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Windows 8 Shortcut Keys

Using Windows 8

keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains new keyboard shortcuts that you can use to navigate around Windows.

Press this key To do this
Windows logo key‌ Windows logo key+start typing
Search your PC
Ctrl+plus (+) or Ctrl+minus (-) Zoom in or out of a large number of items, like applications pinned to the Start screen
Ctrl+scroll wheel Zoom in or out of a large number of items, like applications pinned to the Start screen
Windows logo key Windows logo key+C
Open the charmsIn an application, open the commands for the application
Windows logo key Windows logo key+F
Open the Search charm to search files
Windows logo key Windows logo key+H
Open the Share charm
Windows logo key Windows logo key+I
Open the Settings charm
Windows logo key Windows logo key+J
Switch the main application and snapped application
Windows logo key Windows logo key+K
Open the Devices charm
Windows logo key Windows logo key+O
Lock the screen orientation (portrait or landscape)
Windows logo key Windows logo key+Q
Open the Search charm to search applications
Windows logo key Windows logo key+W
Open the Search charm to search settings
Windows logo key Windows logo key+Z
Show the commands available in the application
Windows logo key Windows logo key+spacebar
Switch input language and keyboard layout
Windows logo key Windows logo key+Ctrl+spacebar
Change to a previously selected input
Windows logo key Windows logo key+Tab
Cycle through open applications (except desktop applications)
Windows logo key Windows logo key+Ctrl+Tab
Cycle through open applications (except desktop applications) and snaps them as they are cycled
Windows logo key‌Windows logo key+Shift+Tab
Cycle through open applications (except desktop applications) in reverse order
Windows logo key Windows logo key+PgUp
Move the Start screen and applications to the monitor on the left (Applications in the desktop won’t change monitors)
Windows logo key Windows logo key+PgDown
Move the Start screen and applications to the monitor on the right (Applications in the desktop won’t change monitors)
Windows logo key‌Windows logo key+Shift+full stop (.)
Snaps an application to the left
Windows logo key Windows logo key+full stop (.)
Snaps an application to the right
Esc Stop or exit the current task

General keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains general keyboard shortcuts that you can use to navigate around Windows.

Press this key To do this
F1 Display Help
F2 Rename the selected item
F3 Search for a file or folder
F4 Display the address bar list in File Explorer
F5 Refresh the active window
F6 Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop
F10 Activate the menu bar in the active application
Alt+F4 Close the active item, or exit the active application
Alt+Esc Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened
Alt+underlined letter Perform the command for that letter
Alt+Enter Display properties for the selected item
Alt+Spacebar Open the shortcut menu for the active window
Alt+Left arrow Back
Alt+Right arrow Forward
Alt+Page Up Move up one screen
Alt+Page Down Move down one screen
Alt+Tab Switch between open applications (except desktop applications)
Ctrl+F4 Close the active document (in applications that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
Ctrl+A Select all items in a document or window
Ctrl+C (or Ctrl+Insert) Copy the selected item
Ctrl+D (or Delete) Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin
Ctrl+R (or F5) Refresh the active window
Ctrl+V (or Shift+Insert) Paste the selected item
Ctrl+X Cut the selected item
Ctrl+Y Redo an action
Ctrl+Z Undo an action
Ctrl+plus (+) or Ctrl+minus (-) Zoom in or out of a large number of items, like applications pinned to the Start screen
Ctrl+ mouse scroll wheel Change the size of desktop icons or zoom in or out of a large number of items, like applications pinned to the Start screen
Ctrl+Right arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word
Ctrl+Left arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word
Ctrl+Down arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
Ctrl+Up arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
Ctrl+Alt+Tab Use the arrow keys to switch between all open applications
Ctrl+arrow key (to move to an item)+Spacebar Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop
Ctrl+Shift with an arrow key Select a block of text
Ctrl+Esc Open the Start screen
Ctrl+Shift+Esc Open Task Manager
Ctrl+Shift Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are available
Ctrl+Spacebar Turn the Chinese input method editor (IME) on or off
Shift+F10 Display the shortcut menu for the selected item
Shift with any arrow key Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document
Shift+Delete Delete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first
Right arrow Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu
Left arrow Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu
Esc Stop or leave the current task

 Windows logo key keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts that use the Windows logo key Windows logo key.
Press this key To do this
Windows logo key Windows logo key +F1
Open Windows Help and Support
Windows logo key Windows logo key
Display or hide the Start screen
Windows logo key Windows logo key +B
Set focus in the notification area
Windows logo key Windows logo key +C
Open the Charms
Windows logo key Windows logo key +D
Display and hide the desktop
Windows logo key Windows logo key +E
Open Computer
Windows logo key Windows logo key +F
Open the Search charm and search for files
Windows logo key Windows logo key +G
Cycle through Gadgets on the desktop
Windows logo key Windows logo key +H
Open the Share charm
Windows logo key Windows logo key +I
Open the Settings charm
Windows logo key Windows logo key +J
Switch the main application and snapped application
Windows logo key Windows logo key +K
Open the Devices charm
Windows logo key Windows logo key +L
Lock your PC or switch users
Windows logo key Windows logo key +M
Minimise all windows
Windows logo key Windows logo key +O
Lock device orientation
Windows logo key Windows logo key +P
Choose a presentation display mode
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Q
Open the Search charm and search for applications
Windows logo key Windows logo key +R
Open the Run dialogue box
Windows logo key Windows logo key +T
Cycle through applications on the taskbar
Windows logo key Windows logo key +U
Open Ease of Access Center
Windows logo key Windows logo key +V
Cycle through notifications
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Shift+V
Cycle through notifications in reverse order
Windows logo key Windows logo key +W
Open the Search charm and search for settings
Windows logo key Windows logo key +X
Open the Quick Link menu
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Z
Show the commands available in the application
Windows logo key Windows logo key +,
Temporarily peek at the desktop
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Pause
Display the System Properties dialogue box
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Ctrl+F
Search for PCs (if you’re on a network)
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Shift+M
Restore minimised windows on the desktop
Windows logo key Windows logo key +number
Start the desktop application pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the application is already running, switch to that application.
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Shift+number
Start a new instance of the desktop application pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Ctrl+number
Switch to the last active window of the desktop application pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Alt+number
Open the Jump List for the desktop application pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Ctrl+Shift+number
Open a new instance of the desktop application located at the given position on the taskbar as an administrator
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Tab
Cycle through open applications (except desktop applications)
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Ctrl+Tab
Cycle through open applications (except desktop applications) and snap them as they are cycled
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Shift+Tab
Cycle through open applications (except desktop applications) in reverse order
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Ctrl+B
Switch to the application that displayed a message in the notification area
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Up arrow
Maximise the desktop window
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Down arrow
Minimise the desktop window
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Left arrow
Maximise the desktop window to the left side of the screen
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Right arrow
Maximise the desktop window to the right side of the screen
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Home
Minimise all but the active desktop window (restores all windows on second stroke)
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Shift+Up arrow
Stretch the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Shift+Down arrow
Restore/minimise active desktop windows vertically, maintaining width
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Shift+Left arrow or Right arrow
Move a window in the desktop from one monitor to another
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Spacebar
Switch input language and keyboard layout
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Ctrl+Spacebar
Change to a previously selected input
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Enter
Open Narrator
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Page Up
Move the Start screen and applications to the monitor on the left (applications in the desktop won’t change monitors)
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Page Down
Move the Start screen and applications to the monitor on the right (applications in the desktop won’t change monitors)
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Shift+full stop (.)
Snap an application to the left
Windows logo key Windows logo key +full stop (.)
Snap an application to the right
Windows logo key Windows logo key +/
Initiate IME reconversion
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Alt+Enter
Open Windows Media Center
Windows logo key Windows logo key +plus (+) or minus (-)
Zoom in or out using Magnifier
Windows logo key Windows logo key +Esc
Exit Magnifier

Dialogue box keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts that you can use to navigate dialogue boxes.

Press this key To do this
F1 Display Help
F4 Display the items in the active list
Ctrl+Tab Move forward through tabs
Ctrl+Shift+Tab Move back through tabs
Ctrl+number (number 1-9) Move to nth tab
Tab Move forward through options
Shift+Tab Move back through options
Alt+underlined letter Perform the command (or select the option) that goes with that letter
Spacebar Select or clear the checkbox if the active option is a checkbox
Backspace Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialogue box
Arrow keys Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons

File Explorer keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with File Explorer windows or folders.

Press this key To do this
Alt+D Select the address bar
Ctrl+E Select the search box
Ctrl+F Select the search box
Ctrl+N Open a new window
Ctrl+W Close the current window
Ctrl+mouse scroll wheel Change the size and appearance of file and folder icons
Ctrl+Shift+E Display all folders above the selected folder
Ctrl+Shift+N Create a new folder
Num Lock+asterisk (*) Display all subfolders under the selected folder
Num Lock+plus (+) Display the contents of the selected folder
Num Lock+minus (-) Collapse the selected folder
Alt+P Display the preview pane
Alt+Enter Open the Properties dialogue box for the selected item
Alt+Right arrow View the next folder
Alt+Up arrow View the folder that the folder was in
Alt+Left arrow View the previous folder
Backspace View the previous folder
Right arrow Display the current selection (if it’s collapsed), or select the first subfolder
Left arrow Collapse the current selection (if it’s expanded), or select the folder that the folder was in
End Display the bottom of the active window
Home Display the top of the active window
F11 Maximise or minimise the active window

Taskbar keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with items on the desktop taskbar.

Press this key To do this
Shift+click a taskbar button Open an application or quickly open another instance of an application
Ctrl+Shift+click a taskbar button Open an application as an administrator
Shift+right-click a taskbar button Show the window menu for the application
Shift+right-click a grouped taskbar button Show the window menu for the group
Ctrl+click a grouped taskbar button Cycle through the windows of the group

Ease of Access keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts that can help make your PC easier to use.

Press this key To do this
Right Shift for eight seconds Turn Filter Keys on and off
Left Alt+left Shift+Print Screen Turn High Contrast on or off
Left Alt+left Shift+Num Lock Turn Mouse Keys on or off
Shift five times Turn Sticky Keys on or off
Num Lock for five seconds Turn Toggle Keys on or off
Windows logo key Windows logo key +U
Open the Ease of Access Center

Magnifier keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with Magnifier.

Press this key To do this
Windows logo key Windows logo key+plus (+) or minus (-)
Zoom in or out
Ctrl+Alt+Spacebar Preview the desktop in full-screen mode
Ctrl+Alt+D Switch to docked mode
Ctrl+Alt+F Switch to full-screen mode
Ctrl+Alt+I Invert colours
Ctrl+Alt+L Switch to lens mode
Ctrl+Alt+R Resize the lens
Ctrl+Alt+arrow keys Pan in the direction of the arrow keys
Windows logo key Windows logo key+Esc
Exit Magnifier

Narrator keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with Narrator.

Press this key To do this
Spacebar or Enter Activate current item
Tab and arrow keys Move around on the screen
Ctrl Stop reading
Caps Lock+D Read item
Caps Lock+M Start reading
Caps Lock+H Read document
Caps Lock+V Repeat phrase
Caps Lock+W Read window
Caps Lock+Page Up or Page Down Increase or decrease the volume of the voice
Caps Lock+plus (+) or minus (-) Increase or decrease the speed of the voice
Caps Lock+Spacebar Do default action
Caps Lock+Left or Right arrows Move to previous/next item
Caps Lock+F2 Show commands for current item
Press Caps Lock twice in quick succession Turn Caps Lock on or off
Caps+Esc Exit Narrator

Narrator touch keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with Narrator on a four-point touch-enabled PC.

Press this key To do this
Tap once with two fingers Stop Narrator from reading
Tap three times with four fingers Show all Narrator commands (including the ones not in this list)
Double-tap Activate primary action
Triple-tap Activate secondary action
Touch or drag a single finger Read what’s under your fingers
Flick left/right with one finger Move to next or previous item
Swipe left/right/up/down with two fingers Scroll
Swipe down with three fingers Start reading on explorable text

Remote Desktop Connection on the desktop keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with Remote Desktop Connection on the desktop.

Press this key To do this
Alt+Page Up Move between applications from left to right
Alt+Page Down Move between applications from right to left
Alt+Insert Cycle through applications in the order that they were started
Alt+Home Display the Start screen
Ctrl+Alt+Break Switch between a window and full screen
Ctrl+Alt+End Display the Windows Security dialogue box
Ctrl+Alt+Home In full-screen mode, activate the connection bar
Alt+Delete Display the system menu
Ctrl+Alt+minus (-) on the numeric keypad Place a copy of the active window, within the client, on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing Alt+Print Screen on a local PC)
Ctrl+Alt+plus (+) on the numeric keypad Place a copy of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing Print Screen on a local PC)
Ctrl+Alt+Right arrow “Tab” out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host application (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) application.
Ctrl+Alt+Left arrow “Tab” out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host application (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) application.
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