Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts Poster

Each version of Microsoft Windows since Windows 95 has introduced new keyboard shortcuts using the “Windows” key.  At first there were only a few keyboard shortcuts, and most of them haven’t been that useful.  Windows Vista is the operating system that added the most keyboard shortcut changes, since there were a ton of new features that could be executed and Windows 7 added a few more.

Windows 8 has added 16 new keyboard shortcuts, thanks mostly to its confusing Metro UI.  Some familiar keyboard shortcuts have been replaced with “Metro-ized” versions, such as Flip 3D.  There are even more keyboard shortcuts to open new Charms features, and to manipulate Metro programs around the screen.

The Windows 8 Charms Bar (left) and Search Charm (right)

We have for you the complete list of Windows keyboard shortcuts (even back to Windows 3.1 days), and tell you which ones no longer work on Windows 8.

Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

Combo Function
Win + C Open Charms Bar
Win + Q Open Search Charm
Win + H Open Share Charm
Win + K Open Devices Charm
Win + I Open Settings Charm
Win + W Search Windows Settings
Win + F Search Files
Win + Z Open Metro App Options
Win + Tab Cycle to next open app (replaces Flip 3D)
Win + . Snap Metro App Left
Win + Shift + . Snap Metro App Right
Win + PgUp (or Win + PgDn) Move Metro desktop between displays
Alt + F4 Close Metro app
Win + D Open the Windows Desktop (or toggle minimize if already on desktop)
Win + B Switch Back to Windows Desktop
Win + X Open Fast-Access Menu (with links to system tools, Mobility Center, and Command Prompt)

Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts

Combo Function W8?
Win + Home Clear all but the active window No
Win + Space All Windows become transparent to reveal the desktop. Similar to hovering your mouse over “Show Desktop” on the taskbar Yes
Win + Up Maximize the active window. Yes
Win + Down Minimize the active window (restore if the window is maximized) Yes
Win + Left or Right arrow Dock the window to either side of the monitor. Yes
Win + Shift + Left or Right arrow Dock the window to the side of the adjacent monitor (only with multiple monitors) Yes
Win + T Focus and scroll through items on the taskbar Yes
Win + P Adjust presentation settings for your display Yes
Win + (Plus) or (Minus) Zooms in or out (very cool) Yes
Shift + Click a taskbar icon Opens a new instance of that application. Very useful when you need to open a new instance of Word, Firefox or IE Yes

Windows Vista keyboard shortcuts

Combo Function Windows 8?
Win + Tab Windows Flip 3D Metro switcher
Win Simply tap to toggle the Start menu switch between Metro and Desktop
Win + Break Display System Properties Yes
Win + D Toggle the Desktop Yes
Win + M Minimize all windows Yes
Win + Shift + M Restore all minimized windows No
Win + E Open File Explorer Yes
Win + F Search for file or folder Yes
Win + F1 Windows Help Yes
Win + L Lock the keyboard Yes
Win + R Open the Run dialog box Yes
Win + U Open Utility Manager “Ease of Access” Center

In Windows 8, pressing Alt shows the keyboard shortcuts for menu items.

Common keyboard shortcuts
Combo Function W8?
Ctrl + C Copy Y
CTRL+V Paste Y
SHIFT+DELETE Delete item permanently Y
CTRL while dragging an item Copy selected item Y
CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item Create shortcut of item Y
F2 key Rename item Y
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW Move cursor to beginning of the next word Y
CTRL+LEFT ARROW Move cursor to beginning of previous word Y
CTRL+DOWN ARROW Move cursor to beginning of next paragraph Y
CTRL+UP ARROW Move cursor to beginning of previous paragraph Y
CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys Highlight block of text Y
SHIFT with any of the arrow keys Select more than one item in a window, select text in a document Y
CTRL+A Select all Y
F3 key Search for file or folder Y
ALT+ENTER View properties for selected item Y
ALT+F4 Close active item or program Y
ALT+ENTER Display properties of selected object Y
ALT+SPACEBAR Open shortcut menu for active window Y
CTRL+F4 Close active document in programs that allow multiple open documents Y
ALT+TAB Switch between open items Y
ALT+ESC Cycle through items in the order they have been opened N
F6 key Cycle through screen elements in window or desktop N
F4 key Display Address bar list in Windows Explorer Y
SHIFT+F10 Display shortcut menu for selected item Y
ALT+SPACEBAR Display System menu for active window Y
CTRL+ESC Display Start Menu N
ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name Display corresponding menu Y
Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu Perform corresponding command Y
F10 key Activate the menu bar in the active program Y
RIGHT ARROW Open the next menu to the right or open submenu Y
LEFT ARROW Open next menu to left, or close submenu Y
F5 key Update the active window Y
BACKSPACE View the folder one level up in Windows Explorer Y
ESC Cancel the current task Y
SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive Prevent CD-ROM from automatically playing Y
CTRL+SHIFT+ESC Open Task Manager Y
PrtScn Takes a screenshot of your desktop and copies to clipboard Y
Alt + PrtScn Takes a screenshot of the active window and copies to clipboard Y
Ctrl + Alt + Delete Option Menu to lock computer, switch user, log off or change password Y
Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.