It doesn’t matter that you have one of the best gaming desktops if you can’t get around it quickly. There’s a list of Windows shortcuts that I use almost daily on my gaming PC, and they might help you navigate your gaming rig like a real power user.
I’m focusing on useful shortcuts when playing games, so be sure to read our roundup of five useful Windows shortcuts for getting around your machine in general.
Quickly switch and close windows
Alt + Tab is a must-have for any PC user, not just gamers. If you don’t know, this shortcut allows you to switch between windows and bring the selected one to the foreground. In games, it’s useful to quickly quit a full-screen app, especially if you need to check Discord or view game tools in your browser.
Beyond the shortcut itself, you can hold Other to keep the windows open and to press continuously Tongue to cycle with each other. If you want to close a window from this view, you can press To delete, as well. As simple as it may be, Alt + Tab should be every PC gamer’s best friend.
Force a fullscreen (or windowed) game
This is another simple one that I use all the time: Alt + Enter. This shortcut will force a window to enter full screen or vice versa. It’s fine for browsing or if you’re playing a game that doesn’t have an option for windowed mode, but I mainly use it to fix issues that can arise with exclusive fullscreen mode and slots. weird window.
I’ve encountered these issues dozens of times, most recently in Destiny 2. Destiny 2 does not play well when using Alt + Tab while you’re running in fullscreen mode, so I’m running it in borderless mode instead. The problem is that graphics settings sometimes reset after an update causing my window to panic when I Alt + Tab or throw in a little corner on my monitor. Alt + Enter is a lifesaver in these cases.
Move a window between monitors
Multi-monitor setups are prone to issues, especially for PC gaming. One of the most frustrating issues is when a game launches on a screen you don’t want, and you don’t have an in-game option to choose the display you want. windows key + Change + Left or right arrow will move your window to another screen in the direction you choose.
That’s all you need to do with multiple monitors in most cases. Sometimes games do not change if they are in full screen mode. In these cases I use Alt + Enter first to window the game before trying to move it to another screen. This hotkey is especially useful when your cursor is locked on the game window, which happens quite often.
Force quit a game
Games sometimes freeze, and there is no other recourse than to close the application. To force quit any app, including games, use Alt+F4. I actually use a program called SuperF4, which is an even more powerful version of Alt + F4 (and one of the first apps you should install on a new gaming PC).
If your game is frozen but you have control over your PC, you may be able to save it. Alt + Tab out of the game and open Resource Monitor (Windows+S, look for Resource Monitor). Go to CPU tab and find your game. Right click, select Analyze the waiting chain and attempt to terminate the lowest process in the chain.
It is possible that your game is completely closing or not recovering. But it might save your game without forcing it to quit.
Reset your graphics driver
The screen goes blank? Rendering games with weird colors? There are a host of graphical glitches and bugs you can encounter with PC games, and they become even more frustrating if you’ve forced a game to quit or quit the active window. Sometimes there is a problem with your graphics card driver.
Ctrl+Windows + Change + B will reset your graphics card drivers. This command actually resets several things on your PC, and you’ll hear a small beep and see your screen go dark for a brief moment. It’s not a Windows shortcut I use all the time, but it’s useful to have in your back pocket just in case.
Instantly take a proper screenshot
You may know how to use Screenshot to take a screenshot (or Alt + Print Screen for a specific window). The problem is that this command doesn’t let you control where the screenshot is stored or what it captures, which is especially troublesome with Screenshot alone (it will capture your entire display, including if you have multiple monitors).
Enter the Snipping tool, which is the best way to take a screenshot on PC. the Windows + Change + S will automatically bring up the snipping tool so you can take a screenshot of whatever you want and save it wherever you want. It’s the one I use all the time, even with Nvidia GeForce Experience installed.
Record the last 30 seconds of gameplay
Finally, you can use one of the best Xbox Series X features on Windows: recording your last 30 seconds of gameplay. You’ll need to enable the feature through Xbox Game Bar, which you can access with Windows + G Click it Capture tab, then enable Record the last 30 seconds. From there you can use the Windows + Other + g to record your last 30 seconds of play to film your Ring of Elden the boss kills or shoots stuff in Apex Legends.
You can do this through GeForce Experience and Radeon Software, both of which give you more options for your recording quality. However, I usually only need to capture a short clip, and I’m not too worried about how it looks, so the Xbox Game Bar version is a simple solution that works with any system.