Disabling a Keystroke Combination in Microsoft Word

Shortcuts can be disabled for one or all Word documents

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Keystroke combinations, often called shortcut keys, are credited with increasing productivity in Microsoft Word because you keep your hands on the keyboard and not on the mouse. Most begin with the Ctrl key, although some use the Alt key. For example, the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C copies any selected text to the clipboard. Word ships with many shortcuts already set up, but you can create your own combinations. You can also disable them. While they provide valuable functions to most users, they can create problems for people who activate them accidentally.

This guide applies to Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word 2007.

How to Disable a Shortcut in Microsoft Word

You cannot disable all the shortcut keys at once; you'll have to do it one at a time for the keystroke combinations that bother you. If you want to disable a keystroke combination in Word, follow these steps:

For Newer Versions of Microsoft Word

  1. Select File > Options to open the Word Options dialog box.

  2. Select Customize Ribbon.

    Screenshot of the Customize Ribbon option in Microsoft Word 365
  3. Select Customize.

    Screenshot of the Customize Ribbon options in Microsoft Word 365
  4. In the Categories box, select the category that contains the keyboard shortcut command you want to remove.

    Screenshot of keyboard shortcut categories in Microsoft Word 365
  5. Go to the Commands box and select the item you want to remove the shortcut from. Keyboard shortcuts currently assigned to that command appear in the Current Keys box or below the box labeled Currently assigned to.

    An example of a currently assigned keyboard shortcut in Microsoft Word
  6. Highlight the shortcut in the Current Keys box and press Remove.

    Removing a keyboard shortcut in Word 365
  7. Select Close, then OK to save the change and close the dialog box.

The list of all commands is lengthy and not always easy to figure out, so use the search field at the top of the Commands box to find the shortcut you are looking for.

For Microsoft Word 2007

The process for removing keyboard shortcuts in Word 2007 is nearly identical to the steps above, but there are some differences.

  1. Select the Microsoft Office Button > Word Options > Customize.

  2. Select the current document in the Save changes box.

  3. In the Categories box, select the category that contains the keyboard shortcut command you want to remove.

  4. In the Commands box, select the item you want to remove the shortcut from. Keyboard shortcuts currently assigned to that command appear in the Current Keys box or below the box labeled Currently assigned to.

  5. Highlight the shortcut in the Current Keys box and press Remove.