It does not matter if you have one of the best gaming desktops if you do not get around quickly. There’s a list of Windows shortcuts I use on my gaming PC on an almost daily basis, and they can help you get around your gaming rig like a true superuser.
I focus on shortcuts that are useful when playing games, so be sure to read our summary of five useful Windows shortcuts to get around your computer in general.
Switch and close windows quickly
Alt + Tab is a staple for all PC users, not just gamers. If you do not know, this shortcut allows you to switch between windows and bring the selected to the forefront. In games it is useful for quickly switching from a full screen application, especially if you need to check Discord or download gaming tools in your browser.
Beyond the shortcut itself you can keep Everything to keep the windows open and press continuously Tab to cycle between them. To close a window from this view, press Delete, also. Simple as it may be, Alt + Tab should be the best friend of all PC gamers.
Force a game to full screen (or a window)
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 navigation or if you’re playing a game that does not have window mode, but I’m mainly using it to fix issues that may come up with exclusive full screen mode and bizarre window locations.
I have encountered these issues dozens of times, most recently in Fate 2. Fate 2 does not play nicely when using Alt + Tab while running in full screen mode, so I run it in borderless mode instead. The problem is that the graphics settings are sometimes reset after an update, which causes my window to flip out when I Alt + Tab or start in a small corner of my screen. Alt + Enter is a lifesaver in these cases.
Move a window between screens
Multimonitor setup is prone to problems, especially for PC gaming. One of the more frustrating problems is when a game starts on a screen you do not want and you do not have an option in the game to choose which screen you want. Windows key + Shift + Left or Right arrow will move the window to another screen in the direction you select.
That’s all you need to do with multiple monitors in most cases. Sometimes games do not switch if they are in full screen mode. In those cases, I use Alt + Enter first to open the game before trying to move it to another screen. This shortcut is especially useful when the cursor is locked to the game window, which happens quite a lot.
Force quit a game
Games freeze sometimes, and there is no way out but to close the app. To force an app to quit, 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 otherwise have control over your PC, you may be able to save it. Alt + Tab out of the game and open Resource Monitor (Windows + S, search for Resource Monitor). Switch to processor tab and find your game. Right-click, select Analyze the waiting chain and try to end the lowest process in the chain.
It is possible that your game will end completely or it will not recover. But this can save your game without forcing it to quit.
Reset the graphics driver
Does the screen go blank? Rendering games with weird colors? There are a number of graphical issues and bugs you may encounter with PC games, and they become even more frustrating if you have forced a game to quit or swap out of the active window. Sometimes there is a problem with the graphics card driver.
Ctrl + Windows + Shift + B will reset the graphics card drivers. This command actually resets several things on your PC, and you will hear a small beep and see the screen go dark for a brief moment. This is not a Windows shortcut I use all the time, but it is useful to have in my back pocket for safety.
Take a proper screenshot immediately
You may be familiar with using Screenshot to take a screenshot (or Alt + Print Screen for a specific window). The problem is that this command does not give you control over where the screen is stored or what it captures, which is especially troublesome with Screenshot on its own (it will capture the entire screen, including if you have multiple monitors).
Go into the Snipping Tool, which is the best way to take a screenshot on your PC. Windows + Shift + S will automatically pull up the cutting tool so you can take a screenshot of what you want and save it where you want. This is one I use all the time, even with Nvidia GeForce Experience installed.
Record the last 30 seconds of the game
Finally, you can use one of the best features of Xbox Series X on Windows: Record the last 30 seconds of gaming. You must turn on the feature via the Xbox Game Bar, which you can access with Windows + G. click on Capture and turn on Record the last 30 seconds. From there you can use Windows + Everything + G to record the last 30 seconds of play to cut yours Elden Ring the boss kills or sneaks shots Apex Legends.
You can do this through GeForce Experience and Radeon Software, both of which give you more options for recording quality. I usually only need to take a short clip, but I’m not that worried about what it looks like, so the Xbox Game Bar version is a simple solution that works with all systems.
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