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 Combination Function
Windows Toggles Metro Start Screen
Windows + Space Switch input language and keyboard layout.
Windows + O Lock device orientation.
Windows + Print Screen Screenshot of the current screen and saves in Pictures folder
Windows + , Temporarily peek at the desktop.
Windows + V Cycle through Notification toasts.
Windows+ Shift + V Cycle through Notification toasts in reverse order.
Windows + Enter Launch Narrator.
Window + PgUp Move the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the left.
Windows + PgDown Move 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 + C Open the Charms bar.
Windows + I Open the Settings charm.
Windows + K Open the Connect charm (devices).
Windows + H Open the Share charm.
Windows + Q Open the Search pane.
Windows + W Open the Settings Search app.
Windows + F Open the File Search app.
Windows + Tab Cycle through apps.
Windows + Shift + Tab Cycle through apps in reverse order.
Windows + Ctrl + Tab Cycle through apps and snap them as they cycle.
Windows + Z Open the App Bar.
Windows + / Initiate input method editor (IME) reconversion.
Windows + J Swap foreground between the snapped and filled apps.
Windows + X Bring the quick launch menu (Details here)
Existing Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts
Key Combination Function
Ctrl+Click a pinned taskbar icon Allows you to cycle through the programs open windows
Shift+Click a pinned taskbar icon Runs a new instance of the program
Windows + T Cycle through applications on taskbar (showing its thumbnail)
Windows +R Opens Run dialog box
Ctrl + C Copy
Ctrl + V Paste
Windows +P Show the different presentation mode options
Windows + A number (1, 2, 3..) Open the corresponding taskbar pinned program
Windows +G Show/Hide desktop gadgets
Windows += Start the Magnifier
Windows +L Lock computer
Windows ++ Zoom in
Windows + - Zoom out
Windows +X Launch the Mobility Center
Windows +M Minimize all open windows
Windows +Shift+M Undo all window minimization
Windows +D Toggle showing the desktop
Windows +Up Maximize window
Windows +Left Snap window to the left side
Windows +Down Minimize windows / Restore
Windows +Right Snap window to the right side
Windows +Shift Up Maximize vertical size of window
Windows +Shift Down Restore vertical size
Windows +Shift Left Move window to left monitor
Windows +Shift Right Move window to right monitor
Alt+F4 Close 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.