Windows optimize

The complete list of Windows Logo keyboard shortcuts

The Windows Logo key, which is common on most keyboards these days, can be a powerful tool if you know the right shortcuts.

When it comes to keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Windows 7, I admit to being a bit of a novice. I fall back on the menu system or, now that it is available by default in Windows 7, I use the search box located on the Start Menu. But, as the following list shows us, there are definitely opportunities for increased efficiency within the matrix of keyboard shortcuts.

One of the more powerful, and probably least used, set of keyboard shortcuts involves the Windows Logo key, which is common on most keyboards packaged with a Windows-based personal computer these days.

Table A lists the keyboard shortcut combinations associated with the Windows Logo key and what each combination will do. Take a good look, because there may be a key combination or two you can use regularly that will make your computing life just a little more efficient.

Table A - Source Microsoft

Key combination

Action

Windows logo key Open or close the Start menu.
Windows logo key +Pause Display the System Properties dialog box.
Windows logo key +D Display the desktop.
Windows logo key +M Minimize all windows.
Windows logo key +Shift+M Restore minimized windows to the desktop.
Windows logo key +E Open Computer.
Windows logo key +F Search for a file or folder.
Ctrl+Windows logo key +F Search for computers (if you're on a network).
Windows logo key +L Lock your computer or switch users.
Windows logo key +R Open the Run dialog box.
Windows logo key +T Cycle through programs on the taskbar.
Windows logo key+number Start the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the program is already running, switch to that program.
Shift+Windows logo key+number Start a new instance of the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Ctrl+Windows logo key+number Switch to the last active window of the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Alt+Windows logo key+number Open the Jump List for the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows logo key +Tab Cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D.
Ctrl+Windows logo key +Tab Use the arrow keys to cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D.
Ctrl+Windows logo key +B Switch to the program that displayed a message in the notification area.
Windows logo key +Spacebar Preview the desktop.
Windows logo key +Up Arrow Maximize the window.
Windows logo key +Left Arrow Maximize the window to the left side of the screen.
Windows logo key +Right Arrow Maximize the window to the right side of the screen.
Windows logo key +Down Arrow Minimize the window.
Windows logo key +Home Minimize all but the active window.
Windows logo key +Shift+Up Arrow Stretch the window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows logo key +Shift+Left Arrow or Right Arrow Move a window from one monitor to another.
Windows logo key +P Choose a presentation display mode.
Windows logo key +G Cycle through gadgets.
Windows logo key +U Open Ease of Access Center.
Windows logo key +X Open Windows Mobility Center.

Also read:

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.

41 comments
ken
ken

Is there a keyboard shortcut, using the logo key or otherwise, to open Control Panel window in XP and Windows 7?

birumut
birumut

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TuneUp Utilities
TuneUp Utilities

The Windows logo key is a great invention, but one that not everyone is aware of. It???s really helpful that you included all of the shortcuts to show people what the Windows key can really achieve. I would say my favorite would be Windows logo key +Down Arrow to minimize a window. Since it can be hard to remember all of these combinations, do you think users will actually start to use the Windows key or continue without it? http://tek.io/rngJYC

MrsGeezer
MrsGeezer

These are new to me, and I'm already hooked on Win + L!

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

have a 'pause' key on our laptops; is there another shortcut to 'System Properties'? Thanks to whoever may know.

stephanisat_z
stephanisat_z

If you have OneNote, you can use the Windows key +S to select a portion of the visible window to copy. OneNote automatically pastes it into a new unfiled note. it's not a well-known business app, but it's great for grabbing bits of information and compiling it for research, training, etc.

cawwilsontx
cawwilsontx

...will you marry me? I love these. Love all keyboard shortcuts for decades I've used them. You are wonderful.

Shadeburst
Shadeburst

I go on and on about being a keyboard shortcut fanatic and I didn't know half of these. DOH. Thank you Mr. Kaelin. You are a scholar and a gentleman.

LvTravel
LvTravel

Above listed by TABLE A-Micorsoft Source, it is a link and it provides so much more info for shortcuts. Just a little difficult to tell it is a hyperlink. Check it out and I am sure many of you will be very happy with what you find.

BarnabyJonas
BarnabyJonas

It would be nice to have a link to a printer-friendly version of this list, perhaps organized into a few sections.

databaseben
databaseben

people usually forget about pressing the ol' F1 key on the desktop trick. but after doing so, you can enter "keyboard shortcuts" into the search field to get a listing.

ian
ian

logo+spacebar to preview the desk top TIP: if you have a document, list or diagram that you reference a lot, turn it into a jpg and save it to desktop. you can quickly view desktop to look at your notes. I've used this idea for years (Windows NT I think). the combo used to be ctrl+m to toggle minimize all, now logo+spacebar makes it so easy especially when you want to reference a gadget such as time in another country. logo+F for searches logo+R for the run dialog box The ones I find to be pointless are the logo+key# unless you memorize the application/number. logo+tab is much faster. Mouse is even faster.

thegreenwizard1
thegreenwizard1

I'll will be able to show up with more little tricks. I never knew about them, and before today, I never read any thing about it. Some would be useful.

campbell.mark
campbell.mark

Thanks for the shortcut. Who makes the keyboard shown at the top of the article with the "G" function keys at the left in addition to the standard "F" function keys?

IndianaTux
IndianaTux

Actually, if you press Windows key and either Left or Right arrow repeatedly, it cycles through all the available 'side-by-side' positions - left side, middle of screen restored down, right side. This also allows you to do the side-by-side windows in an extended desktop situation where the screens are left and right of each other. In this case, it actually cycles through these positions on both screens.

daniel
daniel

I'm a trainer and when I type an expression (or a formula) that is a bit small for those in the back to see I like to use the Magnifier by pressing Win and the plus sign to zoom in and Win and the minus sign to zoom back. I use the + and the - on the numeric keypad. Once I zoom in I pan in any direction by pushing the mouse to an edge of the screen. When you see the Magnifier's icon click in the lens to see some cool options.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

There are three "shift" keys and 36 alpha keys as well as all those punctuation marks - lots of combinations that do special stuff. Many are, as someone pointed out above, more useful than others ;-) I use a lot of keyboard shortcuts because I am not well co-ordinated and often find it's quicker to, for instance, Shift+Ctrl+RtArrow, Ctrl+C (to copy a word) than mouse drag, Rt-Click, Copy - especially when having to do it repeatedly.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

Press the windows key and the "Print Screen" button at the same time. Now open MSPaint and press Ctrl+V. It will paste the contents of the screen buffer. This is the built in way to make a screenshot and this is not new to Win7. There are most likely more combinations you missed, you shouldn't call this list complete.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Are you using the Windows Logo shortcut key as often as you should? Were there any keyboard shortcuts in the list that were new to you?

corporategeek
corporategeek

Instead of keyboard shortcuts, I prefer to use actual shortcuts to click on. I created this library to help me & others access tools hidden under lots of panels and windows: The Biggest Library of Windows 7 Shortcuts.

Poseidon2020
Poseidon2020

Thanks for the OneNote tip. I use OneNote everyday day to save articles and selected email in Outlook 2007. For readers who haven't tried it....just click on the OneNote icon in the IE toolbar and your selection will magically appear in OneNote where you can easily edit, email (as an attachment, or PDF) , send to Word or drag to a workbook page in OneNote. Or just click on the OneNote icon i The OneNote icon can reside in your taskbar and there are two shortcuts to opening the program: Windows+N opens a New Desktop Side Note and Windows + Shift + N will open OneNote. OneNote is a handy, easy-to-use and very versatile program.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Thank you for the high praise and the proposal. :)

LvTravel
LvTravel

I just copied the info above the list and the list and pasted into a MS Word Document and got what I believe you want.

kschlotthauer
kschlotthauer

besides that, most applications use the "F1" as there HELP menu.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

When I started using PCs, the OS was CP/M86. After we switched to MS-DOS and Wordstar, then WordPerfect, I learned as many keyboard shortcuts as I could and have been learning and using them ever since. I don't know if I'm more or less coordinated than you, but it's sooo much faster for me to use keyboard shortcuts than to find the mouse, find the pointer, move to the spot, click or highlight, etc., etc., etc.

shaggie_i_r
shaggie_i_r

don't need to use win key...just prt sc and then paste to paint....

kschlotthauer
kschlotthauer

Try using the SNIPPING TOOL that comes with Windows 7....it is like SNAG-IT....but free!

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

PrtScrn alone captures the whole screen to clipboard (including both monitors if you have an extended desktop) Alt+PrtScrn gets you the active window only

dogknees
dogknees

Just PrintScrn will do the trick.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

There is a table in the blog post with all the keyboard shortcuts - do you not see it? Are we having a technical problem with tables?

kschlotthauer
kschlotthauer

I prefer to use the SNIPPING tool (Start --> Programs --> Accessories -> Snipping tool). This is more like SNAG-IT, you drag and cut. Print Screen works great if you want to capture the whole screen, but SNIPPING works great to just capture what you want.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

Most of these are not new and have existed since at least Win98. The ones I use the most are: Win+L = Lock (Every time I stand up) Win+R = Run (To get to command.com) Win+Print Screen = Screenshot (you didn't even list this one) I sometimes use Win+E for explore or Win+PauseBreak to check stats. The other functions are usually easier with a mouse.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

Inspiron dual core. Maybe 'pause' and 'break' were associated with the not-included numerical pad....Thanks anyway, Chris.

john.a.wills
john.a.wills

I have figured out that one must click on the title that comes up after one has clicked on the title for the discussion, but how was I supposed to know that?

sdhyatt
sdhyatt

I always used PrtScn for screenshots, but when I got Win7, it stopped working. I don't mind using the "Snipping Tool," but screenshots are essential for creating tutorials. Thank you for this shortcut.

TheWerewolf
TheWerewolf

PrtScrn works fine all on its own. Bonus - Alt+PrtScrn will capture just the active window.