Disable Unwanted Keyboard Keys on Windows, Or Remap

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The keys on my friend’s laptop are laid out pretty close to each other. The laptop’s a 15.6-incher, although it has a full keyboard with the numeric keypad. Because of this layout, he often used to hit the F1 key by accident, when he was going for the Esc key. I thought of re-mapping the key with a registry hack, but he wanted something simpler, like a program that would do this. In our search, we found an awesome program called SharpKeys in the Codeplex repository.

SharpKeys is a portable program that was originally created with the intent to provide Windows users an easy way to re-map keyboard keys. Along with remapping, the program can also disable any unwanted keys on the keyboard. Disable – that’s what we eventually did with the F1 key, so that it does not bother anymore.

More about the program – when you start it, you will see a neat and simple interface as in the image.

SharpKeys

To select a key to disable or remap, click on the Add button on the bottom left to bring up the “Add New Key Mapping” dialog.

SharpKeys Key List

Now choose the key you wish to modify from the left panel list under “Map this key (From key)”. If you want a more intuitive selection option, click on the “Type Key” button and manually press the key on your keyboard when the new dialog opens.

With the key selected, switch attention to the left panel list. Here, to disable the key, choose the first option in the list “Turn Key Off (00_00)”, or to remap, follow the steps you did earlier to choose another key.

When you’ve made your selections, hit “OK” to close the window. You can change functionality of as many keeps as you like.

Once you are done, just press the magic “Write to Registry” button to save your changes. Then log off or restart your computer for the changes to take effect. If you ever want to undo or edit your mapping, just start the program and edit or delete the key’s functionality, and then again restart your computer or log off and log back in.

That’s all to it. Everything is done by point-and-click, and you don’t even have to open the Registry Editor.

SharpKeys is an open source program. So if you find that the program doesn’t support any key on your computer and you have the programming skills to do so, you can add in support for those non-supported keys.

The program is compatible with all Windows versions from 2000, and requires .NET Framework 4.0.

Download: SharpKeys | Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0

Alternatives:

Key Mapper

Key Mapper

Key Mapper allows you to choose keyboard keys from a virtual on-screen keyboard. Double click on a key to change its function or to disable. Changes are directly saved to Registry. A system restart is required to see the effect.

KillKeys
KillKeys

KillKeys, as the name suggests, kills specified keyboard keys. The program doesn’t have an user interface, so you have to specify the desired keys in the KillKeys.ini file – found in the same location as the executable file. Keys remain inactive only as long as the program is running.

KillKeys is portable, and doesn’t mess with your Registry for functioning.