Windows 8 Shortcut Keys

With Windows 8 Microsoft have given the Windows interface its biggest re-vamp since Windows XP was launched it 2001, however this has meant that many many users are now finding it a little difficult to navigate around the radical layout.


One of the side effects of this is that desktop / laptop users are now turning back to the good old days of keyboard shortcuts to get things done easily and quickly. Below we have listed some of the ones we use on a regular basis, all of them are used in conjunction with the Windows key on the keyboard so we have used the convention [Wn]+ to indicate which key is pressed at the same time as the Windows key.


[Wn] – Pressing the Windows key on its own toggles between the tiled ‘Start’ screen and the desktop.

[Wn]+C – Opens the ‘Charms Bar’.

[Wn]+D – Switches to desktop mode when on the Windows Start screen.

[Wn]+E – Opens Windows Explorer.

[Wn]+F – Open the ‘File And Folder search’ screen.

[Wn]+I – Opens the ‘Settings Menu’

[Wn]+M – Minimises all open desktop windows.

[Wn]+Q – Opens the ‘Program Search’ screen.

[Wn]+R – Opens the ‘Run’ dialog – useful for quickly starting programs.

[Wn]+W – Open the ‘System Settings Search’ screen.

[Wn]+X – Opens the ‘Quick Access Menu’ which provides additional functionality.

[Wn]+[,] – makes all windows transparent whilst the [Wn] key is pressed.

[Wn]+[.] – Snaps the current windows to the right or left side of the screen.

[Wn]+[Pause] – Opens the System Properties screen.

[Wn]+[Print Screen] – Takes a screen shot and saves it in the ‘Screenshots’ folder in the ‘Pictures’ folder.