Some of you might have heard of the word “hotkeys” but not understood what it means. A hotkey is a key or combination of keys on a keyboard, you can press to make the operating system make changes that you would normally need to navigate around to do. The point of the key combinations are to save you time. The hard part? Learning the key combinations in the first place. Most people don’t take the time to learn a series of hotkeys, but rather navigate through the operating system the long way around.

If you were to take a few minutes and get to know some combinations, I assure you would save some time in the long run. Some people will save a great deal of time.

Windows 8 hotkeys

Here is a list of hotkeys you can use for the Windows 8 operating systems. Traditionally speaking, Windows come out with a bunch of new key combinations for each OS release. You can probably expect more keys to arrive with Windows 10 to go along with the new Windows 10 features. However, you should still find most of the hotkeys you learn today with Windows 8 will stick around for the long run so you aren’t wasting your time learning them.

  • Windows + C — Open Charm bar
  • Alt + Tab — Open app switcher, which allows you to preview and switch to other open apps and windows
  • Windows + H — Open Share
  • Windows + L — Lock your Windows
  • Windows + I — Open Settings
  • Windows + F — Open Search
  • Windows + Q — Search
  • Windows + Z or Menu key (the key usually is placed between right ALT and Ctrl key) – Show app bar
  • Ctrl + plus (+) — Zoom in
  • Ctrl + minus (-) — Zoom out
  • Windows + Shift + period/Full stop — Snap a window or app to the left
  • Windows + Tab — Switch between open apps, the desktop, and other open windows
  • Windows + Ctrl + Tab — Snap the app switcher to the left of your screen so that you can choose which app you want using your mouse
  • Windows + O — Lock device (tablet) orientation
  • Windows + T — Preview opened windows in the Taskbar
  • Windows + Print Screen (prt sc) — Take a screenshot of your whole screen and then automatically it save as PNG file in Pictures Library
  • Windows + X — Open System Utility menu in bottom-left corner
  • Windows + E — Open Windows Explorer
  • Windows + M — Minimize all apps
  • Windows + K — Open Devices
  • Windows + R — Open “Run” dialog
  • Windows + Spacebar — Switch input language
  • Windows + D — Go directly to the desktop from whatever app or window you have open
  • Windows + period/Full stop — Snap a window or app to the right
  • Windows + Q — Search your apps