We’ve assembled a list of our favorite Windows 8 shortcuts, tricks, and workarounds. Many focus on making the most of the OS on a traditional desktop PC, so if you’re interested in touch gestures, please check out our article that focuses directly on the Windows 8 touch experience. Now let’s start our journey of discovery with a look at easy-to-use (though often tough to remember!) Windows 8 hotkey commands.
Employ the hottest hot-keys we know
In these key combinations, hold down the Windows key (normally located between Alt and Ctrl) and another key, as described on this list.
- Press the Windows key to enter the tiled Start screen.
- The Windows key + M minimizes everything that’s showing on the desktop.
- The Windows key + E opens Explorer for quick access to folders.
- On the Start screen, press the Windows key + D to instantly get to the desktop.
- The Windows key + Tab opens a list of currently running programs.
- The Windows key + Print Screen takes a screenshot and saves it in a Screenshots folder nested in your Pictures folder.
- To take a screenshot on a Windows 8 tablet, simultaneously press the Windows button and the volume-down button on the tablet chassis.
- The Windows key + Q opens a global search menu. Type what you’re looking for and where you would like to look.
- The Windows key + W opens a search in your system settings to quickly locate and change system properties.
- The Windows key + F opens a file and folder search.
- The Windows key + Pause opens the system properties page to show you a quick rundown of your specs.
- The Windows key + “,” (that’s the comma sign!) makes all current windows transparent, giving you a peek at the desktop as long as you hold down the Windows key.
- The Windows key + “.” (the period) snaps a window to the right or left side (toggling each time you press “.”).
- The Windows key + R prompts the Run command—useful for quickly launching apps and other routines with a command prompt.
- The Windows key + X opens the Quick Access Menu, exposing system functionality such as the Command Prompt, Disk Management, File Explorer, Run, and more. Alternatively, you can right-click on the bottom right corner of the screen to spawn the Quick Access Menu.
- The Windows key + I opens the settings menu, giving you quick access to the Control Panel, Personalization, and your Power button, among other features.
- The Windows key + O locks orientation on devices with an accelerometer.
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