Keyboard shortcuts are essential to any Windows power user. Keyboard shortcuts may seem very simple and quite often it can take longer to remember the keyboard shortcut than it would to just perform that action the normal way with the mouse. However, once you’ve practiced those shortcuts a few times it will eventually become second nature and you won’t even realize that you’re using them.

Windows 8 has plenty of new keyboard shortcuts as well as all the ones that are currently in Windows 7. This is good news for those of you who have learned off a whole range of Windows 7 shortcuts because they’ll still work in Windows 8. I’ve put together a list of all the shortcuts below, but I’ve separated the new Windows 8 ones from Windows 7 for your convenience.

New Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

Key CombinationFunction
WindowsToggles Metro Start Screen
Windows + SpaceSwitch input language and keyboard layout.
Windows + OLock device orientation.
Windows + Print ScreenScreenshot of the current screen and saves in Pictures folder
Windows + ,Temporarily peek at the desktop.
Windows + VCycle through Notification toasts.
Windows+ Shift + VCycle through Notification toasts in reverse order.
Windows + EnterLaunch Narrator.
Window + PgUpMove the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the left.
Windows + PgDownMove the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the right.
Windows + Shift + .Move the gutter to the left (snap an application).
Windows + .Move the gutter to the right (snap an application).
Windows + COpen the Charms bar.
Windows + IOpen the Settings charm.
Windows + KOpen the Connect charm (devices).
Windows + HOpen the Share charm.
Windows + QOpen the Search pane.
Windows + WOpen the Settings Search app.
Windows + FOpen the File Search app.
Windows + TabCycle through apps.
Windows + Shift + TabCycle through apps in reverse order.
Windows + Ctrl + TabCycle through apps and snap them as they cycle.
Windows + ZOpen the App Bar.
Windows + /Initiate input method editor (IME) reconversion.
Windows + JSwap foreground between the snapped and filled apps.
Windows + XBring the quick launch menu (Details here)

Existing Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

Key CombinationFunction
Ctrl+Click a pinned taskbar iconAllows you to cycle through the program’s open windows
Shift+Click a pinned taskbar iconRuns a new instance of the program
Windows + TCycle through applications on taskbar (showing its thumbnail)
Windows +ROpens Run dialog box
Ctrl + CCopy
Ctrl + VPaste
Windows +PShow the different presentation mode options
Windows + A number (1, 2, 3..)Open the corresponding taskbar pinned program
Windows +GShow/Hide desktop gadgets
Windows +=Start the Magnifier
Windows +LLock computer
Windows ++Zoom in
Windows + -Zoom out
Windows +XLaunch the Mobility Center
Windows +MMinimize all open windows
Windows +Shift+MUndo all window minimization
Windows +DToggle showing the desktop
Windows +UpMaximize window
Windows +LeftSnap window to the left side
Windows +DownMinimize windows / Restore
Windows +RightSnap window to the right side
Windows +Shift UpMaximize vertical size of window
Windows +Shift DownRestore vertical size
Windows +Shift LeftMove window to left monitor
Windows +Shift RightMove window to right monitor
Alt+F4Close the current window


Windows 8 really has a plethora of keyboard shortcuts so please forgive me if I’ve missed out on any. You’ve also got to remember that different programs have different shortcuts, I’ve only covered the basic Windows operating system shortcuts, otherwise, this list would go on forever. Of course, since we’ve only got the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 to date, there’s still every chance that Microsoft will change some of these shortcuts. I’ll be sure to publish a final version when Windows 8 is brought to the market officially.