Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts Cheatsheet


Welcome to the Windows 8 keyboard shortcut cheat sheet! Here, you will learn all the keyboard shortcuts available in Windows 8! Some of them you’ll recognize from Windows 7, but many of them are fresh and new. Perhaps these keyboard shortcuts will help mitigate the shortcomings of working with a system that is more designed for touchscreen environments.

Keyboard ShortcutDescription
WinOpen the charms
Win+BGets you out of the Modern interface and into the desktop, then selects the tray notification area. If you're already on the desktop, this just selects the tray notification area.
Win+COpens the "Charms" menu. This menu allows you to quickly access Windows settings and features such as search, shutdown, and restart.
Win+DBrings you to the desktop. Pressing the key combination again will bring you back to the original active window.
Win+EOpens Windows Explorer. This quickly lets you browse the contents of your device.
Win+FOpens Search charm. It's a quick way to search through all your apps. Alternatively, you can just type away in the Start screen. The app search console appears immediately as you start typing in the Start screen.
Win+HOpens Share charm. Allows you to share a selected item to your friends and other people you know.
Win+IOpens Settings charm. Here, you may configure PC settings such as resolution, app notifications, and user accounts.
Win+JSwitch the main app and snapped app
Win+KOpens Devices charm. Allows you to see a list of devices connected to your computer.
Win+LLocks the screen. You may have to log back in to the computer to unlock it. Keep this in mind when using this shortcut.
Win+M /
Minimizes every window. It works like Win+D, but it isn't reversible when you press the combination again. You must press "Shift" along with it in order to restore the windows.
Win+OLock the screen orientation (portrait or landscape)
Win+PChoose the display mode. You may duplicate the image on two displays, extend the display onto a second monitor, move the image to a projector, or keep the image on one single monitor.
Win+QSearch through apps installed on your computer.
Win+ROpens the ever-friendly "Run" dialog box for running things such as the command prompt. (An easier alternative would just be to type your search term in the Start screen)
Win+TCycle through pinned programs on the taskbar. If you reach a pinned application that's not currently opened, you can open it with "Enter."
Win+UOpens the Ease of Access Center. This lets you access tools such as the magnifier, which zooms in on portions of the screen.
Win+V /
Cycle through "toast" notifications. It shows you different notifications your apps generate. "Win+Shift+V" does this in reverse order.
Win+WSearch through your settings.
Win+XOn the Windows 8 desktop, this displays a context menu that leads you to various locations. It comes up on the lower left corner of the screen, where the Windows 7 Start button used to be.
Win+ZBrings up the app bar in the Modern interface.
Win+Period (.)Snaps an app to the right of the screen. Pressing "Shift" along with this combination snaps the app to the left.
Win+Print ScreenTakes a screenshot and saves it to your Pictures folder. Pressing "Print Screen" on its own will just save the image to your clipboard, and you'll have to paste it into a photo editor. This is much more convenient.
Shift+DeleteBypass the Recycle Bin and just delete the selected file permanently.
Win+0-9Launch a particular application pinned to the taskbar or bring it into view.
Win+Shift+0-9Launch a new instance of an application pinned to the taskbar. This launches a new clone even if the application is already open.
Win+SpacebarDisplay the current language and keyboard layout. In Windows 7, this combination would show you a peek into the desktop.
Win+Ctrl+SpacebarChange to a previously selected input
Win+Plus (+) / Win+Minus (-)Opens the magnifier and zooms the view in or out, depending on the character used. Obviously, the plus sign zooms in and the minus sign zooms out.
Win+EscGets out of the magnifier application.
Win+Tab / Win+Shift+TabCycles through Metro/Modern apps. The "Shift" key indicates, as usual, reverse order. In Windows 7, this triggered a feature called "Aero Flip," which flipped through open windows in a three-dimensional plane.
Win+Ctrl+TabCycle through open apps (except desktop apps) and snap them as they are cycled
Win+Comma (,)Get a peek into the desktop. In Windows 7, the combination used to be "Win+Spacebar."
Win+PageUpMove the Start screen and apps to the monitor on the left (Apps in the desktop won't change monitors)
Win+PageDownMove the Start screen and apps to the monitor on the right (apps in the desktop won't change monitors)
Win+Down Arrow / Win+Up ArrowMinimizes or maximizes the current window. Minimize with the down arrow and maximize with the up arrow.
Win+Left Arrow / Win+Right ArrowMaximizes the current desktop application on the side of the screen indicated by the direction of the arrow you pressed. "Win+Left Arrow" will maximize the current window on the left side. This works much like app snapping in the Modern interface.
Win+Shift+Up ArrowStretch the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen
Win+Shift+Down ArrowRestore/minimize active desktop windows vertically, maintaining width
Win+HomeMinimize all but the active desktop window (restores all windows on second stroke)
Win+EnterBrings up the narrator. It will read the text you have in front of you.
Win+Start typingSearch your PC
Ctrl+plus (+) or Ctrl+minus (-) or Ctrl+scroll wheelZoom in or out of a large number of items, like apps pinned to the Start screen

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox