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New Keyboard Shortcuts Every Windows 11 User Should Know

Image of a Windows key on a keyboard.
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

You have to love a good keyboard shortcut. They're efficient, and training yourself to use a new one will pay dividends in the future, saving seconds of time over and over again.

Windows 11, Microsoft's latest version of the operating system, includes a handful of new keyboard shortcuts tied to new functionality.

Microsoft lists all of its keyboard shortcuts for Windows 11 on its site. Below, we're highlighting the ones that will be new to you if you're upgraded to Windows 11 or have done a clean install of Windows 11 for the first time.

Some of these adapt shortcuts that used to be used in PowerToys (largely for the snap zones) and it's nice to see them make their way to Windows proper. 

Keyboard shortcuts new to Windows 11

There are two brand new shortcuts, combining the Windows key, alt, and the up and down arrow, which allow you to snap the focused window to the top or bottom of the screen.

Previously, you could only snap side-to-side with short cuts (using the Windows key and left and right arrow).

ShortcutFunction
Windows key + Alt + Up arrowSnap active window to top half of screen
Windows key + Alt + down arrowSnap active window to bottom half of screen

Keyboard shortcuts updated in Windows 11

Many of the updated settings are around features that were upgraded, prioritized or are part of the changes to Windows 11's UI.

For instance, these focus on updating widgets, launching chat in Microsoft teams, opening Snap layouts and notifications.

Some of these have changed functionality since the Windows 10 days. For instance, Windows key + A used to open the Action Center, and now it launches Quick Settings. 

ShortcutFunction
Windows key + AOpen Quick Settings
Windows key + COpen Chat from Microsoft Teams
Windows key + HLaunch voice typing
Windows key + KOpen Cast from Quick Settings
Windows key + NOpen notification center and calendar
Windows key + WOpen Widgets
Windows key + ZOpen snap layouts
Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex. among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE