Windows key is a handy and helpful function if you regularly use hotkeys. There are a lot of key combinations with Winkey that are very useful. However, if you are a gamer, the windows key can suddenly be your downfall.
Many users have faced the issue of accidentally pressing the Windows key in the middle of their game. You get directly booted out of the game, and the start menu opens. Furthermore, in fast-paced games and FPS games, a single-second pause would mean defeat or in-game death.
For the Window key which has been a thorn in the side of many gamers, here’s how to disable it.
How to Disable Windows Key?
Disabling the windows key is as easy as it sounds if you know how to do it. Third-party applications have also made it way easier to do. However, if you do not like the idea of letting third-party applications tweak your settings, you can also configure system files yourself to disable Winkey.
Here are six ways to disable the Windows key in your Windows.
Using Microsoft Power Toys
Microsoft Power Toys is an application provided and updated by Microsoft. You can use Power Toys to change and customize features to your liking and, most importantly, disable the windows key.
It is also very easy to disable Windows keys using Microsoft Power Toys. Follow the steps below.
- Install Microsoft Power Toys using Microsoft Store.
- Open Microsoft Power Toys.
- Select Keyboard Manage from the sidebar and click on Open Settings. (Open settings will not show if you have already used PowerToys before.)
- Choose the Remap a key option. (Make sure Enable Keyboard Manager is toggled on.)
- Click on the ‘+’ sign and hit Type. (A new window asking you to select a key will appear.)
- Press the Windows key and click OK.
- Under Map To, click on the dropdown option, and select Disable.
- Press OK.
Now your Windows key is disabled. If you want to disable your other Windows key, do the same for it. To enable the Windows key again, click on the trashcan icon and press OK.
AutoHotkey is a custom scripting language for Windows primarily aimed at hotkeys. Unlike Winkill, AutoHotkey isn’t solely focused on disabling the Windows key but can disable Winkey perfectly.
Furthermore, you don’t need any programming knowledge to disable the Window key with AutoHotkey. Follow the steps below to disable Winkey through AutoHotkey.
- Download AutoHotkey and run the setup file to install it.
- Go to any folder on your computer and right-click.
- Select New and click on AutoHotkey Script. (You can name the file anything you like.)
- Right-click the file and select Edit Script.
- Delete the previous default entries and type
- Save the file and exit.
- Double click the AutoHotkey script, and the Windows key will be disabled.
- To enable the Windows key again, right-click on the AutoHotkey system tray icon and press Exit.
If you would also like to disable your right window key, edit the AutoHotkey script and add
LWin::return. RWin stands for the right Window key. Right-click on the Autohotkey system tray icon and press Reload The Script to disable the right windows key.
If you want to disable only the Windows key and not the hotkeys, right-click on the AutoHotkey system tray icon and press Suspend Hotkey.
Using Gaming Mode
Some keyboards feature gaming mode where they automatically disable the Windows key. Every compatible keyboard has a different way of activating it. Check with your user manual to see if it has a gaming mode and how to activate it.
Some keyboards use key combinations, and some even have physical switches built into the keyboard to disable Winkey.
Gaming mode is one of the easiest methods of disabling your Windows key. However, not all keyboards have this feature.
Using Registry Editor
Registry Editor is another way of disabling Windows without downloading any extra applications. However, to implement this method, you need to tweak your registry files a little.
First, it is recommended to backup your registry before making any changes. Please refer to our article for backing up your registry.
To disable Winkey using Registry Editor, follow the steps below.
- Press Windows + R keys to open the Run Window.
regeditand press Enter. Click Yes on the popup dialog box.
- In the Registry Editor, navigate to:
- Right-click on the empty area and select New.
- Choose Binary Value and name it Scancode Map.
- Double click on Scancode Map and enter
00000000000000000300000000005BE000005CE000000000in the Value Data. (You have to type the numbers continuously with no space.)
- Press OK and exit the Registry Editor.
- Restart your pc.
Be sure to back up your registry editor before following the steps. If you encounter any issue along the way, restore your registry editor to your saved backup.
Winkill is the easiest method in the list to disable the Windows key, but you need to download a third-party application. It is also a public domain and open source software that has been out for over eight years.
Winkill is very lightweight and uses almost no system resources. To set up Winkill, download and extract Winkill on your computer.
After extracting, Winkill’s icon will be sitting on your system tray. Click once to enable it and click again to disable it.
If the Windows key is disabled, Winkill will show a red ‘X’ on its icon, and the red ‘X’ will disappear if it is active.
Lastly, Winkill doesn’t start as a startup app; you need to open it every time you restart your pc.
Using Local Group Policy Editor
Local Group Policy Editor is an advanced tool used to manage a network of computers, but you can also use it to customize the settings of a single computer. However, this method only disables the Windows hotkey and doesn’t disable the Winkey itself.
Follow the steps below to disable Windows hotkey using the Local group policy editor.
- Press Windows key + R to open the Run window.
gpedit.mscand press Enter.
- Double click on Administrative Templates in the sidebar.
- Double click on Windows Components and navigate to the File Explorer option.
- Double-click the Turn off Windows Keys Hotkey, and a new window will open.
- Select Enabled and press OK.
- Restart the PC.
If you want to enable it again, select Not configured or Disabled on step 6. Lastly, the Group Policy editor is unavailable on the Windows Home edition. It is only available for the Pro and Enterprise edition.