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What Does the Ctrl + Del Keyboard Shortcut Do?

The Ctrl + Del keyboard shortcut is a ubiquitous combination known to computer users worldwide. This simple key sequence, a marriage of the Ctrl (Control) key and the Del (Delete) key, holds a plethora of functions in various operating systems and applications. 

This post will delve into the depths of this powerful combination, unraveling its diverse applications and shedding light on its historical significance. Keep reading to learn more. 

Word Editing Software That Use the Ctrl + Del Keyboard Shortcut 

Here are some popular word editing software that typically use the Ctrl + Del shortcut and how it works in these applications:

Program Ctrl + Del Keyboard Shortcut Function
Microsoft Worddeletes the word to the right of the cursor
Notepad (Windows)deletes the word to the right of the cursor
Microsoft Excelclears the selected cell(s) content without affecting formatting or formulas
Google Docsdeletes the word to the right of the cursor
Cudatexdeletes the word to the right of the cursor
OpenOffice Writerdeletes the word to the right of the cursor
Wordpaddeletes the word to the right of the cursor

Other Programs using This Shortcut

Beyond its typical applications, Ctrl + Del boasts lesser-known functions in specialty programs, as highlighted below. 

ProgramCtrl + Del Keyboard Shortcut Function
FL Studioremoves the selected item from the Playlist
Piano Rolldeletes selected notes or events
BlenderObject Mode: deletes selected objectsEdit Mode: deletes vertices, edges, or faces, depending on the selection mode

Web Browsers

Here’s how the Ctrl + Del shortcut generally works in different browsers:

ProgramCtrl + Del Keyboard Shortcut Function
Google Chromeopens the Clear Browsing Data dialog, allowing you to delete various types of browsing data, including history, cookies, cached images and files, and more
Mozilla Firefoxopens the Clear Browsing Data dialog, allowing you to delete history, cookies, cache, and other browsing data
Microsoft Edgeopens the Clear Browsing Data dialog
Safari (on macOS)accesses the Clear History dialog

Tips to Using the Ctrl + Del Keyboard Shortcut

Using the Ctrl + Del keyboard shortcut effectively can be a valuable time-saving technique, but it’s essential to use it cautiously to avoid accidental data loss or unintended actions. Here are some tips for using Ctrl + Del effectively:

  • Know your environment: understand where you’re using Ctrl + Del and what it does in that context.
  • Backup first: before using Ctrl + Del, back up important data to prevent accidental loss.
  • Double-check selections: review selections carefully to avoid deleting the wrong items.
  • Undo (Ctrl + Z): if you make a mistake, use Ctrl + Z (undo) to reverse it.
  • Customize shortcuts: if Ctrl + Del is inconvenient or risky in certain applications, customize shortcuts.
  • Learn application-specific shortcuts: familiarize yourself with application-specific shortcuts.
  • Practice: experiment and practice Ctrl + Del in non-critical situations.


Ctrl + Del is a versatile shortcut that enhances efficiency in computing. However, it should be used carefully to prevent data loss or unintended actions. 

As technology evolves, staying informed and open to customization is key. Ctrl + Del streamlines tasks, emphasizing the enduring importance of keyboard shortcuts in computing. Use it wisely and make the most of its capabilities as you navigate the digital world.

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