Microsoft introduces new keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11

Preview builds and leaks of the Windows 11 operating system have been around for a while. While the operating system is still in active development, it is clear already that it will include several changes and new features when compared to Windows 10.

The next version of Windows features a redesigned centered start menu, Windows widgets, which look similar to Windows 10’s news and interests feature, new snap functionality for windows, an improved Microsoft Store, the option to install Android apps from Amazon’s App Store (and sideload others), and any smaller changes such as the display of time it takes to apply an update.

Microsoft added three new keyboard shortcuts to its Windows 11 operating system thus far. Several of these activate new features, others existing functionality to make it more accessible.

Windows 11 1st preview build - no search in start menu

Keyboard shortcuts may not be used by all users, especially if they are not highlighted by the operating system to the user. Those who use them may prefer them because of the faster execution time or for being able to keep all ten fingers on the keyboard.

The following keyboard shortcuts are new in Windows 11 (thus far):

  • Windows-W opens the new Windows Widgets menu (the upgraded News and Interests feed that displays weather and news information among other things).
  • Windows-Z opens the new Snap layout options of windows. A layout pane is displayed in top right corner of the active window or application when the shortcut is invoked.
  • Windows-N opens the Notification Center of the operating system in the usual position on the screen.

Some sites reported that Windows-A is new as well. Windows-A opens the Quick Settings. This works similarly to clicking on the volume or network icons in the System Tray area. Quick Settings enable you to quickly toggle features such as Bluetooth, Wifi, flight mode and other features without going into the Settings.

The keyboard shortcut is not new as it is supported on Windows 10 as well, but it did display notifications and quick settings when used. In Windows 11, Windows-A will display the Quick Settings only while Windows-N will display the notification center.

Windows-W is the only shortcut of the three that is used on Windows 10 as well. It powers the Windows Ink workspace on Windows 10. Windows 10 users who use it need to find another way to open the workspace, as the shortcut has been remapped to open Windows Widgets.

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