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What does the Ctrl + Shift + W keyboard shortcut?

Keyboard shortcuts are the unsung heroes of computing, offering a quicker and more efficient way to navigate and perform tasks on your computer. They can significantly boost productivity and streamline your workflow. 

Among these shortcuts, Ctrl + Shift + W is a versatile command with different functions depending on the use context. This post will unravel the mysteries behind Ctrl + Shift + W, exploring its significance, applications, and customization options. Keep reading to learn more. 

Ctrl + Shift + W Uses

Here are some of the uses of Ctrl+Shift+W:

Web Browsing

Ctrl + Shift + W’s primary application is in web browsing, where it serves as a handy shortcut for closing multiple tabs. Here’s how it works in some popular web browsers:

ProgramCtrl + Shift + W Function
Google Chromecloses all open tabs except for the one you are currently on
Mozilla Firefoxcloses multiple tabs
Microsoft Edgecloses multiple tabs
Operacloses all tabs within the currently active browser window

Text Editors and Word Processors

Beyond web browsing, Ctrl + Shift + W can also be useful in text editors and word processors:

ProgramCtrl + Shift + W Function
Microsoft Wordtoggles the Web Layout view, which simulates how your document will look on the web
Sublime Textwraps the selected text in a pair of tags or brackets
Visual Studio Codecloses all open editor tabs

Other Applications

Ctrl + Shift + W isn’t limited to web browsers and text editors; it can have unique functions in other software:

ProgramCtrl + Shift + W Function
Spreadsheetsgrouping or ungrouping rows or columns.
Kritawill trigger the close all documents action
Visual Studio Codewill trigger the close Aal editors action
SpotifyLogs you out of the current account you’re using
Terminatorcloses the currently active tab or window

How to troubleshoot issues with the Ctrl + Shift + W shortcut

  1. Context and OS check

verify you’re using Ctrl + Shift + W in the proper context and understand its behavior on your operating system.

  1. Reopen tabs or windows

If you accidentally close tabs or windows in a browser, use Ctrl + Shift + T (or Cmd + Shift + T on macOS) to reopen them.

  1. Check keyboard history

See if your system or application logs keyboard shortcuts, which can help identify actions triggered by Ctrl + Shift + W.

  1. Customization and remapping

Customize or remap Ctrl + Shift + W if it conflicts with your workflow or causes issues.

  1. Reset to default

Reset the shortcut to its default function through keyboard shortcut settings.

  1. Software updates

Update your operating system and applications for bug fixes and improvements.

  1. Accessibility settings

Check accessibility settings that may override or modify keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Keyboard hardware

Test the shortcut on a different keyboard or computer to rule out hardware issues.

  1. Online support

Seek help from online forums or official support channels if the issue persists.


Ctrl + Shift + W is a versatile keyboard shortcut that adapts to various tasks, applications, and operating systems. Mastering this shortcut can significantly enhance your computing experience, making you more efficient and productive. 

However, using it with care is essential to avoid unintentional actions. As you explore the world of keyboard shortcuts, you’ll find that many more hidden gems are waiting to be discovered, so don’t hesitate to explore and optimize your computing journey further.

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