Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Win+L is the most cursed Windows 11 shortcut combo

Windows 11 2H22 update screenshots
(Image credit: Microsoft)

When it comes to force feeding Windows users with in-house product, let's just say Microsoft has form. But even by Microsoft's standards, the revelation brought to our attention by Rudeism on X that keying up "Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Win+L" takes you straight to Linkedin in your default browser is still incredibly icky.

And, yes, Microsoft owns Linkedin and has done since 2016. That the default browser doesn't have to be Microsoft's Edge is some small mitigation. But it does seem like a rather belligerent hardcoding of MS ware into Windows, especially when you consider that "Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Win+L" hardly trips off the fingers. Surely, two mouse clicks (open browser>hit Linkedin bookmark) would be easier?

There are several other similar shortcuts for MS clobber built into Windows 11. "Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Win+W" opens Word365 in your browser, while "Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Win+T" opens Teams in a browser, which seems a bit pointless. You're going to use the Teams app, no?

"X" or "P" on the end likewise opens browser-based 365 versions of Excel and Powerpoint respectively, though "O" opens the actual Outlook mail client. Whatevs.

Anyway, those shortcuts at least link through to productivity apps, albeit Microsoft's own wares, which somehow seems slightly less gross than a shortcut built into Windows that takes you through to a social media platform.

If you're looking for an actually useful shortcut that you may not be aware of, may we recommend "Shift+Ctrl+Win+B" which restarts DWM or the Windows Desktop Windows Manager—basically the Windows UI. 

That can be handy if, say, your PC has blackscreened but not actually hung. Another handy shortcut is "Win+Alt+B", which toggles HDR, a setting that can be a bit of a faff to get at.

Intriguingly, there's a list of useful shortcut combos on Microsoft's support website, here. But it doesn't list the Linkedin shortcut, nor the other shortcuts to MS apps running in browsers. That Microsoft itself doesn't want to explicitly own up to those shortcuts only adds to the impression that there's something slightly skanky going on.


Windows 11 review: What we think of the latest OS.
How to install Windows 11: Guide to a secure install.
Windows 11 TPM requirement: Strict OS security.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.