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, increase 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 selected text to the clipboard. Word ships with many shortcuts, but you can create your own combinations. You can also disable them.

Instructions in this article apply 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 you don't want. 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.

    Word with the Options button highlighted
  2. Select Customize Ribbon.

    Options in Word with the Customize Ribbon section highlighted
  3. Select Customize.

    Options in Word with the Customize button highlighted
  4. In the Categories list, select the category that contains the keyboard shortcut command you want to remove.

    Customize Keyboard window in Word with the Categories heading highlighted
  5. Go to the Commands list and select the item you want to remove the shortcut from.

    Keyboard shortcuts that are currently assigned to that command appear in the Current Keys list or below the box labeled Currently assigned to.

    Customize Keyboard window in Word with the Commands heading highlighted
  6. Highlight the shortcut in the Current Keys box and select Remove.

    Customize keyboard window in Word with the Remove button highlighted
  7. Select Close.

    Customize Keyboard window in Word with the Close button highlighted
  8. Select OK to save your changes and close the dialog box.

    Customize window in Word with the OK box highlighted

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 list 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 Microsoft Office Button > Word Options > Customize.

  2. In the Save changes box, select the current document.

  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.