The Windows Key

 Aug 22, 2016

Back in 1994, Microsoft introduced a new product called the Microsoft Natural Keyboard. It was a split keyboard with each half separated and tilted slightly upwards to be more ergonomic. On this keyboard, they also introduced a new key, the Windows Key, in preparation for the introduction of Windows 95 the following year.

Fast forward to 2016 and I still come across many people are unaware that the key even exists after 20 years of it being there!

Using the Windows Key by itself opens the Start Menu and you are able to then start typing to perform a search of both your computer and the web.

But I use the Windows Key dozens of times a day for other shortcuts as there is a multitude of them that utilise the key in combination with other keys.

The one I use the most is Win +E to open a File Explorer window, and Win + L to lock the computer. There are quite a few others that, if you don’t use them already, might prove very useful.

Here are some Windows Key shortcuts I’d recommend using:

Win + D  Display the Desktop (and reverse)
Win + Tab  Display Task View (Windows 10 only)
Win + Q  Search the web and Windows with Cortana (speech) (Windows 10  only)
Win + S  Search the web and Windows with Cortana (keyboard input)  (Windows10 only)
Win + Left Arrow  Reposition the window to the left half of the screen
Win + Right Arrow  Reposition the window to the right half of the screen


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About the Author:

Ben Kirk  

With over 16 years of experience working as a Desktop Applications specialist for a number of large education services providers, Ben is one of New Horizons most skilled and dynamic instructors. With his Advanced Diploma of Business Skills alongside his practical experience and expertise, Ben is able to provide insight and guidance to students at all skill levels across the entire Microsoft Office suite.

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