Keyboard shortcuts save time. Instead of moving around your
mouse and then clicking through menus or dragging windows, you can
just cut straight to the chase. And not only do our favorite keyboard commands carry over to
Windows 11, but Microsoft has added several new ones to its latest
OS, too. One was an instant hit among our staff—but give them all a
try to see which stick with you.
Keyboard shortcuts tied to new Windows 11 features
Bringing up Snap allows you to choose between six layouts for
arranging your windows. Image: PCWorld
These keyboard commands give you instant access to a few of Windows 11's brand-new features, like widgets.
Our pick for the standout winner? Instant access to Snap, which
lets you pick from six layouts when arranging your app windows next
to one another.
It's a tangible upgrade from Windows 10, which required the
installation of PowerToys for those kinds of snap layouts in
FancyZones. (You'll still need to install PowerToys for custom
layouts in Windows 11, though.) And you get more default templates
to start with.
Outside of Snap's preset arrangements, you get two more default
keyboard shortcuts for snapping windows on the fly. In addition to
snapping to the left or right (Win + left or right arrow,
respectively), you can now also snap them to the top or bottom half
of your screen, too.
One note for Windows 10 keyboard shortcut veterans: A couple of
these use the same keystrokes as Windows 10 but with a different
result—we've marked these with an asterisk.
|Windows key + W
|Windows key + Z*
||Open Snap layouts
|Windows key + Alt + Up arrow
||Snap active window to top half of screen
|Windows key + Alt + Down arrow
||Snap active to bottom half of screen
|Windows key + Ctrl + C
||Turn on color filter (must enable this shortcut Color Filter
Screen colors will toggle between default and which ever color
filter you've selected, e.g, grayscale or blue-yellow.
|Windows key + C*
||Open Chat from Microsoft Teams
Interested in seeing all the keyboard shortcuts available in
Windows 11? Check out the full list on Microsoft's support site.
Keyboard shortcuts tied to Windows 11's interface overhaul
Microsoft retooled Windows's interface for its newest version—a
nd as a result, the keyboard commands to access certain elements
have changed, too.
The information once centralized in Windows 10's Action Center
is now chopped up and split into different overlays in Windows 11.
Quick actions are all on their own, while notifications get their
own separate overlay that's paired with the calendar overlay.
|Windows key + A
||Open Quick Settings
|Windows key + N
||Open notification center and calendar