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Get Used To Few Useful Windows 8 Hotkey

After picking up few of the Windows 8 specific keyboard shortcuts, it won’t be too hard to use Windows 8 without touchscreen but just keyboard and mouse of computers that built for Windows 7/Vista.

Charm bar

Windows 8 Charm barWindows+C

Bring up the Charm bar, an alternate to moving mouse pointer to the top/bottom right corner or swipe in from the right edge of touchscreen.


Display the Settings charm, which show options to restart, sleep, or shutdown Windows, connect to network, adjust volume or brightness, temporarily hide notifications of Windows apps, switch input method, change PC settings (Windows 8 app style), Control Panel, Personalization, PC Info (System window), Help.

Search charm

Windows + Q – Display all installed program shortcuts in Start screen together with a Search function that is default to show search result of program/app. Of course, the search function also returns result of settings and/or files in the respective list. E.g. the search term “network” returns 2 items in Apps, 37 in Settings, and 1 in Files:

Windows 8 Search Charm

If you’re looking for Settings specifically, you should use Windows+W. To search for Files, press Windows+F hotkey.

Power menu

Windows 8 Start thumbnail - the new Start button.Windows+X

Display the context menu of Start thumbnail (you may consider the thumbnail as Windows 8 style of Start button), which can also be shown by moving mouse pointer to bottom-left corner and right click on the Start thumbnail.

The context menu, a.k.a. power menu, allows one to use “Show Desktop”, open Run dialog box, Search, File Explorer, Control Panel, Task Manager, Device Manager, System window, Event Viewer, Power Options, open a normal or elevated Command Prompt window, Computer or Disk Management console, Programs and Features.

Start screen vs Desktop

Windows key – Toggle between Start screen and legacy Desktop, or toggle between Start screen and Windows app running in background.

Windows+D – Switch to legacy Desktop (when in Start screen) or works like the classic “Show Desktop” function that minimize all open windows (when in legacy Desktop).

Custom Search

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