Windows Key Shortcuts

In many previous posts I provided step-by-step instructions for performing certain tasks. At times I mentioned several methods of accomplishing one of the steps, and usually it involved using the Windows key on your keyboard. This key provides many shortcuts for commonly used functions within Windows.

I have decided to compile a list of the various functions that the Windows key can accomplish for future reference. They are listed within this post.

The Windows Key

The Windows key is located, usually, between the left CONTROL and ALT keys on the keyboard. You use the key the same way you use the other keys, simply by pressing and holding it down and typing another key. The following table provides a listing of the various key combinations and the action they perform.

Combination Action
Windows Key Opens the Start menu.
Windows Key+D Minimizes all open windows and shows the desktop.
Windows Key+E Opens Windows Explorer.
Windows Key+F Displays the Find files or folders dialog.
CTRL+Windows Key+F Finds a computer on the network.
Windows Key+M Minimizes all windows.
SHIFT+Windows Key+M Undo Minimize all windows.
Windows Key+R Opens the Run dialog box.
Windows Key+F1 Displays the Help window.
CTRL+Windows Key+TAB Cycle through the Taskbar buttons.
CTRL+Windows Key+TAB Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray (use RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW to move focus to items on the Quick Launch toolbar and the system tray).
Windows Key+BREAK Displays the System Properties window.


This post has provided the shortcuts associated with the Windows key on the keyboard. There are more, however, you need the Intellitype software installed. In the future I may create a listing of the most common keyboard shortcuts for your reference.

One Response to “Windows Key Shortcuts”

  1. Carol says:

    Thanks so much for providing these shortcuts to those of us who are NOT to technically savvy. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.