Shortcuts for Windows 8

With the GA of Windows 8 just around the corner, I started to put together an article of tips and tricks. However, then I found this great post over on the Go Dev Mental student blog written by my colleague Susan Ibach on all the keyboard shortcuts she could find. I’m not too proud to beg, borrow and steal when it’s appropriate, so instead of me creating something net new, here is Susan’s post with in all it’s shortcut glory.

My favourites? <Windows> + C to bring up the charms and <Windows> + I for the settings panel.

What are yours?

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Moving between Metro and Desktop

  • <Windows>
    Brings up the Metro start screen. You can start typing to search for an app, just like the Win7 start menu.
  • <Windows> + <B>
    Go to the Desktop from the Metro Start Screen
  • <Windows> + <D>
    Brings you to Windows desktop from the Metro Screen


  • <Windows> + < . >
    snap right
  • <Windows> + <Shift> + < . >
    snap left

Switching between applications

  • <Windows> + <Tab>
    Opens the Metro application switcher menu, switches between applications.
  • <Windows> + <J>
    Switches focus between snapped Metro applications.
  • <ALT> + <F4>
    Close an application
  • <Windows> + <R>
    To bring up the run window from the desktop, so you can type in an application name to run

Semantic Zoom

  • <CTRL> + <+>
    Zoom in
  • <CTRL> + <->
    Zoom out
  • or hold down <CTRL> and use Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out

Displaying App & Charms Bar

  • <Windows> + <C>
    Brings up the Charms menu, where you can search, share, and change settings.
  • <Windows> + <Z>
    Opens the App Bar for the current Metro application.

All the other shortcuts I could find!

  • <Windows> + E – Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.
  • <Windows> + F – Brings up the Metro File search screen.
  • <Windows> + H – Opens the Metro Share panel.
  • <Windows> + I – Opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness.
  • <Windows> + K – Opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)
  • <Windows> + L – Lock PC and return to Lock screen.
  • <Windows> + M – Minimize all Windows on the desktop
  • <Windows> + O – Locks device orientation.
  • <Windows> + P – Choose between available displays.
  • <Windows> + Q – Brings up the Metro App Search screen.
  • <Windows> + R – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box.
  • <Windows> + U – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.
  • <Windows> + V – Cycles through toasts.
  • <Windows> + W – Brings up the Metro Settings search screen.
  • <Windows> + X – Launch Start Menu.
  • <Windows> + Y – Temporarily peek at the desktop.
  • <Windows> + Page Up / Down – Moves tiles to the left / right.
  • <Windows> + , (comma) – Aero Peek at the desktop.
Comments (6)
  1. Bradley Fulton says:


  2. Joe Dyck says:

    Great to know these, especially the <Windows> + I and <Windows> + C.  Still waiting for Microsoft to put the START Button back on the Desktop.  Remember when Coca-Cola corporation tried to come out with a new flavor for Coke?  They saved their butts by coming back to the original flavor and calling it Coca-Cola Classic! For people without some kind of a touch screen and upgrading to Windows 8 for $39.95 they will find the new interface clumsy.  What would it cost to put the start button back on the Desktop and leave everything else in Windows 8 the same as it is now?

  3. Hi Joe,

    Thanks for your comments, we appreciate the feedback.

    For additional information regarding the change in the Start Menu, there's a great blog post here:…/reflecting-on-your-comments-on-the-start-screen.aspx

    You may also want to read up on Paul Fitts and "Fitts' Law, I think this can be applied to Windows 8.  You can read more about it here:…/Fitts%27_law



  4. Drew1903 says:

    Here's something I compiled.  You're welcome to take a look; may be something you didn't know……/2faadba8-7568-48fb-ac93-0282c438bfea



    Computer Issues

  5. Drew1903 says:


    There, already, is a start button in Windows 8.  Bottom-Left Corner of your screen.  I have been using Win8 non-stop for, @ least, 10 months without Touch.  Rather than clumsy, my experience has shown it to be smooth, quick, convenient, requiring little digging & few clicks and easy.  I've, really found it more fun than clumsy.  Yeah, it's different and shortly one gets familiar w/ it and away you go.  It works very nicely w/out putting anything back; and it's better w/ what it has, anyway (bonus).

    Oh well, that's what I see out my Windows.



  6. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from Windows 8 Shortcuts

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