Windows 8: Keyboard Shortcuts

With every new version of the Windows operating system, Microsoft updates or creates new keyboard shortcuts.

The Windows Key (WinKey) keyboard shortcuts below are for Windows 8.  Although some of them may work with previous versions of Windows.
  • WinKey: Displays the Start screen.
    • Tip: Start typing the name of the application you want to run, Windows will start displaying the names of programs that best match what you typed.
    • Tip: Once the Start screen is displayed, press the Ctrl + Tab to display all the applications.
  • WinKey + C: Displays the Charms menu on the right side of the screen. From here you can access the Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings charms.
  • WinKey + D: Shows the Windows Desktop, press it again to restore all the applications.
  • WinKey + E: Launches the Windows Explorer.
  • WinKey + F: Performs a file search. Windows will search for all documents that match the keywords entered.
  • WinKey + H: Opens the Sharing charm. Allows the sharing of content with people or applications that support this feature.
  • WinKey + I: Opens the Setting charm menu for the current application or Start screen.
  • WinKey + K: Displays the Device charm menu.
  • WinKey + L: Locks the computer screen.
  • WinKey + M: Minimizes all applications and displays the desktop.
  • WinKey + O: Locks the screens orientation (portrait or landscape) on a tablet.
  • WinKey + Q: Performs an application search. Windows searches for all application names that match the letters that are entered.
  • WinKey + P: Displays the Presentation menu, which allows you to select the function of the secondary screen (e.g. duplicating the current screen, extending the desktop, etc.)
  • WinKey + R: Displays the Run menu. Allows you to quickly run a command or launch an application.
  • WinKey + T: Cycles through the desktop applications in the taskbar.
  • WinKey + U: Displays the Ease of Access Center control panel, which provides quick access to Windows different accessibility options (such as the : onscreen keyboard, narrator, magnifier, etc.)
  • WinKey + W: Performs a Settings search. Windows will search of for all Settings names that match the letters that are entered.
  • WinKey + X: Displays the Power User menu, gives you access to administrator functions like command prompt, computer management console, and more.
  • WinKey + Z: Brings up the application bar at the bottom of a native Windows 8 application.
    • Note: On a Windows tablet, swipe up from the bottom to display the application bar.
    • Note: Right-clicking or pressing the right-click key on the keyboard produces the same functionality.
  • WinKey + (Enter): Turns on the Narrator application and will read text and objects on the screen.
  • WinKey + (,) [comma]: Temporarily shows the Windows desktop as long as you hold the WinKey.
  • WinKey + (.) [period]: Snaps a native Windows 8 application to the left or right side of the screen.
    • Note: On a Windows tablet, swiping an application to the left or right will move it to that side of the screen.
  • WinKey + (+) or (-): Using the WinKey while pressing the plus or minus keys repeatedly will cause the screen to magnify or zoom out.
    • Note: Pressing WinKey + ESC will exit the zooming, WinKey + PrtSrn keys will take a screen shot of the magnified screen.
  • WinKey + (Tab): Cycles between native Windows applications. This doesn't cycle between desktop applications, you have to use the ALT + Tab keys.
  • WinKey + (PageUp) or (PageDown): Moves a native application between multiple displays (if available).
    • Note: Moving the cursor to the top middle part of the screen will cause the cursor to change to a hand. Click and hold the mouse button then you can drag the app to another monitor.
  • WinKey + (Arrow Key): The Left and Right arrow keys docks a desktop application window to the left or right side of the screen. The Up and Down arrow keys maximize or minimize the application.
  • WinKey + (PrtSrn): Takes a picture of the screen(s), and then stores the image in the Pictures folder, under another folder called ScreenShots.
    • Note: On a Windows tablet, press and hold the Windows button (on the tablet not the onscreen keyboard) and the volume down button to take a screen shot.
  • WinKey + (Number): Windows automatically assigns keyboard shortcuts to programs in the taskbar on the desktop.
    • To access them, use the WinKey+the number position of the program in the order it appears there. For example, if Internet Explorer is the first icon in your taskbar by pressing WinKey+1 it will open it. If the Windows Explorer is the second icon in your taskbar by pressing WinKey+2 it will open it.
  • WinKey + Shift + (Number): Opens a new instance of the program associate with the WinKey + number position. So if you had one instance of Internet Explorer running this would open up a new copy of the application in memory.
    • WinKey + Ctrl + (Number): Switches to the last instance of that program.
    • WinKey + Alt + (Number): Opens the jump menu of the program associate with the WinKey + number position.
  • WinKey + (Pause): Displays the System Properties dialog box.
  • WinKey + (Spacebar): Switches the input language and keyboard layout.
  • WinKey + (F1): Displays the Help and Support window.
  • Esc: Stop or exits current task
  • Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Opens the Task Manager
Comments