List of Windows 8 Shortcuts

List of Windows 8 Shortcuts


With a paradigm shift in how we look at a Start screen, Windows 8 has added a lot of shortcuts for easier navigation. Check out a loooooong list of shortcuts for Windows 8 to make your life simpler.



Windows key: Switch between Modern Desktop Start screen and the last accessed application
Windows key + C: Access the charms bar
Windows key + Tab: Access the Modern Desktop Taskbar
Windows key + I: Access the Settings charm
Windows key + H: Access the Share charm
Windows key + K: Access the Devices charm
Windows key + Q: Access the Apps Search screen
Windows key + F: Access the Files Search screen
Windows key + W: Access the Settings Search screen
Windows key + P: Access the Second Screen bar
Windows key + Z: Brings up the App Bar when you have a Modern Desktop App running
Windows key + X: Access the Windows Tools Menu
Windows key + O: Lock screen orientation
Windows key + . : Move the screen split to the right
Windows key + Shift + . : Move the screen split to the left
Windows key + V: View all active Toasts/Notifications
Windows key + Shift + V: View all active Toasts/Notifications in reverse order
Windows key + PrtScn: Takes a screenshot of the screen and automatically saves it in the Pictures folder as Screenshot
Windows key + Enter: Launch Narrator        
Windows key + E: Open Computer
Windows key + R: Open the Run dialog box
Windows key + U: Open Ease of Access Center
Windows key + Ctrl + F: Open Find Computers dialog box
Windows key + Pause/Break: Open the System page
Windows key + 1..10: Launch a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number
Windows key + Shift + 1..10: Launch a new instance of a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number
Windows key + Ctrl + 1..10: Access the last active instance of a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number
Windows key + Alt + 1..10: Access the Jump List of a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number
Windows key + B: Select the first item in the Notification Area and then use the arrow keys to cycle through the items Press Enter to open the selected item
Windows key + Ctrl + B: Access the program that is displaying a message in the Notification Area
Windows key + T: Cycle through the items on the Taskbar
Windows key + M: Minimize all windows
Windows key + Shift + M: Restore all minimized windows
Windows key + D: Show/Hide Desktop (minimize/restore all windows)
Windows key + L: Lock computer
Windows key + Up Arrow: Maximize current window
Windows key + Down Arrow: Minimize/restore current window
Windows key + Home: Minimize all but the current window
Windows key + Left Arrow: Tile window on the left side of the screen
Windows key + Right Arrow: Tile window on the right side of the screen
Windows key + Shift + Up Arrow: Extend current window from the top to the bottom of the screen
Windows key + Shift + Left/Right Arrow: Move the current window from one monitor to the next
Windows key + F1: Launch Windows Help and Support

PageUp: Scroll forward on the Modern Desktop Start screen
PageDown: Scroll backward on the Modern Desktop Start screen
Esc: Close  a charm
Ctrl + Esc: Switch between Modern Desktop Start screen and the last accessed application
Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel: Activate the Semantic Zoom on the Modern Desktop screen

Alt: Display a hidden Menu Bar
Alt + D: Select the Address Bar
Alt + P: Display the Preview Pane in Windows Explorer
Alt + Tab: Cycle forward through open windows
Alt + Shift + Tab: Cycle backward through open windows
Alt + F: Close the current window Open the Shut Down Windows dialog box from the Desktop
Alt + Spacebar: Access the Shortcut menu for current window
Alt + Esc: Cycle between open programs in the order that they were opened
Alt + F4: Close Application

Alt + Enter: Open the Properties dialog box of the selected item
Alt + PrtScn: Take a screen shot of the active Window and place it in the clipboard
Alt + Up Arrow: Move up one folder level in Windows Explorer (Like the Up Arrow in XP)
Alt + Left Arrow: Display the previous folder
Alt + Right Arrow: Display the next folder

Shift + Insert: CD/DVD Load CD/DVD without triggering Autoplay or Autorun
Shift + Delete: Permanently delete the item (rather than sending it to the Recycle Bin)
Shift + F6: Cycle backward through elements in a window or dialog box
Shift + F10: Access the context menu for the selected item
Shift + Tab: Cycle backward through elements in a window or dialog box
Shift + Click: Select a consecutive group of items
Shift + Click on a Taskbar button: Launch a new instance of a program
Shift + Right-click on a Taskbar button: Access the context menu for the selected item
Ctrl + A: Select all items
Ctrl + C: Copy the selected item
Ctrl + X: Cut the selected item
Ctrl + V: Paste the selected item
Ctrl + D: Delete selected item
Ctrl + Z: Undo an action
Ctrl + Y: Redo an action
Ctrl + N: Open a new window in Windows Explorer
Ctrl + W: Close current window in Windows Explorer
Ctrl + E: Select the Search box in the upper right corner of a window
Ctrl + Shift + N: Create new folder
Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open the Windows Task Manager
Ctrl + Alt + Tab: Use arrow keys to cycle through open windows
Ctrl + Alt + Delete: Access the Windows Security screen 
Ctrl + Click: Select multiple individual items
Ctrl + Click and drag an item: Copies that item in the same folder
Ctrl + Shift + Click and drag an item: Creates a shortcut for that item in the same folder
Ctrl + Tab:  Move forward through tabs
Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Move backward through tabs
Ctrl + Shift + Click on a Taskbar button: Launch a new instance of a program as an Administrator
Ctrl + Click on a grouped Taskbar button: Cycle through the instances of a program in the group
F1: Display Help
F2: Rename a file
F3: Open Search
F4: Display the Address Bar list
F5: Refresh display
F6: Cycle forward through elements in a window or dialog box
F7: Display command history in a Command Prompt
F10: Display hidden Menu Bar
F11: Toggle full screen display
Tab: Cycle forward through elements in a window or dialog box
PrtScn: Take a screen shot of the entire screen and place it in the clipboard
Home: Move to the top of the active window
End: Move to the bottom of the active window
Delete: Delete the selected item
Backspace: Display the previous folder in Windows Explorer  Move up one folder level in Open or Save dialog box
Esc: Close a dialog box
Num Lock Enabled + Plus (+): Display the contents of the selected folder 
Num Lock Enabled + Minus (-): Collapse the selected folder
Num Lock Enabled + Asterisk (*): Expand all subfolders under the selected folder    

Press Shift 5 times Turn StickyKeys on or off
Hold down right Shift for 8 seconds Turn FilterKeys on or off
Hold down Num Lock for 5 seconds Turn ToggleKeys on or off


Hope this helps. Happy reading!

Comments (65)

  1. Tamas Lepenye says:


    Do you know any WinXP or Win7 keyboard shortcuts that are retired and removed from Win8?


  2. Yash Tolia says:

    Hi Tamas,

    I did not come across any. There are a lot more though. You can find the list of Windows 7 shortcuts here:…/Keyboard-shortcuts

    If you come across any, please do let me know.



  3. Joshua says:

    There are more shortcuts then that even for Windows 7

  4. Yash Tolia says:

    Hi Joshua,

    These were the ones that I came across and used. Feel free to share any other shortcuts that you know of.



  5. ViTAR says:

    Why not to make Windows key + N : Network connections?

  6. Carlos Guedes says:

    What about this:

    Windows + PageUp/Page Down: Toggle Modern Desktop between desktops

  7. Nigel says:

    Windows key only returns to start screen

  8. Manasi says:

    I compiled a printable of the absolute basics.  I've linked to your blog entry for the more complete listing.  Hope that's okay.

  9. Yash Tolia says:

    @Vitar, Carlos: Duly noted, will give this feedback to try and get it incorporated.

    @Nigel: The shortcuts are key combinations, and just the windows key will toggle between the modern desktop and classic desktop

    @Manasi: Its OK :). Jetlu spread thashe eltu saaru 😉 :).

  10. Thanks a lot of for this list yash tolia….,,let me…. to rewrite again this list of shotcut windows 8 .. on my blog in here…,,…/shortcut-windows-8.html and i have place your link on my blog…..,,

  11. Mike U says:

    Somehow Alt+F4, the venerable 'close' function is missing from the list. It will close the current program (very good in Windows 8 if you don't have a touch screen) and from the desktop, will bring up the shut-down menu.

  12. Abbas says:

    which combination can b used for shut down..??

  13. Frank says:

    Before Windows came on the scene, we used to run DOS applications controlled by shortcut keys.  When Windows came along, the GUI and mouse eliminated all that.

    Now we are back to using shortcut keys to make navigation easier – and they call this progess?

  14. Yash Tolia says:

    Hi Frank,

    It is a good point of view, but look at it from this angle, where you have the option of both, the shortcuts and the mouse and GUI at your disposal.



  15. Yash Tolia says:

    Hi Abbas,

    There is no direct shortcut in Windows 8 for shutdown. You can create a shortcut for it though. Check the following link:…/139960-how-to-shut-down-windows-8-easily-and-how-to-boot-to-the-desktop



  16. Harish Eshwar says:

    Good stuff Yash!!!

    Will share this with the many around me who are using Windows 8…

  17. Sianna says:

    my windows 8 HP laptop keeps kicking me back to the start page when I'm on my desktop. it's really starting to annoy me. it always happens when I'm moving my mouse. any idea how to make it stop?

  18. sunyongen says:

    Good, learning, some of the less commonly used

  19. Martin says:

    As an "old dog", brand new to Windows 8, with a non touch lenovo, I'm just jumping on the bandwagon to thank-you for a great post.  I've been trying to learn how "best" to use W8 and have been checking out both the MS site and googling "shortcuts" and other functions I wanted to know right away.  I  googled "page down" in Windows 8 (because mine didn't seem to be working while on web pages) and I got to your blog entry here and then saw your advice for "shut down" and went there – both excellent!!  Thanks much.  You've got a gift that keeps on giving entry here (or at least until everyone is absorbed by the Borg – I mean Micorsoft/Windows 8).   again – thanks.

  20. Yash Tolia says:

    Thanks a lot Martin. Feel free to let me know of any more topics you would like to see blogposts on and I will try to put them up.

  21. Iti says:

    Is there anyway to put your say 2-3 recent items (from  'recent places') on your desktop? this would be handy, as you can always reach last opened folder quickly. I could not find any cmd which can do that. I can make a shortcut to recent places, but I want to get the 2-3 recent shortcuts from there and  present them directly…must update dynamically of course.

  22. Yash Tolia says:

    Hi Iti,

    There is no way to reopen the recent items as they can be from different applications. The best that can be done is right clicking on the application icon in the taskbar and looking at the recently opened documents/folders.

    Hope this helps.



  23. Ed says:

    Alt+Shift+P toggles the details pane in File Explorer. I found it by accident but it is somehow missing from this list.

  24. Mary Ann says:

    Thanks for the "Alt" for the  hidden Menu Bar. I knew it was somewhere in that morass, and yes! it  includes the "find" feature.

  25. Marko says:

    @Yash Tolia & @Abbas

    Try this shortcut combination for shutdown.

    WindowKey+D, Alt+F4

    which can be read as "WinKey and d together then Alt and F4 together"

    It will bring up the classic shutdown dialog, the one usually appear in server edition. 😎

  26. Connie says:

    Whenever I hit the "0" (zero) key on the numbered keypad on the right hand side of my laptop it brings up the "edit" menu (copy, paste, undo, etc.).  I have Windows 8 and I was trying to use the "Ins" key which is on the zero key but may have pressed the blue Fn key at the same time.  I was trying to use insert.

    Long story short, how do I restore the zero key?

  27. sudhir says:

    how to rename a file with shortcut button windows 8 ? F2 doesn't work

  28. Yash Tolia says:

    Hi Sudhir,

    F2 is the shortcut for renaming a file. I am not sure why it is not working for you.

  29. Yash Tolia says:

    Hi Connie,

    you can restore the shortcuts by following the following steps:

    1. From the Tools menu, select Customize

    2. In the Customize dialog box click the Keyboard button

    3. The Customize Keyboard dialog box appears

    4. Click Reset All (The button will be shaded out if you have not made any keyboard customizations)

    5. Click Yes in the pop up box

    6. Click Close

    7. Click Close on the Customize dialog box

  30. Aitor says:

    The windows + numer option is not working for me

  31. CHANDRU says:




  32. Sharon says:

    Received a Samsung NP365E5c-S02UB as a gift 3 days ago.  I am unable to switch users even with the assistance of Samsung technical support.  I would like to do a system restore but can't because I can't get into the administrator mode – I am stuck in one of the local accounts.  Is there a F function key I can restore computer to factory settings with?

  33. Akshaya says:

    Excellent work.thanks a lot i did learn many of the shortcut which i didnt know prior to coming your page.

  34. Lurrrrrveeeeely says:

    How do you quit applications? Since Alt+F4 shortcut has retired

  35. Pratik Shah says:

    Thank you very much … New expirecne in windows 8 … Thanks Again Bro ..

  36. Saleh Safie says:

    Hope there will be shortcut key for shut down. Thanks for new experience in window 8. good performance and quite fast. I hate to say that window 8 is only suit for touch screen device but not desktop PC (especially for my dual screen monitor).

  37. sandeep says:

    thanks a lot………….



  38. Dotti says:

    @ Yash Tolia & everyone that commented here: This windows 8 is new to Me and fascinating to learn. I bookmarked and saved all this info for my self for future reference. All of you have been a great help

    (where answers were available from questions asked here. Amazing all of you!)

    in this ever learning times we live in. Thank you ever so very much!  ~ Living to learn and learning to live to give ~

  39. Thomas says:

    If I use "Shortcuts" I don't need Windows.

    In that case it is much more better  to use MS-DOS or UNIX.

  40. Yash Tolia says:

    @Dotti and @Thomas, thank you for your comments. Feel free to suggest topics for future blogs as well.


    This command  whatever  because i' m a network engineer so this shortcut  very useful for me

  42. Thomas Nielsen says:

    Thanks for this list. It was just what I was looking for 🙂

  43. Sally says:

    Can you give me a simple way to unlock my computer.  It shuts down about one minute after I walk away from it.

  44. Chris says:

    Yash, I appreciate the information you provided.  Over the years I have learned how to make effective use of the keyboard using the mouse only as required.  The absence of a shortcut menu (aka content menu) button on my HP laptop was making getting work done a challenge.  Thanks Again, C

  45. A Jwn says:

    shortcut key for shut down  is Alt + F4

  46. priyanka says:

    what short cut key when we use internet how can we chek it's history

  47. Ankita says:

    Hi, Priyanka

    you can press CTRL+H to open the history of the page…

    – Ankita Gupta


  48. anne monahan says:

    yash, what a big I can hope to mwke progress.

  49. joseph says:

    hi, what is the shortcut for restore factory setting?

  50. Nilkanth Shingala says:


    . . .

    So Here One Shortcut Key Is Missing For Goto Task bar in Windows 8.

    So, WINDOWS KEY + B To Go On Task Bar

  51. Brandon says:

    Somebody leaves you a comment saying F2 doesn't work and all you say is "I am not sure why it is not working for you."?? Super helpful bro. It doesn't work for me either. All it does is brighten my screen. I've tried pressing SHIFT+F2 and that didn't work either. I'v also tried CTRL+SHIFT+F2 and that didn't work either. How about WHY wouldn't it work?

  52. Brandon says:

    Figured it out! You have to press FN [Function Key next to CTRL key]+F2. BOOM!

  53. Rich says:

    Any idea what ctrl + alt + esc actually does? It does something because it fixes a problem when alt-tab won't bring windows forward, but I can't figure out what it is doing.

  54. Cobra says:

    this was a big help on important shortcuts and just some fun ones to know. thanks!!

  55. Ian says:

    Hi, great list. Do you know how to bring up a context menu using the keyboard? My new Windows 8 laptop doesn't have the Application Key that used to do this. Thanks.

  56. Ian says:

    Ah found it – it was in the list. Shift+F10

  57. ikake says:

    from ur short cuts my problems are solved

  58. Aditya salil says:

    thanks its very useful for the users of WIN 8

  59. harry says:

    Hlloo what's the shortcut key to enable the keypad of hp laptop

  60. Sudhir says:

    While using the Function keys, press the fn key and the required function key. For example, to renaming a file, use fn+f2

  61. hiva says:

    F2 doesnt work for renaming my files too, it seems it doesnt work in windows 8

    any idea what is the alternative key for that ?

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