Easy Windows 8 shortcuts keys (hotkeys) for early adopters

While many started using Microsoft windows 8 right from the customer / developers preview days many are just above moving in to the windows 8 environment and probably wouldn’t find it very easy on the very first 3o minutes of initial use and can only rely on this simple & pragmatic list of short-keys to easily get around things.

WIndows 8 shortkeys

  • The Windows key + W opens a search in your system settings to quickly locate and change system properties.
  • The Windows key + F opens a file and folder search.
  • The Windows key + Pause opens the system properties page to show you a quick rundown of your specs.
  • The Windows key + “,” (that’s the comma sign!) makes all current windows transparent, giving you a peek at the desktop as long as you hold down the Windows key.
  • The Windows key + “.” (the period) snaps a window to the right or left side (toggling each time you press “.”).
  • The Windows key + R prompts the Run command—useful for quickly launching apps and other routines with a command prompt.
  • The Windows key + X opens the Quick Access Menu, exposing system functionality such as the Command Prompt, Disk Management, File Explorer, Run, and more. Alternatively, you can right-click on the bottom right corner of the screen to spawn the Quick Access Menu.
  • The Windows key + I opens the settings menu, giving you quick access to the Control Panel, Personalization, and your Power button, among other features.
  • The Windows key + O locks orientation on devices with an accelerometer.
  • Press the Windows key to enter the tiled Start screen.
  • The Windows key + M minimizes everything that’s showing on the desktop.
  • The Windows key + E opens Explorer for quick access to folders.
  • On the Start screen, press the Windows key + D to instantly get to the desktop.
  • The Windows key + Tab opens a list of currently running programs.
  • The Windows key + Print Screen takes a screenshot and saves it in a Screenshots folder nested in your Pictures folder.
  • To take a screenshot on a Windows 8 tablet, simultaneously press the Windows button and the volume-down button on the tablet chassis.
  • The Windows key + Q opens a global search menu. Type what you’re looking for and where you would like to look.

There are many other useful short-keys you can use including other popular short-keys we ‘ve been so used to like :

  • Windows key + r to open the run window
  • Windows key + r and entering control to open the control panel
  • Windows key + r and entering devmgmt.msc to open the device manager
  • Windows key + r and entering diskmgmt.msc to open the disk management
  • Windows key + r and entering appwiz.cpl to open the program and features windows
  • Windows key + r and entering cmd to open the command window etc.

While working withing the operating system you can also use :

F2. to rename a file.

F3. to open a search.

F4.to display a bar address list.

F5. to refresh your display or reload your browser active tab /page

F6. to cycle forward an element in the windows dialog box.

F7. to display a command history.

I will be adding more useful windows , windows 7 / windows 8 short-keys as the discussion continues just add yours to keep it flowing


  1. Good post Window 8 can be a frustrating in the start but the OS has proven to be user friendly with its Good User Interface.


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