A Handy Keyboard Shortcuts List for the Upcoming Microsoft Windows 8

Craig Snyder 06-04-2012

windows 8 keyboard shortcutsNot having to reach for your mouse to do the most routine task is one huge benefit I enjoy every day. That’s because I’ve memorized my list of Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts 25 Cool Windows 7 Keyboard Tricks That Will Impress Your Friends Read More , and I use applications like Fingertips Eliminate Unnecessary Reaches to Your Mouse With the Fingertips Application Launcher Part of becoming a true power user is minimizing the number of long and exhausting reaches you go for between your keyboard and mouse. We've shared all sorts of keyboard tricks with you before, but... Read More .


Though there have been so many changes to the perspective of personal computing since Windows 7 was dropped, Windows 8 did a good job in recognizing that these are important and they’ve actually extended the list of keyboard shortcuts available to their users. With “touch hardware” becoming the new thing, it comes a little unexpected.

On a post on the Windows Experience Blog earlier in the month of March, Microsoft snuck in a huge list of their new keyboard shortcuts near their closing. The new keyboard shortcuts allow you to not only perform monotonous tasks that you’d be otherwise doing by cursor (such as minimizing all open Windows), but also effects like switching to the classic Windows desktop (which I’ll be doing right away).

The team put together a nice, large image file that outlines the extent of their new shortcuts. Click on the image to bring up an enlarged view, as the thumbnail alone won’t do you any good.

windows 8 keyboard shortcuts

To make things even less painful for you, here is a text-based list of the new shortcuts:

  • Win + B– Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and select the tray notification area
  • Win + C– Brings up the Charms menu, where you can search, share, and change settings
  • Win + D– Brings up the old Windows desktop
  • Win + E– Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed
  • Win + F– Brings up the Metro File search screen
  • Win + H– Opens the Metro Share panel
  • Win + I– Opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness
  • Win + J– Switches focus between snapped Metro applications
  • Win + K– Opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)
  • Win + L– Lock PC and return to Lock screen
  • Win + M– Minimize all Windows on the desktop
  • Win + O– Locks device orientation
  • Win + P– Choose between available displays
  • Win + Q– Brings up the Metro App Search screen
  • Win + R– Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box
  • Win + U– Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center
  • Win + V– Cycles through toasts
  • Win + W– Brings up the Metro Settings search screen
  • Win + X– Launch Start Menu
  • Win + Y– Temporarily peek at the desktop
  • Win + Z– Opens the App Bar for the current Metro application
  • Win + Page Up / Down– Moves tiles to the left / right
  • Win + Tab– Opens the Metro application switcher menu, switches between applications
  • Win + , (comma)– Aero Peek at the desktop
  • Win + . (period)– Snaps the current Metro application to one side of the screen (Right side)
  • Win + Shift + . (period)– Snaps the current Metro application to the other side of the screen (Left side)
  • Win + Space– Switch input language and keyboard layout
  • Win + Shift + V– Cycles through toasts in reverse order
  • Win + Enter– Launches Narrator
  • Win + Arrow Keys – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and enable Aero Snap

windows 8 keyboard shortcuts

You might want to start burning these into your brain sooner than later, as it is rumored that Windows 8 will push out a release within the next few months Microsoft To Offer Digital Upgrades To Windows 8 [News] Windows 8 is coming. Regardless of how you feel about the changes Microsoft is making to their new OS, it will be released soon. A big change that Microsoft is going to make with Windows... Read More . If keyboard shortcuts are what you’re all about, check out these other handy articles:

Leave me a comment if you have anything to say regarding Windows’ new shortcuts and we’ll talk about it.

Related topics: Keyboard, Windows 8.

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  1. Gav80K
    April 8, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    What's the shortcut for permanently disable Metro?

    April 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm
  3. Chris Hoffman
    April 6, 2012 at 8:18 am

    My favorite new shortcut:

    WinKey + Print Screen -- Instantly saves a screenshot as a PNG file to your Pictures folder.