How to set your own keyboard shortcuts in your Windows 10 PC [tutorial]

If you spend a lot of time working in a computer, even a second of lifting your hand from time to time to grab the mouse and move the cursor across the screen can translate to loss of precious moments. Over time, such inefficiency can add up. Not only does that mean that you’re losing time, but it also adds more strain to your body, particularly on your shoulder. To remedy the situation, you should make it a habit of using keyboard shortcuts instead. With your Windows 10 operating system, you have an option to set your own custom shortcut keys for any program.

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There are two methods on how to create custom shortcuts in Windows 10. Below are the steps on how to do each of them.

Create keyboard shortcut via Start Menu

There are two ways to add a program or app in Windows 10 — one via Windows Store, and the other via direct downloads and installs directly to the desktop. If you want to create keybaord shortcuts for “desktop apps” and not those that came from Windows Store, this is the method that should work best for you. By doing the steps below, you can avoid adding additional clutter in the form of shortcut icon on the desktop.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Look for the app you want to create a shortcut for. If the app is not visible as a pinned tile, click on All apps and search for it accordingly. The list is sorted alphabetically.
  3. Right click on the icon.
  4. Select Open file location. The shortcut window for the said app should open right away. If right-clicking on the icon won’t show Open file location option, you’re trying to open a universal app. Refer to the second method on how to create a shortcut below.
  5. Right click on the shortcut icon.
  6. Select Properties.
  7. Enter a key combination in the Shortcut key box.
  8. Click OK.

Create a Desktop Shortcut

This is the simpler way to create a shortcut to open application or program. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Press Windows key and X at the same time.
  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. If User Account Control window pops up, hit Yes to confirm.
  4. Once the Administrator Command Prompt launches, type in explorer shell:AppsFolder.
  5. Hit Enter key and wait for the Applications window to appear.
  6. Look for the app you want to create a shortcut for.  If you have plenty of apps, it’s easier if you change the view setting to detailed list to see app icons more easily in a single column.
  7. Click Yes when asked if you want the shortcut on the desktop. A new shortcut icon appears on your desktop.
  8. Right click on the new shortcut icon.
  9. Select Properties.
  10. Enter a key combination in the Shortcut key field. The combination must be CTRL + ALT + a letter / number. For example, a shortcut key for your calendar app may be CTRL + ALT + C.
  11. Click OK.

Keep in mind not create a duplicate shortcut. Try to write down your list of key combinations and be sure to refer to it if you can’t remember what shortcut you’ve already created.


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