The Start Menu is accessed by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard. The Windows or Win key can help you perform activities and instructions that you generally execute using a mouse. Users may access hundreds of configuration options, functions, and programs using the Windows key handy keyboard shortcut combinations. While keyboard users might enjoy these shortcuts, some users with specific use cases, such as gamers, might find these obstructing. This post will guide you on how you can disable the Windows key shortcuts on a Windows computer.
How to Disable the Windows Key Shortcuts
Disabling the hotkey feature of the Windows key in Microsoft Windows is simple, and there are various techniques users may take to modify the behavior of the key.
- Look for Win Lock on Keyboard
- Disable Windows Key using Win Lock
- Using PowerToys
- Disable Windows Key Shortcuts via Registry
- Disable Windows Key Shortcuts using Group Policy Editor
If you are a Windows Home user, you will need to install the Group Policy to use the Group Policy method.
1] Look for Win Lock on Keyboard
Many keyboards now come with a dedicated button that can disable the Windows key. It is usually on the top panel of the keyboard and sometimes comes with background light. You should be able to identify it using the color.
2] Disable Windows Key using Win Lock
Did you know that some keyboards offer a dedicated key that can be utilized to lock the Windows key? Some gaming keyboards have a special key titled Win Lock that makes the task much simpler.
For users with keyboards that miss out on the Win Lock key, you can perform the same action using Fn + Win keys.
3] Using PowerToys
Microsoft PowerToys offers a keyboard manager which allows you to remap any key to anything else or choose to disable it.
- First, download and install the PowerToys, and then open it. Switch to Keyboard Manager, and then click on Remap keys.
- Click on the Plus button, and then select Type and press the Win key for automatic detection.
- In the Mapped to Section, click on the dropdown, and then select Disable.
- Click on the Ok button to save.
It will permanently delete the Windows key.
4] Disable Windows Key Shortcuts via Registry
If you’re running Home Edition of Windows, you’ll be required to change the Registry to disable the Windows key.
This procedure necessitates using the Registry Editor to make modifications to the Registry. A word of caution: the Registry Editor is a powerful and complicated tool. Making tweaks to your system might make it unstable, if not altogether inoperable. Before making any changes, we recommend that you make a backup of the Registry.
- Start by launching the Registry Editor; to do so, press Win + R keys in the keyboard to bring up the Run Dialog, key in regedit, and press Enter.
- Now, navigate to the following path under the Registry Editor. Pro tip: you could copy and paste the path into the address bar to quickly navigate.
- Here, you’ll be required to create a new DWORD; to do so, right-click in a space under the Explorer key, choose New > DWORD (32-bit) value, and title it NoWinKeys.
- Next, open the properties window for the newly created DWORD by double-clicking on it and modifying the value to 1 under Value Data.
- With that, save the changes and restart your computer. You should now not be able to access any Windows key shortcuts.
If you’re wondering how you could go back, head over to the following path once again and either delete the newly created key or modify the value of NoWinKeys to 0 and restart your computer.
5] Disable Windows Key Shortcuts using Group Policy Editor
On a computer running Pro or Enterprise Edition of Windows, you also have the option of making changes via the Local Group Policy Editor. However, when you make changes via the Group Policy Editor for specific accounts, you’ll be needed to go ahead and manually replicate the changes individually.
Similar to the Registry Editor, the Local Group Policy Editor is a fairly complex tool. You might not want to make any modifications without having a fair understanding of the same.
- Open Run prompt, and type gpedit.msc
- Start by bringing up the Start Search Box, search for gpedit.msc, and click on the Edit Group Policy link.
- Now, navigate to the following path using the left navigation pane.
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer
- Here, find the one stating Turn off Windows + X hotkeys from the right navigation pane, and double click on the same to open its properties window.
- Now, turn the radio button towards Enabled, choose OK, and apply to save the settings.
- Finally, restart your computer for the changes to come into effect.
Similarly, turn the radio button to disabled to re-enable the Windows key shortcuts on your computer.
That said, what is the reason behind disabling the Windows key shortcuts? Do let us know by dropping a comment down below.
Which Edition of Windows Am I Running?
If you are not sure which edition of Windows your computer is running, head over to Settings > System, and you should be able to notice the same under the Windows Specifications section.
How Can I Disable a Specific Key on the Keyboard in Windows?
While it is possible to disable a specific key in Windows, you will need to use a third-party application such as PowerToys. It is a free program that allows you to turn off any key on your Windows keyboard.
What Are Some of the Windows Key Shortcuts?
Some useful Windows key shortcuts include – Windows key + I to open Settings application, Windows key + E to open the File Explorer, Windows key + A to launch the Action Center, Windows key + D to display and hide the desktop, Windows key + L to lock the device and Windows key + V opens the Clipboard bin.