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How to Change What the Fn Keys Do in Windows 10 and 11
The function keys are handy, but you can truly make them your own with some customization.
The function keys at the top of your keyboard serve as a shortcut to control certain hardware features. For instance, if you want to turn on the backlit keyboard, they allow you to do so by pressing a key, saving you from having to do the same through Windows.
By default, these keys can only be used when you press the dedicated Fn key with them. Nevertheless, you can customize this setting, along with many others, to suit your needs. Here are the different ways you can modify the settings of Windows 10 and 11 function keys.
What Are the Function Keys, and Why Do You Need Them?
Function keys, or just "Fn" for short, are used to trigger functions of the F keys (F1, F2, F3, etc.) on the top of the keyboard. In essence, it acts as a shortcut key for basic yet essential functions like changing the volume, brightness, and backlight.
In most laptops, there are 12 function keys (they used to be a lot more in the older devices), and you can use them by pressing them along with the "Fn" key on your keyboard. So for instance, if you wish to enable the backlit keyboard using the F3 key, you can hold the Fn key and then press F3 to make the desired changes.
We have a detailed guide to function keys where we discuss what all 12 keys do. You can check it out for more insight on the topic.
1. How to Change the Function Key Settings Using the Mobility Settings on Dell Computers
The easiest way to change function keys is by modifying settings within the Windows Mobility Center. This method, however, will only work for those of you using a Dell device.
Here is how to proceed:
- Type Windows Mobility Center in Windows search and click Open .
- In the following window, look for the Fn key row section and expand the drop-down under it.
- If you wish to choose the F keys for basic functions, choose Function key .
If you own other devices, then you might want to look for similar options in the System or keyboard settings. You can also search the manufacturer’s official website for information regarding such customizations.
2. How to Modify the Function Keys Settings in the BIOS
You can also make the changes directly in BIOS, which helps the operating system and the hardware load properly.
The steps of accessing BIOS in different devices can vary. Below, we have discussed the steps of accessing BIOS and making the desired changes in HP and Acer. If you own a different device, then it is best to head over to the manufacturer’s website and look for the steps of accessing BIOS there.
Follow these steps if you have an HP device:
- First, turn off your PC.
- Now restart the device and repeatedly press the F10 key. This should successfully launch the BIOS.
- Navigate to System Configuration menu > Action Keys Mode .
- Use the Enter key to enable or disable the features.
- Click Exit to save the changes.
Similarly, if you have an Acer device, follow these steps:
- Hold the F2 key and the Power button simultaneously.
- Once you reach the BIOS screen, head over to the System Configuration Menu and click Enter in the Action Keys Mode option.
- Pick the desired mode and hit Exit.
3. How to Change the Function Key Settings Using the UEFI Settings
If you cannot boot into BIOS for some reason, try changing the Fn keys using UEFI settings. UEFI is basically BIOS on steroids, as it offers a bunch of additional functions and is more powerful.
Here is how you can boot into UEFI Settings if you are a Windows 10 user:
- Press the Win + I keys to open Windows Settings.
If you are a Windows 11 user, follow these steps:
- Press the Win + S keys together to open the Windows Search utility.
- Type Recovery in the search field and choose Recovery options from the list of options available.
Once you have booted in the Windows Recovery Environment using these steps, proceed with the following:
- In the following window, select Troubleshoot .
- In the following window, head over to the Configuration tab.
- Click Save and then press Exit to sign out of BIOS.
How to Enable the Fn Lock
If you do not want to press the Fn key every time you want to enable/disable any of the 12 functions, you can toggle on the Fn lock. With this feature, the Fn key will appear to always be held down on the keyboard, and you will be able to use any function key without having to first press the Fn key.
In most keyboards, the Fn lock is associated with the Esc key, but it can be different in your device. Typically, these keys have a lock icon on them. You can use the manufacturer’s website to find the lock on your device if you cannot locate a key with a lock icon.
Once you have found the key, hold the Fn key and press the lock key. This will enable the function. You can follow the same steps for disabling it in the future.
Is It a Good Idea To Change Fn Key Settings?
Changes to Fn keys are safe and do not have any negative consequences. The customization options for the keys within Windows are limited, but there are quite a few third-party resources that you can look into if you want to modify keys a step further.
On Windows, you can also disable specific keys on your keyboard so you can avoid accidentally pressing keys you don't use. As a general rule, if you follow the steps carefully, you should have no problems.
Here are some considerations to help you decide if changing the Fn keys is a good idea for you:
- Familiarity : If you are familiar with the traditional behavior of function keys and use them often, it may be a good idea to change the Fn key settings so that you can use the standard functions keys without having to press the Fn key every time.
- Multimedia functions : If the function keys on your keyboard are assigned multimedia functions, and you use them frequently, standard fn key functions might not be as useful for you. In that case, you may want to keep the default Fn key settings.
- Compatibility : If you use software that requires input from the standard function keys, it may be necessary to change the Fn key settings to ensure compatibility.
Ultimately, whether it is a good idea to change the Fn key settings or not will depend on how you use your computer and what you prefer. We recommend weighing the pros and cons and consider your usage patterns before you make a decision.
Use the Function Keys Like a Pro
Function keys are great for improving productivity and efficiency. With the right techniques in mind, you can make the most of them. We hope that following the steps above enabled you to modify the setting of your function keys. It is also important to note that all the methods outlined above don't make a permanent change to the system, so you can always revert the changes.
How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 10
It makes your life f'n easy
Remember hitting the F5 key to refresh on your Windows 95 computer? It was almost obsessive. Back in the day, the F1–F12 keys had just one function each, but modern keyboards often include extra functions that you access with an Fn key (also called the Function key ).
How are Fn Keys Helpful?
The Fn key turns the F1–F12 keys into dual-purpose keys. Essentially, it works as a default hotkey, but there’s a slight difference. The combinations differ among manufacturers and models. You’ll mostly find them on laptops (where you can usually change things like screen brightness), but you’ll also find them on some specialty keyboards (like gaming or productivity-centric boards).
For instance, on a Dell XPS15z, Fn + F5 increases the brightness, while on a Lenovo G560, the same combination will display the wireless device settings.
In addition to F-keys, you can also use Fn keys with other keys like PgUp, Insert, and arrow keys. Using a combination of Fn along with one of these keys comes in handy for doing a wide range of things, including adjusting the screen brightness , turning off the display, or controlling the volume, among many other things.
However, sometimes, you find that simply pressing an F-key (without the Fn key) triggers a command like increasing the playback volume. In such cases, you’ll be unable to use F-keys for standard keyboard shortcuts like hitting the F5 key for refreshing.
There’s a simple fix for this. You can tinker with the Fn key settings in several ways, and that’s what we’ll walk you through in this guide.
Disable the Fn Lock
Modern desktop and laptop keyboards have an Fn Lock key (i.e., a key with a lock icon). In most cases, you’ll find a lock icon printed on your Esc key, but it’s also possible that your keyboard has the lock on the Shift key or the Num Lock key.
When you press Fn + Esc (or the key with the lock icon), it toggles the Fn lock.
Once you’ve done this, you won’t need to press the Fn key for performing functions like adjusting the screen brightness or enabling and disabling WiFi or Bluetooth. Simply press the relevant F-key, and that should work. It’s similar to how you use Caps Lock. You won’t need to hold the Shift key for typing caps when Caps Lock is enabled.
If you’re experiencing something similar but want to use your standard F-keys, you’ll need to disable the Fn lock. You can disable it the same way as you’d enable it. Press the key with the lock icon along with the Fn key.
Change Fn Key Settings from Within Windows
You can also change Fn key settings from within your operating system. If you own a Dell laptop that runs Microsoft Windows 10 or 8, you can change function key settings from Windows Mobility Center.
Press Win + X or right-click the Start Menu button on Windows 10 to open the power menu and select Mobility Center . Alternatively, you can go to the Control Panel and navigate to Hardware and Sound > Windows Mobility Center .
Select the drop-down menu under the Function Key Row option under the Customized by Dell Inc. section. You’ll see two options here: Function key and Multimedia key .
Select Function key if you’d like to use the F-keys for standard functions, and Multimedia key if you want to use F-keys for performing functions that would otherwise require you to press the Fn key.
Similarly, on laptops from other manufacturers, you might find the option to change function key options in its system configuration tool. For instance, on Lenovo, you can use the Lenovo Keyboard Manager or the Samsung Settings app on a Samsung laptop to change function key behavior.
Change Fn Key Settings in BIOS
In most cases, the previous two methods should help you change Fn key settings, but on the off chance that they didn’t, you can use the BIOS settings.
Note that you shouldn’t mess around with any settings you don’t fully understand because it can render your computer unbootable.
Many, though not all, laptops will allow you to change Fn key settings from the BIOS or UEFI firmware. You can enter your BIOS setup with a reboot. Press F2, F10, or Delete (the keys differ among manufacturers) at the startup when your computer is still booting. Alternatively, you can use the new way of accessing the BIOS on Windows 10 .
At this point, you’ll need to look around a little because UEFI settings are placed under different sections based on the BIOS interface, which differs among manufacturers.
For instance, on my HP laptop, the setting is under the System Configuration tab. Changing the Action Keys Mode to Enabled will make the F-keys function like normal, i.e., you’ll need to use the Fn key along with an F-key to perform a relevant function.
Fn Key Makes Life Easy
If an OS upgrade or an accidental change in settings has caused your Fn key to not work as it should, it can cause you momentary annoyance.
However, the Fn key is still one of the most helpful keys on your keyboard. It eliminates a few clicks for plenty of functions and lets you perform them just by pressing a combination of keys.
Fn key is also available on several Apple keyboards. If it’s not working correctly, you can troubleshoot Fn key problems on Mac OS as well.
Arjun is a freelance writer based in India. After working as an equity research analyst, Arjun decided to do something that he has been passionate about – tech. He gets excited talking about and explaining how to solve everyday tech problems. His area of expertise is Windows and is a go-to for all things Excel. Read Arjun's Full Bio
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How to change the default behavior of the function keys
Function keys on laptop and desktop keyboards with an Fn key can serve different purposes. For example, if most of your F1 through F12 function keys have small icons next to them, they can do more than one thing. Some manufacturers set the F1 through F12 keys to their primary functions, while others default to their multimedia functions (e.g., adjusting volume, mute, changing brightness).
This page helps users who don't like the default behavior of their computer function keys and want to change their settings. For example, a MacBook user who utilizes the F1 through F12 keys more often than the multimedia keys and wants to change the key's default behavior.
- Change the function keys behavior on Apple computers.
- Change the function keys behavior on PCs.
Change the function keys behavior on Apple computers
To change the default behavior of Apple function keys, follow the steps below.
- Click the Apple menu icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
- Select System Preferences... from the drop-down menu .
- In the System Preferences menu, click the Keyboard icon.
- Under the Keyboard tab , check the box next to Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys .
Change the function keys behavior on PCs
On PCs (e.g., Acer , Dell , Hewlett-Packard , and Lenovo ), the steps may vary depending on the manufacturer and operating system version.
Windows Mobility Center
Most laptops running Microsoft Windows give you the ability to adjust the function key settings through the Windows Mobility Center . For example, in the following image, you can see that Dell added custom options, including the Fn Key Behavior , to specify what the Fn keys should do. Selecting the Function key option causes the computer to use the F1 through F12 keys by default.
If you don't use Windows, or the Windows Mobility Center doesn't have the option to change the Fn key behavior, and you have a laptop, look in the computer's BIOS setup. For example, on many Dell computers, you can find this setting by locating the "Function Key Behavior" in the "System Configuration" section.
- How to enter and exit the BIOS or CMOS setup.
Desktop keyboard with Fn key
If you're using a desktop keyboard with the Fn key, and want to change its behavior, it's up to the keyboard manufacturer to offer an option. Unfortunately, most keyboard manufacturers do not.
- See our Fn and function keys pages for further information and related links.
- Keyboard help and support.
How to choose whether your function keys are f1-f12 keys or special keys.
Tired of trying to turn up your volume and accidentally refreshing your page instead? We've got the solution for that.
Toggle function lock on or off, change an option in the bios or uefi settings, change the option in a control panel, key takeaways.
On most laptop keyboards --- and some desktop keyboards --- you can tap the “Fn” to choose whether your Function Keys act like regular F1-F12 keys or special keys. Alternatively, you can find a setting in the BIOS/UEFI or Control Panel to pick which behavior you want.
Modern laptop and desktop keyboards have a multi-purpose set of keys in the "function" row. These keys can perform special actions related to the audio volume, playback, and hardware features. They can also function as the classic F1-F12 keys --- but not at the same time.
These keys will often perform special actions by default, but you may want to use them as standard F-keys --- for example, for PC gaming. Rather than holding down the Function (Fn) key every time you press a key, you can choose what they do by default.
Changing the default behavior can often be toggled with a Function Lock key. If you toggle Function Lock on, the keys will respond as if you're holding down the Function key all the time; turn off Function Lock and the keys will behave normally. In many ways, Function Lock does for the F-keys what Caps Lock does for capital letters.
Depending on your keyboard, you may actually have a dedicated Function (Fn) Lock key. If you don't, you may have to press the Fn key and then press an "Fn Lock" key to activate it. For example, on the keyboard below, the Fn Lock key appears as a secondary action on the Esc key. To enable it, we'd hold Fn and press the Esc key. To disable it, we'd hold Fn and press Esc again. It functions as a toggle just like Caps Lock does.
Some keyboards may use other combinations for Fn Lock. For example, on some of Microsoft's Surface keyboards you can toggle Fn Lock by holding the Fn Key and pressing Caps Lock. On others, like the Surface Laptop 4 , the Fn key itself is also the Fn Lock key.
Many laptops that ship with built-in keyboards often have an option for this in their BIOS or UEFI setup screen. Reboot the computer and press whatever key it asks you to press while it's booting up to access this screen --- often F2, Delete, or F10 --- or use the new method to access UEFI firmware on Windows 8, 10, or 11 . If you're not sure how to access this screen, perform a web search for the model of PC you have and "Access BIOS" or "access UEFI." You could also just look in the PC's manual. (If you built your own PC, look in the motherboard's manual.)
Look for an option that controls this feature and you can change it. For example, we found this option under Advanced > Function Key Behavior on one modern Dell laptop.
You may also see this option in various places throughout Windows. For example, if you're using Windows in a Boot Camp configuration on a Mac, you can open the Boot Camp configuration panel from your system tray and you'll find this option named "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys" under the Keyboard tab.
On Mac OS X, this option can be found in the System Preferences window. Click the Apple menu and select "System Preferences" to open it, click the "Keyboard" icon, and then click the "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys" option.
Dell inserts this option into the Windows Mobility Center , and some other PC manufacturers may as well. Right-click the Start button and select "Mobility Center" To access it on Windows 11, 10, or 8.1. On Windows 7, press Windows Key + X. You'll see the option under "Fn Key Behavior."
This option may also be available in a keyboard settings configuration tool installed by your computer manufacturer. You might find it in your system tray or Start menu, and it might offer a similar option for controlling this. It's not standardized.
In general, you can often change this setting right on the keyboard itself via the Fn Lock key or a hidden Fn Lock shortcut. On many laptops, it's available as an option in the BIOS or UEFI settings screen you can access during boot-up. If all else fails, dig through your keyboard-configuration panels in the operating system itself.
If you still can't find the option, perform a web search for your manufacturer of laptop or keyboard and "fn lock," or something similar. The manufacturer should have that information available online or in the manual.
How to Change Fn Key Settings Windows 10 on Dell/HP/ACER/Lenovo?
What are fn keys and what’s their function.
Functional keys also called Fn keys for short, perform special actions related to the playback, audio volume, and hardware features. Usually, there are 12 functional keys on the keyboard. These keys can only be used when you press the specific Fn keys with it by default. However, you can also customize Fn key settings according to your needs. Here comes the question that how to change Fn key settings Windows 10.
How to Change Fn Key Settings Windows 10?
Way 1: change fn key settings via windows settings.
If you run Windows 10 or 8 on a Dell laptop, you can change Fn key settings directly via Windows Settings.
Step 1. Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Windows Mobility Center .
Step 2. In the new window, find the Fn key row section and expand the context menu of it.
Step 3. If you want to choose the F keys for basic functions, choose Functional key . If you want to use the F keys to perform functions that typically require pressing the Fn key, choose Multimedia key .
Way 2: Change Fn Key Settings via Windows BIOS
Many laptops which have inbuilt keyboards provide an option to change Fn key settings in the BIOS setup screen.
How to Change Fn Key Settings Windows 10 Dell?
Step 1. Reboot your computer and press F2 to enter into BIOS settings.
Step 2. Use the arrow keys to choose the Advanced option.
Step 3. Scroll down to find Function Key Behavior and hit Enter to choose it.
Step 4. Change the settings to the Functional keys and choose Exit .
How to Change Fn Key Settings Windows 10 HP?
Step 1. Turn off the computer and reboot it after a while.
Step 2. When your device restarts, Press F10 to open BIOS Setup Utility .
Step 3. Press the arrow keys to select System Configuration .
Step 4. Choose Action Keys Mode and press Enter to disable the Enable or Disable options.
How to Change Fn Key Settings Windows 10 ACER?
Step 1. Hold the power button and F2 at the same time to enter into BIOS.
Step 2. Go to System Configuration Menu .
Step 3. In Action Keys Mode , press Enter to show the Enable or Disable option.
Step 4. Select the mode you want and then select Exit .
How to Change Fn Key Settings Windows 10 Lenovo?
Step 1. Press Win + I at the same time to open Settings .
Step 2. Go to Update & Security > Recovery > Restart now .
Step 3. From the Options menu, select Troubleshoot > UEFI Firmware Settings > Restart .
Step 4. On the BIOS menu, choose Configuration and set Hotkey Mode to Disabled .
Step 5. Press F10 and Enter to Save & Exit the BIOS menu.
What does Shift + F10 do? How to make full use of it to make your life and work more effective? If you wonder about the answers, this post is for you!
Do you still wonder how to change the Fn key settings Windows 10 after trying all the methods above? If you still cannot find this option, search for your manufacturer of laptop or keyboard online. The manufacturer may provide the information online or in the manual.
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Can I switch the alt and ctrl keys on my keyboard? [duplicate]
I'm a long time Mac user, but I just built a PC. Not liking the ctrl and alt keys locations. I'm always expecting the ctrl key to be where the command key is on my Macbook. Can I moved swap these somehow? I'm running Windows 10, and I'm up to date.
- 1 As you might imagine, this is a rather popular request. While there may be some minor quirks involved with the process, other community members have done it using AutoHotkey as seen both here and here . – Run5k Mar 19, 2017 at 22:51
- 1 I would say not to do that, for several reasons. First, this prevents you from ever learning to use the keyboard regularly - if you ever need to use someone else's computer, this will make it hard for you. Also, it will make it hard for other people to use your computer. Finally, in my experience (a Windows user who sometimes has to use a Mac for work), it takes only a few days to get used it the change the first time, and it takes only a minute or two to change between them as I switch between computers over the course of a day. – Moshe Katz Mar 20, 2017 at 0:24
- superuser.com/a/1132401/494585 – user494585 Mar 20, 2017 at 3:16
- I would suggest this solution superuser.com/questions/36920/how-can-i-remap-a-keyboard-key rather than an AutoHotkey solution. Remapping keys in Windows can be done with Registry modification and the use of the SharpKeys utility (which does the registry modification and does not need to remain running full-time to intercept keys). – music2myear Nov 1, 2017 at 17:12
- The best solution I have found is to buy a JIS japanese keyboard(laptop or external) and then assign the thumb modifiers to CTRL on the keyboard using SharpKeys. Then effectively the Ctrl/Cmd keys are effectively in the same place. – William Nov 28, 2018 at 17:32
2 Answers 2
For remapping any physical key on the keyboard is a registry entry.
It's in [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout] You create a key with the name Scancode Map . It can redirect any key to another key or disable it.
That key is a hex-value with the following meaning:
To swap the CTRL and ALT keys you need four entries (plus null). The Left Left-CTRL (1d 00), the Left Left-ALT (38 00), the Right-CTRL (1d e0), and the Right-ALT (38 e0).
So you can create a .reg file like this: Disable_CTRL-key.reg
Execute (double click) the .reg file and log out and back in (or restart your computer). Now your CTRL and ALT keys should have been swapped.
Other useful keys to know:
( Based on this answer by Rik )
If you are not comfortable with changing the registry or you want other keys too you can use the program SharpKeys to edit them more easily. It also has a convenient list of all keys so you can just add them in a window.
While SharpKeys (perhaps - I cannot actually verify that it did work) used to be an alternative option, SharpKeys' current Readme states that SharpKeys cannot be used for this purpose, although it can be used for other key remappings. ( h/t gabe )
Alternatively, I found the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools ( archived download ) which contains a small executable called remapkey.exe , only 340KB in size. It is a graphical program which allows you to remap the keys of your keyboard. A reboot is required, as with any manual change. In Windows Vista+ it will require Admin privileges.
While looking for some screenshots, I came across another answer on this site which recommends it:
The best tool for the job is Microsoft's own remapkey , available as part of the Windows Resource Kit . (That link is for Windows 2003; I've used it successfully over the years on many versions of Windows, including Windows 7; have not tested Windows 8).
remapkey will write the mapping directly into the registry, I believe, and does not require a running process. You simply drag from actual key to desired key, and save.
- Another plus for remapkey on Windows 10. It felt a bit sketchy installing the Windows 2003 Kit on WIndows 10, but all worked. It sure beats always running autohotkey in the background, thanks! – PKKid Nov 7, 2018 at 3:00
- 1 remapkey is still working on Windows 10 (10.0.18363)! I used it to swap the Right Shift and "ç" key for reasons that will exceed the maximum number of characters for this comment 🙂 I couldn't find it on Microsoft's site, though. I used this link: news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20485212 (yeah, sketchier and sketchier 😄) – yannick1976 Mar 24, 2021 at 22:52
The key remapping utility Sharpkeys ( Download ) should let you rebind your keys however you'd like. ( Source )
- Open Sharpkeys and click Add
Add the following two entries as key mappings
Confirm your remappings, then click Write to Registry
- 2 This will not let you swap keys so unfortunately this won't work. github.com/randyrants/sharpkeys – William Sep 18, 2018 at 22:38
- See my comment superuser.com/questions/1190329/… that agrees with @William – gabe Nov 28, 2018 at 17:16
- 5 SharpKeys may now be used to swap keys with each other. Latest README may be found here: github.com/randyrants/sharpkeys It states on the page that SharpKeys will "allow you to swap two keys with each other - e.g. you can swap Left Windows with Left Control and vice versa" – arimbun Apr 18, 2019 at 12:44
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged windows-10 keyboard keyboard-layout .
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How to Change Key Functions on Windows 10/8/7
Ever wondered what are you gonna do with two Shift keys, two Alt keys and the Caps Lock key. Pretty Useless right! Every Windows keyboard has duplicate keys and the only purpose it serves is you can use them with both your hands. But wouldn’t it be more efficient if you were able to remap these duplicate keys to open Applications? For example, I have mapped my Caps Lock to open Calculator and Menu key to open Google Chrome. This trick really helps me as I don’t even have to lift my hand from the keyboard to grab the mouse. Doing this is pretty easy and just requires you to remap windows keys. This can be done manually or with the help of third-party apps like SharpKeys, KeyExtender etc.
Before we begin
To find out find least used keys on Windows, use apps like KeyCounter . Simply download the app, it’s free and installs it on your PC just like you install any other Windows software. Once, done, run the app, and select specific keys to monitor, or you can monitor all keys on your keyboard. Let it run for a day or two and click on ‘Stop Monitoring’ to stop the app from counting your keys. It’ll give you a list of keys along with how many times they were pressed.
Change Key Functions on Windows
1. editing the registry entry.
Editing the registry keys is a tedious method to remap keys and can lead to small problems if you are not being cautious. I would advise taking a backup before going ahead. If you have no idea about Windows backup, check out this article .
For this instance, we will try to disable the caps lock key(Just because I find it useless!). To achieve this, we will have to modify the Scancode Map entry. It is located under Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout. You can directly begin modifying the file but I would rather prefer creating a Registry entry and merging it with the original file.
Initially, we will create a notepad file and add the following to it.
Before we proceed further, it’s important to understand the meaning of these numbers. Each button on the keyboard has a hexadecimal code attached to it. Better known as Scan Code and it is extremely important to know the scan code of the key you want to remap. You can check Scancodes of all the keyboard buttons here . In our case, the Scan Code of the Caps Lock key is 3A.
So, the first 4 entries 00,00,00,00 stands for header version and the next 4 entries 00,00,00,00 stands for flags. For the next entry, we have to specify the number of buttons we want to remap. Since we are only disabling Caps Lock key, we require 1 entry for specifying the Caps Lock key and a default null entry at the end which makes it 2. So, the next 4 digit hex number would be 02,00,00,00. Now, I need to specify the scancode of Caps Lock key and the action to be performed when it’s pressed. I want no action to be performed on the key press so the action is null which means 00,00. Hence, our entry will be 3A,00,00,00. The last entry is a default null entry and should be 00,00,00,00.
Save the file as disable_capslock.reg and this should convert it into a registry file. Now, we have to merge these entries with the current Scancode Map entry. To do that, right click on the file and choose Merge .
Now, the changes have been written to the registry and you need to restart the system for it to take effect. If you are not good with the manual work, you can try doing the same with the help of third-party apps.
SharpKeys is the popular choice when it comes to remapping your keys. It is an open-source utility and I have also recommended it as the essential utility for Windows . It has a simple and minimal user interface. When you launch the app, you get a traditional looking dialogue box. To add a key remap, click on the Add button. It will open another dialogue box.
Here, you just have to specify the For Key and the To Key. For example, let’s remap the Caps Lock key to open the native Calculator app. We will specify Caps Lock for the For_Key and App: Calculator for the To_Key . You can scroll through the list of buttons or simply hit Type Key and press the key you want to remap.
Once done, hit OK. You will be brought back to the main dialogue box where you can see the entry you have just configured. Click Write to Registry and upon prompt, restart your computer.
SharpKeys thus lets you indirectly modify the Scancode Map registry skipping all the manual work and trouble. But the only problem with SharpKeys is that you cannot set the trigger action to be a custom application or a combination of multiple keys.
KeyExtender is a paid app that takes key remapping to next level . It not only performs all the basic functionalities like SharpKeys but also provides advanced trigger actions. You can set a custom application to be launched at the click of a button or remap a combination of keys to a single key. The only crux is that the free version lets you launch the application for 18 times and later you have to pay for it. Prices start at 30$ per user.
As soon as you launch the app, a tiny dialogue box opens. At the bottom, you will see the option to remap keys. Suppose I want to launch Google Chrome when I press the Menu key. To do that, I will select the Set Key to be Menu and the To Key would be launching a file. The file would be chrome.exe. The remapping should look like the following:
You need to hit Activate to register this remapping. Surprisingly, you don’t need a restart for the changes to register. You can begin using the remap as soon as you hit Activate. You can also remap a combination of keys to a single button. To do so, click on the two dots beside the To textbox. Navigate to KeyCombination and hit enter. It will give you a pop-up where you can enter the key combination.
It’s not possible to remap key combinations such as Ctrl+Shift+Esc which are system hotkeys. It’s quite understandable because this is not the purpose KeyExtender is built for. If you have a set of custom shortcuts, you can remap those to a single key with this app. For example, I have remapped my custom shortcut Ctrl+Alt+D to Numpad Enter which now opens Google Chrome in Incognito mode with DuckDuckGo.
Which is the best way?
I would any day prefer using SharpKeys because it is an abstract way to remap keys with zero complexities. If you are good with codes and scripts then do try the manual way. And in case you don’t mind spending 30$ for KeyExtender then it is the best key remapper you can get for Windows.
Comment and let me know if you have any issues.
Also Read: Set 2 Default Search Engines On Any Browser
Pratik works as an In-house writer and video host at TechWiser. Former Programmer, Current writer. Loves tech in any form, quite optimistic about AI, data science and IoT. Talks extremely less but you betcha can geek out over anything on Twitter.
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All Microsoft keyboards are equipped to perform shortcuts in Windows and other Microsoft applications. Here’s a round-up of some of the most common ones.
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How to use a mouse via your keyboard on Windows 11
Yes, it's possible to control the mouse with your keyboard, and here's how on Windows 11.
- Control Panel
On Windows 11 , you can use the keyboard keypad to move the mouse pointer and perform tasks, such as drag and drop, click, and double-click, and in this guide, I'll show you the process.
Although the mouse is easy to use, there are scenarios when using the keyboard to control the pointer on the screen can come in handy. For example, the mouse (or touchpad) suddenly stops working, and you don't have access to another hardware replacement, or it's not possible for you to use a mouse, to name a few.
If you're in a situation where the mouse isn't an option, you can turn on the "Mouse keys" feature on Windows 10 that enables you to control the pointer on the screen using the numeric keypad.
In this how-to guide , I'll outline the steps to start configuring and using the mouse with the keyboard on Windows 11.
How to enable mouse control with keyboard from Settings
To turn on the option to control the mouse pointer with the keyboard, use these steps:
- Open Settings .
- Click on Accessibility .
- Click the Mouse page on the right side.
- Turn on the Mouse keys toggle switch.
- (Optional) Check the "Hold the Ctrl key to speed up and the Shift key to slow down" option.
- (Optional) Use the slider settings to control the mouse key speed and acceleration.
Once you complete the steps, you can use the numeric keypad on the keyboard to move the mouse.
How to enable mouse control with keyboard from Control Panel
To enable mouse pointer control through the Control Panel, use these steps:
- Open Control Panel .
- Click on Ease of Access .
- Click on Ease of Access Center .
- Check the "Make the mouse easier to use" option.
- Check the "Turn on Mouse Keys" option.
- Under the "Control the mouse with the keyboard" section, click the " Set up Mouse Keys" option.
- Check the "Turn on Mouse Keys" option (if applicable).
- (Optional) Under the "Pointer speed" section, use the Top speed and Acceleration sliders to adjust the mouse experience.
- (Optional) Check the "Hold down CTRL to speed up and SHIFT to slow down" option.
- Click the Apply button.
- Click the OK button.
After you complete the steps, you can use the keyboard number pad to move the pointer around the screen.
How to get started using mouse with keyboard on Windows 11
When enabling this feature, in addition to moving the mouse pointer around the screen, you can also drag, click, and select items.
Control mouse pointer
To move the mouse pointer on the Windows 11 desktop, use these keys from the keypad:
- 7 – Up and left.
- 8 – Up.
- 9 – Up and right.
- 4 – Left.
- 6 – Right.
- 1 – Down and left.
- 2 – Down.
- 3 – Down and right.
Drag and drop
To drag and drop files and folders on Windows 11, you have to select, drag, and use the move option from the context menu:
- Position the mouse on the item and press the "0" key.
- Use the keypad to start dragging.
- Position the mouse on the location to move the item, press the "." (decimal) key to drop the item.
To perform a click action, use these steps:
- Click - Position the mouse on the item, hold the "/" key, and press the "5" key.
- Right-click - Position the mouse on the item, hold the "-" key, and press the "5" key.
- Double-click - Position the mouse on the item, hold the "*" key, and press the "+" key.
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:
- Windows 11 on Windows Central — All you need to know
- Windows 10 on Windows Central — All you need to know
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Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.
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