After seeing the TechRepublic How do I blog post about how to disable the Insert key in Word, Frank Reeves asked for information on how to similarly disable the Caps Lock key.
This blog post is also available in PDF format as a TechRepublic download. The post was originally written for Windows XP, but it will work with Vista and Windows 7.Sometimes, depending on the manufacturer and on the particular layout, your keyboard can be a great source of frustration. For TechRepublic reader Frank Reeves, the Caps Lock key is the one that drives him crazy. After seeing the TechRepublic "How Do I..." about how to disable the Insert key in Word, he asked for information on how to similarly disable the Caps Lock key.
There are several ways to accomplish this task. One way is to discover the scan code for the Caps Lock key and for the key you want to map it to and then edit the Windows registry. The folks at Annoyances.org explain this method. However, their explanation is more complicated than it needs to be, and there are easier and safer ways to accomplish the same thing.
Third-party keyboard layout and mapping tools are available that will allow you to change the behavior of the Caps Lock key, but many of these really boil down to a .reg file, which edits the Windows registry for you. In general, these .reg files are fine and come from people and organizations just trying to help make your life easier, but it still involves a stranger editing your Windows registry files. That makes me uncomfortable.
The best way to remap the Caps Lock key or any key on your keyboard is with a free utility from Microsoft called remapkey.exe. This little utility is available in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. It is one of many utilities included in the kit and works with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista. This TechRepublic "How Do I..." shows you how to use the remapkey.exe utility to remap the Caps Lock key.