Cheat Sheet

PCs All-in-One For Dummies

To help you get the most out of your computer, we present Mark Chamber's most commonly used keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8, a handy Windows 8 maintenance checklist, and a guide to common PC file formats.

Windows 8 Windows-Key Shortcuts

Use these keyboard shortcuts to quickly navigate through Windows 8 using the Windows logo key. You'll find the keyboard an efficient alternative to your mouse.

Key or Key Combo What It Does
Win Cycles between the Start screen and the last used application
Win+C Displays the Charms bar
Win+D Displays the Desktop
Win+E Opens a File Explorer window called Computer
Win+F Opens the File Search pane
Win+Ctrl+F Displays the Search window for networked computers
Win+H Displays the Share charm
Win+I Displays the Settings charm
Win+K Displays the Devices charm
Win+L Displays the Lock screen
Win+M Minimizes all open windows
Win+Shift+M Restores all windows minimized with Win+M
Win+Q Opens the Apps Search pane
Win+R Opens the Run dialog box
Win+T Cycles through taskbar programs
Win+U Displays the Ease of Access Center
Win+W Opens the Settings Search pane
Win+F1 Displays Windows Help
Win+Up Arrow Maximizes the current Desktop window
Win+Down Arrow Minimizes/restores the current Desktop window
Win+Left Arrow Tiles the window on the left side of the screen
Win+Right Arrow Tiles the window on the right side of the screen
Win+Print Screen Takes a screen capture and saves it to the Pictures folder
Win+Tab Cycles through open Metro apps
Win+Break Displays the System Properties dialog box

Windows 8 Maintenance Checklist

Stick to this recommended maintenance schedule for your PC and you'll help keep Windows 8 and your hardware running like a race car! Print the checklist and display it somewhere near your system as a reminder.

Task Schedule
Check for updates with Windows Update Automatically
Check all hard drives for errors Once a week
Run Disk Cleanup Wizard Once a week
Scan and optimize all hard drives Once a month
Manually scan for viruses (avast! Free Antivirus) Once a month
Back up your hard drives Once a month (at minimum)
Check for latest video and sound card drivers Once a month
Check Device Manager for hardware problems Once a month

Guide to Common File Formats

You'll encounter these digital media and archival file formats everywhere on the web and on your PC, so it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with their use and which applications will load them.

Name or Extension Type File Use
AAC/M4P Audio Play music with iTunes
AVI Video Play video clips on any PC with Windows Media Player
BMP Image Store archive images on CD or DVD with Windows Paint
JPEG Image Send photos through e-mail or display them on the web
MOV Video Play video clips on PCs and Macs with Apple QuickTime Player
MP3 Audio Play music on your hard drive or MP3 player with Media Player
MPEG Video Play video clips on PCs, Macs, and Linux computers
PDF Document Share and print high-quality electronic documents
PNG Image Display images on a web page
RAR Archive Archive and compress multiple files into one file
TIFF Image Share files between PCs, Macs, and Linux computers
WAV Audio Add sound effects within Windows 8
ZIP Archive Archive and compress multiple files into one file
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