I've always been a big fan of keyboard shortcuts, and one of my favorites was for times when I'd lost mouse control due to a deal battery and I needed to respond to something or other flashing in the system tray (usually an email or IM client that I've banished to that corner.)

Windows Key, Tab, Tab

However in Vista, Tab moves you through the different sections of the start menu, leaving me with no way to get to my precious messages. Does anyone know of a replacement shortcut? And what other Vista-only keyboard shortcuts have you found that might even make life better than it was in XP?


5 Answers 5


And, of course, a link to the Microsoft page listing all shortcuts should be handy as well.


I appreciate gabrieleponti and David's responses, however I actually did a little more hunting on my own and discovered a super-secret shortcut that doesn't seem to be listed in the common documentation.

Windows Key + B

Will actually take you right to the system tray!

  • 1
    Pretty neat! And it isn't listed on the Microsoft page. Good find! +1
    – user1797
    May 6, 2009 at 13:52

Since you're specifically asking for Vista-only keyboard shortcuts, here is a list:

  • Win + g: cycles the Gadgets selections.
  • Win + Spacebar: brings Gadgets to the front
  • Win + x: cycles though the Mobility Center.
  • Win + TAB: activates Flip 3-D.
  • Win + u: activates the Ease of Use Center.
  • Win + t: cycles through Taskbar Programs
  • Alt + TAB variant: press Win+1 or +2 and so on. This cycles the open programs on the taskbar.

Try Windows + D, then Tab as you like.

  • You probably meant Windows + B, like Jax mentions. May 12, 2009 at 18:56

Windows Key, Left, Right

Will show the notorious Vista shutdown menu.

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