Almost all Windows PCs have a Windows key on the keyboard. The Windows key can be pressed to immediately display the Start menu. As useful as it sounds, it can be quite boring at times. If you’re playing a game and accidentally tap it, it will kick you out of full screen. On older systems with limited resources, this can cause your PC to suddenly freeze. Fortunately, there is a way to turn off the Windows key on your PC.
How to disable the Windows key
The easiest way to deactivate the Windows key is to remap the key. This means assigning it to some other function that does not 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 directly from the link provided in the installer if you haven’t installed it already.
2. Once installed, launch the utility.
3. Click “Keyboard Manager” in the left menu, then select “Remap Key”.
4. Click the plus “+” icon. This will allow you to add customization to the mapping.
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. In 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 want to remap it to perform another function, you can select it in the right column.
6. Click OK, then click “Continue Anyway”.
After that, the Windows key should be disabled. The settings are saved automatically, so you can close the utility and use your computer as usual.
How to reactivate the Windows key
If you 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 Key”.
2. In the list, find the mapping “Win -> Undefined” and click the trash can icon nearby. This will remove it. Press OK to confirm the setting.
Besides PowerToys, there are also several other software that you can use to remap the Windows button.
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