“ESC” Key on Computer - What Do You Use It For? [Windows 10]

So recently noticed I barely use the ESC key on the computer.
The only time I use it is CTRL + SHIFT + ESC which opens Task Manager.

I am particularly interested in default uses of ESC key / shortcuts in Windows 10.

If anyone could share what else they use it for that would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Comments

  • +17 votes

    Exit full screen mode when watching movies/tv shows.

    That's about it actually…

  • +14 votes

    Return back to previous screen in game menus or to pause/go to menu screen when ingame.

  • +17 votes

    Hitting ESC is a lot easier than grabbing the mouse to make the majority of OK / Cancel pop up windows go away.

    •  

      make the majority of OK / Cancel pop up windows go away.

      Also something I have trouble remembering happening. When do you get these?

      I can only think when GeForce is updating driver and the Yes / No pop-up comes up.
      I always click ‘yes’, maybe I can just press ‘enter’ or ‘Y’ key.

      • +2 votes

        Pretty much every properly written windows app will consider ESC the equivalent of hitting cancel. Including:

        • File Properties in windows explorer, etc
        • Open/Save As File dialog boxes.
        • Exit? Are you sure? Yes / No dialogs
        • Any other pop-up window in a window app… eg. Preferences, settings, etc.

        Yes, similarly, most apps that have done the right thing treat enter as having pressed 'OK'

        •  

          Thanks this is good information.

          Wish it would just close whatever window you had open.

          •  

            @thebadmachine: Well <alt><F4> has always closed whatever window has the focus after you have <alt><tab>ed to it…

  • +7 votes

    When watching Linux ISOs at work, ESC quickly closes from full screen when the boss comes by.

  •  

    Use in BIOS adjustments, closing popups and minimising full screen on YouTube etc

  • +4 votes

    I use Esc to cancel out a change being made such as editing a cell in excel or edits in other apps, different to undo (or ctrl z)

  • +8 votes

    In vi, getting out of insert mode, back into command mode — situation I used Esc key for

    • +3 votes

      In 1996?

      • +1 vote

        Confession time: in 1996 I was an EMACS user.

        •  

          Apostate eh! I like to go out with a bang.

    •  

      I wondered if anyone would think of this one.

  • +5 votes

    To escape

    •  

      I guess what you are saying is each random press of the ESC key even when there is lack of function, has consequences.

  • +1 vote

    So recently noticed I barely use the ESC key on the computer.

    Computers are used to do much more than watching youtube

    •  

      I only watch YouTube on the tablet.
      The computer is used mostly for documents & music files, sometimes reading webpages but I try to avoid it.

      • -1 vote

        Im happy to be alive

        •  

          Yes good for you ! Good to be happy to be alive.

  • +3 votes

    I use it for genius level stuff like when I type the wrong URL into the address bar, so it doesn't load some random malware site with loads of popups.

    I'm sure at least one of us at some time has typed something incorrectly, e.g. you would find ten.com.au incorrectly would be a porn site previously. I'm not sure if it still is.

    There is usually some adware or malware on the domains people are squatting on with similar names.

    There is nothing worse than typoing something and for the boss to see you visited a porn site. lol. Better to prevent it than to have to explain it.

    •  

      Yes this has happened before. I had 1 missing letter from the website and it started loading some random suspicious address like 8khhs43gjhiik467net or something and had to quickly click the X button.

      •  

        You can use the Esc button to stop the browser loading the site. It's faster. ^_^

        •  

          Oh thank you. This is good information.

        •  

          It’s usually fine if you mistype with most common websites (Amazon gmail etc), I think they buy all the similar domains.
          But sometimes yes it happens, usually I make very little typing errors but I guess it can happen to anybody.
          (Also I type everything, I guess these days most just click a bookmark and passwords etc are all just a simple click)

  • +4 votes

    Clearing all numbers when using calculator

  • +3 votes

    Useful when using MS Excel when editing a cell and you want stop the edit and to revert back to what’s was in the cell before. Useful when you change your mind or make a mistake.

    •  

      Thanks someone above mention this I think, but your explanation was easier to understand.

  •  

    Closes emails in Outlook.

    Cancels various commands in MS Word.

    Closes images in IrfanView.

  • +1 vote

    Real question is how often do you use the Caps Lock key? That's prime finger access, but has no use! I used to make it function as a backspace, was very handy but made it hard to use other devices.

    • +1 vote

      OOPS!

    • +1 vote

      Yes I agree.
      Always hold shift to type one capital letter then keep typing in lower case.
      I like the HHKB layout since they replace the Capslock key with CTRL key.

    • +5 votes

      I mainly use it for turning off CAPS LOCK after I accidentally hit it.

      •  

        eheheh this is funny comment of the day.

    •  

      "but has no use! "

      Says someone who has never needed "run" mode…

    •  

      Usually map Caps Lock to ESC, actually.

    •  

      I use it if I want to confuse myself and impair overall typing speed and accuracy whenever I attempt to mix it up for my usual Neanderthal "fist on the shift key" technique.

      I don't learn my lesson, invariably attempting to use capslock again, despite my obvious intellectual limitations.

      So, it also serves as a useful reminder that I'm not as smart as I think I am.

    •  

      I have an Asus Zephyr G14 laptop - great laptop - except that it has no page-up or page-down, and no home or end key.
      I have used Caps Lock in combination with the up, down, left and right keys to map to these keys.

  •  
  • +2 votes

    SysReq has got to be the least used key on a modern PC.

  • +1 vote

    Jumping out of PowerPoint presentations.

  • +2 votes

    I use ESC because I don't have an ANY key.

    Also, it helps to have the illusion that you could stop the relentless paper pushing drudgery… Really there is no escape.

    • +1 vote

      You're right, it's a con. What else could we expect from people who made you click start to stop, OK to proceed when the error message is clearly telling you it isn't, and don't get me started on what they do to the gullible fools who head down the rabbit-hole labelled help…

      • +1 vote

        I always thought I needed a help function for the help function. I'm pretty competent with computers in general now, but I'll never be able to help anyone with help.

        •  

          The worst for me was when I lost my mouse when running XP - you could use <tab> to get to just about any help topic at all.
          Have a guess which topic window it proved impossible to open without a mouse…

  • +1 vote

    It's pretty obvious..

    If you like pina colada
    And gettin' caught in the rain
    If your not into yoga
    If you have half a brain
    If you like making love at midnight
    In the dunes on the cape
    I'm the love that you've looked for
    Write to me and escape

  • +1 vote

    I use CTRL-ESC quite often. It brings up the Start menu & task bar. Very handy if you are in a full screen game/app and need to start an app that isn't already running.

  •  

    Probably the most commonly used key for me after backspace. Endless reasons for using it. Escaping from full screen mode, escaping from many popups, escaping from selections in Excel just to name a few.

  • +1 vote

    esc when you decided to not take a screenshot when using snipping tool

  •  

    Ctrl+Shift+Escape is a shortcut to bring up task manager, very handy.