How to Navigate Windows Without a Mouse or Touchpad: Changing between a window’s fields and button. Use Tab, spacebar, arrow keys, and Enter to move your pointer between items or fields in a window (such as a dialog box). The default key is normally Tab, but if it doesn’t work, try the arrow keys.
How to Navigate Windows Without a Mouse or Touchpad
To operate Windows without a mouse, make use of your keyboard.
The mouse and keyboard are essential peripherals for interacting with a computer. Although some might claim that you only need one of these things, it can actually be very difficult to utilize a computer with only one of them. But what if you are unable to fix your mouse or laptop’s trackpad or do not have access to a spare mouse?
Keyboard shortcuts can be used to navigate Windows without a mouse or touchpad. You may carry out a number of operations with these shortcuts, including launching applications, navigating between windows, and using key operating system capabilities. As an alternative to using a mouse or touchpad, Windows also provides accessibility features such the on-screen keyboard and speech recognition software.
You can navigate the computer in these situations by using the keyboard. It is less smooth than a real pointing device, but it can still be useful for closing down running programs, saving work in progress, and even finishing other activities. We’ll go over several helpful keyboard shortcuts and keys as well as expand on the “Mouse Keys” function, which enables you to move the pointer in any direction.
How to Navigate Windows With Keyboard
When using Windows, navigating with the keyboard can be a quick and effective alternative to using a mouse. Using keyboard shortcuts, such as Windows key + D to go directly to the desktop or Alt + Tab to switch between open applications, is one way to navigate. Additionally, you may navigate through menus and folders with the arrow keys, and you can switch between different items in a window by pressing the Tab key.
You must use the Tab, Enter, Spacebar, Menu, Backspace, and Arrow keys if your mouse isn’t functioning.
How to Navigate Windows With Mouse Keys
To navigate between any button or selection in an open program window, press the Tab key. There may be sections or submenus in some apps. To move through them, press the arrow keys.
• Press Shift and Tab to go back one step.
Press Enter to choose a button or choice. To pick an option, toggle, or checkbox on the screen, you might occasionally need to press the Spacebar key.
Another key component of Windows OS is the right-click context menu. If the mouse is broken, it looks impossible to open it. However, the “Menu” key on keyboards activates the right-click context menu for a file, folder, or configuration.
- Press the Menu key (if your device has one) or Shift + F10 to display the context menu when right-clicking. To highlight a file, application, or folder, press the Tab key. Next, select an option in the context menu by using the arrow keys. then choose it by pressing the Enter key.
- To return to the previous page in the Settings app, File Explorer, or any other program window, press the Backspace key.
- In addition, you can utilize several helpful keyboard shortcuts to make life easier without a mouse. Even though some of these are very typical, we’ll include them anyway:
- Alt + F4: Access the Shut Down Windows dialog box and close any open windows.
- Alt + Tab: Open a different window.
- Launch the start menu with the Windows key or CTRL + Esc.
- Minimize, maximize, or snap the open app window to either side of the screen using Windows + Arrow keys.
- Press Windows + D to access the desktop
- On Windows 10 and 11, press Windows + A to launch Action Center. From here, you may control the audio, network connections, brightness, volume, and other settings.
- Pressing Windows + X will bring up the Quick Link menu, from which you may launch Windows tools, File Explorer, switch users, and more.
Windows + S: Brings up the search box. Search for apps, files, or even websites by starting to type.
• Pressing CTRL + ALT + Del will launch the emergency menu, which includes links to the task manager, sign out, and shut down. Using Tab, you can scroll through these.
Windows has an accessibility feature called Mouse Keys that enables users to move the mouse pointer by pressing the numbers on their keyboard’s numeric keypad. Make sure that Mouse Keys are turned on in the Ease of Access settings before using Mouse Keys to browse Windows. Users can move the cursor after it has been enabled by tapping the correct buttons on the numeric keypad. Furthermore, Mouse Keys offers unique key combinations for clicking, dragging, and other mouse tasks. For people with poor dexterity or mobility, this feature offers an alternative manner of navigation.
- You may utilize the number pad on the keyboard as a mouse thanks to a function called Mouse Keys. The mouse cursor can move in eight different directions using the numeric keys, with the exception of 0 and 5. It is considerably simpler than repeatedly pressing the Tab key to draw attention to a file or button in an open window. However, you must first utilize the Settings app to enable the Mouse Keys feature.
- Access the Mouse Keys menu. The simplest way to achieve this is to use Windows Search and enter “Mouse Keys” as the search term.
- Switch on the Mouse Keys switch. Toggle it on by pressing the Spacebar after continuously pressing the Tab key to highlight it.
- Check the box next to Hold Ctrl to accelerate and Shift to decelerate. The checkbox can be selected by pressing the Spacebar after using the Tab key to highlight it.
- Quicken the mouse keys. Press the right arrow key to speed up the slider to 50 or a little bit more. To highlight the slider, use the Tab key.
- Press Windows key + D to go to the desktop.
- Press the Num lock button.
- To move the cursor, press the corresponding numpad keys (8 is up, 2 is down, 4 is left, 6 is right, and 7, 9, 1, and 3 are diagonal directions).
- To quicken cursor movement, hold down the Ctrl key.
- To open an app, tap the five key twice. The app can be chosen with just one key push.
- Press the forward-slash (/) key along with the number five (5) to display the right-click context menu.
- Press the 0 key to drag a chosen file. Drag the file with the arrow keys. Next, drop the file to a desired location by using the dot key (.).
• The Mouse Keys feature is a lifesaver since it uses the Numpad to mimic mouse buttons and movements. Getting used to the Mouse Keys will take some time. But you can complete the job at hand using your computer. After you attach a new mouse, turn off the Mouse Keys in Settings.