7 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 8

Previously, I had written about 12 keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8 on Online Tech Tips and today I’m here to write about a few more! With the new Metro UI in Windows 8, keyboard shortcuts make a lot more sense to use now. Previously, I had never used keyboard shortcuts with any prior version of Windows because clicking for me was easier.

However, with Windows 8, you have to move your mouse around a lot to get to certain settings and screens. With keyboard shortcuts, you can instantly access features without all the mouse movements. Tell us what your favorite shortcuts are for Windows 8 in the comments.

Windows Key + X

If you really miss the Start Menu in Windows 8, the closest thing you can get to replicating it is pressing Windows Key + X. When you do this, it brings up a list of items right where the Start Menu used to be! It’s almost like Microsoft added that feature as a kind of pseudo replacement for those devastated users. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly the same thing as having a Start Menu.

windows 8 shortcuts

It’s a nice way to quickly get to the command prompt, elevated command prompt, task manager, control panel, explorer, search, run, desktop and a couple of Administrative Tools like Computer Management, Disk Management and Device Manager.

Windows Key + F

You’re going to be doing a lot more searching in Windows 8 than in previous versions. That’s because it’s just a lot faster to search for it than it is to scroll through the All apps list on the Start Screen. Windows Key + F will bring up the search just for files.

windows 8 file search

Windows Key + Q

Similarly, Windows + Q will search only applications on your PC. Once you install a bunch of apps in Windows 8, finding one on the Start Screen is like searching for a phone number in the phonebook without an index. You literally have to scan through the entire list to find the app you want, so it’s way easier to press Windows Key + Q and search for the name of the app.

windows 8 search apps

Windows Key + W

Last in that batch is Windows Key + W, which will let you search just Settings. This pretty much includes everything that is in the Control Panel and in PC Settings when you go to the Charms bar.

search settings

Windows Key + Comma (,)

If you’re on the start screen or in any full-screen Metro app and want to quickly see what’s on the desktop without having to switch to the desktop, then press Windows Key + Comma (,). It’s kind of like Aero Peek, you can basically peek at the desktop while holding down the shortcut. Once you let go, you go back to the Metro app or start screen.

This is useful, if you are in a Metro app, but need to quickly view something on the desktop and don’t want to switch completely.

Windows Key + P

Connecting your Windows 8 laptop to an external monitor or projector? Not a problem. Just press Windows Key + P and all your options pop up on the right hand side! You can duplicate the display, extend it or mirror it! Nice!

windows 8 second screen

Windows Key + PrtScn

Last, but not least, is Windows Key + PrtScn (PrintScreen). This will take a snapshot of whatever is on your screen and put it into the Photos app automatically.

So those are 7 more useful keyboard shortcuts that will help you navigate Windows 8 much faster. With the Start Menu gone and the reliance on search charms in Windows 8, you should really make an effort to learn these keyboard shortcuts otherwise Windows 8 could become a frustrating experience. Enjoy!

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