Few know the real benefit of a Windows key. Practical advice that makes life easier

Written by hana

What is the purpose of a Windows key?

Windows key

Windows Key – Source: spm

The vast majority of PC keyboards, regardless of their range, include the Windows key, as it allows you to perform additional functions in the Microsoft operating system, which is the most popular among users. This key has a window icon: it is located on the left side of the keyboard, at the bottom, between Ctrl and Alt, or between the Function key and the Alt key. In general, we click on it to launch the start menu. Now, many people ignore it, but you can use it for different purposes.

What are the different functions of the Windows key?

computer keyboard

computer keyboard – source: spm

The Windows (Win) key, available on any laptop or computer keyboard, is not used only to launch the Start menu. Combined with other switches, it can simplify your use of your computer, facilitate your work and save you a lot of time.

Here is a list of combinations to know:

  • WIN: Opens the Start menu (in Windows 8.1, the key opens the previous window).
  • WIN + A: Opens the Action Center (Windows 10).
  • WIN + B: Select the first icon in the notification area (you can then switch between icons using the arrow keys).
  • WIN + CTRL + B: You can switch to a program that displays a new message in the notification area.
  • WIN + D: Show and hide the desktop.
  • WIN + E: Opens Windows Explorer (in Windows 10, this shortcut opens Quick Launch by default).
  • WIN + F: Opens the Search for files and folders section.
  • WIN + CTRL + F: Opens the search for computers section.
  • WIN + G: brings all processed gadgets to the foreground (only under Windows 7) and under Windows 10, opens the game bar.
  • WIN + K: Opens a new Start menu (Connections in Windows 8 and 8.1).
  • WIN + L: You can switch accounts (switch user) or lock the workstation.
  • WIN + M: Minimize all windows (place them in the ribbon).
  • WIN + O: This combination locks the device orientation.
  • WIN + P: Change the display mode and switch operating modes to an external monitor / projector (only in Windows 7 and later).
  • WIN + R: Opens the dialog box, Run section, in which you can find the desired document or program and then open it.
  • WIN + U: Opens Utilities Manager (Accessibility Settings).
  • WIN + W: Opens Widgets, Windows Ink Workspace (notes, screenshots).
  • WIN + X: Opens the Windows Mobile App Center (only for laptops running Windows Vista and 7).
  • WIN + Y: Open Yahoo! Messenger (if installed).

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