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Windows 8 Shortcut Keys

I’ve been trying to convince all I meet recently that they should take a look at Windows 8 if they haven’t already. I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but every, and I mean every ad break on TV right now contains Windows 8 adverts. Not a bad thing IMO, especially with Christmas round the corner.

One thing I have found on my travels from the uninitiated, is they feel that without a touch PC, they are missing out. I myself do not have one, and am quite happy on my lappy with keyboard and mouse – thank you very much. If anything, my productivity has increased since using Windows 7. That’s not to say if Santa is reading, that a new tablet wouldn’t be appreciated.

One of the reasons is (and perhaps I am forced to a little more to be fair), I am using more shortcut keys than ever before. So I thought I document a few here for those wanting to try it out, and see for yourselves. Incidentally, you can grab a 90 day eval here of Windows 8 Enterprise to see what all the fuss is about.


Windows key Brings up the start screen (like the start menu – but more real estate!). Also toggles you back and forth to the desktop. Hit this, start typing the name of an app, and you’re away. Great by itself – but more fun with friends!
Windows key + left arrow snaps the current app to the left of the screen
Windows key + right arrow snaps the current app to the right of the screen
Windows key + up arrow maximises current app
Windows key + down arrow restores/minimises current app
Windows key + Q shows all installed apps
Windows key + R run dialog
Windows key + X admin tools – great for IT Pros. All the family favourites here
Windows key + I brings up the settings pane, great for control panel or personalisation
Windows key + C brings up charms
Windows key + M minimises current app
Windows key + S creates a screen clipping (requires OneNote)
Windows key + E Launches file explorer
Windows key + <number> Launches an app from the taskbar, counting left to right
Windows key + D shows the desktop
Windows key + P second screen settings
Windows key + W search settings
Windows key + F search files
Windows key + Tab switches between Windows 8 apps (like alt+tab for x86 apps)
Windows key + U Ease of access center
Windows key + T toggles between taskbar apps
Windows key + H share charm
Windows key + K devices charm
Windows key + L locks the screen
Windows key + Enter starts Narrator
CTRL + + zooms in when on the start screen
CTRL + zooms out when on the start screen
CTRL + left arrow switches between groups of apps when zoomed out on the start screen
CTRL + right arrow switches between groups of apps when zoomed out on the start screen

Of course, there’s a whole load more to Windows 8 than this, but hope that helps the keyboard folks out there like me!

If I’ve missed one, comment please and I’ll add it in.

Categories: Windows 8
  1. December 11, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Very nice post, will use it as a re-enforcement in my présentations of W8!
    Good work, as always!
    Best Regards,

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