Time is a precious thing and anything that can help you save time and boost productivity when working on your computer has to be a good thing. The chances are that right now you have several different programs open in Windows. Closing them down one by one can take a while. In this week’s tip, we’ll let you know about one of the Windows shortcuts that can speed you up. This shortcut will allow you to close all of your programs really quickly. This will not just save time if you need to shut down everything quickly – if there’s a storm and a potential power outage, for example – it can help avoid a disaster.

Quick Program Closing

Start by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. This will bring up the Windows Task Manager. The tab that will be displayed lists the applications that are currently running.

Use your mouse or equivalent to highlight the program at the top of the list of active programs. Then press Shift + Down Arrow. This will select all the programs in the list. Press Alt + E to close all the programs. Finish off by closing the Windows Task Manager by clicking the X in the top right-hand corner (or you can do Alt + F /down arrow and select the Exit Task Manager option).

Does this sound like a bit of a performance, that isn’t really going to save time or impact productivity? It’s not really a hassle. Once you know the shortcuts they live up to their name, and you can complete the process in eight seconds or less. Remember to save your work before you close everything. Though some Windows programs will have autosaved whatever you’ve been working on, saving first – and as you go along – will make sure you don’t lose anything.

Windows shortcuts may seem like a bit of a hassle to learn for just a few seconds saved, but those seconds really do add up. Along with other shortcuts, you can cut a couple of minutes out of your routine every day. Think of it as several hours a year. We’ll tell you about more best practices and tips to improve your productivity next week.