Windows 8 cheat sheet

Here's how to find your way around Microsoft's new OS and make the most of its features

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Keyboard shortcuts

Not using a touch-screen device? Like previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 includes a host of keyboard shortcuts, so you don't need to spend your life clicking. Those earlier keyboard shortcuts -- for example, Ctrl-C to copy text -- still work. But Windows 8 also has keyboard shortcuts for many of its new features.

The following table shows some of the most useful shortcuts for Windows 8; it includes both new keyboard shortcuts and some that worked in previous versions of Windows.

Key combination What it does
Windows key Go to the Start screen or toggle between the Start screen and your previous location
Windows-C Open the Charms bar
Windows-D Show the Desktop
Windows-E Open File Explorer
Windows-F Go to Files in the Search charm
Windows-H Go to the Share charm
Windows-I Go to the Settings charm
Windows-K Go to the Devices charm
Windows-L Lock the device
Windows-M Minimize all windows (only on the Desktop)
Windows-O Lock the screen orientation
Windows-Q Go to Apps in the Search charm
Windows-R Launch the Run box
Windows-T Put the focus on the taskbar and cycle through your running Desktop apps
Windows-V Cycle through your notifications
Windows-W Go to Settings in the Search charm
Windows-X Open a menu of tools for power users
Windows-Z Launch the App bar (or make it disappear if it's already showing)
Windows-1 through 9 Go to the app in the corresponding position on the taskbar (Desktop only)
Windows-, (comma) Peek at the Desktop (on Desktop only)
Windows-spacebar Switch the input language and keyboard layout
Windows-Home Minimize non-active Desktop apps
Windows-Page Up Move Start screen to left monitor
Windows-Page Down Move Start screen to right monitor
Windows-up arrow Maximize a Desktop app
Windows-down arrow Restore/minimize a Desktop app
Windows-F1 Run Windows Help and Support
Other keyboard shortcuts
Alt-Tab Cycle through thumbnails of open apps
Alt-F4 Close a Windows 8 app
Ctrl-A Select all
Ctrl-C Copy
Ctrl-E Select the Search box in the Windows 8 Internet Explorer app; select the Address bar in Desktop version of IE
Ctrl-N Open a new window in Internet Explorer (Desktop version only)
Ctrl-R Refresh
Ctrl-V Paste
Ctrl-X Cut
Ctrl-Y Redo
Ctrl-Z Undo
Ctrl-F4 Close the active document in Desktop apps
Ctrl-mouse click Select multiple items in File Explorer
Ctrl-Shift Select a group of contiguous items in File Explorer
Ctrl-W Close the current window in Internet Explorer (Desktop version)
Ctrl-Shift-Esc Run the Task Manager
Ctrl-Shift-N Create a new folder in File Explorer
PrtScrn Take a screenshot and place it on the Clipboard

 Working with the new Windows 8 apps

As I mentioned above, Windows 8 ships with a complement of new Windows 8 apps including Mail, People, Weather, Music, Bing, Photos, Maps and others. You can also download third-party Windows 8 apps through the Windows Store, although there aren't a great many available yet.

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