Now available: Windows Key Shortcuts for Windows 10

(Update 20231122: you can find the list of current Windows 10 and 11 shortcuts available at Keyboard shortcuts in Windows – Microsoft Support.)

Before I go on hiatus from the blog (as I spend a lot of my free time on our internal sites in support of customers and partners, as well as occasional musings on Twitter), I’d like to share this handy guide listing the various shortcut keys available via the keyboard in Windows 10. As you’ll see, these include the Windows key shortcuts specifically, not all shortcuts involve other key modifiers (Alt and Control).

Available here as a Word document, you can find these any many more Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts online.

Desktop shortcut keys

Shortcut Description
Windows key clip_image001[1] Open and close the Start menu.
clip_image001[2]+1, clip_image001[3]+2, etc. Switch to the desktop and launch the nth application in the taskbar. For example, clip_image001[4]+1 launches whichever application is first in the list, numbered from left to right.
clip_image001[5]+A Open the action center.
clip_image001[6]+B Highlight the notification area.
clip_image001[7]+C Launch Cortana into listening mode.[1] Users can begin to speak to Cortana immediately.
clip_image001[8]+D Switch between Show Desktop (hides/shows any applications and other windows) and the previous state.
clip_image001[9]+E Switch to the desktop and launch File Explorer with the Quick Access tab displayed.
clip_image001[10]+H Open the Share clip_image003[1] charm.
clip_image001[11]+I Open the Settings clip_image005[1] app.
clip_image001[12]+K Open the Connect pane to connect to wireless displays and audio devices.
clip_image001[13]+L Lock the device and go to the Lock screen.
clip_image001[14]+M Switch to the desktop and minimize all open windows.
clip_image001[15]+O Lock device orientation.
clip_image001[16]+P Open the Project pane to search and connect to external displays and projectors.
clip_image001[17]+R Display the Run dialog box.
clip_image001[18]+S Launch Cortana.[2] Users can begin to type a query immediately.
clip_image001[19]+T Cycle through the apps on the taskbar.
clip_image001[20]+U Launch the Ease of Access Center.
clip_image001[21]+V Cycle through notifications.
clip_image001[22]+X Open the advanced menu in the lower-left corner of the screen.
clip_image001[23]+Z Open the app-specific command bar.
clip_image001[24]+ENTER Launch Narrator.
clip_image001[25]+SPACEBAR Switch input language and keyboard layout.
clip_image001[26]+TAB Open Task view.
clip_image001[27]+, Peek at the desktop.
clip_image001[28]+Plus Sign Zoom in.
clip_image001[29]+Minus Sign Zoom out.
clip_image001[30]+ESCAPE Close Magnifier.
clip_image001[31]+LEFT ARROW Dock the active window to the left half of the monitor.
clip_image001[32]+RIGHT ARROW Dock the active window to the right half of the monitor.
clip_image001[33]+UP ARROW Maximize the active window vertically and horizontally.
clip_image001[34]+DOWN ARROW Restore or minimize the active window.
clip_image001[35]+SHIFT+UP ARROW Maximize the active window vertically, maintaining the current width.
Restore or minimize the active window vertically, maintaining the current width.
clip_image001[37]+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW With multiple monitors, move the active window to the monitor on the left.
clip_image001[38]+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW With multiple monitors, move the active window to the monitor on the right.
clip_image001[39]+HOME Minimize all nonactive windows; restore on second keystroke.
clip_image001[40]+PRNT SCRN Take a picture of the screen and place it in the Computer>Pictures>Screenshots folder.
clip_image001[41]+CTRL+LEFT/RIGHT arrow Switch to the next or previous virtual desktop.
clip_image001[42]+CTRL+D Create a new virtual desktop.
clip_image001[43]+CTRL+F4 Close the current virtual desktop.
clip_image001[44]+? Launch the Windows Feedback App.

[1] If Cortana is unavailable or disabled, this shortcut has no function.

[2] Cortana is only available in certain countries/regions, and some Cortana features might not be available everywhere. If Cortana is unavailable or disabled, this command opens Search.


Oregon may repeal daylight saving time… in 2021

Regular readers of this blog and familiar with the efforts Microsoft has put forward in working with many in the industry to achieve more seamless transitions on new DST, time zone and related policies. Recently, I read Oregon Senator Kim Thatcher’s proposed bill (SB99) would repeal daylight saving time in the state. At a time when other states have similarly proposed changes to their time zone and observance of DST (a couple of notable examples include a proposal in Utah to drop daylight saving time and one in New Mexico to observe daylight saving time throughout the year) this one from Sen. Thatcher is quite refreshing:

The Oregon law would not take effect until January of 2021. Plenty of time to get the word out on the change.

A change in a state’s time zone and observance of DST would have national and worldwide impacts on time references for interstate and international commerce. Each year there are many changes to daylight saving time and shifts in time zones around the world, some of which are late-breaking. Without adequate time to react, such changes can be challenging for individuals to manage and for companies to support. (You may recall when Venezuela erratically and abruptly moved to a new time zone shifting to -4:30h UTC.)

There are a few key things we recommend is for governments to provide…

  1. Ample advance notice (1 year or more) of the planned change, from the time it is enacted into law to the time of the change (as provided in the Energy Policy Act of 2005),
  2. Official, published confirmation of planned changes to DST or time zones on governmental websites and in official publications, and
  3. Concentrated promotional efforts communicating the change to affected residents and citizens.

Even better, Sen. Thatcher stipulated that this proposal would be put to a vote “of the people for their approval or rejection at the next regular general election held throughout this state.”

Brava, Senator. Brava.

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What I read: Designing for Dependability in the Cloud

Last week I read David Bills’ (our chief reliability strategist) post Data Center Knowledge. David is responsible for the broad evangelism of the company’s online service reliability programs. His latest item is a follow on to his posts articles “Designing
for Dependability in the Cloud
” and Microsoft’s Journey: Solving Cloud Reliability With Software.

“In part three, I discuss the cultural shift and evolving engineering principles Microsoft is using to help improve the dependability of the services we offer and help customers realize the full potential of the cloud.”

David highlights the importance of identifying as many potential failure conditions as possible in advance in the service design phase, so we can map out how the service should react when the unexpected occurs. (So really, it’s expected, if you’ve mapped out the different potential issues far enough.)

“Many services teams employ fault modeling (FMA) and root cause analysis (RCA) to help them improve the reliability of their services and to help prevent faults from recurring. It’s my opinion that these are necessary but insufficient. Instead, the design team should adopt failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) to help ensure a more effective outcome.

FMA refers to a repeatable design process that is intended to identify and mitigate faults in the service design. RCA consists of identifying the factors that resulted in the nature, magnitude, location, and timing of harmful outcomes. The primary benefits of FMEA, a holistic, end-to-end methodology, include the comprehensive mapping of failure points and failure modes, which results in a prioritized list of engineering investments to mitigate known failures.”

Akin to our work in scenario focused engineering, groups should look at the entire infrastructure, from the hardware and software we use to run our datacenters, along with the infrastructure and wetware we use to power them, to components in out cloud offerings.

Worth a quick read.


Ready to Spring Forward and lose some sleep? Daylight Saving Time 2013 Arrives Sunday

First off: the first rule of Daylight Saving Time is that there is no Daylight Saving Time (in Hawaii or a few parts of North America). The Second rule of Daylight Saving Time is that there is only one “S” in the term “Daylight Savings Time.”

Yes, that’s right: daylight saving time (aka DST) is here once again, which means it’s time to change your clocks this Sunday, March 10, 2013. As we have being doing since I can remember, and was fused into my soul for six months spanning 2006-2007, much of the United States and Canada will “Spring Forward” on Sunday at 2:00AM, as noted in plenty of news articles today.

Oh, sorry… flashback to 2007.

If you’re in SXSW this week, please keep this change in mind. IIRC, a few devices didn’t update correctly last year and hilarity ensued.

Here’s the public service announcement:

This year, DST in much of the US and Canada begins on March 10, several weeks earlier than in years prior to 2007. In 2007, most of the US and Canada “sprang forward” a few weeks earlier than in past years in accordance with the US Department of Energy’s Energy Policy Act of 2005 that was passed into law. DST will end later than it did prior to 2007, on the first Sunday of November (that would be Sunday, Nov. 4, in 2012); more details on the new DST start and end times can be found here). This results in a new DST period that is approximately three to four weeks longer than in previous years.

The switch to daylight saving time also means the time zone suffix changes, now using Daylight Time: for example, Pacific Standard Time is now Pacific Daylight Time (aka PDT). The other time zones move to Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), Central Daylight Time (CDT), and Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Please note: there will be a quiz later, so commit these to memory.

(As my good friends in Windows noted, Chile joins the DST confusion with the late-breaking news that they will extends their own DST this year, now ending on April 27, 2013 and starting again on September 7, 2013.)

For more about this semi annual change, see National Geographic’s post on “When Does It Start and Why?”

“In recent years several studies have suggested that daylight saving time doesn’t actually save energy—and might even result in a net loss.

“Environmental economist Hendrik Wolff, of the University of Washington, co-authored a paper that studied Australian power-use data when parts of the country extended daylight saving time for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and others did not. The researchers found that the practice reduced lighting and electricity consumption in the evening but increased energy use in the now dark mornings-wiping out the evening gains.”

As NatGeo notes, there are a few exceptions to the DST rules. As noted, Hawaii and most parts of of Arizona don’t use DST. Hawaii not on DST I understand – it’s off the grid and who wants to worry about changing their watches on vacation? (Seriously, it does mess with small details like television programming and flight schedules from the mainland.) But Arizona? Something to do with the weather, as Chris Kline covered for the ABC affiliate in his article “Weird? Why Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time…

“The history of daylight saving is tied to energy conservation. Switching to DST in the summer means more sunlight at night, which in turn means homes don’t have to turn on lights as early. According to the U.S. Government, that leads to energy and fuel savings.”

And Indiana. Ah, yes… Indiana. You’ll find everything you need to know about this in articles like this one for Indiana. Salon notes in their article Please end Daylight Saving Time

“In fact, farmers generally oppose daylight saving time. In Indiana, where part of the state observes DST and part does not, farmers have opposed a move to DST.”

There are exceptions, such as the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona, which does observe daylight saving time. And according to entries on Wikipedia, there are a few exceptions in Canada not using DST, including a few areas (parts of British Columbia, Nunavut, Ontario and Quebec) and almost all of Saskatchewan.

C’mon, Saskatchewan…

What to do

So what should you do to make sure that your computers are ready for the change? If you use Microsoft Update on your PC at home, chances are you’re already covered. The December Cumulative Daylight Saving Time and Time Zone Update for Windows should already be installed on your PC. If you’re not sure, visit Microsoft Windows Update to check your PC and install important updates. At work, if an IT Pro (aka ‘hero’) manages your network, chances are good that the needed updates have already been installed on your computers and devices automagically.

In support of the changes to DST and time zones around the world, the December 2012 cumulative update is live on Windows Update (deployed December 13, 2011) and available at

Recently, I received a question similar to one I answered previously on daylight saving time and time zone updates to Windows:

“We updated our systems earlier this year for daylight saving time [the rules for the US and Canada]. Is there anything we need to do? Should we also update our systems with the last DST update?”

Generally, the answer is yes. As I noted earlier here, it depends.

If you manage servers and a host of Microsoft software, visit for more details. And visit the support web sites of any other software companies to see if you need to apply any updates – it’s not just Microsoft software that may require updates. Keep in mind that it’s not just the US and Canada that made changes to DST and time zones: we have an upcoming change in Australia and others noted on the DST and Time Zone Hot Topics page.

If you don’t want to just live with it, as the New York Time notes, there’s even a way you can change the world: vote to eliminate Daylight Saving Time in the US here:

And remember: time is a precious thing. Never waste it.

Of interest, these top news articles for daylight saving time

Tags: Microsoft, Daylight Saving Time, Daylight Savings Time,DST

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One look at the future of computing from Microsoft, circa 2018-2023

Here’s a link to Microsoft’s video of what the future could look like 5-10 years from now.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could pick up a can of screen paint at the home improvement store just as we have chalk board paint today?

What’s interesting to me: you don’t see a beige box or traditional personal computer (save the ones with the traditional phone-format and tablet), nor a logo or set of tiled windows. (I did spot one Windows logo on the tablet in the video.)

Mark Wilson offers his own interesting thought (not that I agree) in his post over on Fast Company that this one vision of the future is trapped in a box

“Microsoft, this video is not the future… Even Apple, the company that owes most of its success to these magic, touchable rectangles, is already moving on from the paradigm [his ref to his post about Apple’s reported forthcoming iWatch], easing the consumer into a world where hardware enables naturalistic gestures that keep us in tune with our surroundings.”

Hmmm… seems that the points raised in the video place even more emphasis on how ubiquitous hardware that melts into the background. The computer – no, the technology of the future – emerges from table tops, and responds back to you in a familiar voice enables natural gestures of showing, sharing, as well as asking and responding verbally. Who’s to say what it looks like outside the home and how you take it with you? Likely the subject of more interesting clips to come from the looking glass. It’s interesting to see how much has come to fruition since this look way back in 2009, and even 2011.

I can imagine that some prior art may be referenced Harry Potter by the good folks at Hogwarts, in the living paintings that seem to virtually span beyond the edge of the frame. 😉

Additional reading: Microsoft’s View of the Future Workplace is Brilliant, Here’s Why – Forbes

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