Four key combinations every Windows user needs to know

Some people can’t even bring themselves to copy text with Ctrl + C. Others passionately collect intricate Windows key combinations, like jazz musicians testing out crazy chords.

No matter how much you dislike key commands, memorizing these four will sooner or later save you some hassle.

1 – Take a screenshot: You’ve probably come across the “Print” button on your keyboard. It’s the one that lets you take a screenshot of the entire screen in Windows.

Alternatively the Windows + Print key command will do the same thing, and will make screen flicker briefly to show a screenshot was taken.

But in Windows 10, Microsoft has taken it up a notch by letting you freely define what part of your screen you want to screenshot. Press Shift + Windows + S and the screen should grey over, letting you define which area to screengrab with the mouse.

Whichever technique you use, the screenshot will be copied into the clipboard memory, meaning you need to paste it (CTRL + V) somewhere before you can see it. This make it handiest for inserting straight into an email or a chat messenger like WhatsApp.

To save the screenshot as a JPG file, it’s best to paste it into a picture editing program like Paint.

2 – Kill an applications that has stalled: This is one of the most important tools in Windows 10. The Task Manager allows you to look behind the scenes and shows which programs are currently running.

If an application has frozen or is taking too long to respond you can use the Task Manager to shut it down. You can access the Task Manager using the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Delete (or by right-clicking on the taskbar).

3 – Lock your screen: Windows key + L allows to instantly lock your screen. This is a particularly handy for office workers before heading out for lunch.

You can also use it to switch users, if you have multiple profiles on a device.

4 – Create a virtual desktop: Hit Windows key + Ctrl + D and you’ll create a new virtual desktop, which is handy for anyone with lots of programmes running.

You can move between desktops using Windows key + Ctrl + the left/right arrow keys or close one with Windows key + Ctrl + F4.

If you often have a number of windows open at the same time, say a browser and a word processor, then you’ll likely benefit from having two or more virtual desktops to switch between. This feature also allows you to set up a work desktop and a private desktop, for example. – dpa