Some useful keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8

Many of us don’t have touchscreen devices (yet) so here’s a few good keyboard shortcuts.

Even though I do have a touchscreen laptop, I still use keyboard shortcuts. Just like CTRL+C and CTRL+V come to you without thinking, a few of these shortcuts are sure to make their way into your collection after you install Windows 8 and start coding apps. If you haven’t downloaded Windows 8 RTM yet. Check out our blog post with instructions on how students can download Windows 8 for free!

Moving between Metro and Desktop

<Windows> Brings up the Metro start screen. You can start typing to search for an app, just like the Win7 start menu.
<Windows> + <B> Go to the Desktop from the Metro Start Screen
<Windows> + <D> Brings you to Windows desktop from the Metro Screen


<Windows> + < . > snap right
<Windows> + <Shift> + < . > snap left


Switching between applications

<Windows> + <Tab> Opens the Metro application switcher menu, switches between applications.
<Windows> + <J> Switches focus between snapped Metro applications.
<ALT> + <F4> Close an application
<Windows> + <R> To bring up the run window from the desktop, so you can type in an application name to run

Semantic Zoom

<CTRL> + <+> Zoom in
<CTRL> + <-> Zoom out

or hold down <CTRL> and use Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out

Displaying App & Charms Bar

<Windows> + <C> Brings up the Charms menu, where you can search, share, and change settings.
<Windows> + <Z> Opens the App Bar for the current Metro application.

All the other shortcuts I could find!

<Windows> + E – Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.

<Windows> + F – Brings up the Metro File search screen.

<Windows> + H – Opens the Metro Share panel.

<Windows> + I – Opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness.

<Windows> + K – Opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)

<Windows> + L – Lock PC and return to Lock screen.

<Windows> + M – Minimize all Windows on the desktop

<Windows> + O – Locks device orientation.

<Windows> + P – Choose between available displays.

<Windows> + Q – Brings up the Metro App Search screen.

<Windows> + R – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box.

<Windows> + U – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.

<Windows> + V – Cycles through toasts.

<Windows> + W – Brings up the Metro Settings search screen.

<Windows> + X – Launch Start Menu.

<Windows> + Y – Temporarily peek at the desktop.

<Windows> + Page Up / Down – Moves tiles to the left / right.

<Windows> + , (comma) – Aero Peek at the desktop.

Comments (4)

  1. Krishan says:

    You have mentioned many awesome shortcuts and did a great job of collecting great almost all important shortcut keys for windows 8, but some are missing here like general shortcuts and shortcuts with function keys..

    just saying !!

  2. Susan Ibach says:

    Hi Krishan,

    You are right I focused in on the shortcut keys that are new to Windows 8, but you are right there are lots of awesome shortcuts outside of those as well! That could be a whole other blog post! Feel free to post any of your favorites as comments on this blog.

  3. Ahmed says:

    WOW …

    Thank you very much …. useful shortcuts ….

    waiting for tips and tricks 🙂

  4. W8 shortcuts says:

    Highly recommended for those looking for the proper list.…/100-Windows-8-Keyboard-Shortcuts.pdf

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