Trying out the Windows 8 Release Preview, but getting a little stuck on some aspects of the new UI? Try these shortcut keys as quick ways to get around …
WINDOWS KEY - Toggles between the Start screen and the foremost running app (Windows 8-style) or the Windows Desktop.
WINDOWS KEY + 1, WINDOWS KEY + 2, etc. - Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the nth shortcut in the Windows taskbar. So WINDOWS KEY + 1 would launch whichever application is first in the list, from left to right.
WINDOWS KEY + B - Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and select the tray notification area.
WINDOWS KEY + C - Display Charms and time/date/notification overlay. (Note that this shortcut displays the charms in the lower left of the screen and not on the right as would be the case using touch.)
WINDOWS KEY + D - Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and toggle Show Desktop (hides/shows any applications and other windows).
WINDOWS KEY + E. Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.
WINDOWS KEY + F - Search Files using the new Windows Search pane.
WINDOWS KEY + I - Display Settings pane for the Start screen (also provides access to Networks, Volume, Screen Brightness, Notifications, Power, and Language).
WINDOWS KEY + L - Lock PC and return to Lock screen.
WINDOWS KEY + M - Minimize the selected Explorer window.
WINDOWS KEY + O - Toggle orientation switching on slate and tablet PCs.
WINDOWS KEY + P - Display the new Project (for "projection") pane for choosing between available displays.
WINDOWS KEY + Q - Search (within) Apps using the new Windows Search pane.
WINDOWS KEY + R - Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box.
WINDOWS KEY + U - Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.
WINDOWS KEY + X - Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Windows shortcuts pop-up menu.
WINDOWS KEY + Z - Display the App Bar in a Windows 8-style app.
WINDOWS KEY + ARROW KEYS - Aero Snap (on classic Desktop)
My favorite hotkey shortcuts are I, C and X! What's yours?
Have you found any others? If so, post them in the Comments below!
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Keith Mayer is a Senior Technical Architect at Microsoft, focused on helping ISV partners leverage the Azure cloud platform. Keith has over 20 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of customers and partners worldwide on design of enterprise technology solutions.
Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including Azure, Private Cloud, System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint, SQL Server and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from VMware, IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.
You can contact Keith online at http://aka.ms/AskKeith.