Handy Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 8
Article by George Norman
On 16 Mar 2012
If you are one of the many people who downloaded the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (or Windows 8 Beta) from Microsoft with the aim of putting it to the test, then you may want to take a look at the list of handy keyboard shortcuts presented below.

Here is just an example to get you started. Charms are a new feature meant to help you work faster; they are new ways of getting around the OS and doing common tasks. Press the Windows logo key + C and the charms bar will appear. Here are a few other handy keyboard shortcuts you may want to know about:


New Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Windows + E -> Opens Windows Explorer in desktop mode.
  • Windows + Enter -> turns on the Narrator.
  • Windows + Space -> Switch input language and keyboard layout.
  • Windows + O -> Lock device orientation.
  • Windows + , -> Temporarily peek at the desktop.
  • Windows + B -> Back to desktop.
  • Windows + V -> Cycle through toasts.
  • Windows + Shift + V -> Cycle through toasts in reverse order.
  • Windows + Enter -> Launch Narrator.
  • Windows + 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 + . -> Snap an application to the left.
  • Windows + . -> Snap an application to the right.
  • Windows + I -> Open the Settings charm.
  • Windows + K -> Open the Connect charm.
  • 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 -> Open system utility settings menu.
  • Windows + Print Scren -> Take a screenshot and save it to Pictures.

Old Keyboard Shortcuts (that worked on Windows 7 and still work)
  • Windows key -> Opens the Metro Start screen,
  • Alt + Tab -> Switches from one app to another.
  • Alt + Ctrl + Del and Ctrl + Shift + Esc -> Access the Task Manager.
  • Right click -> Opens the right click context menu. Rick click on the
  • Windows + D -> Show the desktop.
  • Alt + F4 -> Close an app.
  • Windows + Tab -> Open switch list.
  • Windows + T -> Preview open windows in taskbar.
  • Windows + L -> Lock the OS.

You can get Windows 8 Consumer Preview for free from Microsoft here. The operating system was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first 24 hours after its release. You can install it fresh on a system, or you can install it in a virtual environment using the free Oracle VirtualBox or VMWare Player. On a Mac, Windows 8 Consumer Preview can be installed in a virtual environment using the paid Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 8, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Windows 8 Beta, Keyboard shortcuts
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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