(Hopefully) Helpful Hint: Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

Win8BallGot Windows 8 on a regular ol’ mouse-and-keyboard computer? Although some manufacturers have included a Start menu with their Windows 8 machines, many don’t have it and that can make the new system can seem hard to navigate if you’re not used to using the tiles on the Start screen. (Yes, there’s the Charms menu, but really, doesn’t the word charms bring to mind bracelets, leprechauns, or witches and NOT hidden menu icons for devices, settings, start, share and search?)

But while you can always download a Start menu alternative (like Classic Shell, Pokki or Win8StartButton), keyboard combos might make it easier to get things done without extra software. For long-time Windows users, these four shortcuts may help the most at first:

  • Windows Key + X: Press this shortcut and you get a menu that pops up from the bottom left corner that’s full of system options, including Windows Control Panel, Command Prompt, Task Manager and File Explorer.
  • Windows Key + Q: Tap these keys to get a menu that lets you search through a list of installed programs on the computer.
  • Windows Key + D: Press these and you jump into the desktop mode, where the scenery looks a bit more familiar.
  • Windows Key + C: Pressing Win+C displays Charms menu, which once you get used to it, isn’t so bad. Except for the name.

Microsoft has a full list of Windows 8 and Windows RT shortcuts here and some handy shortcuts for those using a mouse and keyboard here. These moves may take a little more human memory at first than just swiping and tapping the screen — but they still let you get around Windows 8 on finger power.

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