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Windows 8 RTM and Development tools released for a month now and many of you have installed and played with it.  I am getting some common questions from time to time so I think it’s a good idea to share with you some useful information to help you get started with quickly.

Hardware Requirement

Windows 8 Release Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows 7:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster

  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Additional requirements to use certain features:

  • To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch.

  • To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768.

  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768.

  • Internet access (ISP fees might apply)

   
Keyboard, Mouse, Touch Shortcuts Cheat Sheet

Here is the shortcuts all in one page.  Download the Cheat Sheet here!

Metro App and Start Page Shortcuts

Keyboard

Shortcut Result

Mouse

Touch

Win

Open Start Page or Last App (alternating).

Hover bottom left corner -> click corner (repeat).

Swipe from right edge in -> Start.

Win + Tab

(release Tab,  repeat)

Open next App (rotate through Metro Apps, Desktop is one App).

Hover top left corner -> click corner (repeat).

Swipe from left edge in then out -> App.

Or swipe from left edge in.

Win + Tab (release Tab, repeat), Delete

Close a background App.

Hover top left corner then down -> right click App -> Close.

Swipe from left edge in then out -> drag App all the way to bottom of screen.

Alt + F4

Close active App.

Hover top middle -> click and drag app all the way to the bottom.

Swipe from top edge all the way to the bottom.

Win + Z

Open the App commands bar.

In App, right-click open space.

On Start, right-click a Tile.

Swipe from bottom edge or top edge.

Win + . (requires 1366x768 resolution)

Snap App right. Move the split to the right. (Desktop is a single App.)

Hover top edge, click and drag app to right.

Or select split line, drag right.

Swipe from top edge, drag app to right.

Or select split line, drag right.

Win + Shift + .

Snap App left. Move the split to the left

(Desktop is a single App.)

Hover top edge, click and drag app to left.

Or select split line, drag left.

Swipe from top edge, drag app to right.

Or select Split line, drag left.

Ctrl + -

On ­Start Page, Zoom Out.

Hover bottom right corner -> click corner (Summary View icon.) Or Ctrl + Scroll wheel down.

Pinch in.

Ctrl + =

On ­Start Page, Zoom back In.

Click open area. Or Ctrl + Scroll wheel down.

Pinch out.

Ctrl + Alt + Del

Access to Lock, Switch User, Sign out, Change a password, Task Manager, Ease of Access, and Power down choices.

Alternatives: Start Page -> [User] -> Lock, Sign Out, or Switch Account. Hover bottom left corner -> right click -> Task Manager. Hover top right corner then down -> Settings -> Power

Hold Win button and press Power button.

PgDn

Move Start page tiles to the left.

Scroll wheel down.

Slide left.

PgUp

Move Start page tiles to the right.

Scroll wheel up.

Slide right.

Arrows, Space, Tab

Move active tile, Select, move Focus

Move mouse, right-click Tile(s), click command

Swipe tile(s), tap command.

Metro Charm Shortcuts

Keyboard

Shortcut Result

Mouse

Touch

Win + C

Open Charms (also shows Date/Time/Power/Net).

Hover top right corner then move down.

Swipe from right edge.

Win + F

Open Search Charm on Files.

Hover top right corner -> Search -> Files.

Swipe from right edge -> Search -> Files.

Win + W

Open Search Charm on Settings.

Hover top right corner -> Search -> Settings.

Swipe from right edge -> Search -> Files.

Win + Q

Open Search Charm on Active App

(on right side only if supported by App).

Hover top right corner -> Search.

Swipe from right edge -> Search.

Typing on Start Page

Search Apps.

Hover top right corner -> Search.

Swipe from right edge -> Search.

Win + H

Open Share Charm.

Hover top right corner -> Share.

Swipe from right edge -> Share.

Win + I

Open Settings Charm (plus Start Settings and Metro Help).

Hover top right corner -> Settings.

Swipe from right edge -> Settings.

Win + K

Open Devices Charm.

Hover top right corner -> Devices.

Swipe from right edge -> Devices.

Desktop Shortcuts

Keyboard

Shortcut Result

Mouse

Touch

Win + D

Show Desktop.

Click Desktop tile.

Start page -> Desktop tile.

Win + E

Open Windows Explorer.

Click Explorer tile.

Start page -> Explorer tile.

Win + I

Open Settings Charm (plus Control Panel, Personalization, PC Info, and Desktop Help).

Hover top right corner -> Settings.

Swipe from right edge -> Settings.

Win + X

Open Desktop quick menu (it’s like a mini Start Menu!)

Hover bottom left corner -> right click.

 

Win + R

Open Run Dialog.

Hover bottom left corner -> right click -> Run.

 

Win + T

Cycle through Desktop apps on the Taskbar

Hover bottom left corner -> right click -> click -> Hover across Taskbar -> click.

Start page -> Desktop tile -> Taskbar app

Alt + Tab

(release Tab,  repeat)

Open next App (rotates through Apps, Desktop apps each have one place in rotation).

Hover bottom left corner -> right click -> click -> Hover across Taskbar -> click.

Start page -> Desktop tile -> Taskbar app

Alt + 1 to 9

 

Open the pinned Taskbar application

Hover bottom left corner -> right click -> click -> Hover across Taskbar -> click.

Start page -> Desktop tile -> Taskbar app

Other Shortcuts

Keyboard

Shortcut Result

Mouse

Touch

Win + L

Lock Computer.

Start Page -> [User] -> Lock.

Start Page -> [User] -> Lock.

Win + P

Second screen options.

Hover top right corner then move down -> Devices -> Second screen.

Swipe from right edge -> Devices -> Second screen.

Win + ,

Desktop peek (to see notifications I believe)

 

 

Win + O

Lock screen rotation (if PC detects this)

 

 

Win + V

Cycle through toasts.

 

 

Win + Shift + V

Cycle through toasts in reverse.

 

 

Win + U

Ease of Access Center

Hover bottom left corner -> right click -> Control Panel -> Ease of Access -> Ease of Access Center

 

Win + Enter

Launch Narrator.

 

 

Win + =

Magnifier, Zoom In.

 

 

Win + -

When Magnified, Zoom Out.

 

 

Internet Explorer Shortcuts

Ctrl + Tab

Cycle through open Tabs

Right-click an empty area -> Tab

Swipe from top edge -> Tab

Ctrl + Shift + P

Open an InPrivate Tab

Right-click an empty area -> (+)

Swipe from top edge -> (+)

Ctrl + T

Open a new Tab

Right-click an empty area -> 3 dots -> InPrivate

Swipe from top edge -> 3 dots -> InPrivate

Ctrl + F4

Close the active Tab

Right-click an empty area -> Tab (x)

Swipe from top edge -> Tab (x)

Tab

Shift + Tab

Enter

Move forward through items on a Web page.

Move backwards.

Activate the selected item.

Click the item you want.

Tap the item you want.

Ctrl + P

Print page.

 

 

 

View page on Desktop IE (good for opening pages with Adobe Flash).

Right-click an empty area -> Page tools -> View on the Desktop

 

Ctrl + L

Alt + D

Open Address bar (includes frequent and pinned pages).

 

 

Backspace

Go back to previous Web page

Move mouse to mid-left edge -> Click back.

Slide right.

Shift + Backspace

Go forward to previous Web page

Move mouse to mid-right edge -> Click forward.

Slide left.

 

Other Useful Shortcuts

See Shortcuts and surprises in the Windows 8 for the following useful shortcuts

  • Fast access to system-management tools
  • Screen Capture
  • Refresh to restore your system

Windows 8 Support

Visit Windows 8 Forum, Free Developer Events, and local contacts.