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A Handy List of Microsoft Windows 8 Shortcuts

By - Source: MSNDN | B 26 comments

Find your way around Windows 8 with this handy-dandy chart.


"A common thread we’ve seen in the feedback so far about Windows 8, on this blog or elsewhere, positive or negative, is that people using Windows 8 for the first time might need a little help getting their bearings," writes Microsoft's Kent Walter, adding that not everyone will be comfortable enough to learn as they go or to just start messing with it. 

"To help you out and keep you flying around Windows as fast as your fingers can carry you, I’ve put together this handy chart, and I made it big enough that you can print it out and hang it up somewhere if you want to."

Some of the shortcuts you'll recognize from previous iterations of Windows, others are completely new and relate to Windows 8 exclusively (such as snapping a Metro app to the right or left). Walter also posted a ton of advice for those looking for more information on navigating around Windows 8 in genera. For everything from settings to finding and pinning things, head on over to MSNDN.

Check the full list of keyboard shortcuts below (click through twice to enlarge). 

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , March 12, 2012 5:52 PM
    Where's the shortcut to delete the partition so you can reinstall Win7? :p 
  • 15 Hide
    mcd023 , March 12, 2012 5:40 PM
    blazorthonGreat. So Microsoft is trying to compensate for Metro. Why even have it at that point? I guess this might be able to make up for it most of the time.

    They've always had a lot of shortcuts. they just added more and I don't mind! If I can use the mouse less when I want my fingers on the keyboard, then let's have it!
  • 11 Hide
    wolley74 , March 12, 2012 6:07 PM
    unless one of those shortcuts is to get the Aero desktop back, no thanks
Other Comments
    Display all 26 comments.
  • -4 Hide
    blazorthon , March 12, 2012 5:31 PM
    Great. So Microsoft is trying to compensate for Metro. Why even have it at that point? I guess this might be able to make up for it most of the time.
  • 15 Hide
    mcd023 , March 12, 2012 5:40 PM
    blazorthonGreat. So Microsoft is trying to compensate for Metro. Why even have it at that point? I guess this might be able to make up for it most of the time.

    They've always had a lot of shortcuts. they just added more and I don't mind! If I can use the mouse less when I want my fingers on the keyboard, then let's have it!
  • -8 Hide
    bloc97 , March 12, 2012 5:42 PM
    Windows 8 Was mainly made for Handheld devices... Why do they make so much keyboard shortcuts?

    Do you see me using a big clumsy keyboard with my tablet?
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , March 12, 2012 5:52 PM
    Where's the shortcut to delete the partition so you can reinstall Win7? :p 
  • 4 Hide
    confish21 , March 12, 2012 5:56 PM
    "not everyone will be comfortable enough to learn"

    I've been thinking of a nice way to put it. TY!
  • 11 Hide
    wolley74 , March 12, 2012 6:07 PM
    unless one of those shortcuts is to get the Aero desktop back, no thanks
  • -3 Hide
    alidan , March 12, 2012 6:13 PM
    confish21"not everyone will be comfortable enough to learn"I've been thinking of a nice way to put it. TY!


    no one wants to learn keyboard shortcuts, just like who wants to learn dos commands... if there was a better way to do it, than do it.

    i know keyboard shortcuts for photoshop, and general shortcuts for web browsers (that is all mapped to my naga now, so don't need them memorized anymore) because there is no good alternative.

    i mean at this point its not about being stupid, its just not caring about this... i dont know how much win 8 changed it all... but if any of these are required to know now, and had an easier option before... huge backlash to come.
  • 0 Hide
    headscratcher , March 12, 2012 6:14 PM
    I have played with it for a while. The regular Windows desktop is there whenever you want it. The charms seem to very touch screen optimized and maybe not so great for a mouse. I do like all of the keyboard shortcuts, so I can type and not have to go for the mouse as often. I was never able to get the swipe down gesture to bring out the charms very reliably with a mouse (kind of awkward on a big screen), so a keyboard shortcut is nice for that.

    I mainly messed around with installing a few things and trying to customize all the tiles and move them around. I don't see why the hate on the live tiles vs. desktop thing. If you don't like the tiles, use the desktop; it's not hard, both UIs are there. Hell, you can even open a command prompt and type it all DOS style if you want to be truly hard-headed.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , March 12, 2012 6:21 PM
    @Wolley74

    winkey + d
  • 10 Hide
    sporkimus , March 12, 2012 7:25 PM
    The problem with this Windows 8 is that everything has been jumbled around. Even advanced users have to relearn where to find everything again. The Start button that we've grown accustomed to for the last 17 years is no longer there, so it requires everyone to learn how to access things all over again.

    As for the classic UI, it's not even that helpful either. You have to use Windows Explorer to find everything you need. Put the Start button back in the classic UI, then I'll actually consider the switch to Windows 8. Until then, no way. The Metro UI is awful to use with a mouse. They are taking a touchscreen OS and having us use it without the touchscreen capability. That's like giving you a Windows tablet and saying "The screen is broke, but here's a keyboard and mouse to help you get by."

    As for adding tiles to the Metro UI, I found it to be a total pain. Any shortcuts that you wanted to create, you have to go through a giant process of making it, and then hopefully it worked. Gone are the days of simply right-clicking and then selecting "Create Shortcut".

    Anyway, I tried it out for a full weekend. While the performance of Windows 8 was fantastic, the user interface needed serious improvements. Those who install the OS probably sat at the Metro UI asking themself the common question, "Ok, how do I make it work?".
  • 5 Hide
    Bloob , March 12, 2012 7:32 PM
    The GUI should make keyboard shortcuts unnecessary for beginners, that's why it's there. GUI for ease, shortcuts for speed.
  • 2 Hide
    livebriand , March 12, 2012 7:54 PM
    Windows 8 isn't very practical if you actually want to get something done. The metro UI wastes space and is unintuitive on a desktop or laptop. The lack of a start menu in the desktop interface makes it harder to use. You can't do much multitasking in the metro UI (the OS is called "WINDOWS"!!!!). Basically... this will fail badly. (unless they give people an option to let them disable metro).
  • 3 Hide
    fritters , March 12, 2012 8:40 PM
    *tests shortcuts in windows 7*
    aside from the charm shortcuts, here is what does not work in windows 7
    1: i put magnifier here, but actually the magnifier works in windows 7 and all of the key binds seem to work too (once magnifier has been engaged (windows+numpad_plus))
    2: switch focus between snapped and larger apps (i guess alt tab isn't cool anymore?)
    3: lock screen orientation... i didn't bother testing it. this probably doesn't apply to desktops too much.
    4: cycle through notifications. i can't test this.
    5: quick link power user commands. it did not open windows mobility center. i don't know what mobility center is.
    6: open app bar.
    7: "peek at the desktop" is rebound from windows space to windows+comma.
    8: narrator (there might be a key for this. i don't know it because i hate microsoft sam and all his damned family!)
    9: properties ??
    10: switch input language and keyboard layout (maybe there is a key for it in windows 7, but i don't know it because i have never changed my keyboard layout or input language)

    SO from that list of shortcuts, aside from the exceptions noted above they will work in windows 7.

    i'd like to draw attention to some windows 7 things.
    WINDOWS+LEFT(or right) will fill half your screen with the active window and move it left or right across your monitors. if you have many monitors as you press left the window will move across the monitors. this is extremely handy. you can also snap windows with your mouse (by dragging a window to the extreme top, left, or right edge of your desktop,) but this doesn't work so great with multiple monitors. i do this more at work, where i only have a single monitor to play with.
    WINDOWS+UP will maximize a window DOWN will... uh.. un-maximize it
    WINDOWS KEY. you press it. you type what you're looking for. you access what you were looking for. at work on our windows 7 machines i have all of the important docs indexed and this is the best way i have found to search for shit. most of the time if i want to run a game i hit windows, type 3 letters of the name, and hit enter. i honestly don't see how windows 8 improved on this from when i watched a video on it.

  • 5 Hide
    johnfrink , March 12, 2012 8:53 PM
    Clicked on Remote Desktop then changed my mind. For several minutes could not figure out how to get out of RD login screen. DO NOT WANT.
  • 4 Hide
    memadmax , March 12, 2012 9:09 PM
    So, instead of ease of use where people can sit down, easily use the OS, even without freakin instructions.... now... we need a "guide" for basic functionality.....

    fail.

    GIVE IT UP MICROSOFT. Turn it into a tablet OS or else make Metro a feature and put a normal startbar in there or else this OS is gonna go into the same category as vista....

    I can tell you guys are trying to stuff two dissimilar OS's into one.... but it ain't gonna work!
  • 2 Hide
    playingwithplato , March 12, 2012 9:16 PM
    I love Windows 8. Metro is easy to use, but I recommend turning up the acceleration on your mouse so "swiping" motions for navigating through Metro work in a manner much more similar to "finger to touchscreen". The desktop is super easy to get to, I don't see the problem. If you hit the Windows button you arrive at a list of your most commonly used apps. The speed is the best of any O.S. out there, easily, and the search is fantastic. Finally, I don't cringe using search in Windows. I only wish I can change the margin on the edge of the screen so I can have the pop-in windows display more quickly. Anyone know how to do this?
  • 2 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 12, 2012 9:39 PM
    I wish I had a Windows 8 installation to try it out, but the performance issues I observed with DP is still present with CP.
  • 4 Hide
    _Cubase_ , March 12, 2012 9:45 PM
    Boss key?
  • 4 Hide
    opmopadop , March 12, 2012 11:02 PM
    Im still having trouble believing those ugly blue squares are the new Windows logo :-(
  • 3 Hide
    dimar , March 13, 2012 12:21 AM
    I tested Windows 8 on my netbook, and came to conclution that I'm staying with Windows 7.
    Don't like metro thingy. I want a highly customizable Start Menu. I wish MS would stick with Programs, not apps. Stop copying apple.
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