By Delia / Last update December 21, 2021

Keyboard shortcuts are a smart way to save time and increase efficiency. Instead of swiping the mouse, clicking on menus or dragging around windows, we can get straight to the point with simple keyboard shortcuts.

Microsoft has added some new shortcuts in Windows 11

We've been familiar with many shortcuts in previous Windows systems, and with the latest Windows 11, in addition to visual changes, Microsoft has made a number of functional tweaks, as well as adding some key combinations that weren't used in the past. They may not be worth mentioning for veteran gamers, but for those who are new to computers, some key combinations may help inadvertently.

Now let’s have a look at them.

windows 11

List of key combinations and features

Win + W: Open widgets

Microsoft pushed the KB5003173 cumulative update to Win10 20H2 and 21H1 in May this year, bringing for the first time the "News and Interests" widget, which displays weather, stock information, and news from the MSN platform. This feature is also available on Windows 11 and can be opened by clicking the button at the bottom of the taskbar, and can also be opened with a shortcut key.

Win + Z: Open snap layouts

This feature is only available when there is a window in the foreground. When the shortcut is pressed, six different window layout options appear in the upper right corner of the current window, each of which is clickable for each window.

Once selected, the current window will automatically change to the selected shape, while other open windows will be displayed centrally on the other side, and the user can continue clicking to lay out other windows in turn.

This command was actually used in Windows 10, but Windows 11 was adjusted to the current look. In Windows 10, Win + Z could only be used in applications in full screen mode to call out the available command menus, but in Windows 11 it became the call command for the new snap menu.

snap layouts

Win + Alt + Up Arrow: fixes the active window at the top of the screen

Win + Alt + Down Arrow: fixes the active window at the bottom of the screen

Some users may be familiar with the "Win + Left/Right Arrow" shortcut key combination, which has the same purpose in both Windows 10 and 11, to automatically zoom the active window to the left or right half of the screen. Since the mainstream monitors of modern computers are 16:9 or 16:10 wide screens, it is visually more comfortable to split the two windows into left and right halves rather than splitting them into top and bottom halves.

Win + Ctrl + C: Toggle color filters

The color filter is one of the accessibility features of the Windows assistance tool, which can specify the system colors to be displayed in red-green, blue-yellow, grayscale, etc.

This is a useful feature for people with color vision impairment or those who need to adjust the screen color for special reasons. Even users without color vision impairment sometimes use this function to convert the computer colors to black and white to reduce visual stress and increase work concentration.

This shortcut key must be enabled in Color Filter settings first.

color filter

Win + C: Open chat from Microsoft Teams

This command is different from that of Windows 10. In the past, this command was used to call Cortana intelligent assistant, and the specified function must be set up in system settings beforehand, otherwise it will not have any effect under normal circumstances.

In Windows 11, although Cortana is still built into the system, perhaps because of its lack of popularity, this function is not available in many countries. So in Windows 11, this shortcut is inherited by Microsoft Teams.

Win + A: Open Quick Settings

This shortcut allows you to punch the Quick Settings window in the bottom right corner of the screen to adjust the volume, control Wi-Fi / Bluetooth, and enable Focus Mode, Airplane Mode, Assist, etc. It is worth noting that the window is like the control center of an Android phone, click "Add" to customize the function buttons and add frequently used functions.

quick settings

Win + N: Open notification center and calendar.

Since Win11 separated the right sidebar and moved the tools window out separately, this shortcut will open the Notification Center when pressed and the calendar at the bottom. This feature can also be accessed by clicking the date in the bottom right corner of the window. In addition, the animations of the Calendar and Notification Center windows are also different compared to Win10, with the two windows flying in sequentially.

In addition to these new shortcuts, other shortcuts in Win11 such as copy, paste, open settings, etc. are the same as before, so users can adapt to Windows 11 without learning. For other shortcuts (keyboard shortcuts) in Windows 10/11, please refer to Microsoft website.