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Windows Vista Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows Vista is the latest version of Microsoft Windows, an operating system for both home and business. As with its previous counterparts (Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 98, Windows 95), developers of Vista have made available many keyboard shortcuts to make our lives easier. We'll take a look at some of these keyboard shortcuts below.


Managing Windows

Alt+F4Close the active window
Alt+TabSwitch to previous active window
Alt+EscCycle through all open windows
Win+TabFlip 3D [more info]
Ctrl+Win+TabPersistent Flip 3D
Win+TCycle through applications on taskbar (showing its live preview)
Win+MMinimize all open windows
Win+Shift+MUndo all window minimization
Win+DToggle showing the desktop

Starting Programs

Win+1Open the first program on your Quick Launch bar
Win+2Open the second program on your Quick Launch bar
Win+nOpen the nth program on your Quick Launch bar
Win+UOpen the ease of access center
Win+FOpen the search window
Win+XOpen the Mobility Center
Win+EOpen Explorer
Win+ROpen the Run window [more info]
Win+BMove focus to notification tray (the right-most portion of the taskbar)
Win+PauseOpen the System Properties portion from the Control Panel
Ctrl+Shift+EscOpen Windows Task Manager

Logging In And Out

While the below shortcuts seem unwieldy because of their length, they're quite easy to remember once you try them out a few times. The → symbol stands for the right arrow key.

Win, →, →, →, EnterShutdown
Win, →, →, →, UShutdown
Win, →, →, →, RRestart
Win, , EnterSleep
Win, →, →, →, WSwitch Users
Win+LLocks computer

Viewing Folders With Explorer

Alt+Go back
Alt+Go forward
Alt+Go up a directory
Alt+DMove focus to address bar
Alt+D, TabMove focus to search bar
Alt+EnterOpen the Properties window of the current selection
Ctrl+MousewheelChange the view type (extra large, small, list view, detail, etc.)

Windows Sidebar And Gadgets

Windows Sidebar provides instant access to gadgets that display a huge variety personalizable information. The below shortcuts allow you to navigate between these gadgets. I suggest just using this table as a reference, since people don't need to navigate gadgets too often.

Move focus to SidebarWin+Space
Cycle through visible gadgetsWin+G


keyboard mouse