Nearly every Windows PC features a Windows key on the keyboard. The Windows key can be pressed to bring up the Start menu immediately. As useful as it sounds, it can be quite annoying at times. If you’re playing a game and mistakenly press it, it’ll kick you out of the full screen. On old systems with limited resources, it may cause your PC to suddenly freeze up. Luckily, there’s a way to disable the Windows key on your PC.
How to disable the Windows key
The easiest way to disable the Windows key is by remapping the key. This means assigning it to another function that doesn’t interfere with what we are doing. You can remap the key using Microsoft’s free PowerToys utility.
To disable the Windows key on your PC, follow the steps below:
1. Download and install Microsoft PowerToys on your PC. You will also need .NET Core to install it. You can download it straight from the link provided in the installer if you don’t have it already installed.
2. Once installed, launch the utility.
3. Click on “Keyboard Manager” from the menu on the left and then select “Remap a key.”
4. Click on the “+” plus icon. This will allow you to add a mapping customization.
5. Select the key in the left column (in this case, the Windows key). You can also select “Type key” and press the Windows key on your keyboard. From the right column, define what you want it to do.
In this case, click on the drop-down menu and select “Undefined.” This will remove the functionality of the Windows key, and nothing will happen when you press it. If you’d like to remap it to perform another function, you can select that from the right column.
6. Click OK and then “Continue Anyway.”
After that, the Windows key should be disabled. The settings save automatically, so you can close the utility and use your computer as usual.
How to re-enable the Windows key
If you’ve previously disabled your Windows key and want to re-enable it, you can use the same PowerToys utility to do so:
1. Open the PowerToys utility and navigate to “Keyboard Manager -> Remap a Key.”
2. In the listing, locate the “Win -> Undefined” mapping and click the nearby trash icon. This will delete it. Press OK to confirm the setting.
Other than PowerToys, there are also several other software that you can use to remap the Windows button.