Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

Windows users are used to using a mouse to navigate Windows, but there are times when some good, old-fashioned keyboard commands can do the job faster.

The Windows Key

Virtually all keyboards today include two keys with the Windows logo. Windows uses these keys for shortcuts to several system functions, saving users time clicking through the various layers in the Start menu.


When these keys are pressed together, Windows opens its "Find" dialog ("Search" for Windows 2000 users).


Opens a new Windows Explorer window for quick access to files.


Opens the "Run" dialog, allowing users to quickly type in a program name to run. The Run dialog also can act as a shortcut to open a drive window. Simply type a drive and/or path and click the OK button and Windows will open a new window starting in that directory. Typing just a period will open a window pointing to the desktop (Win98) or C:\ (Win2000).


This shortcut minimizes all open programs to the taskbar.


This shortcut also minimizes all open programs, but if the user presses this shortcut again all programs will be restored. This is equivalent to the "Show Desktop" button on the taskbar in Windows 98 and later.

The Menu Key

Keyboards with the "Windows" key also include a "menu" key. This key pops up the same menu as clicking the right mouse button at the current cursor position.

May 2001

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