Windows Vista keyboard shortcuts

Some of our visitors searched the site for keyboard shortcuts to various actions. We searched for a complete list of Windows Vista keyboard shortcuts and we found it on the Microsoft Windows Vista Help pages. The complete list is pretty big and some of them are not so useful or easy to remember. This is why we tried to compact it a little and we decided to publish in this article only those which we found useful.

General keyboard shortcuts

  • F1 – Display Help
  • CTRL+C – Copy the selected item
  • CTRL+X – Cut the selected item
  • CTRL+V – Paste the selected item
  • CTRL+Z – Undo an action
  • CTRL+Y – Redo an action
  • DELETE – Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin
  • SHIFT+DELETE – Delete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first
  • F2 – Rename the selected item
  • CTRL+RIGHT ARROW – Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word
  • CTRL+LEFT ARROW – Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word
  • CTRL+DOWN ARROW – Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
  • CTRL+UP ARROW – Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
  • CTRL+SHIFT with an arrow key – Select a block of text
  • SHIFT with any arrow key – Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document
  • CTRL with any arrow key+SPACEBAR – Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop
  • CTRL+A – Select all items in a document or window
  • F3- Search for a file or folder
  • ALT+ENTER – Display properties for the selected item
  • ALT+F4 – Close the active item, or exit the active program
  • ALT+SPACEBAR – Open the shortcut menu for the active window
  • CTRL+F4 – Close the active document (in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
  • ALT+TAB – Switch between open items
  • CTRL+ALT+TAB – Use the arrow keys to switch between open items
  • CTRL+Mouse scroll wheel – Change the size of icons on the desktop
  • Windows logo key + TAB – Cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Windows Flip 3-D
  • CTRL+Windows logo key + TAB – Use the arrow keys to cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Windows Flip 3-D
  • ALT+ESC – Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened
  • F6 – Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop
  • F4 – Display the Address bar list in Windows Explorer
  • SHIFT+F10 – Display the shortcut menu for the selected item
  • CTRL+ESC – Open the Start menu
  • F10 – Activate the menu bar in the active program
  • RIGHT ARROW – Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu
  • LEFT ARROW – Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu
  • F5 – Refresh the active window
  • ALT+UP ARROW – View the folder one level up in Windows Explorer
  • ESC – Cancel the current task
  • CTRL+SHIFT+ESC – Open Task Manager
  • SHIFT when you insert a CD – Prevent the CD from automatically playing

Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

  • CTRL+TAB – Move forward through tabs
  • CTRL+SHIFT+TAB – Move back through tabs
  • TAB – Move forward through options
  • SHIFT+TAB – Move back through options
  • ALT+underlined letter – Perform the command (or select the option) that goes with that letter
  • ENTER – Replaces clicking the mouse for many selected commands
  • SPACEBAR – Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box
  • Arrow keys – Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons
  • F1 – Display Help
  • F4 – Display the items in the active list
  • BACKSPACE – Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box

Windows Sidebar keyboard shortcuts

  • Windows logo key Picture of Windows logo key + SPACEBAR – Bring all gadgets to the front and select Sidebar
  • Windows logo key Picture of Windows logo key +G – Cycle through Sidebar gadgets
  • TAB – Cycle through Sidebar controls

Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts

    • CTRL+N – Open a new window
    • END – Display the bottom of the active window
    • HOME – Display the top of the active window
    • F11 – Maximize or minimize the active window
    • LEFT ARROW – Collapse the current selection (if it is expanded), or select the parent folder
    • ALT+LEFT ARROW – View the previous folder
    • RIGHT ARROW – Display the current selection (if it is collapsed), or select the first subfolder
    • ALT+RIGHT ARROW – View the next folder
    • CTRL+Mouse scroll wheel – Change the size and appearance of file and folder icons
    • ALT+D – Select the Address bar

Windows Help viewer keyboard shortcuts

    • ALT+C – Display the Table of Contents
    • ALT+N – Display the Connection Settings menu
    • F10 – Display the Options menu
    • ALT+LEFT ARROW – Move back to the previously viewed topic
    • ALT+RIGHT ARROW – Move forward to the next (previously viewed) topic
    • ALT+A – Display the customer support page
    • ALT+HOME – Display the Help and Support home page
    • HOME – Move the to beginning of a topic
    • END – Move to the end of a topic
    • CTRL+F – Search the current topic
    • CTRL+P – Print a topic
    • F3- Move to the Search box

20 thoughts on “Windows Vista keyboard shortcuts”

  1. Seriously, microsoft needs
    Seriously, microsoft needs to add back the feature that lets you customize your explorer bar in windows explorer like you could with windows XP. I really miss the “One level up” button that I only used like 1000 times a day. I’m glad that instead of making it simple and clicking a button in the top middle of the screen you have to hold ALT and press the up arrow. What a stupid interface. I run it on half my comptuers and I hate it. Good thing I dual boot those so when I loose my paitence with Vista I always have xp… or linux.

  2. Uh..
    For the commenter above: use the breadcrumbs. Usually you can just click on the parent folder’s name and you’ll go there. Or the grandparent, so you won’t even have to click the “go up” button twice.

  3. quick launch shortcut:
    quick launch shortcut: Icons on quick launch are numbered from left to right. To launch the first one press windows logo key + 1 and the first ap will launch. Works for first 9.

    • thanks
      Hi, Are there any other similar quick lauch shorcuts ?. I want to be able to select say one or two windows that I frequently use and be able to open these two even if they are not in quick launch . Anyway now I have a Work Around
      Thanks again

  4. Missing “One level UP” in
    Missing “One level UP” in Vista Windows explorer this is only reason why I hate Vista. Breadcrumbs – sucks. I only click moure right of breadcrumbs on Address Bar to check the full path.

  5. Breadcrumbs are for Geeks
    The missing up arrow in so many of XP’s windows has been replaced by this Breadcrumb joke. The problem is – many of us aren’t laughing. I understand the theoretical efficient basis of this crummy idea, but what so many of it’s supporters don’t seem to realize is the time it takes to find, identify, and verify what parent level you want to go up to before even clicking the mouse! I don’t want to have to jump through these hoops just to go up one level.
    With the up button it was straight forward and easy. Two levels – click, click. With the crumb bum idea, lets see, what was the name of that level? I can’t see it cause the field is too short! Use the keyboard? A lot more work than before. And Why? The button was just fine.
    The point is geek boys, that computers should serve us. Changing a tried and true feature for some “maybe this will be better” idea, and not giving the user the choice is typical of the arrogance microsoft is constantly acused of. Considering the fantastic bloat that is Vista, would both a crumb and a button be to much to ask?

  6. Geeks… I dunno, thinkers maybe…
    bear with me – the real problem is, as I sit here at 2 a.m. trying to help my computer illiterate sister get her vista machine going – while I am on xp, is that too many people buy and/or use computers and don’t realize there are levels to go up to… they just think everything is “back” or some button. They don’t know the first thing about paths or anything that’s not practically done for them via a button click. It’s irritating to those of us who get asked for help, constantly, year after year, by those who get the latest gadget but don’t have a clue about the foundation the gadget works on! (no one take that personally, it’s a rant as I’m into the 2nd day and the 12th hour of reiterating myself to my sister about how to find a control panel, of all things!)

    My point truly is, stop relying on buttons and one clicks… learn a little something about the expensive machine you bought (and will be outdated in short order anyway). Once you know a little something about why or how something in the machine works you might just be a little irritated by how dumbed-down all those one clicks really are – built in, not necessarily for convenience, because, as you may experience, computers are anything but quick, convenient and simple!, but rather so people won’t *have* to *learn*! – and you might even feel a little more educated in the process. Knowledge won’t kill you.

  7. driver problem
    windows vista basic dont support ZTE EVDO USB internet connection b,coz driver is not supporting vista basic
    Vista has a tremendous drivers problems

  8. windows logo key + E –
    windows logo key + E – brings up my computer 🙂

    Found it by pressing “e” instead of “d” to minimize all open windows

  9. Up Folder missing is just dumb
    I used the up folder icon with the shortcut ‘ctrl and left mouse click’ to open up the folder level below in a separate window (so i had two folder levels open) and now that option is gone…what do i use now?
    Using the shortcut Ctrl N to open up another window and then click to go back a level is adding more steps…NOT A SHORTCUT!

    Whats the answer? What is the replacement in Vista for Ctrl & click Folder Up?

  10. HELP!
    Whenever i type a ‘2’, the output is ‘/2’. When i type an ‘i’, the cursor jumps down a line as if i hit the enter key. Several other keys do weird stuff. Also my arrow keys do nothing….WHAT IS WRONG??? How do i fix this??

  11. spanish alphabet
    my vista cannot type the spanish alphabet such as ó ñ using numeric keypad combination with ALT, for example ALT164 for ñ.
    Previously i use this method in XP with no problem. how can i turn this on in Vitsa coz i dont want to use the international keyboard.

    Thanks for help!

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