Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 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 the 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 Keyboard Shortcuts That Use the Windows Key

Keys PressedExplanation
Windows KeyThe Windows key by itself will help you toggle between the Start Menu and Desktop.
Windows Key + F1Brings up Windows Help & Support.
Windows Key + Start typingSearch your computer for programs/applications. e.g., type Pandora or Mail to bring up these specific applications.
Windows Key + FOpen the Search charm to search files and within files. e.g., a text document name or text within a document.
Windows Key + COpen charms menu.
Windows Key + IOpen the Settings charm. This includes Control Panel, Personalization, PC Info, and Windows Help.
Windows Key + WOpen the Search charm to search settings. e.g., a search for volume would allow you access to change the system volume.
Windows Key + KOpen the Devices charm. e.g., if a printer or second monitor is connected, this will bring up various options for these devices.
Windows Key + HOpen the Share charm.
Windows Key + TabSwitch between open applications.
Windows Key + DShow the desktop.
Windows Key + Ctrl + TabCycle through recently used applications (except desktop apps).
Windows Key + Ctrl + Shift + TabCycle 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 the previous application.
Windows Key + EOpen Windows Explorer.
Windows Key + LLock screen / Lock PC.
Windows Key + TCycle through applications on the taskbar.
Windows Key + XOpen an Advanced Windows Settings menu.
Windows Key + MMinimize all windows.
Windows Key + Shift + MRestore minimized windows.
Windows Key + ROpen 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 ScrnUsing the Windows Key in conjunction with the Print Screen key saves the screenshot image to the Pictures Library under Screenshots.
Windows Key + Pause BreakBrings up Windows system properties.
Windows Key + PBrings up secondary display mode options.
Windows Key + UEase of Access Center, e.g. Start Magnifier, Start Narrator, Start On-Screen Keyboard, High Contrast, and more.
Windows Key + EnterOpen 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 + EscWindows key and Escape key will exit the magnifier.