Windows 8 Touch Gestures and Keystrokes

Windows 8 provides simple, easy, mouseless ways to navigate whether you're on your computer, your mobile phone, or your tablet.

Using Keystrokes to Navigate the Windows 8 Start screenUsing Keystrokes to Navigate the Windows 8 Start screen

Refer to the following chart for the most common Windows 8 keystroke combinations and the resulting actions.

KeystrokesResult

Windows key (Windows 8 keyboard key)

Switches between the Windows 8 apps and Start screen and the Windows Desktop (or the last full-screen application that displayed).

Windows key + C

Opens the charms bar and the Clock. To open the charms bar on a notebook computer, swipe the edge of the track pad.

Windows key + H

Opens the Share charm.

Windows key + I

Opens the Settings charm.

Windows key + K

Opens the Devices charm.

Windows key + O

Locks or unlocks the screen orientation if your computer can detect and adjust screen orientation.

Windows key + W

Opens the Search charm with the Settings mode selected.

Windows key + F

Opens the Search charm with the Files mode selected.

Windows key + Q

Opens the Search charm with the Apps mode selected.

Windows key + X

Opens the menu on the Desktop or the Start screen.

Windows key + Z

Opens the commands or options for the app currently open on the screen (if the app has any commands or options defined).

Windows key + Tab

Shows the most recently used or currently running apps on the Start screen. To move from app to app, hold the Windows key and press the Tab key.

Windows key + Prt Scr (Print Screen)

Takes and saves screenshots instantly. Your screen flashes and Windows saves the screenshot to your Pictures folder as a PNG image file.

Alt + Tab

Shows all the apps that are open on the computer. Hold the Alt key and press the Tab key to move from app to app.

Alt + F4

Closes the software you are currently using. If you select Windows Desktop, the Windows Shut Down menu displays.

Ctrl + F1

Toggles the Explorer ribbon in File Explorer and other apps that support this function.

Using Touch Gestures to Navigate the Windows 8 Start screenUsing Touch Gestures to Navigate the Windows 8 Start screen
Gestures ActionResult
 Gesture_Tap Tap/Double tap Select an item
 Gesture_Swipe_Left

Start at the right edge and swipe across the screen.

Opens the charms bar.

Swipe from the right edge acros the screen to open the Charms bar, tap the Search charm, and then tap the category, such as Files. Then tap the Search box to use the on-screen keyboard.Search for an app, setting, or file.
Swipe from the right edge to open the Charms bar, and then tap Start.Open the Start screen.
Swipe from the right edge of the screen to open the Charms bar, tap the Settings charm, and the tap Power.Shut down the computer.
 Gesture_Swipe_Right

Start at the left edge and swipe across the screen.

Opens the previously used app.

 Gesture_Swipe_Down

Start at the top of the screen, and swipe down to the bottom.

Display the app commands.

 Gesture_Slide_Any_Direction

Slide two fingers left and right or up and down.

Scroll left or right and up and down.

 Gesture_Pinch_Stretch

Use two fingers to pinch or stretch.

Zooms in and out.

Using Mouse Gestures to Navigate the Windows 8 Start screenUsing Mouse Gestures to Navigate the Windows 8 Start screen

Use the following information to navigate Windows with a mouse, keyboard, and touchpad (for notebook computers).

  • To switch between the Start screen and the desktop, move the mouse pointer to the lower left corner of the screen, and then click the Start button (Windows_8.1_StartButton) that appears.

    Figure 1: Switching from the Start screen to the desktop
    Start_button_8.1_from_Start_screen

  • To zoom on the Start screen (and other apps that support zoom), move the mouse to the bottom right of the screen and click the zoom icon.

    Figure 2: Zoom icon in lower right corner
    Tiles_Zoom_button

  • To open the charms with the mouse, move the mouse pointer to the top right corner of the screen, and then down to the charms when they appear.

    Figure 3: Opening the Charms with a mouse
    MouseGestures_place_mouse_charms

  • Switch between open apps (Alt+tab) by swiping from the left across a touch pad; with a mouse, you must click on the upper left corner of the screen and select the appropriate window to change between open apps.

  • To see all of your open apps, hover the mouse over the top left corner of the screen and drag down to see thumbnails of the apps.

  • To open the charms on a notebook computer, swipe in from the right edge of the touchpad.

Using the Touch Pad to Navigate the Windows 8 Smart ScreenUsing the Touch Pad to Navigate the Windows 8 Smart Screen

Use the gestures in the following table to navigate Windows 8 using the touch pad on a notebook computer.

GestureActionResult
TouchPad_TapTap/Double tapOpen an item
TouchPad_Swipe_LeftSwipe from the right edge of the touch pad.Display the Charms bar.
TouchPad_Swipe_RightSwipe from the left edge of the touch pad.Open the previously used app.
TouchPad_DownSwipe from the top edge of the touch pad.Display the app commands.
TouchPad_Right_Left_Up_DownSlide two fingers left and right or up and down.Scroll on the screen right and left or up and down.
TouchPad_Pinch_StretchUse two fingers to pinch or stretch.Zoom in and out.
 
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