Is the “Windows Key” a WOMBAT?

What is the Windows Key you ask? In that case it’s currently a waste of space on your keyboard. The Windows key sits down on the bottom left corner of your keyboard between the “Ctrl” and “Alt” keys. You’re not using Windows? Well, you’re probably stuck with using a Windows keyboard and a useless key. If you’re a Mac user then you have the Apple Key - and you can smugly know that the Apple key spawned the Windows key.

What does the Windows key do? Press it. It kicks off the Start menu - yes, as some wag (not this kind) pointed out Windows is the operating system where you have to press Start to stop the system.

However, the Windows key has more functions available if you use it in combination with another key on your keyboard. For example, pressing the Windows key and “D” will minimise all the open windows and if you press that combination again it will restore them exactly how they were. Pressing Windows key and “M” will minimise all windows but not restore them.

Uber geeks probably already know that the Windows key plus the “Break” key brings up the System Properties. How memorable and useful is that?

The combination I use frequently is the Windows key plus “E” as this kicks off Windows Explorer showing My Computer.

Here’s the full list of Windows key combinations:

  • Windows key (Display or hide the Start menu)
  • Windows key + BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box)
  • Windows key + D (Display the desktop - press again to restore windows)
  • Windows key + M (Minimize all of the windows)
  • Windows key + SHIFT + M (Restore the minimized windows)
  • Windows key + E (Open My Computer)
  • Windows key + F (Search for a file or a folder)
  • CTRL + Windows key + F (Search for computers)
  • Windows key + F1 (Display Windows Help)
  • Windows key + L (Lock the keyboard)
  • Windows key + R (Open the Run dialog box)
  • Windows key + U (Open Utility Manager)

If you like using your keyboard instead of your mouse all of the time and you can remember the key combinations you set up, then Winkey is free software that you can easily download and install that allows you to set up other Windows key combinations as you like - like Windows key + W for Word or, as on my computer, Windows key + O for Opera and Windows Key + X for Firefox.

For most people the Windows key isn’t very useful (except for Windows key + E) - but it can be if you like using keyboard shortcuts.

One Response to “Is the “Windows Key” a WOMBAT?”

  1. Annie Says:

    Thank you for the helpful tip.
    Now I’ll look for more information about the Windows key and will definitely use it.
    This reminds me how massive the need is of refreshing general computer programmes knowledge. Have you noticed the vast majority of semi-educated computer users all around?

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