[Tip] How to Disable All WIN+ Keyboard Shortcuts (Hotkeys) in Windows?
If you use Windows operating system, you might be very well aware of the WIN key present on your computer's keyboard. Generally WIN key is used to quickly access Start Menu or Start Screen in Windows. But you can also use WIN key in combination with another key to access other programs or features in Windows. There are many such keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) available in Windows which use WIN key plus other keys such as:
- WIN+R to launch RUN dialog box
- WIN+E to launch Windows Explorer
- WIN+L to lock
- WIN+P to launch External Display selection screen
- WIN+X to show WIN+X menu (Windows 8 and later)
- WIN+C to show Charms Bar (Windows 8 and later)
- WIN+PrtScn to capture computer screen and save screenshot (Windows 8 and later)
- WIN+S or WIN+F to launch Search
- WIN+D to show the Desktop
- WIN+M to minimize all running programs windows
- WIN+SHIFT+M to restore all running programs windows
- WIN+Break to show System Properties
- WIN+B to set focus on system tray (Taskbar notification area) icons
- WIN+T to set focus on Taskbar buttons
- WIN+number key (0-9) to switch between Quick Launch toolbar or Taskbar buttons
Although these WIN+ hotkeys are very useful and time saving but many people might find these built-in hotkeys annoying. For example, suppose you were using WIN+Arrow keys to change volume level in your Windows XP or Vista PC and when you upgraded your PC to Windows 7, the WIN+Arrow hotkey was automatically assigned to change windows alignment such as restore windows, maximize windows, cascade windows, etc as a part of Aero Snap feature. Now you don't want this new behavior and want to unbind or disable the built-in Windows 7 hotkey so that you can use your previous hotkey functionality.
There might be many other reasons behind disabling built-in WIN+ hotkeys in Windows. For example you often accidentally press WIN and another key in your keyboard so you may want to disable the WIN+ hotkey feature to prevent it from happening again.
If you also want to turn off WIN+ hotkeys in your Windows, this tutorial will definitely help you.
We have divided this tutorial in 2 parts:
- PART 1: Disable WIN+ hotkeys only
- PART 2: Disable WIN key completely
If you don't want to disable WIN key but want to disable its hotkeys such as WIN+R, WIN+E, etc, then you'll need to follow the steps given in part 1 of the tutorial.
If you want to completely disable WIN key so that it no longer works in your system, then you should follow part 2 of this tutorial. Completely disabling WIN key will also disable all its hotkeys.
PART 1: Disable WIN+ Hotkeys
With the help of following steps, you'll be able to turn off all WIN+ hotkeys available in your Windows.
You can use following 2 methods to disable WIN+ hotkeys:
- METHOD 1: Using Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
- METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor (regedit)
METHOD 1: Using Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
1. Type gpedit.msc in RUN or Start search box and press Enter. It'll open Group Policy Editor.
2. Now go to:
User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Explorer
User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> File Explorer
3. In right-side pane, look for "Turn off Windows+X hotkeys" option.
4. The option would be set to Not Configured. Double-click on it and set it to Enabled.
That's it. It'll immediately turn off all WIN+ hotkeys in your system.
PS: To re-enable the hotkeys in future, again set the "Turn off Windows+X hotkeys" option to Not Configured.
METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor (regedit)
If you don't want to use or can't use Group Policy Editor, you can take help of Registry Editor for the same task. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Type regedit in RUN or Start search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to following key:
3. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD NoWinKeys and set its value to 1
4. Close Registry Editor and restart your system. After reboot the WIN+ hotkeys will be turned off in your system.
PS: To re-enable WIN+ hotkeys in future, delete the DWORD NoWinKeys created in step 3.
PART 2: Disable WIN Key Completely
If you want to completely turn off the WIN key in your system so that no one can use WIN key and all its related hotkeys, then this method will help you.
We'll use the built-in "Keyboard Scancode Mapping" feature of Windows to disable WIN key. If you remember we have used the same feature to disable Caps Lock key in following tutorial:
If you follow the tutorial given at the above mentioned link and set the value of Scancode Map binary present in HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout key to 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 00 00 00 00 00 5b e0 00 00 5c e0 00 00 00 00, it'll completely disable WIN key.
But modifying Registry and changing value of a binary is not an easy task, so we are going to use a very easy to use freeware "Sharp Keys" to do the same task automatically.
Sharp Keys is a free software which allows you to disable any desired key or change functionality of a key present on your computer keyboard.
1. First of all download the software using following article:
2. Run the software and click on Add button. Now click on "Type Key" button given in first section "Map this key (From key)". It'll open a small dialog box to detect a key. Now press WIN key and it'll store the key. Click on OK button.
3. Now leave the value of "To this key (To key)" section set to "-- Turn Key Off (00_00)".
4. Click on OK button and then click on "Write to Registry" button.
If you have two WIN keys (left and right) on your keyboard, repeat the same steps for the other WIN key as well.
It'll immediately save your settings to Windows Registry. Restart your computer and upon reboot, the WIN key will be disabled completely.
PS: If you want to enable WIN key again in future, run Sharp Keys tool again, select the WIN key entry given in the list and click on "Delete" button. At last click on "Write to Registry" button and restart your system.
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