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Use the Start Screen of Your Surface with a Mouse and Keyboard

If you plan on using the Desktop app to crank out some serious work on your Microsoft Surface computer, you’ll want to attach your Surface’s keyboard or plug in a mouse and keyboard. The mouse and keyboard feel right at home on the desktop, of course, but the Start screen is a different world.

Yet, the mouse and keyboard still let you navigate the Start screen, although a little more awkwardly. This table shows how to control the Start screen of your surface with a mouse and keyboard.

Controlling the Start Screen with a Mouse and Keyboard
How to . . . With a Mouse With a Keyboard
Open the Charms bar Point at the screen’s top- or bottom-right corners Win+C
Return to last-used app Point at the screen’s top-left corner and click Win+Tab, Enter
Return to Start menu Point at screen’s bottom-left corner and click Win
See currently running apps Point at screen’s top-left corner, and then slide the mouse downward Win+Tab (keep pressing Tab to cycle through open apps)

Chances are, though, you’ll still use your fingers on your Surface’s screen even after plugging in a mouse and keyboard. You’ll probably only use the keyboard for typing text, and the mouse for pointing at small items on the desktop.

Don’t forget the dedicated Charms bar keys atop the Surface’s Touch and Type keyboards. They let you jump quickly to the Charms bar’s Search, Share, Devices, and Settings features.

Power users take note: If you right-click any screen’s bottom-left corner, a power menu appears. That menu places many oft-used settings a mouse-click away. (That secret menu is accessible only by clicking it with a mouse.)

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