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The 10 Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts you need to remember

There are 100+ keyboard shortcuts available for Windows 8, but there are several you'll want to remember because you'll use them often.

In April 2012, Greg Shultz created a free cheat sheet of 100 Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts. That download contained just about every keyboard shortcut you could imagine. Those shortcuts are still valid of course, but if you are like me you can only remember a few shortcuts at a time, so you want to remember the ones that will be most useful.

So, while I highly recommend that you take advantage of the free PDF download listing of 100 Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts, I also recommend that you commit the following 10 keyboard shortcuts to memory, because you are going to need to access these features often and, for efficiency's sake, it's best to have them at the ready.

10 Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 8 you need to remember

Windows 8 Specific Keyboard Shortcuts

Keystroke

Function

Switch between Metro Start screen and the last accessed application
+ C Access the charms bar
+ Tab Access the Metro Taskbar
+ I Access the Settings charm
+ K Access the Devices charm
+ Q Access the Apps Search screen
+ F Access the Files Search screen
+ W Access the Settings Search screen
+ X Access the Windows Tools Menu
+ E Open Computer

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

18 comments
CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Does the Windows key go back to the last app regardless of whether it's a Metro or 'Classic desktop' app, or just back to the last Metro app only?

wfelter2000
wfelter2000

If i have a Metro App open. I just go to the desktop,(with a mouse) lower left corner, slide the curser up the left side of screen.This will pop up the open Metro App. Now just right click on it and click close.

Ken the IT guy
Ken the IT guy

If you use any of the Metro Apps, they open full screen, and when you're done, like on a tablet, they expect you to hit the Menu button. This takes you back to the menu, but leaves the app running in the background. If you're running a program from the desktop, you can close it from its menu, or if nothing else, the standard X in the corner. But the Metro apps don't have much in the way of menus, and none of them have a way to close them when you're done. When I'm working, I may have 15 windows open, but it's my choice. Generally, when I'm done with a program, I want to close it so my computer resources can be focused on applications I'm actually using, rather than unnecessary items just taking up memory. Of course, Alt+F4 will close any Windows program, which ever one has focus at the time. It can even be used to shut down the computer if no program is running, or the desktop, has focus. As far as I can remember, it has been there since Windows 3.1. Maybe sooner, but that's the first version I ever used.

gmjohnson
gmjohnson

Goodness, how far the user interface has come in 30 years ... Now what were the 10 most useful keyboard shortcuts in Word Perfect and Lotus again?

jelabarre
jelabarre

So I guess that means the classic Model-M keyboard isn't compatible with Windows8, since you have to use that extra, non-standard key. One more reason not to use Windows8

naz0455
naz0455

Hit Windows + D (from the Start screen or from within any Metro app) launches the Desktop

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Have you discovered a keyboard shortcut for Windows 8 that you find yourself using often? Which one is it and why?

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