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Windows 8 - Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted on July 05th, 2013 by Emily


Many people know there’s a few standard keyboard shortcuts for most applications out there. Ctrl+Z is Undo, Ctrl+C is Copy, Ctrl+V is Paste, Ctrl+P is Print, and so on. These are not a new invention, and have been around since Windows 95, and some since Windows 3.1. But did you know those kinds of shortcuts also exist inside Windows itself and not just in software like Word and Outlook?

With Windows 8, Microsoft added in some new functionality to the Windows key on the keyboard. Now you can use it in combination with letters or numbers in order to speed up regular tasks.

Here’s a few shortcuts added in Windows 8 we think are most useful:

(The “Charm” system is the term Microsoft uses for its inbuilt menus for Windows 8, that slide in from the sides of the screen and give you access to settings and controls.)

  • Windows + C – Brings up the basic Charms menu, as you would get if you moved your mouse to the top right corner of the screen.
  • Windows + I – This brings up the Charm for Settings to save you going through the Start Screen.
  • Windows + D – Shows the desktop. Pressing it again takes you back to whatever you were doing before.
  • Windows + X – Brings up an advanced menu, providing quick access to things like Task Manager and Control Panel.
  • Windows + Start typing – This will search for apps installed on your computer that match your input. The results will appear on the left. Quick way to find a program without searching through menus, if you know its name. This isn’t actually new to Windows 8 either!
  • Windows + R – Brings up the Run dialog.
  • Windows + P – User-friendly display controls for multiple monitors.
  • Windows + F – Search your Files.
  • Windows + Q – Brings up the Apps screen.
  • Windows + 1-0 – Shortcut to open whatever apps you have pinned to the taskbar. For example, if Internet Explorer is the first pinned app on your taskbar, Windows + 1 will open it.


That’s just a small amount of the available shortcuts, but they’re the new ones we find ourselves using the most.  Why use these instead of just using the mouse? Well, while they often take a while to get used to, once you do, you’ll find yourself using them without even noticing, and they make tasks faster.

We’re in the business of making people’s IT work for them faster and more efficiently, to produce better results!

If you’re interested in what could offer your business, give us a call on 0845 234 0580 or send us an email at and one of our friendly team will be happy to help.



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Windows 8.1 Update

Posted on July 03rd, 2013 by Emily


Windows 8’s first major update is on the horizon, so we thought we’d take a few moments just to tell you about what’s changing, for home users and businesses.

There’s quite a lot of changes in the background, including a better music app, changes to other apps and the Windows Store, a new, more integrated SkyDrive app, and the inclusion of the newest version of Internet Explorer, but here’s some of the changes that we find interesting:

  • Boot directly to Desktop.

Don’t like seeing the Start Screen when you log in? No problem. 8.1 gives the option for you to boot directly to your desktop without seeing the Start Screen first.

  • Enhanced Settings.

You can now get to your full PC settings from the Start Screen instead of having to go through the control panel to get there, making it easier to access.

  • Return of the Start Button.

You asked for it, they provided – the familiar Start Button is back. It doesn’t act quite the same as it used to, but for many it is a welcome change. Left-clicking takes you to the Start Screen, whereas right-clicking brings up an advanced menu that power users will be more comfortable with.

  • Start Screen Personalisation.

Put your photos on your Start Screen (or even your company logo!). Set your Start Screen background to the same as your desktop wallpaper, or use one of Microsoft’s new animated backgrounds. There’s also a larger choice of colours.

  • Start Screen Apps.

If you don’t like the tiles, do away with them altogether, and just have your Start Screen show you the apps menu when you press the Start Button or Windows key. Installing apps no longer makes their tiles automatically appear on your Start Screen. You can also select and uninstall multiple apps in a single motion.


We think you’ll agree, most of the changes in 8.1 will be for the better. They provide familiarity with the Start Button making a reappearance, many enhancements and improvements, and still retain Windows 8’s touch-friendly, streamlined feel.


If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 8, and want advice or a quote, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. As part of our Birmingham based IT support services, we offer a full installation and upgrade service.

Call us now on 0845 234 0580 or email us at



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Tip - Windows 8 - Lock Screen

Posted on November 05th, 2012 by Emily

Unlike other Windows lock screens, the Windows 8 one doesn’t give you any hints or info about what you should do. And when you first launch into Windows 8, the lock screen is all you’re confronted with.
Just press the spacebar or scroll the mouse wheel, or swipe the screen upward as you would to unlock a smartphone if you’re using a tablet pc or touchscreen. This will prompt you to enter the details you chose during installation, and allow you to log in to Windows.

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