Cleaning up Windows

These shortcuts can help you with day-to-day housekeeping in Windows.

Windows+R Windows+R opens the Run dialog box. Mnemonic: The Windows Run dialog.

Windows+E Windows+E starts Windows Explorer. Mnemonic: Windows Explorer.

Windows+F or F3 Windows+F or F3 finds a file from the Windows desktop.
Mnemonic: Windows Find file dialog box.

Windows+Break Windows+Break opens the System Properties Dialog box.
Mnemonic: Windows is broken; check the system properties.

F2 F2 renames the selected object. Mnemonic: This is the same command Excel uses for editing the currently selected cell. This command and the next one work within programs, too. For example, you can use these commands when working in the File > Open dialog box in Word or Excel. Note that after you select text in Word, F2 begins the operation of moving the current selection. You then move the insertion cursor to the desired location and hit Enter.

Shift+Delete deletes selected objects without sending them to the Recycle Bin. Mnemonic: A slightly shifted version of what happens when you hit Delete, which sends the objects to the Recycle Bin. Be careful with this command. Under some conditions, it will delete a file without asking for confirmation first.

Shift key: Hold down the Shift key while you insert the disk to bypass the CD-ROM AutoRun feature. This is an invaluable tool when you have to remove a disk during installation (to read the CD key, for example), then reinsert the disk.

Alt+Enter: Press Alt+Enter to view the Properties dialog for a selected object. This works for such disparate objects as icons on the desktop, printers, hard drives, and the taskbar.

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