5 Handy Keyboard Shortcuts That Make Internet Life Easier

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Hands typing on a laptop keyboard
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Ever closed a website tab you weren’t actually ready to leave? There’s no need to dig through your browser history to get it back.

All you have to do is press Ctrl, Shift and T on your keyboard at the same time. (You can hold down the first two and then press the third.) If you have an Apple keyboard, use (Cmd) instead of Ctrl.

This opens the last tab you had open, unless you’re using an Incognito or InPrivate window. (You can open one of those with Ctrl+Shift+N, by the way.) It works in the most common web browsers.

CNET recently highlighted this powerful keyboard shortcut, which is one of my absolute favorites because I have the bad habit of closing a tab by accident, or closing it and immediately realizing I forgot to read or copy a number or link I still needed.

That reminded me there are plenty of people who haven’t heard of keyboard shortcuts I use daily to speed up my computer work. Here are a few others to try:

  • Ctrl+T: This opens a new tab.
  • Ctrl++ and Ctrl+: These two shortcuts increase and decrease, respectively, the zoom level of your browser. You can go multiple steps in either direction, but I use it to make text bigger and easier to read. As I’ve gotten older, this has been a lifesaver for my eyes.
  • Alt+Tab: This is a Windows shortcut, but Mac users have the equivalent +Tab. Hold Alt and tap Tab to cycle through the windows of all your open applications and bring the one you stop on to the front.
  • +E: Using the Windows key with E opens a Quick Access window showing your most recent files and frequently opened folders. For Macs, Opt++Space does close to the same thing.

You can really go down a rabbit hole with keyboard shortcuts, and most applications have their own. But I consider most shortcuts too esoteric to bother remembering — these few save me time every single day. Give them a try.