

Now we shared 111 tips with you. Some you probably already knew, but I bet everyone who reads this learned at least one new trick. There are many more out there so how about sharing your favorite if it didn’t make the cut by leaving a comment below?

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