Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

Start typing with a keyboard in the Start screen to quickly search and launch applications. Find additional applications (e.g. accessories) can be found in the application list by clicking on the “Search” charm.

New shell keyboard shortcuts:
WIN+Q for application search
WIN+W for settings search
WIN+F for files search
WIN+I for “settings” charm
WIN+O for rotation lock
WIN+C to bring up simple “Start menu” and time/date

Most old shell keyboard shortcuts also work: e.g. WIN+D activates desktop, WIN+R opens “Run”, WIN+L locks user. WIN+E opens Explorer.
In mouse mode, activate the options/charms by moving the mouse to the bottom left edge (where the Windows button used to be).
In mouse mode, right clicking activates in-app options.
With a keyboard, you can use the arrow keys and page up/down to select tiles. Enter launches them. The “menu” button (the key with a drop down) selects them.

Make sure to check the “settings” charm in applications to reveal app-specific settings. Enable the “high contrast” mode in Control Panel > Ease of Access to see a dark themed Start screen (above)

To get back the old start menu, open regedit, go to


change value of RPEnabled from “1” to “0”

Author: Jas Dhaliwal

Jas Dhaliwal is a highly experienced International Social Media Strategist. He specializes in building and engaging with social communities across the web. Born and bred in London, he is passionate about technology and social anthropology. You can follow @Jas on Twitter