Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

Many people prefer to use Windows with keyboard shortcuts (and who doesn’t use Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V regularly).  Windows 8 includes some new keyboard shortcuts for the new Metro UI.  These can be very useful while you’re evaluating the new Operating system.

Where they come in very useful is when you’re using Metro with a mouse.  Currently, swipes such as showing the charms on screen by swiping in from the far right of the screen don’t work with a mouse.  This can make performing a task as simple as shutting down the computer complex.  Here then are the, currently accurate, keyboard shortcuts for the Windows 8 Developer Preview.

Win + Spacebar : Switch the input language and keyboard layout

Win + C : Open the Charms

Win + D : Show the desktop

Win + E : open Windows Explorer

Win + F : Open the Search panel

Win + H : Open the Share charm

Win + I : Open the Settings charm

Win + K : Open the Connect charm

Win + L : Lock the computer

Win + O : Lock the screen rotation

Win + Q : Open the search pane

Win + R : Open run

Win + V : Cycle through toasts

Win + W : Opens the Settings search panel

Win + Y : Peek at the desktop

Win + Z : open the app bar

Win + Shift + V : Reverse cycle through toasts

Win + Enter : Launch the narrator

Win + PgUp : Move tiles to the left

Win + PgDn : Move tiles to the right

Win + Shift + . : Move the split to the left

Win + . : Move the split to the right

One useful function, especially when it comes to search is that from the Start screen you can simply start typing and Windows will open the search panel for whatever you type.  This is an improvement on Windows 7 where you first needed to open the Start Menu before you could type a search request.

Don’t forget that Windows 8 is still pre-release software and all these keyboard shortcuts, as with every other feature at the moment can change in future versions and even with updates that will be issued through Windows update to the demo platform.

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6 Responses to Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Robert September 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    its funny how simplifying the graphical interface (replacing start menu with Metro screen)means more reliance on key codes!

    isn’t this backwards?

    • Max September 17, 2011 at 2:07 am #


    • aaron September 20, 2011 at 8:51 am #

      im sure that these shortcuts will fully implemented in the final release. After all, you cant have keyboard shourtcuts on a tablet.

  2. Eric December 21, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    The change in the graphical interface is to tailor this towards more touch based devices. So it adds a couple of extra keyboard shortcut commands. If your on a PC with a Mouse and Keyboard your not on a tablet, if your on the tablet your more then likely using a touch screen so it wouldn’t effect you.

  3. Kbenda2002 February 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    How about keyboard shortcuts along the lines of “Alt+underlined letter” that have been at the foundation of Windows since Win 95? Will that system or a similar one still be available in Windows 8? I avoid the mouse whenever possible, so when I need anything that’s buried in the menus and does not have a specific shortcut like Ctrl+C or Win+D, I use the Alt shortcut sytem — e.g., Alt+I,N,D to define/edit range names in Excel (Alt+I for Insert menu, N for Name, D for Define); Alt+E,S,F/V/T/W/… for Paste Special in Excel (Edit menu, paste Special, Formula/Value/formaT/column Widths/….). IMO, this system has put Windows head and shoulders above Mac OS in terms efficiency and usability, and it would be terrible if MS let this advantage go in Win8.


  4. Jenifer Christine March 14, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    i guess you missed many usefull shortcut keys.

    check this post where I have compiled the complete list :

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