Total Commander Shortcuts


Total Commander is a file manager for Windows, a program like Windows Explorer to copy, move or delete files. However, Total Commander can do much more than Explorer, e.g. pack and unpack files, access ftp servers, compare files by content, etc!
It was known as Windows Commander and in 2002 there was a name change – the new name is “Total Commander”.
See the latest version at
Total Commander is very configurable, and you should take advantage of this. Go through the entire Configuration dialog, and set it up the way you like it. If you don’t understand what an option does, consult the manual. This may take you 15 minutes, but the program will work the way you want it afterwards. Some suggestions follow.

GUI vs CommandLine interface

Limiting yourself to classic GUI interface is not wise. Command line interface , especially in mixed form when elements of the GUI can be used to help to form a command and provide feedback is powerful and available tools that should not be abandoned just because it is out of fashion. But the opposite danger also exists. In a way extremes meet: It is equally unwise to completely ignore GUI interface (and mouse as a very useful, excellent tool) like some Unix sysadmin prefer. There are situations when using GUI is much more productive.
And GUI interface itself should never be associated only with classic Windows-style interface. Other forms including hybrid are also possible. In this sense dominance of windows and Microsoft Office shut out all alternatives.
But, nevertheless, they do exist. (

Efficient Use

When using Total Commander, always remember that the keyboard is quicker than the mouse. At first, you may need to have the function key buttons in view to remember what each key does. Later on, however, you may realize that you don’t need them, and hide them to save screen space.
When moving around the directories, use the arrow keys. You can move left and right as well as up and down. To switch to the “Brief” view, press Ctrl+F1. You may also use the Home/End/PageUp/PageDown navigation keys. The selection of files is done by either holding down shift while moving around, or pressing the spacebar when a cursor is over the file you want to select. When using the spacebar method on directories, the space they occupy will be shown in the status bar. You may also select large groups of files with the right mouse button.
Total Commander also supports browser-like back/forward navigation. The same shortcut keys – Alt+Left for back and Alt+Right for forward – apply here. You can also use the mouse with the toolbar buttons. Backspace will take you one directory level up.
Be sure to make use of the internal zip packer and unpacker. Press Alt+F5 to pack a group of files, and Alt+F9 to unpack them. You may also navigate inside of archives, including nested archives. Just select one and press Enter like always. This also works for other archives, such as RAR, ACE, CAB, and the self-extracting versions of these (Press Ctrl+PageDown to navigate inside of a self-extracting archive.)
If you need to do something via the menus, try to remember the shortcut key next time. If the menu item doesn’t have a shortcut key, you can map one to your liking. Go to the Configuration dialog, and open the Misc tab. On the bottom, you’ll see the Redefine hotkeys area. If you don’t, you’re probably using an older version – the feature was introduced in version 4.02. Remapping the keys may seem a bit awkward at first. You must first choose the key combination by checking the Control, Alt, and/or Shift buttons and choosing the key that goes with them from the selection box. Then, select the command you wish to map the key to. Finally, click the checkbox button to make the key binding take effect.
Selecting files is very easy. Just right-click a file to select it. Right-click again to deselect. You can also drag the right mouse button to select groups of files. Selection with the keyboard is very versatile. Here’s a short list of shortcuts you should be familiar with (I only listed the most useful ones).

Moving Files with Rename

SpacebarSelect or deselect the file at the cursor.
+/- (number pad)Select/deselect files using a mask you specify.
Ctrl +/-Select/deselect all files.
Alt +/-Select/deselect all files with the same extension.
*Reverse selection.

Defining Colors for Different File Types

You can make file browsing a lot easier by using the Define colors by file type option. This is very useful if you often work with a particular kind of file. To use this feature, go to the Options dialog (Configuration | Options) and then switch to the Color tab. Click the Define colors by file type button; You’ll have to check the checkbox next to it if it isn’t already checked. Besides defining colors by a file’s name, you can also define colors by the file’s attributes, size, or other options. For example, you could define the colors so that files larger than a certain size are easily visible, or so that executable files are a different color. It’s a good idea to make directories a different color, especially if you aren’t using symbols (icons) so that they stand out in a directory listing. The possibilities are endless!

Using the Multi-Rename Tool

Learn how to use the Multi-Rename Tool, a new feature in Total Commander 4.50 and above. It can be very useful if you need to rename a large amount of files using the same rule. Select all the files you want to rename, and then press Ctrl+M. If you need help, press F1 for detailed documentation.

Copying a File’s Name

To quickly copy a file’s name, press Shift+F6 and then Ctrl+C or Shift+Ins to copy its name. Press Escape to cancel the rename process.

Displaying All Files in a Directory Tree

Total Commander 4.52 also includes a great command to view all files in a subdirectory. This is useful in many different situations, such as renaming a group of files that are distributed among a tree of directories. To use this feature, just press Ctrl+B. If you don’t have version 4.52, you can duplicate this feature with the following steps:

  1. Open the Find Files dialog by pressing Alt+F7.
  2. Leave the Search for field blank, and press the Start search button (or just press Enter).
  3. Press Feed to listbox (Alt+L).

This feature can also be used in conjunction with the Multi-Rename Tool. Be careful when using it, though, as it can take a very long time to list all of the files in a big tree, such as the root directory of a drive.



F2Reread source window
F3List files
F4Edit files
F5Copy files
F6Rename or move files
F7Create directory
F8Delete files to recycle bin /delete directly – according to configuration (or Delete)
F9Activate menu above source window (left or right)
F10Activate left menu or deactivate menu
Alt+F1change left drive
Alt+F2change right drive
Alt+F3Use alternate (external or internal) viewer
Alt+Shift+F3Start Lister and load file with internal viewer (no plugins or multimedia)
Alt+F4Exit | Minimize (with option MinimizeOnClose in wincmd.ini)
Alt+F5Pack files
Alt+Shift+F5Move to archive
Alt+F6Unpack specified files from archive under cursor, or selected archives (use Alt+F9 on Windows 95)
Alt+F8Opens the history list of the command line
Alt+F9Same as ALT+F6 (because ALT+F6 is broken on Windows 95)
Alt+Shift+F9Test archives
Alt+F10Opens a dialog box with the current directory tree
Alt+F11Opens left current directory bar (breadcrumb bar)
Alt+F12Opens right current directory bar (breadcrumb bar)
Alt+Shift+F11Focus the button bar to use it with the keyboard
Shift+F1Custom columns view menu
Shift+F2Compare file lists
Shift+F3List only file under cursor, when multiple files selected
Shift+F4Create new text file and load into editor
Shift+F5Copy files (with rename) in the same directory
Shift+Ctrl+F5Create shortcuts of the selected files
Shift+F6Rename files in the same directory
Shift+F8/DeleteDelete directly / delete to recycle bin – according to configuration
Shift+F10Show context menu
Shift+EscMinimizes Total Commander to an icon
Alt+Arrow left / Arrow rightGo to previous/next dir of already visited dirs
Alt+Arrow downOpen history list of already visited dirs (like the history list in a WWW browser)
Num +Expand selection (configurable: just files or files and folders)
Num –Shrink selection
Num *Invert selection (also with shift, see link)
Num /Restore selection
Shift+Num+[+]Like Num +, but files and folders if Num + selects just files (and vice versa)
Shift+Num+-Always removes the selection just from files (Num – from files and folders)
Shift+Num+*Like Num *, but files and folders if Num * inverts selection of just files (and vice versa)
Ctrl+Num +Select all (configurable: just files or files and folders)
Ctrl+Shift+Num +Select all (files and folders if CTRL+Num + selects only files)
Ctrl+Num –Deselect all (always files and folders)
Ctrl+Shift+Num –Deselect all (always files, no folders)
Alt+Num +Select all files with the same extension
Alt+Num –Remove selection from files with the same extension
Ctrl+Page upChange to parent directory (cd ..) , or Backspace
Ctrl+<Jump to the root directory (most European keyboards)
Ctrl+\Jump to the root directory (US keyboard)
Ctrl+Page downOpen directory/archive (also self extracting .EXE archives)
Ctrl+Arrow left / Arrow rightOpen directory/archive and display it in the target window. If the cursor is not on a directory name, or the other panel is active, then the current directory is displayed instead.
Ctrl+F1File display ‘brief’ (only file names)
Ctrl+Shift+F1Thumbnails view (preview pictures)
Ctrl+F2File display ‘full’ (all file details)
Ctrl+Shift+F2Comments view (new comments are created with Ctrl+Z)
Ctrl+F3Sort by name
Ctrl+F4Sort by extension
Ctrl+F5Sort by date/time
Ctrl+F6Sort by size
Ctrl+F8Display directory tree
Ctrl+Shift+F8Cycle through separate directory tree states: one tree, two trees, off
Ctrl+F9Print file under cursor using the associated program
Ctrl+F10Show all files
Ctrl+F11Show only programs
Ctrl+F12Show user defined files
TabSwitch between left and right file list
Shift+TabSwitch between current file list and separate tree (if enabled)
InsertSelect file or directory.
SpaceSelect file or directory (as INSERT). If SPACE is used on an unselected directory under the cursor, the contents in this directory are counted and the size is shown in the “full” view instead of the string . This can be disabled through ‘Configuration’ – ‘Options’ – ‘Operation’ – ‘Selection with Space’.
EnterChange directory / run program / run associated program / execute command line if not empty. If the source directory shows the contents of an archive, further information on the packed file is given.
Shift+Enter1. Runs command line / program under cursor with preceding command /c and leave the program’s window open. Only works if NOCLOSE.PIF is in your Windows directory! 2. With ZIP files: use alternative choice of these (as chosen in Packer config): (Treat archives like directories <-> call associated program, i.e. winzip or quinzip) 3. In the list of last used dirs (History, Ctrl+D), open the directory on a new Tab.
Alt+Shift+EnterThe contents of all directories in the current directory are counted. The sizes of the directories are then shown in the “full” view instead of the string . Abort by holding down ESC key.
Alt+EnterShow property sheet.
Ctrl+aSelect all
Ctrl+bDirectory branch: Show contents of current dir and all subdirs in one list
Ctrl+Shift+bSelected directory branch: Show selected files, and all in selected subdirs
Ctrl+cCopy files to clipboard
Ctrl+xCut files to clipboard
Ctrl+vPaste from clipboard to current dir.
Ctrl+dOpen directory hotlist (‘bookmarks’)
Ctrl+fConnect to FTP server
Ctrl+Shift+fDisconnect from FTP server
Ctrl+iSwitch to target directory
Ctrl+lCalculate occupied space (of the selected files)
Ctrl+Shift+mChange FTP transfer mode
Ctrl+nNew FTP connection (enter URL or host address)
Ctrl+pCopy current path to command line
Ctrl+qQuick view panel instead of file window
Ctrl+rReread source directory
Ctrl+sOpen Quick Filter dialog and activate filter (deactivate with ESC or CTRL+F10)
Ctrl+Shift+sOpen Quick Filter dialog and reactivate last-used filter
Ctrl+tOpen new folder tab and activate it
Ctrl+Shift+tOpen new folder tab, but do not activate it
Ctrl+uExchange directories
Ctrl+Shift+uExchange directories and tabs
Ctrl+wClose currently active tab
Ctrl+Shift+wClose all open tabs
Ctrl+zEdit file comment
Ctrl+Arrow upOpen dir under cursor in new tab
Ctrl+Shift+Arrow UpOpen dir under cursor in other window (new tab)
Ctrl+Tab/Ctrl+Shift+TabJump to next tab / jump to previous tab
Ctrl+Alt+LetterQuick search for a file name (starting with specified letters) in the current directory (Support hotkeys Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and Ctrl+A; use Ctrl+S for search filter on/off)


Ctrl+FConnect to FTP Server
Ctrl+SHIFT+FDisconnect current FTP connection
Ctrl+NNew FTP connection


Insert­/SpaceSelect current file/f­older
Num *Invert selection
Num /Restore selection
Ctrl+ASelect all
Ctrl+lCalculate occupied space of selecte files
Ctrl+Num –Deselect all
Alt+Num+Select all files with extension
Alt+Num-Deselect all files with extension

Moving around

Alt+F1Change left drive
Alt+F2Change right drive
Alt+Arrow DownOpen list of visited direct­ories
Alt+Arrow LeftJump to previous directory
Alt+Arrow RightJump to next directory
Ctrl+<Jump to root directory
BackspaceChange to parent directory
TabSwitch between left and right file list


Alt+F1Change left drive
Alt+F2Change right drive
Alt+Arrow DownOpen list of visited direct­ories
Alt+Arrow LeftJump to previous directory
Alt+Arrow RightJump to next directory
Ctrl+<Jump to root directory
BackspaceChange to parent directory
TabSwitch between left and right file list


Ctrl+uSwap left & right view
F2/Ctrl+rRefresh current directory
Ctrl+bShow contents of current dir and all subdirs in one list
Ctrl+S­hift+BSelected directory branch
Alt+EnterShow file properties window
Ctrl+lCalculate occupied space (of selecte files)

File manipu­lation

F3List file contents
Shift+F3List file under cursor with multiple files selected
F4Edit files
Shift+F4Create new text file and load in editor
F5/Ctrl+cCopy file
Shift+F5Copy files (with rename) in same directory
F6Rename or move files
Shift+F6Rename files in same directory
F7Create directory
F8/DeleteDelete files
Ctrl+vPaste file in current directory
Ctrl+xCut file
Ctrl+mMulti-­rename tool


Alt+F5Pack files
Alt+Sh­ift+F5Move to archive
Alt+F6Unpack from archive under cursor
Alt+Sh­ift+F9Test archives

File sorting

Ctrl+F3Sort by name
Ctrl+F4Sort by extension
Ctrl+F5Sort by date/time
Ctrl+F6Sort by size


Ctrl+sQuick search

Command Line with TC

%comspec%            Envoke CMD (ancient times)
CMD                         Envoke CMD
CMD /C                    Carries out the command specified by string and then terminates
CMD /K                    Carries out the command specified by string but remains
(For more complete CMD with switches see relevant CMD cheatsheet)


Ctrl+Shift+w                              Close all open tabs
Ctrl+z                                          Edit file comment
Ctrl+Arrow up                           Open dir under cursor in new tab
Ctrl+Shift+Arrow                     Up Open dir under cursor in other window (new tab)
Ctrl+Tab/Ctrl+Shift+Tab        Jump to next tab / jump to previous tab
Ctrl+Alt+Letter                          Quick search for a file name (starting with specified letters) in the current directory
                                                       (Support hotkeys Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and Ctrl+A; use Ctrl+S for search filter on/off)
Ctrl+ArrowLeft/Right Duplicate current path of the panel in the other panel

Button Bar Parameters

Total Commander Button Bar Parameters

?As the first parameter causes a Dialog box to be displayed before starting the program, containing the following parame­ters. You can change the parameters before starting the program. You can even prevent the program’s execution.
%PCauses the source path to be inserted into the command line, including a backslash (\) at the end.
%NPlaces the filename under the cursor into the command line.
%TInserts the current target path. Especially useful for packers.
%MPlaces the current filename in the target directory into the command line.
%OPlaces the current filename without extension into the command line.
%EPlaces the current extension (without leading period) into the command line. Note: %N and %M insert the long name, while %n and %m insert the DOS alias name (8.3). %P and %T insert the long path name, and %p and %t the short path name. (Same for %o and %e)
%%Inserts the percent sign.
%LLong file names including the complete path, e.g. c:\Program Files\Long name.exe
%l (lowercase L)Short file names including the complete path, e.g. C:\PRO­GRA­~1­\LON­GNA­~1.EXE
%FLong file names without path, e.g. Long name.exe
%fShort file names without path, e.g. LONGNA­~1.EXE
%DShort file names including the complete path, but using the DOS character set for accents.
%dShort file names without path, but using the DOS character set for accents.

How-to use button bar parameters

Step 1.Create a new button on the button bar
Step 2.Using the menu, insert the path to the ImgBurn executable
Step 3.Insert the string below as the value in the Parameters box:
You can use the cheats above to figure out what is going on in this string.
Step 4.Choose the icon for the button and press ok.

Total Commander Links

The Total Commander Sitehttp:/­/ww­w.g­his­
TC wiki
An unofficial database of­tal­
Source of this cheatsheethttp:/­/ww­w.g­his­­/wi­ki/­ind­ex.p­hp­/Bu­tto­nba­r#S­pec­ial­_pa­ram­eters:
TC forum


Like any powerful tool, Total Commander won’t work the way you want it right away. Until you use it a little and learn how it works, it may even seem a bit uncomfortable. But don’t be discouraged, as the payoff is too great to ignore. You’ll do all your file management a lot faster. An experienced person using Total Commander may seem like a magician to observers.