How to disable Windows key or WinKey in Windows 10/8/7

Pressing the Windows keys opens the start menu. Using combination’s of WinKey with other keys on your keyboard lets you perform many actions and commands that you perform with the mouse. These are the WinKey or Windows Key shortcuts, and they are very useful.

But when one is gaming, and if one presses the Windows Key, any open PC game where the taskbar is not shown, will minimize without exiting the program! This often becomes a nightmare for PC gamers, and as such, while playing PC games, most prefer to disable this key.

Let us see how we can disable the Windows key on the keyboard to improve the Gaming experience.

Disable Windows key or WinKey

There are four ways to disable the WinKey or Windows Key:

1) Download and use WinKey Killer, a freeware app.

Disable Windows key or WinKey

WinKey Killer disables the Windows key and context menu key on keyboards. It also optionally disables all system keys for security purposes.

2) Download Microsoft Fix It 50465 available at KB216893 and apply it!

By applying this Fix It, you can disable the Windows key that is now available on many new computer keyboards.

3) Do it manually.

To completely disable the Windows key, follow these steps:

  • Open regedit.
  • On the Windows menu, click HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE on Local Machine.
  • Double-click the System\CurrentControlSet\Control folder, and then click the Keyboard Layout folder.
  • On the Edit menu, click Add Value, type in Scancode Map, click REG_BINARY as the Data Type, and then click OK.
  • Type 00000000000000000300000000005BE000005CE000000000 in the Data field, and then click OK.
  • Close Registry Editor and restart the computer.

To enable the Windows key, follow these steps:

  • Open regedit.
  • On the Windows menu, click HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE on Local Machine.
  • Double-click the System\CurrentControlSet\Control folder, and then click the Keyboard Layout folder.
  • Right-click the Scancode Map registry entry, and then click Delete. Click Yes.
  • Close Registry Editor and restart the computer.

You may want to backup your registry first!

4) You can also do this using the Group Policy Editor. Run gpedit.msc and navigate to the following setting:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer

Disable Windows key or WinKey

In the right pane, you will see Turn off Windows+X hotkeys. Double-click on it and select Enabled.

Keyboards with a Windows key provide users with shortcuts to common shell features. For example, pressing the keyboard sequence Windows+R opens the Run dialog box; pressing Windows+E starts File Explorer. By using this setting, you can disable these Windows+X shortcut keys. If you enable this setting, the Windows+X shortcut keys are unavailable. If you disable or do not configure this setting, the Windows+X shortcut keys are available.

This should do the job!

If your Windows, does not have the Group Policy Editor, you can use the Registry Editor to turn off the Windows key.

Navigate to –

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Create a 32-bit DWORD value, name it NoWinKeys and give it a value of 1.

Check this post for a Fix It that will help you if your WinKey or Windows key has become disabled, and this one if you’d like to only disable Win+L Shortcut Key.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.