Disabling the Windows Key

How to disable the Windows Key

Some keyboards now come with a Microsoft windows key. Usually it pops up the start menu. This can be a hassle if you press it accidentally while playing games.

There are 2 ways that we know of to disable the windows key.

Microsoft Windows Application Compatibility Toolkit

This option is only avaiable for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Advantages

Relative safe to use.

The only comes into affect when the configured program is loaded.

Disadvantages

The only comes into affect when the configured program is loaded, but when it is, all programs will be affected, even if the configured program is running in the background.

Alt-Tab, Windows key, Ctrl-Esc or Alt-Esc will all be disabled.

You will have to download the Windows Application Compatibility Toolkit which is a 24M file.

Instructions

When installing, ensure you choose to install the Microsoft Windows Compatibility Administrator 3.0. After its installed:

  1. Load up the Compatibility Administrator Tool 3.0

  2. Rename the existing Custom Database to the program you wish to disable the Windows Key for.

  3. Right click on your Custom Database, and create a Application Fix.

  4. Fill in the name and vendor of your program, then select the executable program file.

  5. Don't add any additional modes.

  6. Select the compatibility fix IgnoreAltTab.

  7. Save this database, then right click to Install.

Now when you start your configure program, windows will have disabled the Windows key.

Note that Ctrl-Alt-Del is still enabled.

Registry Changes

To disable this key, you can use the Scan Code Mapper for Windows in the Windows XP registry.

Do the following at your own risk.

Create the Scancode Map key of type REG_BINARY inside the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout\ registry path.

To disable the Left and Right Windows key (by mapping these keys to nothing), set the value to 00000000 00000000 0300000000 00005BE0 00005CE0 00000000

To disable the Left, Right and Application/Context Windows key, set the value to 00000000 00000000 0400000000 00005BE0 00005CE0 00005DE0 00000000

You can also remap keys to another keys, read the documentation for the mapper to find out how.

This has only been tested under Windows XP

Published: Monday, 1 March 2004
Updated: Monday, 8 March 2004