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You’ve probably already been using hotkeys in Windows 7 and previous versions, so now that Windows 8 is out, all you need to learn are the new shortcut keys. Here are the important new keys in a short list that you can easily learn.

New Windows 8 Shortcut Keys

There might be a couple of new keys that aren’t included in this list, but as far as we know, these are the most important ones.

  • Windows key – brings up the Metro start screen. You can start typing to search for an app, just like the Win7 start menu.
  • Win + D – brings up the old Windows desktop.
  • Win + C – brings up the Charms menu, where you can search, share, and change settings.
  • Win + I – opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness.
  • Win + Z – opens the App Bar for the current Metro application.
  • Win + H – opens the Metro Share panel.
  • Win + Q – brings up the Metro App Search screen.
  • Win + W – brings up the Metro Settings search screen.
  • Win + F – brings up the Metro File search screen.
  • Win + K – opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)
  • Win + ,  (comma) – Aero Peek at the desktop.
  • Win + .  (period) – Snaps the current Metro application to one side of the screen. (Right side)
  • Win + Shift + . (period)  – Snaps the current Metro application to the other side of the screen. (Left side)
  • Win + J – switches focus between snapped Metro applications.
  • Win + Page Up / Down – moves the current app to the other monitor.
  • Win + Tab – opens the Metro application switcher menu, switches between applications.

You might notice that we didn’t show screenshots of how all these shortcut keys work, and there’s a reason for that: you need to test them out for yourself to really learn how they work.

If there’s any other shortcut keys that are new to Windows 8 and we haven’t featured them, be sure to let us know in the comments.

Lowell Heddings Lowell Heddings
Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people.
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