OneNote 2013, Windows 8.1, and Windows Key shortcuts

A reader named Jeremy who is a Technical Support Analyst in the UK wrote to use as follows:

Microsoft seem to shoot themselves in the foot now and again, the latest is the Windows 8.1 hijacks the Win+S key from OneNote screen capture for Windows Search and does not replace it with anything which very irritating, there is a reg hack to relocate to another key but not a very slick thing to do.

I agree it was probably a mistake for Microsoft to make this change, but unfortunately there was a good reason for it. Keyboard shortcuts that include the Windows key in them are usually reserved for the Windows operating system and its components like the Start menu, Explorer, search functionality, configuration settings, and so on, see:

In other words, allowing a Microsoft Office application like OneNote to use a Winkey shortcut was a mistake in the first place, and with the release of OneNote 2013 and Windows 8.1 Microsoft is simply rectifying a mistake in the earlier version of OneNote.

The best thing for OneNote users to do when they upgrade from OneNote 2010 running on Windows 7 or Windows 8 to OneNote 2013 running on Windows 8.1 is to learn to use Winkey+Shift+S instead of Winkey+Swhen they need to capture a screen clipping.

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is an eleven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see


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