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Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 8.1 Using the Windows Key

The Windows key with logo

There are a variety of keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8 that use the Windows key in conjunction with other keys.

So if you know where the Windows key is located, you can begin by using a variety of shortcuts provided below. Keyboard shortcuts are common keyboard keys, that when pressed simultaneously, will quickly execute various functions. Using shortcuts provides an alternative to using a mouse. An example you might be familiar with is the basic Windows shortcut for copy and paste. By pressing the Control (Ctrl) key and the letter "C" simultaneously, you can quickly copy selected text. Then by pressing Control (Ctrl) and the letter "V" simultaneously, you can paste the copied text to a target location, such as an already open and active application like MS Word.

For simplicity, when explaining shortcuts most people use the plus "+" to represent and. So the shortcut for copy would look like Ctrl + C.


Useful List of Some Windows 8.1 Keyboard Shortcuts That Use the Windows Key

Keys Pressed Explanation
Windows Key The Windows key by itself will help you toggle between the Start Menu and Desktop.
Windows Key + F1 Brings up Windows Help & Support.
Windows Key + Start typing Search your computer for programs / applications. e.g., type Pandora or Mail to bring up these specific applications.
Windows Key + F Open the Search charm to search files and within files. e.g., a text document name or text within a document.
Windows Key + C Open charms menu.
Windows Key + I Open the Settings charm. This includes Control Panel, Personalization, PC Info, and Windows Help.
Windows Key + W Open the Search charm to search settings. e.g., a search for volume would allow you access to change the system volume.
Windows Key + K Open the Devices charm. e.g., if a printer or second monitor is connected, this will bring up various options for these devices.
Windows Key + H Open the Share charm.
Windows Key + Tab Switch between open applications.
Windows Key + D Show the desktop.
Windows Key + Ctrl + Tab Cycle through recently used applications (except desktop apps).
Windows Key + Ctrl + Shift + Tab Cycle through recently used applications in reverse order (except desktop apps).
Windows Key + , (comma) Quick view of the desktop. Simply release the keys to return back to previous application.
Windows Key + E Open Windows Explorer.
Windows Key + L Lock screen / Lock PC.
Windows Key + T Cycle through applications on the taskbar.
Windows Key + X Open an Advanced Windows Settings menu.
Windows Key + M Minimize all windows.
Windows Key + Shift + M Restore minimized windows.
Windows Key + R Open the RUN dialogue box.
Windows Key + ↓ Windows key + Down arrow to Minimize an open and selected application.
Windows Key +↑ Windows key + Up arrow to Maximize an open and selected application.
Windows Key + Prt Scrn Using the Windows Key in conjunction with the Print Screen key saves the screenshot image to the Pictures Library under Screenshots.
Windows Key + Pause Break Brings up Windows system properties.
Windows Key + P Brings up secondary display mode options.
Windows Key + U Ease of Access Center, e.g. Start Magnifier, Start Narrator, Start On-Screen Keyboard, High Contrast, and more.
Windows Key + Enter Open Narrator. To exit narrator simply press the Windows key and Enter key once more.
Windows Key + plus key (+) Pressing the Windows key and the plus (+) key simultaneously will magnify the screen, zooming in.
Windows Key + minus key (-) Pressing the Windows key and the minus (-) key simultaneously will zoom out the magnifier.
Windows Key + Esc Windows key and Escape key will exit the magnifier.