How to Disable the Windows Key on Windows 10

Run winkill, install SharpKeys, or edit the Windows Registry

What to Know

  • Easiest: Run the portable winkill program.
  • Install SharpKeys; set the Windows key to Turn Key Off.
  • Most complex: Editing the Windows Registry manually is another option.

This article describes the three best ways to disable the Windows key in Windows 10. There are other methods, but these work for everyone and provide varying levels of control no matter your experience level.

Run winkill to Disable the Windows Keys

The Windows key pulls up the Start menu, and when pressed with other keys, it can trigger other Windows-related shortcuts. If you find yourself accidentally doing this while gaming, watching videos, etc., you can avoid this distraction by simply disabling the key.

One way to do this is by running a small, portable program to disable Windows keys instantly. Enabling them again is as simple as pressing one button, meaning that you can switch between enabled and disabled mode at any time (no reboot required, like the other methods below).

  1. Download winkill and extract the contents from the ZIP file.

  2. Execute WinKill.exe from the folder. If you're asked to confirm, select Run.

    WinKill program highlighted in folder
  3. Both Windows keys are instantly disabled by default. To enable them or quickly toggle between on and off, right-click the program's icon in the notification area (near the clock) and choose Toggle. You can also double-click the icon.

    WinKill Toggle option highlighted

Pick Which Windows Key to Disable With SharpKeys

Another free program gets the job done, as well. Go this route if you want control over which key gets disabled.

  1. Install SharpKeys. There’s also a ZIP version on the download page if you’d prefer to use it without installing anything.

  2. Select Add.

  3. Choose Special: Left Windows (E0_5B) from the left column, ensure that Turn Key Off (00_00) is selected in the right column, and select OK.

    special left windows highlighted in sharpkeys

    To disable the right Windows key, repeat these last two steps for Special: Right Windows (E0_5C).

  4. Choose Write to Registry, and then select OK on the confirmation box.

    SharpKeys log out or reboot prompt with Write to Registry and OK highlighted
  5. Restart your computer or sign out to apply the changes.

If you need the key to be usable again, open SharpKeys, select the key from the list, choose Delete at the bottom, and then complete the same last two steps from above.

Edit the Registry to Disable the Windows Key

Not interested in having a program do it for you? You can make the change yourself manually by creating a new entry in the registry and giving it a very specific value.

Editing the registry is easy, even if you’re unfamiliar with it. Just be sure to follow these steps exactly as you see them, no exceptions. This method disables both Windows keys.

  1. Open Registry Editor. A quick way to get there is to search for regedit in the Start menu.

  2. Back up the registry. While not necessarily required for this task, backing up ensures that a simple registry restore can undo changes if something unexpected happens during the edit.

  3. Navigate here using the folders on the left:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout
  4. With Keyboard Layout selected, right-click the blank area on the right and go to New > Binary Value.

    New binary value menu in keyboard layout key of Windows 10 registry
  5. Name it Scancode Map.

  6. Double-click that newly created item and type this (pasting won't work):

    00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 00 00 00 00 00 5B E0 00 00 5C E0 00 00 00 00

    Don't use spaces, and don't worry about the leading numbers in the left column; they'll change automatically as you type.

    Edit Binary Value box in Windows Registry with Scancode Map and binary values highlighted
  7. Select OK after confirming that the values are correct.

  8. Close Registry Editor and sign off or restart to apply the changes.

To undo this, complete Step 3 and remove Scancode Map by right-clicking it and choosing Delete. Alternatively, rename it—anything will do, like Scancode Map OLD—to turn on the keys. Renaming it makes it easy to return to the first name later if you want to block them again.

  • How do I disable the Windows Key while I'm in a game?

    The easiest way to gain the ability to disable the Windows Key while gaming is to purchase a specialized gaming keyboard with a built-in disable function. Also, some games, such as Starcraft II, include an in-game option to disable the Windows key.

  • How do I disable the Fn key in Windows 10?

    Open your BIOS menu during bootup and access the system configuration menu. Navigate to Action Keys Mode and press Enter to disable the setting. There may also be a Function Key Behavior setting under the Advanced configuration options depending on your computer. In another scenario, if you've set the F1 through F12 keys as hotkeys and you need to press Fn so you can use them in an app or game, press the Fn lock key. You won't have to press Fn anymore to use the F1 through F12 keys; you can use them as standard F keys. The Fn lock key often shares a key with the Esc button or Shift button.

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