Wow.. The Windows Key is useful after all

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.

the windows key on your keyboard

When used in combination with other keys, here’s what you can do:

Windows logo Windows Key + Tab: Cycle through the buttons in the Task Bar.
Windows logo Windows Key + D: Minimize or restore all windows
Windows logo Windows Key + E: Launch Windows Explorer
Windows logo Windows Key + F: Launch Search for Files
Windows logo Windows Key + Ctrl + F: Launch Search for Computers
Windows logo Windows Key + F1: Launch the Help and Support Center
Windows logo Windows Key + R: Launch the Run dialog box
Windows logo Windows Key + Pause/Break: Launch System Properties dialog box
Windows logo Windows Key + M: Minimizes all open windows.
Windows logo Windows Key + Shift + M: Undo minimize all windows
Windows logo Windows Key + L: Locks the workstation
Windows logo Windows Key + U: Launch the Utility Manager
Windows logo 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 logo Windows Key + L: Log off Windows
Windows logo Windows Key + P: Starts Print Manager
Windows logo Windows Key + C: Opens Control Panel
Windows logo Windows Key + V: Starts Clipboard
Windows logo Windows Key + K: Opens Keyboard Properties dialog box
Windows logo Windows Key + I: Opens Mouse Properties dialog box
Windows logo Windows Key + A: Starts Accessibility Options (if installed)
Windows logo Windows Key + Spacebar: Displays the list of Microsoft IntelliType shortcut keys
Windows logo Windows Key + S: Toggles CAPS LOCK on and off

Here are some that are specific to Windows Vista:

Windows logo Windows Key + G: Cycle through the Sidebar Gadgets
Windows logo Windows Key + T: Cycle through programs on the Taskbar
Windows logo Windows Key + U: Open the Ease of Access Center
Windows logo Windows Key + X: Open the Windows Mobile Center


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4 thoughts on “Wow.. The Windows Key is useful after all”

  1. i have benefited alot from all your contribution. i can now perform some basic settings with my key board without any problem.

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