Windows Shortcut Keys

There are many different shortcut keys in Microsoft Windows XP, and knowing these can help you navigate your PC much more quickly, allowing you to be more productive.

Many of them use the ‘Windows’ Key, in conjunction with another key, to avoid constantly re-typing the words, where the ‘Windows’ key is required we use the phrase ‘WK’. Where other keys such as the shift key or ‘alt’ key are used the will be displayed as [Shift] or [Alt] etc.
Note – Some shortcuts (such as F3 to open the search dialog) may only work when the desktop is being displayed.


Key Action
F1 Obtain context sensitive help for the current screen.
F2 Rename a selected file or icon.
F3 Open the ‘Search’ dialog box.
F4 Used in Windows Explorer to display the address bar as a tree view.
F5 Refresh the current view / window.
F8 Used whilst starting up Windows to allow access to various boot options and ‘Safe Mode’.
‘WK’ Show the Start menu.
‘WK’ + D Show the Desktop.
‘WK’ + E Open ‘My Computer’.
‘WK’ + F Open the Search dialog
‘WK’ + L Lock the system / show the log off menu.
‘WK’ + M Minimise all Windows.
‘WK’ + R Open the ‘Run’ dialog box.
‘WK’ + U Open the Utility Manager.
‘WK’ + F1 Display Windows Help
‘WK’ + ‘Break’ Display the System properties dialog box.
‘WK’ + ‘Shift’ + M Restore all minimised windows.
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Delete] Open Windows XP task manager.
[Delete] Delete current highlighted object.
[Shift] + [Delete] Permanently delete the selected object, bypassing the Recycle bin.