Keyboard shortcuts are the real deal. Pros swear by them, and power users can’t live without them. And once you hop on this train, you’ll never get off. Your hands will press the keys almost on their own.
That’s because these provide the fastest way to of getting around the operating system then using a mouse or trackpad. Keyboard shortcuts are not only efficient and help save time, they also are a prerequisite for multitasking.
New keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11
Since productivity is high on the agenda for the Windows platform, Microsoft has baked in a whole bunch of keyboard shortcuts in the operating system. Windows 11 takes it up a notch, offering a few new shortcuts that help you find your way around its new features and options.
As of this writing, there are 4 new keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11.
Chances are, more will be added as development of the OS continues. Now, while this number might not seem much, it is still worth consigning these to memory, as these key combinations will dramatically speed up your time in the operating system.
One point that merits a mention here is that if you have become used to opening the Windows Ink workspace by pressing Winkey + W, then you will have to retain yourself to remember the new function, as Microsoft has changed what this key combination does in Windows 11.
Let’s take a look at these new additions, in alphabetical order.
Winkey + A
This key combination opens Quick Settings flyout. As in, this keyboard shortcut is same as clicking the volume or network icons in the Taskbar. That’s because Microsoft has separated the Action Center from the Notification Center in Windows 11.
These two areas are now known as Notification Center and Quick Settings.
Hitting Winkey + A will now toggle up your Quick Setting panel. Included here are sound and brightness sliders, along with options like Night Light, Focus Assist, and Wi-Fi. If you are playing audio or video, or watching something in Microsoft Edge, then this panel will also show new media controls up above.
This is an area that is sure to be highly used in the new operating system, and using this keyboard shortcut will save you many a click.
Winkey + N
Pressing this key combination opens up the Notification Center to the right of the screen. This floats the bar on top of whatever you are working on. Unlike before, where the panel covered up whatever you had running beneath.
Hit Winkey + N to open up your notifications. All your notifications will be neatly packed in, as well as a calendar view for the full month.
Winkey + W
And now for something spectacular! The widgets experience is one of the main new things in Windows 11, bringing you access to your calendar, weather, even news and sports updates at a glance. Appropriately, Microsoft created a new keyboard shortcut so you can get to this panel more easily.
A combo of Winkey + W opens the Widgets pane to the left of the screen. This new interface features a bunch of cards that display different types of information.
Of course, you can also get to this panel by clicking on the dedicated icon that Microsoft has placed by default in the Taskbar. But nothing beats a quick key press to pop up the widget panel, not when your hands are already on the keyboard.
Winkey + Z
Microsoft has a new multitasking feature in Windows 11, called Snap Layouts. This is part of the Snap Assist experience in the OS, and introduces a menu when you hover over the maximize button with different grids to snap your open windows in different layouts.
Depending on the display size, you may see four or six different grids in the menu.
Pressing Winkey + Z after you click the title bar will open the Snap Layouts pane to the upper right of the currently active window or application. Once you select a position for the app, Snap Assist will guide you in positioning windows in the remaining zones.
Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to improve productivity in Windows. And Windows 11 brings forth a few helpful new ones to quickly help you find your way through the new additions in the platform. While there are only four now, more keyboard shortcuts might arrive as the OS gets finalized.