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Vista Hotkeys

Hannah from California writes:

I have Vista and heard something about hotkeys that are already built in to my quick launch toolbar. Since I am an avid taskbar user, I am interested in this.

Hi, Hannah! Thanks for writing. I had Vista for a long time before I found out about built-in hotkeys (keyboard shortcuts) for “quick launching”. It’s a great feature, especially for those of us who live and die by the quick launch toolbar.

The Windows key on your keyboard.

In a nutshell, Vista has made it so that the first ten programs in your quick launch toolbar can be opened automatically by assigning Win + a number from 1 -10 to open them.

(Huh?) Let me show you what I mean.


The hotkeys run like this:

Win + 1
Win + 2
Win + 3
Win + 4
Win + 5
Win + 6
Win + 7
Win + 8
Win + 9
Win + 10

Thus, if I want to open Microsoft Word, I would press Win + 2. If I want to open my Gmail, I press the Windows key and then number 8. If I want to open Firefox, then I just press Win + 5. Get the hang of it?

As if the quick launch wasn’t quick enough!

Thanks for the great question, Hannah!

~ Lori Cline