13 Nifty “Windows Key” Tricks You Should Know By Now

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The Windows Key has been around since Windows 95, and between then and now, it has evolved from a gimmick into something truly useful. Plenty of hidden tricks exist in Windows, and this key is crucial for many of them. Here are a few that’ll make your life easier.

Note: this isn’t an exhaustive list of Windows Key shortcuts. These are just the most useful ones — so no matter who you are, you have something to gain by learning these!

Since Windows 95

  • Win+D: Hides all windows. Hit again to restore windows.
  • Win+E: Opens Windows Explorer.
  • Win+R: Opens the Run window.

Since Windows XP

  • Win+L: Locks the desktop.

Since Windows 7

  • Win+Up: Maximizes the current window.
  • Win+Down: Minimizes the current window.
  • Win+Left: Docks the current window to the left.
  • Win+Right: Docks the current window to the right.
  • Win+#: Switches to the corresponding program in taskbar.

Since Windows 10

  • Win+A: Opens the Action Center (notifications and quick settings).
  • Win+C: Activates Cortana listening mode.
  • Win+I: Opens the Settings app.
  • Win+Tab: Opens the task view, showing all open programs and making it easy to switch to the one you need.

Still itching for more? Check out these Windows 7 keyboard tricks, most of which still apply in some form or another on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

How many of these shortcuts did you know? Which ones do you find the most useful? Let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Windows Key by charnsitr via Shutterstock

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