Our Favorite New Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 11

Our Favorite New Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 11

Windows 11 comes with several useful new keyboard shortcuts that make navigating and managing your desktop faster and more efficient. As avid Windows users, we’ve been eagerly exploring all of the new shortcuts available in the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system.

In this in-depth guide, I will walk through my favorite new Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts, when to use them, and how they can save you time on common tasks. Whether you’re a keyboard shortcut power user or just looking to work more efficiently on your Windows 11 PC, you’re sure to find some helpful tips here.

Snap Layouts

One of my favorite additions in Windows 11 is the new snap layouts feature, which lets you easily organize and switch between apps in various window configurations with just a few keystrokes. This makes multitasking and task switching on Windows feel much more fluid.

Here are some of the most useful snap layout shortcuts I’ve been using:

  • Win + Z – Toggle through snap layout options for the active window. This cycles through different layout presets like side-by-side, three column, etc.

  • Win + Shift + Left/Right Arrow – Snap an open window to the left or right half of the screen.

  • Win + Shift + Up Arrow – Maximize an open window.

  • Win + Shift + Down Arrow – Restore/minimize a maximized window.

I’ve found myself using Win + Z constantly when researching and writing to quickly switch between having my browser snapped to the side and my Word doc maximized. The new snap layouts make it so easy to see everything at a glance.


Another major convenience feature in Windows 11 is the ability to create and switch between multiple virtual desktops. I keep different desktops for work, creative projects, and personal use.

Here are the must-know shortcuts for managing desktops:

  • Win + Tab – Open desktop view to see all your desktops and open windows.
  • Win + Ctrl + D – Add a new desktop.
  • Win + Ctrl + Left/Right – Switch between desktops.
  • Win + Ctrl + F4 – Close the current desktop.

I like keeping browser windows, reference materials, and notes on one desktop, and my actual writing and designing on another to avoid distractions. Switching between these with Win + Ctrl + Left/Right makes my workflow so much smoother.


The new Widgets panel in Windows 11 offers at-a-glance information from your calendar, email, news, and more. Access and manage widgets quickly with these shortcuts:

  • Win + W – Open and close the widgets panel.
  • Alt + Shift + W – Open widgets in a separate window.
  • Win + Up/Down Arrow – Cycle through widgets while the panel is open.

I really appreciate being able to peek at my calendar and to-do list in the widgets panel without fully switching contexts. The separate window option is great for glancing at widgets on a second monitor.

System Sounds

This may seem minor, but you can now toggle system sounds on and off right from the keyboard, which is fantastic for controlling distractions:

  • Win + . (period) – Toggle system sounds on and off.

When I really need to focus, I flip system sounds off with this shortcut. It immediately minimizes audio distractions.

Emoji Panel

Bringing up the emoji panel is easier than ever in Windows 11 with the dedicated emoji shortcut:

  • Win + . (period) – Open up the emoji panel to insert emojis into documents, messages, etc.

I don’t use emojis that often, but it’s handy to have them readily available with this shortcut when I’m messaging friends or adding visual flair to documents.

Focus Assist

Focus assist is a do not disturb mode in Windows that silences notifications so you can really zero in on your work. Toggle it on and off with:

  • Win + Shift + 1 – Turn Focus Assist priority mode on or off.

I enable this when I’m heads down on writing or designing work and don’t want to be bothered by notifications. It’s like a super-charged version of Do Not Disturb.

Accessibility Options

There are some useful new shortcuts for managing accessibility options like magnifier, narrator, and color filters:

  • Win + Ctrl + M – Turn Magnifier on or off.
  • Win + Ctrl + Enter – Turn Narrator on or off.
  • Win + Ctrl + C – Turn on color filters.

As someone with visual impairment, I love the option to quickly magnify portions of the screen or invert colors to reduce eye strain. The Windows 11 accessibility shortcuts make it easier than ever to toggle these options.


These are just a few of my favorite shortcuts from the many added in Windows 11. Microsoft really focused on streamlining keyboard-driven workflows in the latest OS version.

Whether you want to snap apps, switch desktops seamlessly, minimize distractions, or toggle accessibility features, Windows 11 likely has a handy keyboard shortcut to help speed up your workflow. Mastering these key combos will boost anyone’s productivity on Windows.

Have you discovered any other useful Windows 11 shortcuts? Let me know in the comments! I’m always looking to level up my keyboard shortcut skills.



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