The Windows key

Public domain image of the white four-segment Windows key icon shown on a black key.  From SXC via Wikipedia; artist or photographer unknown; creation date unknown.

The Windows key is a special key (not available on all keyboards). It’s usually down near the space bar, between the Ctrl and Alt keys.

When you press the Windows key by itself, it opens and closes the Start menu.

When you press the Windows key with certain other keys, you can accomplish different tasks:

15 thoughts on “The Windows key”

  1. Do you know how to change the WIN + (any number) shortcuts? I can’t find any literature regarding them on the internet.

    Here is what I found when I experimented:
    WIN+1: Nothing I can tell
    +2: Nothing
    +3: Runs my “Suspend.exe” program (which is located at C:\suspend.exe) – not sure why it runs this program… (I have this program set at a shortcut for my Fujitsu ECO button on my laptop)
    +4: Nothing
    +5: Nothing
    +6: Lauches “cdplayer.exe” – but it closes right after…if you pay attention to the taskbar, you will briefly notice a cd icon show up. I only found out that it was cdplayer.exe by opening task manager and then pressing the shortcut repeatably.
    +7: cdplayer.exe
    +8: cdplayer.exe
    +9: cdplayer.exe
    +0: Starts the screensaver

    Can you replicate these shortcuts? And also, do you know how to modify them? Thanks!


    1. I think I found what you mean:
      My Windows release is at 19041(insider), and I think it’s all the same: Win+(any number)leads to the app pinned on your taskbar.
      For example:
      Win+1 – the first app on your taskbar, mine is Microsoft Edge
      Win+2 – the second one, file explorer(most people have this in the second place unless you moved it accidentally)
      Win+3 – the third app. Microsoft Store
      … and so on.
      But what for? Why did they set this feature? 🤣

  2. I can’t replicate any of them. I suspect they’re set up by the manufacturer of your computer via some kind of proprietary software they install on the hard drive at the factory. Sorry that I can’t help any further.

  3. My current went off today and when I turned on my comp I only got very small icons. also, my email was in v ery small print. How do I change it to be readable ?


  4. Vista or XP? Assuming XP, for big icons on the Start menu, try Ctrl+Esc -> Settings -> Taskbar and Start Menu -> Start Menu -> Customize -> Large Icons (or for Classic, deselect Show Small Icons)

    For your e-mail, try Ctrl+Plus a couple of times, or change the settings in Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Display -> Appearance and then choose a larger theme.

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Windows keystrokes and keyboard tricks and tips that you can use to save time