Windows Vista / Getting Started

Windows Key Shortcuts

If you are an experienced Windows user, you probably already know that you push the Windows Key to bring up the Start menu. But in addition to that, there are a bunch of standard Windows Key shortcuts. (Notethat this table also includes a couple of shortcuts that don't require the Windows key.)

Vista Shortcuts using the Windows key

Shortcut Key(s)What It Does
Windows Key+BSets focus to first icon in the notification area. You can use arrow keys to move among the icons in the notification area or press Tab to move around on the taskbar.
Windows Key+DShow Desktop (without the Sidebar).
Windows Key+EWindows Explorer (opens to Computer).
Windows Key+FFind Files or Folders (aka Search).
Windows Key+MMinimize All windows (Sidebar not included).
Windows Key+Shift+MUndo Minimize All Windows.
Windows Key+ROpen the Run dialog box.
Windows Key+Tab3-D Flip (flips you through your applications but with a cool graphic instead of the standard Alt+Tab). Requires the use of the Aero user interface.
Windows Key+Pause/BreakSystem Properties.
Windows Key+F1Windows Help.
Windows Key+LLocks workstation. If the user account has a password, it must be reentered to unlock the system again.
Windows Key+UEase of Access Settings.
Windows Key+SpacebarThis shows the Sidebar (the Sidebar must be open, but minimized).
Ctrl+Windows Key+TabBrings up Flip-3D, but it will stay on the desktop so you can scroll up, down, left and right.
Windows Key+TAllows you to tab between application buttons on the taskbar.
Ctrl+Shift+EscOpens Task Manager.
Alt+TabWindows Flip. Allows you to choose an open application to switch to by repeatedly pressing the Tab key.
[Contents] [Next]