Windows 8.1: Useful Surface Shortcuts

Tip of the Week: Useful Surface Shortcuts for Win 8.1

Do you ever get tired of all the swiping and reaching for the touch screen? Me too! So, I turned to shortcuts to simplify things. Here are a few shortcut tips for the Surface tablets that I found useful. I hope they make your life easier as well.

Useful Surface shortcuts to use with external keyboard:

  • Press Windows key + D to open the Windows Desktop.
  • Press Windows key to open the Start screen or toggle to the Windows Desktop (if open).
  • Press Windows key + C to open the Charms.
  • Press Windows key + I to open the Settings; the same Settings found in Charms.
  • Press and hold Alt key + Tab to show open apps, and toggle between them.
  • Press Windows key + X to open the power user menu, the same as right-clicking on Start Button, which gives you access to many features (e.g. Device Manager, Run, and Command Prompt).
  • Press Windows key + Q to open Search Everywhere.

Useful Surface shortcuts to use with touch keyboard:

  • Press Windows key + Power key, simultaneously, to bring up the Lock menu; it is the same as Ctrl + Alt + Del. You will find options like Lock, Switch User, Sign Out and Task Manager.
  • Press and hold Windows key + Volume down button to create a screen shot, which is automatically saved into your Screenshots folder in Pictures Library.
  • Press and hold does the same thing as right-clicking an item. To perform the action, touch the screen where you want to right-click, hold until a complete circle appears, and then lift your finger. A menu will appear.
  • Swipe up anywhere in the Metro start screen to bring up a list of all Apps.

For a list of gestures from Microsoft see:

I hope these are useful to you and make your life a bit easier – they did mine.


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