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20 Great Shortcuts Using the Windows Key

Our Keyboard has many necessary keys, which we mainly know and use on a regular basis, but there are some other special combinations that can save us time and make life easier when using the computer. One of the most useful, yet often ignored, keys is the “Windows” key. It is directly related to the Windows operating system functions and when used in combination with certain other keys – it turns even the most non-computer-friendly person into a computer whiz!

What is this “Windows” key?

This key is almost always between the Alt and Ctrl keys.


Different manufacturers change the way the key looks from time to time, but the general theme is as presented below:

          

Windows 7 / Vista Key Combos

Keyboard      Keyboard

This combo will minimize any program that’s currently running and return you to the main desktop.

Keyboard      Keyboard

This combo loads the Windows “Search” feature – allowing you to search for files and programs on your computer.

Keyboard      Keyboard

Holding this combo down will allow you to switch between open windows in a visual manner and with ease.

Keyboard      Keyboard

This will lock your computer, bringing it to the password login window. (This is especially useful if you have cats or kids who like to play with the keyboard when you leave your desk)

Keyboard      Keyboard

   Keyboard

This combo launches the Media Player – allowing you to watch movies and play music.

Keyboard...

This combo will open a corresponding window that’s currently running in the taskbar.

Keyboard      Keyboard

Maximize the window to fill the screen.

Keyboard      

Restore window to its original size or minimize it to the taskbar.

Keyboard      

Fits the window to the right half of the screen, allowing you to work on 2 windows at the same time.

Keyboard      

Same as above, only it will fit the window to the left half of the screen.

Keyboard      OR   Keyboard

If you use more than one screen – this combo will move the active window to the other screen.

KeyboardKeyboardOR

If you have a hard time reading what’s on the screen, this combo will launch the magnifying glass feature.

Keyboard      Keyboard

Minimizes all active windows, except for the one you’re currently using.

 

Combos added in Windows 8 & 8.1

Keyboard      Keyboard

This combo opens the right hand side options menu.

Keyboard      Keyboard

This combo launches the quick-link menu.

Keyboard   Keyboard

Switch input language - similar to the Alt+Shift combo, but it will also let you know which language was chosen.

Keyboard      Keyboard

Takes a screenshot and saves it to your “Pictures” directory.

Keyboard      Keyboard

Launch the Windows Accessibility Center – Here you can adjust settings like the size of the fonts, etc.

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