Explore the internet faster with these keyboard shortcuts

For major web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.
Laptop keyboard
Most browser shortcuts apply across Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari rawpixel via Unsplash

You already rely on keyboard shortcuts to navigate your Windows or macOS computer and power through tasks more quickly. While you’re at it, don’t forget that your web browser comes with its own set of key combinations.

These shortcuts, which work in most major browsers, help you navigate, select, and interact with web pages—all without touching the mouse. Once your fingers have committed them to muscle memory, you’ll be able to zoom through your daily tasks at top speed. We collected 28 shortcuts for you to try out in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.

General browsing

  • Space and Shift+Space: Page down and up

Next time you’re reading an endless length of text, tap the spacebar to jump down one page at a time. To hop back up, hold down Shift before tapping the spacebar.

  • Home and End OR Fn+Left arrow and Fn+Right arrow: Jump to the top and bottom of a page

Zoom to the very top or bottom of a page with these one-button shortcuts. Many Mac keyboards don’t include these keys, but you have another option: Fn+Left arrow or Fn+Right arrow will perform the same functions, respectively, as Home and End.

  • Tab and Shift+Tab OR Alt+Tab and Alt+Shift+Tab: Move between links

Some websites make hyperlinks hard to find. Instead of hovering the mouse over the page until the cursor becomes clickable, you can hop from link to link in order (left to right on each line of text from top to bottom) by tapping Tab. To move in the opposite direction, hit Shift+Tab. If you’re using Safari on a Mac machine, then when you use either version of this shortcut, you have to add Alt to the combination.

  • Enter: Push buttons

As you move from link to link, you can tap Enter to follow whichever one is highlighted at the time. This keyboard shortcut also lets you take action on anything that’s currently selected, such as pushing a highlighted button.

  • Ctrl+L OR Cmd+L: Jump to the address bar

This shortcut comes in handy when you get a sudden impulse to visit a new site. Tap Ctrl+L on Windows or Cmd+L on macOS, and the cursor will jump to the address bar and highlight the current URL. This lets you type a new address or search term without reaching for the mouse first.

  • Ctrl+R OR Cmd+R: Reload the page

If you’re waiting for an update on a page, hitting Ctrl+R on Windows or Cmd+R on macOS will refresh the site in your current tab.

  • Alt+Left arrow and Alt+Right arrow OR Cmd+Left arrow and Cmd+Right arrow: Go back and forward

When you’ve been reading lots of links in the same tab, the back and forward buttons let you explore your browsing history. These shortcuts do the same thing. On Windows, hit Alt+Left arrow to go back and Alt+Right arrow to go forward; on a Mac, replace Alt with Cmd.

Tab management

  • Ctrl+1-8 OR Cmd+1-8: Select a tab

When you’ve opened eight or fewer tabs in the same window, your browser will number them from left (one) to right (eight). When you hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Cmd (macOS) and then hit a number, you’ll jump to that tab. If you’ve got even more open tabs (and let’s face it, this has happened to you at least once), then try Ctrl+9 or Cmd+9, which will take you to whichever tab sits farthest to the right.

  • Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab: Switch to the next or previous tab

If you have too many open tabs to count, you can still move quickly between them. Hold down Ctrl and hit Tab to hop one tab to the right; add Shift to the combination to move one tab to the left. This lets you check tabs much more quickly than hunting out specific ones with the mouse.

  • Ctrl+W OR Cmd+W: Close tab

To take control of your tab sprawl, close the current one as soon as you finish with it: Hold Ctrl on a PC or Cmd on a Mac and tap W.

  • Ctrl+T and Ctrl+Shift+T OR Cmd+T and Cmd+Shift+T: Open new tabs and reopen old ones

If you’ve accidentally closed a tab you didn’t mean to, restore it in a trice by holding Shift and Ctrl together before tapping T (for Windows). The tab will even reopen at whatever scrolling position it had reached when you shut it down. This is a helpful cousin to the shortcut that opens a new tab: Hold Ctrl and tap T. Mac users can also use both of these shortcuts, as long as they replace Ctrl with Cmd.

  • Ctrl+N and Ctrl+Shift+N OR Cmd+N and Cmd+Shift+N: Open a new window or new incognito window

Beyond tabs, try a shortcut that opens a whole new window: Ctrl+N on a PC or Cmd+N on a Mac. To open a window that won’t record your browsing history, one in so-called incognito or private mode, Chrome and Safari users should add Shiftto that key combination. In FIrefox and Edge, the shortcut for a private-mode window is slightly different: You replace the N with a P—in other words, you’ll have to hit Ctrl+Shift+P (Windows) or Cmd+Shift+P (macOS).

Other shortcuts

  • Ctrl+plus and Ctrl+minus OR Cmd+plus and Cmd+minus: Zoom in and out

There are times when you need to see more or less detail on a page. Hold Ctrl (Windows) or Cmd (macOS) and then hit the plus button to zoom in and the minus button to zoom out. This will only affect the current page—you won’t see any changes to sites open in other windows and tabs. To quickly return to the default zoom level, hit Ctrl+0 on a PC or Cmd+0 on a Mac.

  • Ctrl+F OR Cmd+F: Search for a keyword

You know this site mentions a name…but you just can’t find it. To search for specific words or phrases within a webpage, tap Ctrl+F on Windows or Cmd+F on macOS. This will pull up a search box where you can type your search terms.

  • Ctrl+O OR Cmd+O: Open a file

Your browser can open certain types of files, allowing you to play videos, view images, and listen to music without opening another app. Test it out with Ctrl+O in Windows or Cmd+O in macOS. However, this shortcut won’t work in Microsoft Edge.

  • Ctrl+H OR Cmd+Y: View history

To retract your online steps, take a look at your browsing history. On Windows, you hit Ctrl+H; on macOS, the shortcut is Cmd+Y.

  • Ctrl+J OR Cmd+Option+L: View downloads

In addition to reviewing your browsing history, you can check out the files you’ve recently downloaded. To jump directly to this view, hit Ctrl+J in Windows or Cmd+Option+L in macOS.

  • Ctrl+D OR Cmd+D: Add to bookmarks

Want to save the page you’re reading for later? Create a bookmark for it by hitting Ctrl+D on a PC or Cmd+D on a Mac. This will instantly save the bookmark. If you’d like to edit it, a window will pop up where you can rename the link or move it to a specific folder.

  • Ctrl+Shift+Del OR Cmd+Shift+Backspace: Clear all browsing data

If you want to erase your browsing history, Windows users can hit Ctrl+Shift+Del. This won’t immediately delete your data—that would be too easy to do accidentally—but it will pull up a dialog box that lets you do so. On a Mac, the story is a little more complicated. Safari browsers have no such shortcut, but Chrome and Firefox on macOS will walk you through wiping your history when you hit Cmd+Shift+Backspace.