Quickly Close Open Windows Using Shortcut Keys

How to type your way out of a mess with Windows keyboard shortcuts

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One of the advantages of Microsoft Windows PCs is that you can have many different programs and windows open at the same time. This advantage becomes a disadvantage, however, when you have to close dozens of open windows. Fortunately, you can carry out repetitive actions like closing windows with keyboard shortcuts.

Instructions in this article apply to Window 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

How to Close Windows With Alt + Spacebar + C

One option for closing windows with keyboard shortcuts is as follows:

  1. Open the window that you would like to close using your mouse.

  2. Press and hold down the Alt key, the press the Spacebar to reveal the right-click context menu at the top of the program window you're trying to close.

    Press and hold down the Alt key, the press the Spacebar to reveal the right-click context menu at the top of the program window you're trying to close.
  3. Release both keys and press the letter CThis will cause the window to close.

If you can execute this sequence using one hand while the other hand controls the mouse, you’ll be able to close roughly a dozen windows in about as many seconds.

How to Close Windows With Fn + Alt + F4

Another option is to select the window you want to close and then press Fn + Alt + F4. You'll probably need two hands for this one.

Although the shortcut is officially listed as Alt + F4, you must hold down the function (Fn) key for it to work.

Close Alt+F4 menu in Windows 10

How to Close Tabs With CTRL + W

The Ctrl + W shortcut only closes the current file you're working on, but it leaves the program open. This feature can be handy if you want to leave the desktop program open but get rid of all the files you're working on in quick succession.

Ctrl + W works in most browsers too, so you can close the current tab you're looking at without taking your hands off the keyboard. If you use Ctrl + W when only one browser tab is open, then the program window will close.

How to Select Open Windows With Alt + Tab 

It's possible to select an open window without using the mouse. Press Alt + Tab to cycle through your open windows. Use this shortcut in conjunction with the other shortcuts to close all open windows without taking your hands off the keyboard.

How to See Your Desktop With Windows Key + D

Sometimes you don't actually want to close all those windows; what you really want to do is just look at your desktop. To quickly access your desktop, press the Windows Key + D. Use the same shortcut to bring back all your windows. 

If you are running Windows 7 or later, there are multiple ways to access your Windows desktop.

How to Close a Group of Windows With the Mouse

When you have numerous files open in the same program, like a bunch of emails in Outlook, Word files, or several spreadsheets in Excel, you can close all of them at once using the mouse. Right-click the program in the Windows taskbar and select Close all windows (or Close Group in older versions of Windows).

Close all windows right-click menu in Windows 10