The 5 most important Windows 8 shortcuts every user should know

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When Windows 8 rolled out, the lamentation of the world was deafening: WHERE IS THE START BUTTON? All you had were weird tiles that try to make your user experience easier, but only end up confusing you more and more. If you have a touch-screen PC or laptop, learning the new interface is easy. If you simply upgraded your OS, you?re in a spot of trouble.

After a few years, though, Microsoft gave in to popular demand and built the Start button back into Windows. The bad news is, you need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 first and who knows how easy or difficult that could be when you didn?t even know how to work 8.0 in the first place. The solution to this mundane but maddening problem is simple: shortcuts.

Here at the Bitbag, we know how it feels to need that Start button. Windows has replaced the Start key with the Windows key, and you?d need that to access these shortcuts But until you do upgrade to 8.1, here are the most important shortcuts you need to know to navigate Windows 8.0:

  • Windows + X

This brings up a familiar-looking menu where the old Start button used to be. It can bring up the File Explorer, Device Manager, Power Options, Disk Management and Command Prompt, among others.

  • Windows + I

This brings up the Settings charm or the bar at the right side that lets you access Settings, Power, Network and Control Panel.

  • Windows + C

This brings up the Charms bar on the right side. Use the field to type in a file or a program that you want to access. Type in the DOC file you want to find or Microsoft Word for the app.

  • Windows + D

If you want to go to your bare desktop, this is the shortcut to use. Executing the shortcut again while your desktop is bare puts you back to the app or apps you were using before you cleaned your desktop.

  • Alt + Tab

This brings up a small box that displays all the open apps and windows. Once that box comes up, let go of the tab but keep your finger on the Alt key. Pressing Tab again switches the selection between all the open windows. Letting go of the shortcut brings up the window you left the selection on.

There are a lot of other shortcuts that you can use but we think that these are the most important key combinations you should know in Windows 8.

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