In my Windows 8 Developer Preview Walkthrough post I mentioned a few shortcuts, there are lots of shortcuts, but I thought I’d summarise some useful ones here:
To search for an application: WinKey then just start typing
Press WinKey then release then type COM (in upper or lower case) to get a list of apps containing words beginning with COM, first in my list is Command Prompt. I could also type PROM, but notice that ROM doesn’t show anything. Which might be annoying if the app is about cycling but called bicycling then you wouldn’t find it.
To search for settings: WinKey + W
Press and hold WinKey then press W once and release the WinKey, then just start typing, so type POW and you will see Power Options in the list. I fail to remember (every time) that Control Panel is an app, so when searching on settings I don’t find it, but thankfully the search is clever enough to show there is an item in Apps by marking that icon with the matching number too, so I see, hmm, Settings 0, Apps 1, let me click Apps and voila, there it is.
To search files: WinKey + F
Press and hold WinKey then press F once and release the WinKey, then just start typing. This one is nothing new, but if you can’t remember the other two shortcuts, then use this old faithful and click on the Apps/Settings or whatever.
To show the desktop: WinKey + D
Again, nothing new and indeed a shortcut I rarely used, until now. This one really comes into it’s own, can’t find the Desktop tile, can’t be bothered to reach for the mouse, then this one is your new friend.
To bring in the settings bar: WinKey + I
Oh look, the power button!
And my classic favourites…
Active application switch: ALT + TAB
Task Manager: CTRL + SHIFT + ESC
Lest not forget ALT + F4 to close the current window.
Tip: Getting out of Windows 8 (a.k.a. shutting down) is a bit of a pain to get (via the settings screen), but this shortcut gets you there the old way. So WinKey + D to show desktop (if required), then ALT + F4 and there is the old style Log Off / Shutdown / Restart box.
To lock the screen: WinKey + L
Tip: Rather than sliding the lock screen upwards to reveal the logon prompt, just hit Enter.
To open the run dialog: WinKey + R
Also remembering useful apps like mstsc etc
To open Windows Explorer: WinKey + E
Lesser known (more recent) is the numbers…
To open a pinned application: WinKey + 1/2/3/…
Press and hold WinKey then press 1 once and release the WinKey.
I have pinned Google Chrome pinned to my taskbar in the third place, so WinKey + 3 gets me there, even from the start screen!
I will try and add more when I remember, but also if you know of any please comment and I will add them.