The Top Essential Hotkeys for Windows 8

Making your computing life easier, one shortcut at a time.

Whether you're new to Windows 8 or a seasoned veteran, it's always good to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Let's face it: without a touch screen, Windows 8 can get a tad tedious to use. Here are the most essential Windows 8 shortcuts for accessing and working with the Charms menu, and system-wide. You can thank us later.

Useful keys to access Charms in a touchless world

  • Windows Key + C: Opens Charms Bar
  • Windows Key + I: Access the settings or control panel for active app
  • Windows Key + Q: Search your applications
  • Windows Key + Z: Open the apps bar to see all your installed programs


Useful keys for display setup

  • Windows Key + P: Switch displays
  • Windows Key + D: Switch to Desktop
  • Windows Key + Comma(,): Peek at Desktop

Useful keys for Search and multitasking

  • Windows Key + Tab: Like alt tab, but for Modern UI
  • Windows Key + Number (1,2,3...): Selects active apps on taskbar
  • Windows Key + Period(.) or Windows Key + T: Cycle through open apps on the taskbar

Useful keys for active window

  • Windows Key + Shift + Period(.): Snap current Modern app to the side
  • Windows Key + Left/Right Arrow: Snap current window to the left/right
  • Windows Key + Up Arrow: Maximize window
  • Windows Key + Down: Minimize window
  • Windows Key + Home: Minimize everything but the active window


Useful keys for power users

  • Windows Key + Pause/Break: View machine and system info
  • Win + X: Menu of advanced options for system management, command prompts, etc.
  • Windows Key + E: Open Explorer
  • Windows Key + R: Open Run command
  • Windows Key + L: Enable Lock screen


Useful Keys for Accessibility

  • Windows Key + Plus or Minus(+/-) Key: Enable magnifier to zoom in and zoom out
  • Windows Key + Enter: Enable Narrator to read out text in active apps.

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