5 Windows shortcuts that everyone should know and use


With the advent of touch screen devices the art of keyboard shortcuts has gone by the wayside. Fancy swiping gestures to switch apps, snap, and close have taken their place. Still, not everyone has a touch screen PC yet, and even some that do still rely on keyboards. Keyboard shortcuts can make you more productive and save time. The folks over at Lifehacker started with a good list, but we had a couple to add to it. These are the five keyboard shortcuts you should know and use.

1. Windows Key + S


The Start Menu is gone and probably never coming back. It’s time to move on. One of the best things the Start Menu did was let users quickly search and launch apps. The Windows 8 Start Screen does the same thing: just press the Windows Key and then start typing. However, some people don’t like the Start Screen. If you want to stay on he desktop and do a search to quickly open an app just press Windows Key + S. The search pane will open in front of whatever you are doing.

2. Windows Key + Arrow Keys

If you’re using a touch screen device you can easily snap apps and Windows with gestures. With a keyboard it’s not so easy. With Windows Key + Left or Right you can snap a window to the side of the screen in the desktop. Windows Key + Up or Down will maximize or minimize the window. These same shortcuts work with Windows 8 apps, except the Up and Down will close the apps.

3. Ctrl +Shift + Esc


Before Windows 8 if you held down Ctrl + Alt + Delete the Task Manager would open. In Windows 8 that key combination opens a screen that lets you choose the Task Manager. There is an extremely handy shortcut you can use to bypass that screen and go directly to the Task Manager. Just hold Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Now you can manager your tasks and eliminate a needless extra click.

4. Alt + Tab

Multitasking is another thing that has been made easier with touch screens. In Windows 8 you can just swipe from the left side of the screen to easily cycle through all your open apps. In the desktop with a keyboard and mouse this is a little more difficult, but not with this awesome shortcut. Hold down Alt + Tab to view a pop-up that shows what apps are currently running in the desktop. Press Tab again to switch to the one you want.

5. Alt or F10


This shortcut may not be as useful as it once was, but it can still come in handy sometimes. Many Windows apps are starting to hide the menu bar. This is the area where you usually see “File, Edit, View, etc.” Apps like Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Windows Explorer hide this bar by default. It’s still there if you know how to find it. Just press Alt or F10 and the menu bar should re-appear. Simple as that.

What keyboard shortcuts do you use on a daily basis? Did you know about all of these shortcuts? Let us know below!

  • overtyme

    Forgot “Windows Key + X”

  • I didn’t “forget” any. I only posted 5.

    Windows Key + X is another good one. Thanks.

  • Andrew

    Ctrl shift esc worked on previous windows versions