Despite the fact that the mouse is a convenient and basic tool for working in Windows, organizing a workspace with it can be tedious. Fortunately, you can use many shortcut keys to switch between windows, minimize them, snap, expand, move or resize windows.
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Switch between windows in Windows
Windows 10 has a very handy tool, often called a task switcher. It allows you to use the keyboard to quickly switch between active windows. Just click Alt + Tab at any time working with Windows and on the screen will appear thumbnails of all open windows.
To cycle through the options, press and hold Alt and press the Tab key until the desired window is highlighted. Release both keys and the window will be brought to the fore.
You can also click Ctrl + Alt + Tabto open the task switch. When entering such a combination, the task window remains constantly hanging even after releasing the keys. You just have to use the cursor buttons to select the desired window and press “Enter”. The switch will disappear.
A more complicated way to switch between windows is Task presentation. It occupies almost the entire screen and shows large previews of all open windows. To open Task presentationclick Windows + Tab.
Use the cursor keys to select the window you want to view, and then press “Enter”. The window you select is displayed in the foreground. In the Task View, you can create new desktops and sort programs by them.
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How to minimize and maximize windows in Windows using hot keys
It turns out that in Windows you can easily minimize or maximize a window using only the keyboard. When minimized, the window disappears from the field of view, and maximizing the window makes it so that it occupies the maximum possible area on the screen. You can also minimize all windows at the same time, allowing you to see the entire desktop.
Use the following keyboard shortcuts:
- Minimize the current window: Windows + Down Arrow.
- Maximize the current window in full screen.: Windows + Up Arrow.
- Minimize all windows: Windows + M.
- Minimize all windows and show desktop: Windows + D. (This also works with windows that cannot be minimized directly).
- Minimize all windows except the currently active: Windows + Home. Very useful when you want to focus on working with one window.
- Restore all minimized windows: Windows + Shift + M.
You can also enlarge the window without fully expanding it. If you want to stretch the height (but not the width) of the current window to the top and bottom of the screen, click Windows + Shift + Up Arrow. Please note that this combination does not work if the window is tied to a quarter of the screen, which we will discuss below.
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How to tie windows to half or a quarter of the desktop in Windows
If you work with multiple windows and want to use keyboard shortcuts to conveniently position elements on the screen, then you are in luck! It is easy to arrange two windows in perfect halves or four windows in quarters on the screen.
First click Alt + Tab or use the mouse to open the window required to fit the focus window. Immediately decide which part of the screen you want to occupy this window.
Then you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to arrange two windows in half:
Expand Left: Windows + Left Arrow.
Expand on the right: Windows + Right Arrow.
To arrange four windows in quarters (each will occupy 1/4 of the screen), you can use a sequence of two key combinations. These sequences suggest that the window has not yet been tied to the left or right half of the screen.
Here’s what you need to do:
Upper left quarter: Windows + Left Arrowand then windows + Up arrow.
Lower left quarter: Windows + Left Arrowand then windows + Arrow to down.
Upper right quarter: Windows + Right Arrowand then windows + Up arrow.
Lower right quarter: Windows + Right Arrowand then windows + Arrow to down.
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Exact window movement in Windows
You can use the keyboard to move a specific window to the desired location on the screen. First click Alt + Tabto select the window you want to move.
When the window is selected, click Alt + Spaceto open a small menu in the upper left corner. Press the cursor key Downto go to “Move“, And then press Enter.
Use the arrow keys to move the window to where it should ultimately be located on the screen, and then press Enter.
This technique works even if the window you want to move is hidden or is off the screen and you cannot find it with the mouse.
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Moving windows between displays in Windows
If you use multiple monitors and deploy the desktop between them, you can quickly move the active window between the screens. To do this, click Windows + Shift + Left Arrow or Windows + Shift + Right Arrow.
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Windows cheat sheet
Here’s a handy cheat sheet based on everything we covered above. Try these combinations, and you will soon be able to masterfully manage Windows windows.
Alt + Tab: open task switcher.
Windows + Tab: Open Task View.
Windows + Down Arrow: minimize a window.
Windows + Up Arrow: expand the window.
Windows + M: minimize all windows.
Windows + D: display the desktop.
Windows + Home: minimize all windows except the active one.
Windows + Shift + M: restore all minimized windows.
Windows + Shift + Up Arrow: stretch the window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows + Left Arrow: Maximize the window on the left side of the screen.
Windows + Right arrow: Maximize the window on the right side of the screen.
Windows + Shift + Left Arrow or to the right: Moving a window from one monitor to another.