How to Navigate Windows 8 with Useful Keyboard Shortcuts
How to Navigate Windows 8 with Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

Finding what you need in Windows 8 can be tricky, use Keyboard Shortcuts for quick and easy Navigation

Windows 8 has a fresh look interface, and may be a bit tricky to work out how to get your way around at first. This tutorial just focuses a few very simple keystroke combinations that gets you to what you need to nice an quick. All of the shortcuts involve the use of the 'Windows' key, usually in combination with one other key.  The Windows key, or sometimes called the 'Start' key, is located usually between the 'Ctrl' key and the 'Alt' key on the left lower corner of the keyboard, this is an image of the Windows key:


As you become used to Windows 8, you will find yourself using the Windows key all the time, as it is the easiest and quickest way to navigate around. You just need to practice using these key combinations, and before you know it you will become an expert.

This tutorial is for desktop computers, notebooks, and tables which have keyboards attached.  If you are using a touchscreen, then this tutorial will not be useful as you will be using touch to naviage rather than a keyboard.

Your very first look at the Windows 8 interface, when you turn on your comptuer for the first time, will present you with a brand new look interface, called the 'Start Screen', and sometimes refered to as the 'Metro Interface'.  The Start screen will  look similar to this example below, the colour scheme and tiles may look a lilttle different:



After a play in the Start Screen, and having a look at what each of the various tiles are about, you might be wondering to yourself what happened to the familiar 'Desktop' we have all become used to since way back as far as 'Windows 98'.  Well, you may be pleased to know it is still there, you just need to know how to get to it.  One ease way, is to click on the tile, that is named 'Desktop', however, as in may things on Windows 8, you can also get there by a quick and easy keyboard shortcut, as presented below, with other useful keyboard shortcuts as well.


Windows Key and D Key (Desktop)

Pressing both the Windows and the D Key together will bring up the familiar Desktop Screen, as shown below. When you are new to Windows 8, it is important to feel you can get to familiar territory very quickly, so getting used to this shortcut will help your transition.



Window Key (Start Screen)

Hitting the Windows key on its own, in any screen will instantly bring up the Start Screen (Metro Interface). If you are already in the Start screen, hitting the Window key will bring up the very last screen you were in.  The image blow is of the Start screen.



Application Search (No Shortcut Keys, Just Start Typing the Name of your Application)

Without the familiar start button, with the convenient search bar right above, it will be a task to work out how to find the search function, unless you keep reading here. In the Start screen, to initiate a search simply start typing the name of the application you need. For example you want to quickly open File Explorer, simply type the word, "Explorer". You will see the screen change to a search screen, immediately when you type your first letter, and search results will start appearing on the left panel as you type your letters, just mouse click on the Application you are looking for.  That is about all there is to it, searching does not get easier than that. See our screen print example below:



Windows Key and I Key (Settings – Control Panel, Shut Down)

If you are new to Windows 8, it's not immediately apparent how to shut down the computer, as clearly there is no 'Start' button, as we have all been used to. However, just by simply pressing the Windows key together with the "I" key brings up a 'Settings' panel to the right side of your screen, allowing you to easily get to the 'Power' button for shutting down, your Control Panel, Personalise and more.



Windows Key and Pause Button Key (Displays your Computer Properties)

To display your basic computer information (Computer Properties) simply press the Windows key together with the 'Pause Break' button, this will instantly bring up the screen, as shown below, giving you information about your computer hardware and software.  It is also a quick way to get to 'Device Manager', 'Remote Settings', 'System Protection' and 'Advanced Settings', see example below:




Windows and R keys (Run Box)

Windows and R keys together will quickly bring up the familiar Run Box, as shown below:



There are many other shortcuts not mentioned here, our objective was to cover the main navigational keystoke combinations for easy navigation, and the Application Search function which will allow you to find any application installed on the computer very quickly.


This completes our tutorial on 'How to Navigate Windows 8 with Useful Keyboard Shortcuts', if you would like to check out our other Windows 8 Tutorials, click here: Windows 8 Tutorials

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