Vista:: Shortcut keys

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While I am using the Win-Tab (flip 3d) and Win-L (lock computer) key a lot I was wondering which keystrokes could be handy so I tried them out and here is the result:


Win-Space: Show sidebar

Win-D: Show desktop

Win-Tab: Flip 3D

Ctrl Win-Tab: Flip 3D which stays onto desktop, you can then scroll with up, down, left and right keys

Win-E: Opens explorer window

Win-R: Opens the run dialogue box, yes it still exists

Win-T: Tabs between running applications onto the taskbar, you know like you would hover over each task with the mouse and get a live preview of the app's.

Win-Q: When I tried this one out it launches the Office communicator for me, how does this behave for you?

Win-F: Opens the search window.

Win-G: Gives the sidebar the focus and when you press this key combination again it tabs between the gadgets on the sidebar

Win-L: Locks the computer, I use this a lot just quickly lock the PC when you go grab a cup of coffee.

Win-U: Opens the Ease of Access Center

Win-M: Minimizes all windows

Shift Win-M: Undo minimize windows

Win-X: Opens the Windows Mobility center

Win-Number: Press the Win key and then choose a number of the applications that are in the quick launch task bar. An example the third icon on the taskbar (starting from left) is IE so to run IE press Win-3 and it will launch IE.

Another shortcut of key combination I use often is the ctrl-shift-esc to open the Task Manager

Which shortcuts are you using?


Technorati tags:
  • What's the difference between switching to the desktop and minimizing all windows?

  • The show desktop actually only shows the desktop and even the sidebar is hidden.

    With the minimize all windows function you can after minimizing undo that by using the shift + window key + M. Which is something you cannot do with show desktop.

    Hope this answer your question.

  • is there no shortcut key to close the sidebar once it is open?

  • Joe,

    Unfortunately there is no shortcut key to do that. Sorry



  • Коллеги, сегодня хотелось бы рассказать о "горячих клавишах", которые существуют в ОС Windows Vista.

  • what's the shortcut to get to shutdown?

    in xp, i could hit the start key, the hit the U key and i'd get the shutdown menu (restart, hibernate, etc)

    now it seems to require some mouse clicks or arrow movements


  • I can't get the Flip 3D working, the Win + Tab does nothing. How do I get it working?

  • Muddyh2o

    In Vista you will not be able to do it the same way because of the search focus but you could hit the tab key to get into the shutdown menu



  • Josh,

    Do you see transparent windows? If not you don't have areo enabled.

    Open the Windows color and appearance panel and there select open classic appearance for more color options.

    Here you should be able to see the Windows Aero select this and it will be fine. If you don't see it it can mean that your video card is not areo compatible.



  • I am having the same problem as Josh. I tried enabling aero but for some reason it just goes back to windowns vista basic everytime. When I first installed vista on my computer, i was able to use the win + tab shortcut. Now, it has become a problem. Can anyone help?

  • Amish,

    Can you give some more details about your video card and drivers that you are using.

    You can mail it to



  • I had the areo problem on a laptop when the drivers didn't get installed during install.  

    i had to have my system re-rated in control panel after i upgraded all the drivers for it to start using it.

  • Control Panel\Performance Information and Tools

    "Update my score"

    Then see, if not its a driver problem or your hardware isn't capable.

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