Key Stroke Tips for Explorer and Edge

After working on the Internet day after day for years, you develop tricks, or you discover that something you’ve done repeatedly can be done more easily. Once you discover a new method to navigate your computer or the web, it quickly becomes second nature.

Function Keys

Take the “F5” key: It’s one of the most important keys for any web designer and useful for surfers. With Internet Explorer, “F5” refreshes your web browser, so you’re seeing the most recent version of the page.

Another useful key for Internet Explorer is “F11.” Go ahead and try it. “F11” will maximize your browser, allowing you to see as many web pages as possible on your monitor. When you want to shrink the window back to size, press “F11” again.

“F1” is the universal Windows help button. If you have a problem with an application, “F1” is the first stop.

Need to close an application fast? If it’s the active window, try holding the “alt” key and “F4” together. It’s a quick way to shut down your Windows machine if no applications are open.

Familiar Tasks, New Tricks

Cut, Copy, and Paste are three of the most powerful tools in any computer user’s arsenal. Having them available at a keystroke is vital. Highlight some text with your mouse, then hold down the “control” key and press the letter “C” at the same time — the highlighted text is now copied.

If you want to cut the highlighted text, use “control” and the letter “X” to erase it.

Finally, to paste copied text or images into another document, hold “control” and press the letter “V.”

“Control” and “A” will select everything in your current application, which is helpful if you want to copy and paste it later. The shift key can also help select content. Click your cursor in some text where you’d like to begin selecting. Then, hold shift and click again at the end of your selection. This will select the whole block of text.

Fun with Scrolling

Personally, I would be lost without my scroll mouse. That little wheel in the middle of the mouse completely changes how you use your computer. One neat trick you can do with your scroll mouse is to change the text size in Microsoft applications, including Office and Internet Explorer. Hold down the “control” key and move the scroll wheel. Text will grow or shrink depending on which way you scroll. This won’t work on every website. Some folks design their pages so the text won’t scale, but it will work on most of them and can be useful if you’re using a monitor on the blink or just forgot your glasses.

The Windows Key

When I first got a keyboard with a Windows key, I thought it was a complete annoyance, bringing back the desktop every time I hit the thing accidentally during a rousing game of “Quake.” Thankfully, new games don’t normally work that way, and the Windows key –hiding out down there on the left between “control” and “alt”– can do some neat tricks. My favorite is holding the Windows key and pressing “D.” All your windows are now minimized to give you immediate access to the desktop. When you have three or four applications open, this is a big time-saver.

Another favorite is Windows key and “E.” Windows Explorer pops open, giving you immediate access to your files.

If you still can’t find the file you’re looking for, try the Windows key and “F.”

You probably already know some or most of these keyboard shortcuts, but even if one of these is new, it can speed up your computer time and become a habit you don’t even think about. You’ll know it has become second nature the first time someone asks, “How did you do that?”

Which Are The 5 Basic Shortcut Keys?

If you’re not interested in learning the dozens of shortcuts listed above, that’s OK. However, any user, no matter their level of interest or their purposes for using Microsoft Edge, should know the following five shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + F — Find on page
  • Ctrl + R — Reload the current page
  • Ctrl + Tab — Switch to the next tab
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab — Switch to the previous tab
  • Ctrl + Plus (+) / Ctrl + Minus (-) — Zoom in / Zoom out

Check out this complete list of Microsoft Edge shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + Shift + B — Show or hide the favorites bar
  • Alt + Shift + B — Set focus on the first item in the favorites bar
  • Ctrl + D — Save the current tab as a favorite
  • Ctrl + Shift + D — Save all open tabs as favorites in a new folder
  • Alt + D — Select the URL in the address bar to edit
  • Ctrl + E — Open a search query in the address bar
  • Alt + E — Open the Settings and more “…” menu
  • Alt + F — Open the Settings and more “…” menu
  • Ctrl + G — Jump to the next match to your Find Bar search
  • Ctrl + Shift + G — Jump to the previous match to your Find Bar search
  • Ctrl + H — Open History in a new tab (web UI)
  • Ctrl + Shift + I — Open Developer Tools
  • Alt + Shift + I — Open the Send feedback dialogue
  • Ctrl + J — Open Downloads in a new tab (web UI)
  • Ctrl + K — Open a search query in the address bar
  • Ctrl + Shift + K — Duplicate the current tab
  • Ctrl + L — Select the URL in the address bar to edit
  • Ctrl + Shift + L — Paste and search or Paste and go (if it’s a URL)
  • Ctrl + Shift + M — Sign in as a different user or browse as a Guest
  • Ctrl + N — Open a new window
  • Ctrl + Shift + N — Open a new InPrivate window
  • Ctrl + O — Open a file from your computer in Edge
  • Ctrl + Shift + O — Open Favorites management
  • Ctrl + P — Print the current page
  • Ctrl + Shift + P — Print using the system dialog
  • Ctrl + Shift + R — Reload the current page, ignoring cached content
  • Ctrl + S — Save the current page
  • Alt + Shift + T — Set focus on the first item in the toolbar
  • Ctrl + U — View source
  • Ctrl + Shift + V — Paste without formatting
  • Ctrl + W — Close the current tab
  • Ctrl + Shift + W — Close the current window
  • Ctrl + Shift + Y — Open Collections
  • Ctrl + 0 (zero) — Reset zoom level
  • Ctrl + 9 — Switch to the last tab
  • Ctrl + Enter — Add www. to the beginning and .com to the end of the text typed in the address bar
  • Ctrl + \ (in a PDF) — Toggle PDF between fit to page / fit to width
  • Ctrl + [ (in a PDF) — Rotate PDF counterclockwise 90°
  • Ctrl + ] (in a PDF) — Rotate PDF clockwise 90°
  • Ctrl + Shift + Delete — Open clear browsing data options
  • Alt — Set focus on the Settings and more “…” button
  • Alt + Left arrow — Go back
  • Alt + Right arrow — Go forward
  • Alt + Home — Open your home page in the current tab
  • Alt + F4 — Close the current window
  • F1 — Open Help
  • F3 — Find in the current tab
  • F4 — Select the URL in the address bar
  • Ctrl + F4 — Close the current page in the current tab
  • F5 — Reload the current tab
  • Shift + F5 — Reload the current tab, ignoring cached content
  • F6 — Switch focus to the next pane
  • Shift + F6 — Switch focus to the previous pane
  • F7 — Turn caret browsing on or off
  • F10 — Set focus on the Settings and more “…” button
  • F10 + Enter — Open Setting and more “…” menu
  • Shift + F10 — Open context menu
  • F11 — Enter full screen (toggle)
  • F12 — Open Developer Tools
  • Esc — Stop loading page; close dialog or pop-up
  • Spacebar — Scroll down the webpage, one screen at a time
  • Shift + Spacebar — Scroll up a webpage, one screen at a time
  • PgDn — Scroll down the webpage, one screen at a time
  • Ctrl + PgDn — Switch to the next tab
  • PgUp — Scroll up a webpage, one screen at a time
  • Ctrl + PgUp — Switch to the previous tab
  • Home — Go to the top of the page; move the keyboard focus to the first item of the pane
  • End — Go to the bottom of the page, Move keyboard focus to the last item of the pane