With a mouse or the tracking pad on a laptop, executing commands on a computer is simple, but it’s not always the quickest option. A keyboard shortcut may only save you a few seconds each time you use it, but it does add up to greater efficiency – and you can impress your colleagues with your skills! These five handy keyboard shortcuts for Windows are some to try out.

Windows+D – Show Desktop

If you want to get back to your desktop, in order to open an application or file, you don’t have to minimize all the windows you have open in order to see it. Pressing the Windows key (with the Windows logo) and D (lower case is fine) simultaneously will take you to your desktop view, and using the shortcut again will take you back to the windows you had open previously. It’s also a good shortcut to hide what you’re doing if someone walks into the room. Let’s say you’re buying a present for a friend and they suddenly come up behind you. In an instant, you can get rid of the window before they cotton on to what you’re doing.

Alt+Tab – Toggle Open Programs

When you’re working with different applications at the same time, this shortcut makes it easy to switch between them quickly. Pressing Alt+Tab simultaneously brings up a new window that shows all the programs you have open. Keep the Alt key pressed down and navigate using the tab key to select the window you need.

Windows+L – System Lock

You don’t want people looking at what you’ve been working on, and it only takes a second to lock your computer before you leave your desk. It only requires two keystrokes: the Windows key and L. Of course, you’ll then need to enter your password or pin to unlock it, so be sure you know it. Remember too that there’s no point in locking your computer if your password is on a Post-it note stuck in full view on your computer screen (and yes, people do that all the time!)

Shift+Del: Delete Files Forever

If you have files you know for sure you want to delete forever, this is a useful shortcut. You could get rid of the file in question by dragging and dropping it and then emptying the Recycle Bin. To save time, pressing Shift+Del will instantly bring up a window asking you if you want to delete the file permanently.

Windows+Shift+Up Arrow – Maximize Window

If you need to maximize your current window quickly, you can do this by simply pressing Windows+Shift+Up Arrow. Doing it again, but with the down arrow, will restore the window to the size it was before.

When you’ve used these shortcuts a few times they’ll become second nature, and you won’t even have to think about the command you need. Keyboard shortcuts can really save time and effort, and enhance your productivity. There are many, many more shortcuts that people find useful. Let us and other readers know what they are!