2 more ways to disable the Windows key on your keyboard

Mistakenly pressing the Windows key while operating a time-sensitive application can lead to disaster. Here are more ways to disable the feature in Microsoft Windows 10.

Modern computer keyboard for gamers with neon light. Colorful concept.

Image: Anton Smirnov, Getty Images/iStockphoto

In a previous article, "How to disable the Windows key on your keyboard," we discussed two ways to disable the Windows key on a standard Windows 10 keyboard. Those two methods involved making changes to the Windows Registry file through the regedit app or through the Group Policy Editor. However, those aren't the only two methods available.

The next method for disabling the Windows key also involves the editing of the Windows Registry file, but this time we will be using a special key known as ScancodeMap. In a nutshell, we are going to change the behavior of the Windows key by assigning it a new function. The trick is knowing the proper binary number entry to make the change.

SEE: Windows logo keyboard shortcuts: The complete list (TechRepublic)

How to disable the Windows key with ScancodeMap

Disclaimer: Editing the Windows Registry file is a serious undertaking. A corrupted Windows Registry file could render your computer inoperable, requiring a reinstallation of the Windows 10 operating system and potential loss of data. Back up the Windows 10 Registry file and create a valid restore point before you proceed.

To start, type "regedit" into the desktop search box and select Registry Editor in the results. Once the Windows Registry file is open, navigate to this key:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

As you can see in Figure A, there is currently no ScancodeMap key, so we will have to create one.

Figure A

a-disable-windows-key-part2.jpg

Figure A

Right-click on the Keyboard Layout folder and select New | Binary Value and give the new key the name ScancodeMap, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

b-disable-windows-key-part2.jpg

Figure B

Double-click the ScancodeMap key you just created to open the entry screen shown in Figure C.

Figure C

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Figure C

You will have to enter the binary code into the Value Data field by hand. Warning, the code is long, so type it in carefully. The code is:

00000000000000000300000000005BE000005CE000000000

When you are finished, you see a Value Data field that looks exactly like Figure D.

Figure D

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Figure D

Click OK to lock in your entry, close regedit, and then restart your computer. The Windows key will now be completely disabled.

An alternative method for editing the ScancodeMap

Many years ago, I wrote a tip for TechRepublic explaining how to remap the Caps Lock key on a standard Windows keyboard. "How to remap the Caps Lock key and avoid future frustration," explained how to acquire and use an old utility found in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit.

This utility essentially performs the same ScancodeMap edit we just performed, only using a graphical user interface. The utility also provides users with the ability to change more than just a single key. Technically, you could completely remap the keyboard layout to your liking.

In this case, you could remap the Windows key to do something useful, like be your new Caps Lock key, for example. Regardless of what function, or non-function, you choose, with the Windows Server 2003 utility you can make the change without having to type in a long binary string of numbers. Perhaps this is the best option of all the Windows key disabling methods we have mentioned.

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