Keyboard navigation

This page details keyboard navigation for people who cannot use a mouse or other pointing device, or who want to use a keyboard as much as possible. For keyboard shortcuts that are useful to all users, see Useful keyboard shortcuts instead.

If you cannot use a pointing device like a mouse, you can control the mouse pointer using the numeric keypad on your keyboard. See Click and move the mouse pointer without a mouse for details.

Navigate user interfaces

Tab and Ctrl+Tab

Move keyboard focus between different controls. Ctrl+Tab moves between groups of controls, such as from a sidebar to the main content. Ctrl+Tab can also break out of a control that uses Tab itself, such as a text area.

Hold down Shift to move focus in reverse order.

Arrow keys

Move selection between items in a single control, or among a set of related controls. Use the arrow keys to focus buttons in a toolbar, select items in a list or icon view, or select a radio button from a group.

In a tree view, use the left and right arrow keys to collapse and expand items with children.

Ctrl+Arrow keys

In a list or icon view, move the keyboard focus to another item without changing which item is selected.

Shift+Arrow keys

In a list or icon view, select all items from the currently selected item to the newly focused item.

Space

Activate a focused item such as a button, check box, or list item.

Ctrl+Space

In a list or icon view, select or deselect the focused item without deselecting other items.

Alt

Hold down the Alt key to reveal accelerators: underlined letters on menu items, buttons, and other controls. Press Alt plus the underlined letter to activate a control, just as if you had clicked on it.

Esc

Exit a menu, popup, switcher, or dialog window.

F10

Open the first menu on the menubar of a window. Use the arrow keys to navigate the menus.

Shift+F10 or the Menu key

Pop up the context menu for the current selection, as if you had right-clicked.

Ctrl+F10

In the file manager, pop up the context menu for the current folder, as if you had right-clicked on the background and not on any item.

Ctrl+PageUp and Ctrl+PageDown

In a tabbed interface, switch to the tab to the left or right.

Navigate the desktop

Alt+Tab

Quickly switch between windows. Hold down Shift for reverse order.

Alt+`

Switch between windows from the same application, or from the selected application after Alt+Tab.

This shortcut uses ` on US keyboards, where the ` key is above Tab. On all other keyboards, the shortcut is Alt plus whatever key is above Tab.

Ctrl+Alt+Arrow keys

Switch between workspaces.

Navigate windows

Alt+F4

Close the current window.

Ctrl+Super+

Restore a maximized window to its original size.

Alt+F7

Move the current window. Press Alt+F7, then use the arrow keys to move the window. Press Enter to finish moving the window, or Esc to return it to its original place.

Alt+F8

Resize the current window. Press Alt+F8, then use the arrow keys to resize the window. Press Enter to finish resizing the window, or Esc to return it to its original size.

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Arrow keys

Move the current window to a different workspace.

Ctrl+Super+

Maximize a window.

Ctrl+Super+

Maximize a window vertically along the left side of the screen.

Ctrl+Super+

Maximize a window vertically along the right side of the screen.

Alt+Space

Pop up the window menu, as if you had right-clicked on the titlebar.