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Windows 7: new shortcut keys (windows hotkeys and more)

Posted by jpluimers on 2010/05/06

In the past there were already a lot of shortcuts, including a few including the windows key.

SEO Consultants has a good overview of both lists.

Microsoft has the classic list.

Windows 7 introduced quite a few more, which I’ll list below.

But first one that does not work any more:

  • WINDOWS + CTRL + TAB:
    This used to cycle the focus through the desktop, quick launch, system tray and start menu. It might have been removed because it was almost impossible to type.

This is the list of new combinations in Windows 7:

  • WINDOWS + UP ARROW:
    Maximize current window (undo with WINDOWS + DOWN ARROW)
  • WINDOWS + LEFT ARROW:
    Left dock the current window covering half the desktop (undo with WINDOWS + RIGHT ARROW) Repeating this shortcut cycles through these:

    1. Right dock the current window covering half the desktop
    2. Undock the current window to its’ original position
    3. Left dock the current window covering half the desktop
  • WINDOWS + RIGHT ARROW:
    Right dock the current window covering half the desktop (undo with WINDOWS + LEFT ARROW) Repeating this shortcut cycles through these:

    1. Left dock the current window covering half the desktop
    2. Undock the current window to its’ original position
    3. Right dock the current window covering half the desktop
  • WINDOWS + DOWN ARROW:
    Minimize the current window to the task-bar (undo with ALT + TAB)
  • WINDOWS + SPACE:
    Makes all windows transparent showing the desktop through them. All windows become transparent so you are able to see your desktop.
  • WINDOWS + G:
    Cycle through the gadgets (if any are enabled)
  • WINDOWS + T:
    Focus the task-bar (undo with ALT + TAB followed by ALT + SHIFT + TAB) Repeating this shortcut cycles through all buttons on the task-bar, so you can see the thumbnails for each button.
  • WINDOWS + P:
    Adjust video outputs for presentation (choose between: Computer only, Duplicate, Extend, Projector only)
  • WINDOWS + + (note: + means the PLUS or EQUALS sign on your keyboard)
    Launch the magnifier. After that you can use WINDOWS + + (PLUS) and WINDOWS + – (MINUS) to increase/decrease the magnification.
  • WINDOWS + X:
    Start the Windows Mobility Center.
  • WINDOWS + [DIGIT]:
    Same as CLICK on the task-bar button that corresponds to the digit: WINDOWS + 1 corresponds to clicking on the first button and so on.
  • WINDOWS + ALT + [DIGIT]:
    Same as ALT + CLICK on the task-bar button that corresponds to the digit: WINDOWS + 1 corresponds to clicking on the first button and so on.
  • WINDOWS + TAB:
    In Windows versions up to Vista, this used to cycle through the buttons on the task-bar. Now it cycles through the previews of the launched applications.

The task-bar is also new in Windows 7, and has some nifty hot-key combinations combined with clicking on the task-bar items:

  • CLICK:
    If there is only one instance of the item: switch to that instance. If there are multiple instances: open a list of titles or thumbnails of these instances, then click on an instance to switch to it.
  • ALT + CLICK:
    Open the jumplist for the application.
  • SHIFT + CLICK:
    Open a new instance of the  task-bar item.
  • CTRL + CLICK:
    Cycle through the instances of the items belonging to the task-bar item.
  • CTRL + SHIFT + CLICK:
    It  is used to open a new instance of the particular application from the taskbar with administrator privileges.
  • SHIFT + RIGHT-CLICK:
    Open the  window menu for the application, so you can for instance cascade the windows for just that application.

Windows 7 also introduces some new shortcuts to the context menu:

  • SHIFT + RIGHT-CLICK on a file:
    adds “Copy as path” to the menu so you can copy the complete file path to the clipboard
    for executables, adds “Run as different user” to the menu
  • SHIFT + RIGHT-CLICK on a folder:
    adds the “Open in new window” to the menu
    adds the “Open command windowhere” to the menu
    adds “Copy as path” to the menu so you can copy the complete file path to the clipboard

Windows Vista changed the behaviour of the backspace key, so they added this one:

  • Alt + Up
    Takes you one level up in the folder  herarchy.

This is a list of some windows key combinations that have been there for a long while, but are still very useful:

  • WINDOWS + B:
    Focus the system tray; use the arrow keys to navigate through them, and the Enter key to select.
  • WINDOWS + E:
    Start the windows explorer.
  • WINDOWS + F:
    Start the windows search.
  • CTRL + WINDOWS + F:
    Start the computer search (on my system this does not work as it cannot find the active directory, which I don’t have as my laptop is not in a domain)
  • WINDOWS + PAUSE:
    Show the system properties window.

–jeroen

5 Responses to “Windows 7: new shortcut keys (windows hotkeys and more)”

  1. shashi thakur said

    shashi thakur

    realy its fantastic ……….. it give me somthing new shortcutkey’s which are helping in my study. thankyou…

  2. Ajendra Diwakar said

    Excellent tips

  3. Benz said

    wow! thank you for sharing all these things it really helps…good job…

  4. Marcus said

    Windows + Ctrl + Tab still works in 7. In both Vista and 7, it keeps Flip 3D engaged without having to hold the keys like you would with just Windows + Tab.

    • jpluimers said

      Thanks for that one; not sure why I didn’t get it to work at first, as it does work really well.
      Windows + Ctrl + Tab really works great; easy to press too, and in stead of needing to hold Windows + Tab, you can just browse through the 3D stack of windows.

      –jeroen

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