Create keyboard shortcuts to open desktop apps

You can create keyboard shortcuts to quickly open the desktop apps you use most often. Keyboard shortcuts are key combinations that let you complete tasks in Windows that might otherwise take many steps. For example, popular keyboard shortcuts include Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste. To learn about the keyboard shortcuts that are available in Windows, see Keyboard shortcuts.

To create a keyboard shortcut for an app

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. Type the name of the app.

  3. In the search results, press and hold or right-click the app, and then tap or click Open file location.

    You can only create shortcuts for apps that run on the Windows desktop. If Open file location doesn't appear, you can't create a shortcut for that app.

  4. In the folder that appears, press and hold or right-click the app, and then tap or click Properties.

  5. In the properties dialog box, tap or click the Shortcut tab.

  6. Tap or click in the Shortcut key box, press the key on your keyboard that you want to use in combination with Ctrl+Alt to open that app, and then tap or click OK. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.


    • You can't use the Esc, Enter, Tab, Spacebar, PrtScn, Shift, or Backspace keys to create a keyboard shortcut.

    • The keyboard shortcut you create might not work if it uses the same key combination as an existing Windows shortcut or a shortcut that exists within the app itself.

    To open the app using the shortcut, hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys and then press the key you chose.

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