In Windows, certain keyboard shortcuts (usually involving the Windows key) are set to launch certain applications. For example WK+R will launch Run, before Windows 8 WK+S would open the Send to OneNote screenshot maker, in some versions of MS Office WK+N would open Send to OneNote, etc. (WK = Windows Key)

Is there any way I can set my own such keyboard shortcuts to launch certain programs? (Exactly like this question only for Windows 10.)

  • @Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 That helps, but not technically a dupe IMO since it is specifically asking about XP and I am asking about Windows 10.
    – PGmath
    Jul 28 '16 at 15:35
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    I know it may SEEM harsh, but we expect some basic research to be done before a question is posted. So you could improve by performing some research first, and including that research in your question. Googling "windows define keyboard shortcut" presents lots of information on how to do it (for example). Jul 28 '16 at 15:36
  • Re the Duplicate marking: It's the same question, and the same answers apply, how to create Windows shortcuts haven't changed much (if at all) since XP. Since you didn't include what you've already tried (see last comment about research), I have no idea why you think those, or just creating a shortcut and assigning a keyboard shortcut to it) wouldn't work for you. Jul 28 '16 at 15:39
  • @Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 I don't take it personally or as harsh (I've been around SE for a while, look at my Blender.SE profile), I just expect some reason to improve when I get a DV. I did actually do a little googling before asking, but except for super obvious stuff I have never seen "it exists somewhere else on the web" as a reason to not have it at SE. As for the dupe, how to create shortcuts may have not changed much, but applications have changed at least a little as of Win8 with the whole Windows Store apps addition, leading me to think it deserves its own question.
    – PGmath
    Jul 28 '16 at 15:42
  • @Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 For instance, the top answer there mentions WinKey, which doesn't seem to be compatible with Windows 10. (After doing a little research it seems to have been replaced with WinHotKey.)
    – PGmath
    Jul 28 '16 at 15:46

Not using the windows key, but after looking into this myself (in windows 10) I am using the Caps Lock key as my own shortcut key.

Using AutoHotkey I have reassigned caps lock to mimic a control key, and then control and caps lock to actually use caps lock. This means when I hit capslock on it's own nothing happens. Auto hotkey script:

;capslock = ctrl key, ctrl and capslock = capslock

Now I have an abundance of combinations for shortcuts to use which are not used by other applications. Caps lock and ..... you choose. Unlimited options of what you want this to trigger, either use Auto Hotkey script or like I've done just trigger a .bat file.

Example that I use every morning when at work.

Capslock & A::
    ;open Outlook
    run outlook

    ;log into network locations bat
    run, C:\Users\motmi\Desktop\BATS\network-link.bat,,min

    ;open chrome
    run chrome

Pin your applications to the Windows 10 taskbar, then you can access the first 10 on the left using:


No third party software or other setup required.

I have a little piece of paper adjusted under my main monitor, so I can see which key is for which application, because the number sits exactly below the icon in the taskbar.


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    This is such a useful tip! What a hidden gem Dec 5 '17 at 2:19
  • But, I couldn't use it since its not easy to pin cmd to taskbar :( Dec 5 '17 at 3:07

If you're happy to use a Ctrl Alt keys combination instead of the Windows key, you can easily create shortcuts to any program in the Start menu, without having to install any third party program.

Just navigate to the program shortcut in the Start menu and right-click->Properties. Then click on the text box for Shortcut key. Next, press the keyboard key you want to use for the shortcut. (You can only specify key combinations using the Ctrl Alt combo, e.g. Ctrl Alt C.) Then click OK to save.

To start a program for which you've added a shortcut, hold down both Ctrl and Alt and then press the keyboard key for the character you specified, e.g. Ctrl Alt C.

This is described in the following webpage under 'Method 2.' If you want to create a link to an app instead ('Metro'/'Universal'/'Modern'), then use method 1 from the same page.


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    Note: This does NOT require the start menu at all... You can just create a shortcut and assign a keyboard shortcut to it. +1 This allows launching of CMD's and BAT's which can't be pinned to taskbar (at-least not easily) Dec 5 '17 at 3:07

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