Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts

I have been using Windows 8 a lot recently and one thing I have learned is that to get the most out of the operating system you really need to get comfortable using all of the keyboard shortcuts. Unlike the traditional desktop interface of the Windows 7 world, Windows 8 has both a desktop and an apps Start screen. This means that when apps get installed they usually appear on the Start screen. You launch apps from this screen and you use the desktop work area to manage your files and work with your programs.

After playing around with the system I have discovered 23 keyboard shortcuts to navigate the system. So allow me to share with you some of my favourites.

Note: The Windows key is normally located between the Ctrl and Alt keys on most keyboards.

KEYSTROKE ACTION
Windows logo key (Windows key) Toggle between desktop and Start screen
Windows logo key + start typing Search your PC
Windows logo key + C Open the Charms bar
Windows logo key + D Display the desktop
Windows logo key + E Open Windows Explorer
Windows logo key + F Open the Search charms to search files
Windows logo key + H Open the Share charm
Windows logo key + I Open the Settings charm
Windows logo key + J Switch between the Fill and Snapped apps
Windows logo key + K Open the Devices charm
Windows logo key + M Minimize everything displayed on the desktop
Windows logo key + Q Open the Search charms to search apps
Windows logo key + R Open the Run command
Windows logo key + U Open the Ease of Access Center
Windows logo key + W Open the Search charms to search settings
Windows logo key + X Open the Windows Tools Menu to see system functions like Task Manager, Command Prompt, Control Panel and many others
Windows logo key + Z Display the commands available for an app
Windows logo key + Print Screen Takes a screenshot and saves it to your Screenshots folder in the Pictures library
Windows logo key + Tab Cycle through your open apps
Alt + F4 Close a Windows 8 app
Alt + Tab Cycle through your open programs (including apps)
Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel Activate semantic zoom on Start screen
Esc Close a charm
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About Ken Cenerelli
Ken Cenerelli is a software developer who specializes in designing and creating effective solutions for the web. Ken blogs regularly at kencenerelli.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter via @KenCenerelli.

3 Responses to Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts

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