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When I used to press first WinKey, then Tab (one after the other) in XP, focus would shift from the Start button to the quick launch bar. From there, I could use the arrow keys to choose a shortcut, or press Tab to move to the taskbar.

This doesn't happen in Vista using the "Classic" Start menu. (Other Start menu options are disabled by active directory.) How can I get the XP behavior back?

I rolled this post back because it was updated to say "WinKey + Tab," not "WinKey and then Tab," which is a different problem.

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Win+Tab in Vista/7 is for Flip 3D. I know Win+B for the notification area bar and Win+T for the Taskbar icons in Win7 but I'm not sure how you hit quick launch in Vista. :( – Shinrai Mar 21 '11 at 16:12
...actually, maybe Win+(number) will work for the first 10 like the taskbar in Windows 7? Worth a shot. – Shinrai Mar 21 '11 at 16:13
indeed, Win+Number gives you quick access to the first ten icons, Win+T gives the taskbar focus. There's no quick launch bar anywhere, so Win+Tab was a free shortcut. – Phoshi Mar 21 '11 at 16:16
@Phoshi - Vista DOES have a quick launch bar though, right? But Win+Tab does Flip 3D even in Vista, so...hmm. – Shinrai Mar 21 '11 at 18:43
Win > Tab (windows key followed by the tab key) edits to the question removed this! I have no way of getting focus to the quick launch in Vista unlike in XP where win followed by tab focused the quick launch. Thanks – Alan Whitelaw Mar 21 '11 at 21:43
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I just got a chance to test in Vista and Win, Win again (to lower the start menu but keep it focused), then Tab seems to work for me.

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It turns out can tab to the quick launch, but not with any program that accepts a tab key. If I press Win + M, Win, Win, tab, tab then the quick launch gets focus. If anyone has a way to restore Win, Tab then I would love to hear it – Alan Whitelaw Mar 23 '11 at 8:08
@Alan Doh! You're right. That's a nuisance, yes. Glad to see Ctrl+Esc works though (extra keystroke but meh). – Shinrai Mar 23 '11 at 14:14

To solve the problem of pressing the active program stealing kbd focus when you press Win, Win you can use Ctrl + Esc instead.


Hold Ctrl then press Esc twice. This shows then hides the start menu but keeps it focused. After this a single Tab moves focus to the quick launch.

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win + M followed by tab

This minimises all windows and focuses the desktop, you can then tab around the start menu button, followed by quick launch, task bar and system tray.

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