Windows Has Secret 5-Key Shortcuts – You Won't Believe What They Do

Although Windows is designed so that we always use it with the mouse, users who already have some skill with the PC can resort to certain “tricks” that allow them to work faster with it. Keyboard shortcuts , for example, are combinations of keys that allow us to perform certain tasks much faster than doing it, for example, with the keyboard and the mouse. Surely we all know some of the most common keyboard shortcuts, such as Control + C and Control + V for copy and paste. But Windows can go much further.

There are many types of keyboard shortcuts in Windows. For example, we have seen the two most typical ones that allow us to copy and paste. We can also open system tools with shortcuts like Windows + I or Windows + R, or force close programs with shortcuts like Alt + F4. Typically, these keyboard shortcuts are made up of two or, at most, three keys. But we can also find other shortcuts formed by no more and no less than 5 keys. Why?

Windows Has Secret 5-Key Shortcuts

The Office key is to blame

In 2019, Microsoft wanted to introduce a new key on keyboards, to the right of space, with the Office symbol. With it, what he wanted is to facilitate the launch of certain programs, or services, without having to use the keyboard and the mouse. This key, after all, is nothing more than a macro that, when pressed, makes a call to 4 keys that already exist on all keyboards: Control + Alt + Shift + Windows . That is, both pressing the Office key on a compatible keyboard, and using Control + Alt + Shift + Windows, the result is the same.

The idea is that users could launch Word by pressing Office + W or Excel by pressing Office + X, to give a few examples. But, even if our keyboard does not have this Office key, we can still launch these programs by pressing the 5 keys that we have talked about:

  • Control + Alt + Shift + Windows + W –> Open Word.
  • Control + Alt + Shift + Windows + X –> Open Excel.
  • Control + Alt + Shift + Windows + P –> Open PowerPoint.
  • Control + Alt + Shift + Windows + O –> Open Outlook.
  • Control + Alt + Shift + Windows + N –> Open OneNote.

But that is not here. In addition to opening Office programs, Microsoft also has specific keyboard shortcuts that allow us to launch our own services in the same way. Some examples that we can find quickly are:

  • Control + Alt + Shift + Windows + L –> Open LinkedIn in the main web browser.
  • Control + Alt + Shift + Windows + Y –> Open Yammer web.
  • Control + Alt + Shift + Windows + T –> Launch Microsoft Teams.

It is true that they are not the most comfortable keyboard shortcuts that we can find. But that makes sense, since they are designed to be launched directly from the Office key. Finally, this key seems not to have been very successful, and only Microsoft’s own keyboards bet on it. But, if we want, we can always configure our own macros, or launch the shortcut by pressing its 5 equivalent keys, even if we need both hands.