What to Read Next

11 Windows Key Shortcuts to Help You Zip Through Microsoft’s OS

May 12, 2014


You took the first step — buying technology. Now all you have to do is master it. We’re here to help, with tips and tricks you may have missed. If you know them already — well done, guru! If not, there’s no better time to start learning than right now.

Skill Level: Beginner

Keyboard shortcuts are a great and fast way to perform tasks on your laptop without dragging your mouse button around. Here are some of the best secret (or not-so-secret) Windows Key shortcuts in Windows 8.1.

Windows Key (techhack.co.uk)

1. Lock your computer or switch users: Windows Key + L

2. Open the first, second (and so on) program pinned to the taskbar: Windows Key + 1, Windows Key + 2 (and so on)

3. Search (anywhere): Windows Key + Q or Windows Key + S

4. Display the desktop: Windows Key + D

5. Minimize all windows: Windows Key + M

6. Open This PC in an Explorer window: Windows Key + E

7. Maximize the window: Windows Key + Up Key

8. Snap window to the left side or right side of the screen: Windows Key + Left Arrow Key or Windows Key + Right Arrow Key

9. Minimize all but the active window: Windows Key + Home

10. Peek at desktop: Windows Key + comma (,)

11. Switch to the program that displayed a message in the notification area: Ctrl + Windows Key + B

Excerpted with permission from David Pogue’s Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual from O’Reilly Media.