In Windows 7, Win can be used to raise an auto-hidden taskbar. In Windows 8, Win overwrites the entire screen with the Start Screen.

Is there a keyboard shortcut in Windows 8 to display the Taskbar once it has been auto-hidden?

Update: thanks to Tom for the answer. A recent post on the Windows Team Blog has a comprehensive list of system keyboard shortcuts for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.


Either hover it, or press WIN+T to activate the current application on the task bar.

There also doesn't seem a quick way to access the lock screen information,
I bet they might facilitate accessing the different things using hotkeys. Because it is indeed a pain...

  • 1
    After Win+T, Alt+Tab gets you back to the app you were working in. More key presses than press and release of Win, but I guess those are the lumps of a touch first UI... – sean e Oct 25 '11 at 15:00

I find that Ctrl +Shift +Esc works a treat.

Not only does this combination open the Task Manager, but it also brings it to the foreground when hidden, and at the same tab that you last used it.


You can press Alt+Shift+Esc to switch between windows (which also brings the taskbar to the foreground).

If you're using an external monitor, this combination only displays the taskbar on the windows' monitor, whereas Windows+T shows all taskbars, and doesn't switch the windows.

With Windows+Comma (Not the comma on the numpad), you can peek to the desktop (which will also show you the taskbar) - but only temporary.

  • +1 for Windows+Comma, didn't know that (and I'm using Windows intensly since version 3). – Foo Bar Jun 8 '14 at 9:34
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    It's Alt+Esc. Alt+Shift+Esc is just cycling in the reverse direction like Alt+Tab and Alt+Shift+Tab – phuclv Jun 8 '14 at 11:04

I found another trick for those using "tablet mode" without access to the keyboard:

Touch a free space on the desktop and drag quickly past the end of the screen where your taskbar is located (hidden) then quickly drag back to the desktop and the taskbar will appear.

  • Oddly your answer did not work for me right away but now it works reliably and I can't get it to fail. It was almost like it needed to be trained. Added a more complete answer. – AnthonyVO Aug 13 '14 at 5:10

Johan's answer lead me in the right direction.

Two methods that work but not always reliably for me.

1) Assuming that the taskbar is at the bottom, find an open area of the desktop and swipe down. You "might" need to tap the desktop first just to give it focus but not always.

2) If you are in an application, then tap near the bottom of the screen and pull down and back up. Sometimes just pulling down is enough. Depends on the application. In Wordpad a simple swipe down was enough. In Chrome I have to swipe down and back up. If Chrome is fullscreen (F11) then nothing works.


Ctrl +Shift +Esc on Windows 8 only open the taskmanager for me. But you can do Ctrl+1 or Ctrl+2 etc to show application from the taskbar (bring back or open apps). 1 is for the first app on the taskbar and so on.

Win+T is also good way to show the taskbar.

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