In all honesty, I always thought the “Windows Key” on my keyboard was just a nuisance. It was just the thing I accidentally hit once in a while and the darn Start menu would pop up. Turns out I was wrong, it has a lot of uses.
When used in combination with other keys, here’s what you can do:
Windows Key + Tab: Cycle through the buttons in the Task Bar.
Windows Key + D: Minimize or restore all windows
Windows Key + E: Launch Windows Explorer
Windows Key + F: Launch Search for Files
Windows Key + Ctrl + F: Launch Search for Computers
Windows Key + F1: Launch the Help and Support Center
Windows Key + R: Launch the Run dialog box
Windows Key + Pause/Break: Launch System Properties dialog box
Windows Key + M: Minimizes all open windows.
Windows Key + Shift + M: Undo minimize all windows
Windows Key + L: Locks the workstation
Windows Key + U: Launch the Utility Manager
Windows Key + Ctrl + Tab: According to Microsoft: Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray. What it does for me in XP: moves through the tabs in your current application (Firefox 2, IE 7, Homesite+ and Paint Shop Pro XI)
If you have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard with IntelliType software installed you can use the following shortcuts as well. As it happens, I do have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard, so I installed IntelliType and sure enough these now work:
Windows Key + L: Log off Windows
Windows Key + P: Starts Print Manager
Windows Key + C: Opens Control Panel
Windows Key + V: Starts Clipboard
Windows Key + K: Opens Keyboard Properties dialog box
Windows Key + I: Opens Mouse Properties dialog box
Windows Key + A: Starts Accessibility Options (if installed)
Windows Key + Spacebar: Displays the list of Microsoft IntelliType shortcut keys
Windows Key + S: Toggles CAPS LOCK on and off
Here are some that are specific to Windows Vista:
Windows Key + G: Cycle through the Sidebar Gadgets
Windows Key + T: Cycle through programs on the Taskbar
Windows Key + U: Open the Ease of Access Center
Windows Key + X: Open the Windows Mobile Center
4 thoughts on “Wow.. The Windows Key is useful after all”
i have benefited alot from all your contribution. i can now perform some basic settings with my key board without any problem.
this is soooo awesome
interesting, i was wondering though, what is the “pause/break” key for.