A Handy Keyboard Shortcuts List For The Upcoming Microsoft Windows 8

Though there have been so many changes to the perspective of personal computing since Windows 7 was dropped, Windows 8 did a good job in recognizing that these are important and they’ve actually extended the list of keyboard shortcuts available to their users. With “touch hardware” becoming the new thing, it comes a little unexpected.

On a post on the Windows Experience Blog earlier in the month of March, Microsoft snuck in a huge list of their new keyboard shortcuts near their closing. The new keyboard shortcuts allow you to not only perform monotonous tasks that you’d be otherwise doing by cursor (such as minimizing all open Windows), but also effects like switching to the classic Windows desktop (which I’ll be doing right away).

The team put together a nice, large image file that outlines the extent of their new short cuts.

To make things even less painful for you, here is a text-based list of the new shortcuts:


  • Win + B– Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and select the tray notification area
  • Win + C– Brings up the Charms menu, where you can search, share, and change settings
  • Win + D– Brings up the old Windows desktop
  • Win + E– Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed
  • Win + F– Brings up the Metro File search screen
  • Win + H– Opens the Metro Share panel
  • Win + I– Opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness
  • Win + J– Switches focus between snapped Metro applications
  • Win + K– Opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)
  • Win + L– Lock PC and return to Lock screen
  • Win + M– Minimize all Windows on the desktop
  • Win + O– Locks device orientation
  • Win + P– Choose between available displays
  • Win + Q– Brings up the Metro App Search screen
  • Win + R– Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box
  • Win + U– Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center
  • Win + V– Cycles through toasts
  • Win + W– Brings up the Metro Settings search screen
  • Win + X– Launch Start Menu
  • Win + Y– Temporarily peek at the desktop
  • Win + Z– Opens the App Bar for the current Metro application
  • Win + Page Up / Down– Moves tiles to the left / right
  • Win + Tab– Opens the Metro application switcher menu, switches between applications
  • Win + , (comma)– Aero Peek at the desktop
  • Win + . (period)– Snaps the current Metro application to one side of the screen (Right side)
  • Win + Shift + . (period)– Snaps the current Metro application to the other side of the screen (Left side)
  • Win + Space– Switch input language and keyboard layout
  • Win + Shift + V– Cycles through toasts in reverse order
  • Win + Enter– Launches Narrator
  • Win + Arrow Keys – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and enable Aero Snap

You might want to start burning these into your brain sooner than later, as it is rumored that Windows 8 will push out a release within the next few months.

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