Windows key or WinKey not working on Windows 10

Windows Key or the WinKey is one of the core keys in Windows which lets you do multiple tasks. Right from launching Start Menu to Win+Tab, Win+R, Win+S, and many others. Many a time this causes a problem, and you cannot use it as you want it to. This nuisance becomes even worse when you are in remote desktop solution, and it feels like Windows Key or the WinKey is disabled. In this guide, we look at various solutions to fix Windows key or WinKey not working on Windows 10

Windows key or WinKey not working

Disable Game Mode on your Keyboard

One of the most common scenarios is Game Mode of Windows 10. By design, it makes sure that Windows Key is disabled. This makes sure that if you accidentally hit the Windows Key, the Start Menu doesn’t take over the focus, and your gaming experience is ruined. That said, it only works with keyboards that support game mode on a hardware level. Logitech G810 Gaming keyboard offers this.

Fix Windows key or WinKey not working on Windows 10

You will have to use the keyboard software from the OEM to disable Windows key or WinKey when not gaming.

WinKey disabled?

Check if your WinKey has been disabled.

Use Powershell to enable Windows Key

Launch Powershell with admin privileges. Copy paste the below mentioned command and hit return. Once it executes successfully, you will be able to use the Windows Key as usual.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”}

Make sure to create a restore point before executing this so in case something goes wrong; you can get back to the previous state. Chances for something like this to happen is low.

Force Windows to Rescan the Keyboard

Windows understands input from the hardware by keeping a digital map called as ScanMap. Every key is mapped into the computers memory. The same goes for Windows Key as well. In case Windows is not able to understand, we can force it. This calls in for registry editing, so make sure to take a backup or create a restore point, and then perform this step.

  • Type REGEDIT on the start menu, and launch it with admin privileges.
  • The navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout
  • Expand the Keyboard Layout key, locate Scancode Map registry entry and delete it.
  • Restart your PC, and it will force it to scan, and then create a new key for it.

Look for WinKey Lock Button on your Keyboard

Many special keyboards come with Win Lock Button. If your keyboard is different from others, check for a hardware button which can disable the Windows key or WinKey. Disable it.

If nothing works, you can always create a new account to see if it’s working on that account or run SFC scan.

Keyboard Driver issue

It may so happen that one of the latest updates of the driver for the keyboard may have caused the issue. You might want to roll back the keyboard driver to see if it fixes it for you.

  • Right-click on the Windows Key, and open Device Manager.
  • Find your keyboard under the keyboard section.
  • Right click > Properties > DriverKeyboard Driver Issues Windows 10
  • See if you can roll back the driver. If this option is disabled, you can uninstall the driver, and let Windows configure it again.

You can also choose to download the latest driver from the OEM website and update it accordingly. This should fix any misconfiguration with the keyboard.

Troubleshoot in Clean Boot State

Clean Boot is a state of Windows which runs the PC with minimally required drivers, and applications. Once in Clean Boot,  follow the steps below:

  • Type msconfig in the Run prompt. This will open System Configurator.
  • Under the Services tab, check the box which says Hide all Microsoft Services.Msconfig Services Keyboard Services
  • Now disable the remaining services one by one, and restart your PC to see if it resolves the issue.

It’s a cumbersome process and will take time, but probably the last in the list if nothing works for you.

I am hoping one of these suggestions will help fix Windows key or WinKey not working issue on Windows 10.

Related reads:

  1. Function keys not working
  2. Spacebar or Enter key is not working
  3. Caps Lock key not working
  4. Num Lock key not working
  5. Shift key not working.
Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
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.

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