Windows Key Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts help you do things faster by keeping your hands on the keyboard and not reaching for the mouse. Windows offers a number of built-in shortcuts that rely on the Windows key (if you own a Think Pad you're out of luck). Here's a list of the Windows key shortcuts and their corresponding functions.

windows key

At its most basic, the Windows key launches the Start menu so you don't need to click it with your mouse.

windows key + E

Opens a new Windows Explorer window. This is one of the fastest ways to browse files in all versions of Windows.

windows key + D

Hides all windows and shows your desktop. Use this combo again to return to viewing the most recent Window.

windows key + F

Open a Find window using this keyboard shortcut.

windows key + L

Lock your screen on any version of Windows when you step away from your desk.

windows key + M

Minimize all open windows. This is different than the Win key + D shortcut because it actually minimizes everything instead of simply hiding it.

windows key + Shift + M

To undo a minimize, use this combo to restore your Windows.

windows key + R

Display the Run dialog instead of actually clicking Start and clicking Run.

windows key + F1

Launch the Windows Help files.

windows key + Pause

Show the system properties without needing to visit the control panel or right-click on My Computer.

windows key + Tab

Prior to Windows Vista, this cycled through items in the Taskbar. With Vista you get a 3D effect and live window preview.