Introduction: Hidden Powers of the "Windows" Key on Your Keyboard. 8 Situations Where It Can Help You (+video Inside)

Picture of Hidden Powers of the "Windows" Key on Your Keyboard. 8 Situations Where It Can Help You (+video Inside)
Here's how you can give an extra boost to your productivity with some really unknown shortcuts.
I found on different websites, various uses of the largely ignored
"Windows" key on our keyboard. Turned out there are quite some
useful shortcuts this key can offer.

I made a list of them and then decided to select the most useful and put them in a video. So, there you have it.
Hope you find it useful.

Spread the word, send this video to other friends and ask them
if they knew these shorcuts. Actually, I had no idea about them until 2 days ago after I discovered a blog post about this key and started to do some research about them.

It's quite a productivity booster, if you ask me.

So, start using them and tell me how you feel about it.

Step 1: The List of the Commands

Picture of The List of the Commands

Here's the list of the commands shown in the video:
(for the users with narrow bandwidth/dialup)

Press "Win key" : Opens Start Menu

Press "Win key+ E": Opens up Windows Explorer

Press "Win key+ R": Opens the Run command.

Press "Win key+ F": Opens up the Search Files window

Press "Win key+ D": Shows the Desktop

Press "Win key+ D" again: Brings up all the windows back

Press "Win key+ M": Minimizes all open windows

Press "Win key+ F1": Brings up the Help Menu

Press "Win key+ Pause/Break": Shows the System Properties box



NtrdzoxpV (author)2016-03-07

Sharing my experience to say,if someone need windows product keys,you can go to to got.I'm here to buy a key, a hundred percent genuine.

Vinsu (author)2011-03-24

Wow. Being using Windows for over a decade now and this is really new to me. It's weird that all those OS-tips I have seen had never "revealed" these simple commands, thank you very much.

topdawg116 (author)2007-06-21

Is there a Windows combo that will give me back 2:03 minutes of my life back?

pres windows logo, then follow this guide

aiden120000 (author)2007-06-10

win key + l swtiches users

erikals (author)aiden1200002009-07-30

Yes, you are correct. On a computer with Fast User Switching enabled (such as a home computer) Win Key + L would switch out your user and return to the home screen. On a computer with Fast User Switching disabled (such as a school computer) Win Key + L would lock your computer. Hope that helps a bit

Brianne (author)2008-06-24

win key + any of the numbers opens up the corresponding quicklaunch icon ie. the person who wrote that win key + 3 opens IE has that as their 3rd quick launch icon.... my 3rd one happens to be my documents and that is what is opened when I press win key + 3.

erikals (author)Brianne2009-07-30

cool ill try it now

memyselfand1 (author)2009-01-31

Win + L locks PC. Just found out.

Noodle93 (author)2008-07-01

Win + M Minimizes, but Win + Shift + M opens them up again ;) Also, to piss people off at school hold Win + E or Win + F1 down on their computers.

memyselfand1 (author)Noodle932009-01-31

Everybody holds down Windows + E while you go out of the room. Fun if you do it, but not if youre on the receiving end.

MrMystery96 (author)2008-06-22

win key+u opens accessibility options just noticed that you missed that good instructables and really cool!!!

bluesman (author)2007-06-04

I found them on various sites. Some of them were stating different things. So, for example try out the combination "Win key + L" - On the site you linked here they say it locks Windows. Yet on other sites they say this command logs you off. At my computer it logs me off, actually it performs the "Switch User" command and brings up the User List. Other users said it locked up their Windows. And, would you really wanted to know about the "Win key + U" command? Because it brings up the utility manager, a control panel for helping those visually and hearing impaired. Or "Win key + B" - try it out, it focuses on the first icon in your systray. That's also a useless command. All I did was selecting them and putting them in a video. But, if you wish, I will edit this instructable and put a text list also. ;)

cas6767 (author)bluesman2008-03-29

Win+L locks your comp if you have you have your login password protected might be different on XP Home but I've only used it on pro.

DevMan (author)bluesman2007-07-19

Win + B... damn. I could have used that last month when my wireless mouse ran outta juice. Instead I wasted 5 minutes of my life digging in the kitchen junk drawer. Hmm. we need an instructable on how best to dig through the kitchen junk drawer. loose thumbtacks buried in rubber bands and string is dangerous (or hilarious!)

big-mac (author)2007-07-16

Winkey+3 opens internet explorer

sethiroth66 (author)2007-06-23

dont forget also Win+L makes you lock user/log out

ich bin ein pyro (author)2007-06-04

videos nice but i like something you put in a list because if you want something you can search it up instantly

I use them for up/down volume in Ubuntu.

challahc (author)mikedoth2007-06-22

i use it to open a new terminal window in gnome

THE_GEEK2007 (author)mikedoth2007-06-09

You use Ubuntu? So do I!! TGT

Dorkfish92 (author)THE_GEEK20072007-06-13

I use it on some of my computers too, and I got my old middle school to use edubuntu on their new dells they're getting!

ARVash (author)Dorkfish922007-06-20

GENTOO!! Ftw :P, Ubuntu is pretty good though. It's signifigantly more versatile than windows, faster and all around better :P.

idontcare (author)2007-06-17

when i tried win+e, i got to my computer/folders

Joffreyv (author)idontcare2007-06-18

Yes your Windows Explorer open then

Warcraft Maniac (author)2007-06-17

This is cool. I like it. I can't seem to memorize the combinations though.

Modernbenoni (author)2007-06-16

They missed [ + L] switches user...

DagurGisla (author)Modernbenoni2007-06-17

WHOW I didn't think and did it, heh then I logged off. :D Everything okay now.

Austinbwood (author)2007-06-13

First of all, I find many problems with this instructable. The first is that i can't find the "windows key" on my keyboard. i think my brother took it. He likes taking keys and such. Second of all. I don't have a start menu. I think he took that too. My brother likes taaking things of mine. especially useful things. Just joking. I have a Mac. What about my short cuts? Nevermind. Just rambling on now. I'll use these on my Windows Side next time. Thanks again. This was useful sorry to be Faux-annoying. Thanks again

trebuchet03 (author)Austinbwood2007-06-15

I have a Mac. What about my short cuts?

I'm sure there's plenty of people that would like the apply key shortcuts and such :D That would make a good instructable ;)

andrew101 (author)trebuchet032007-06-16

ok macs have even better short cuts go to system prefrences (under the apple) go to dashbord & expose you can program diffrent optons for moving the mouse to the corners of the screen and keybord shortcuts for example you can program for when you move the mouse to the upper left of the screen it shows all windows or when you click the roller on your mouse it brings up dashbord, also for mouse optons go to keyboard and mouse (note this is only for mac so sorry pc )

trebuchet03 (author)andrew1012007-06-16

I think you need a few periods (I stopped reading midway through the first line because of that).... In any case here's what I said:

I'm sure there's plenty of people that would like the apply key shortcuts and such :D That would make a good instructable ;)

andrew101 (author)trebuchet032007-06-16

I just told you the gist if it isnt that enough for you?

trebuchet03 (author)andrew1012007-06-17

if it isnt that enough for you?

I don't know how to comprehend that question (if it was a question)...

In any case... I was only suggesting that it be written up in instructables format. Done right, it's a great instructable idea. I was not asking for instructions in the comments (I doubt that will get any attention in a search). I personally wasn't asking for it -- my every day computer doesn't run macOS, I was just suggesting as I don't see a project on it already ;)

andrew101 (author)Austinbwood2007-06-16

please if your going to write a comment make it usefull

paulm (author)Austinbwood2007-06-14

thatsnot a problem with the instructible

andrew101 (author)2007-06-16

how do you put a vidio in your instructable. i dont know how i can only put it in as a download

Aeshir (author)2007-06-04

I really wanted to read this instructable, but it's only a video and not a real instructable. This will probably be unpublished. I ahve dial up so it's impossible to watch this. Come on man....

andrew101 (author)Aeshir2007-06-16

but it tells you all the shortcuts it has in the vidio on text

bluesman (author)Aeshir2007-06-05

Aeshir, did you even check the next step? The list with the WinKey shortcuts is there. C'mon...

Aeshir (author)bluesman2007-06-05

It wasn't there before..

bluesman (author)Aeshir2007-06-06

Yes, but it wasn't after the first publishing. I unpublished it because I corrected the video also due to a typo error in it. I had to take it down from metacafe and upload it again. During this time, this instructable was taken offline by me for about 3-4 hours. After the video was live, I also added the list as a second step there. Only afterwards did I republish it. You have overlooked it for sure, heh, it happens ;)

Pyro, I answered you there ...

i know it was for aeshir but HE answerd there too i just didnt know

royalestel (author)2007-06-16

Couple other useful keyboard shortcuts: Alt+Tab (switching between apps) Alt+F4 (close an app or an annoying ad popup) Ctrl+Tab (switch between open files within an application--this varies depending on the application) Shift+Tab (switching to the next open spot on a web form) Ctrl+Shift+Tab (switching to the previous spot on a web form) Alt (activate the underlined menu shortcuts within an application, thereafter you can use the arrow keys to navigate or hit the underlined letter on a menu item to select it.)

paulm (author)2007-06-14

useful, thanks! nice to see some w3 players too :P

girrrrrrr2 (author)2007-06-13

you should add all of the other ones that people suggest to your list...

PebbleBreeze (author)2007-06-12

Instead of the 'ka-ching' sound, a 'wah wah wah' effect would be more appropriate, as I feel like a total shmoo for not knowing this after HOW MANY *@! YEARS using Windows?!

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