Windows 8: My Favorite Shortcut Keys and Productivity Tips

by jasonvonruden 26. August 2012 04:51

With all new versions of windows there are a ton of new things to get used to and Windows 8 sure has some major changes that you will need to get used to.  At first I thought that I would not like it and find it hard to get use to the changes.  However I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I got used to the new Windows 8 start screen and the split from the desktop. I have learned to increase productivity, I needed to reduce or eliminate the use of the mouse to do things in windows. Also check out this great blog post Windows 8 productivity: Who moved my cheese? Oh, there it is. that inspired this blog post.

Here is what worked For Me

  1. Use the built-in shortcut keys!  (My favorites are listed below)
  2. Launch applications with no mouse: Launchy is a free cross-platform utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager.  Once Launchy has been started, it hides in the background. You bring it forward by holding the alt key (apple on Mac, and ctrl on Linux) and tapping the space key. You can then type in a few keys of the program you are searching for and hit enter once it has been found. 

Launchy on Windows 8

  • In Windows 8 using the Alt – Space shortcut key from the start screen (anywhere in windows) will immediately take you to the desktop with launchy open and with a few more keys you can launch your favorite application and No Mouse Needed!   For example: I can launch firefox from anywhere with only 4 keys and my hands never leave the keyboard.  (ALT – SPACE - F – Enter Key)
  • As an added bonus Launchy remembers your application launch preferences including the last application you launch making application launching even faster.
  • Doubles as a quick calculator for math 1+1, 5*5, and etc will show in the answer in the launch window.
  • Has a plugin model for quick launching of other things like websites and etc.

Collection of Useful shortcut keys

  • Win – Start Screen
  • Win , Any key  - Start Screen and then Search Applications Screen
  • Win + Q –  Another way to get to the Search Applications Screen.
  • Win+D – Desktop   
  • Win+X - Administrative Tools 
  • Alt-Tab - Switch between Apps
  • Win-Tab - Switch between Full Screen Apps “Metro applications only”
  • Win+W - Search Control Panel and Settings stuff
  • Win+F - Search Files  
  • Win+C - Charms (right side menu) then arrows to move and enter to launch.
  • Win + Z – opens the App Bar for the current Metro application.
  • Win + H – opens the Metro Share panel.
  • Win , Esc - If you hit the Windows Key, you can hit Escape to go back.
  • Win+L - Lock Computer
  • Win+K – Devices
  • Win+E – Explorer
  • Win+R – Run
  • Win+(period) - Alternate sides to "snap" Metro Apps. Add shift to reverse it. 
  • Ctrl+Scroll - Can Name Groups
  • Win+Plus  - Magnifier/Zoom In
  • Win+Minus - Magnifier/Zoom Out
  • Win+Arrows - Snap desktop apps to the sides
  • Win+PageUp or Win+PageDn - Move full screen apps to other monitors.

Other Good Windows 8 -  Blog Posts 


Windows 8