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How to remap any key or shortcut on windows 10.

Swapping the keycaps between keys doesn't count as "Remapping."

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Remap keys with powertoys, how to remove the new key mapping, how to disable or remap keys using sharpkeys [alternative method], use your keyboard's software to remap keys, key takeaways.

Install Microsoft PowerToys from GitHub, launch it, and then navigate to Keyboard Manager > Remap a Key. Click the plus button, and then select the key you want to rebind from the list. You can click the trash can icon to remove a remapping at any time.

Would you like to use a different keyboard key to perform a certain task in Windows 10? Thanks to PowerToys , it's easy to remap any key to another key or even a shortcut combination on your keyboard. Here's how to set it up.

Microsoft makes it easy to remap keys with PowerToys , a free utility available for download online. Using PowerToys, you can make any key on your keyboard act like any other key — and even remap shortcuts.

If you don't already have PowerToys installed, download it for free from Github. After you install it, launch PowerToys Settings, then click "Keyboard Manager" in the sidebar. In the "Keyboard Manager" settings, click "Remap a Key."

When the "Remap Keyboard" window pops up, click the plus button ("+") to add a new key mapping.

After that, you'll need to define which key you want to remap (in the "Key:" column), and what key or shortcut you want it to perform (in the "Mapped To:" column).

First, select the key you'll be remapping in the "To:" column by either clicking the "Type" button and pressing the key on your keyboard, or by selecting it from the list in the drop-down menu. For example, we'll pick Scroll Lock here, since it often sits unused.

Next, select the key or shortcut you want to perform in the "Mapped To" column. For a single key, you can either choose it from the drop-down menu or click the "Type" button, then press it on your keyboard.

If you want to use a shortcut key combination, press the "Type" button, then press the combination on your keyboard. For example, here we've typed "Ctrl+C" for the standard Windows "Copy" shortcut.

After you have both "Key:" and "Mapped To:" columns defined, click "OK."

If you see a warning that one key will be left unassigned, click "Continue Anyway." This means that you won't be able to access the original function of the key that you just remapped.

(In our example, there will be no way to use Scroll Lock unless you remap another key to perform the original Scroll Lock function).

Next, you'll see the resulting mapping listed in the "Keyboard Manager" settings. That means your custom mapping has been saved and is now active.

If you want to add more mappings, click "Remap a key" again. When you're done, close PowerToys Settings completely, and your remapped key (or keys) will remain in effect. Use them as much as you'd like. You can always go back and adjust your mappings later if necessary.

Later on, if you want to remove the custom mapping you made, relaunch Power Toys Settings, then click "Keyboard Manager" and "Remap a key" again. In the list of mappings, click the trash can icon beside the mapping you'd like to delete.

The mapping will be removed. After that, click "OK" to close the window. Then you can either exit PowerToys completely or create a new mapping using the guide above. Have fun!

The major problem with PowerToys is that the remappings only work if the PowerToys application is running, so they won't work on the login screen. There also seem to be issues with the remappings not working properly in games and some other places. The solution? Use the old-school Windows Registry key remapping technique... but do it the easy way, using the open-source SharpKeys application.

SharpKeys won't let you remap shortcut key combinations, so you can't remap ALT+C to CTRL+C, for example, but you can do things like remap or disable the Caps Lock key on any version of Windows .

Install the application from their Github project page or from the Microsoft Store , open it up (clicking through the annoying Windows SmartScreen warnings), and then click the Add button to open up the Add New Key Mapping dialog.

We've been using SharpKeys literally since Windows Vista was around. That's a long time.

Many modern keyboards also have special software that allows you to remap keys as well. Since all of their software is different we can't definitively say "Here is how you do it." Generally speaking, you'll be looking for an option like "Customize," "Keybind," "Bind," or "Remap."

Here is a quick list to some of the specialized software available for different keyboard brands, though keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Logitech G Hub
  • Corsair iCUE
  • SteelSeries Engine
  • Razer Synapse
  • Roccat Swarm

Your keyboard software probably lets you do other things besides modify keybinds. For example, if your keyboard has extra keys, or RGB, the manufacturer software is typically required to utilize them.

  • PC & Mobile

How to Add New Custom Hotkeys to Windows 10

assign hotkeys windows 10

Matthew Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of software articles for sites such as Bright Hub. He has an A - Level in ICT, at grade C, and is proficient with a number of software packages. Check out his book at Battles of the Pacific War 1941 -1945 recalls where, when and how the Pacific War was won and lost within the battlefields of the Pacific. Read more November 7, 2022

One of the most powerful features in Windows 10 is the ability to set up your own custom hotkeys. The OS is certainly known for customizations, making the user experience more personalized, like the ability to add new shortcuts in the context menu .

How to Add New Custom Hotkeys to Windows 10

Using various hotkeys lets you start programs, load websites, and do many other tasks with a keystroke. There are several built-in keyboard shortcut options in Windows 10, and there are also powerful third-party tools that will give you access to more options.

In this article, you’ll find helpful information on using both approaches to create customized Windows 10 hotkeys.

Adding Hotkeys to Program and Website Desktop Shortcuts

First, let’s try one of the most basic approaches to adding hotkeys. You can add a hotkey to any software or website shortcut on the desktop.

Windows desktop menu

  • Click the Shortcut key box and enter a new keyboard shortcut for the program or web page. Just enter a letter there to set up the new hotkey. Note that the shortcut will be the letter combined with Ctrl + Alt . So if you type “I,” then the keyboard shortcut would be Ctrl + Alt + I . You can also enter one of the function keys (F1 through F12 on most keyboards).
  • Select Apply and then click OK to close the window.
  • Press your new hotkey to test it out, and it should open the program or web page you specified.

Set up Shutdown, Restart, and Logoff Keyboard Shortcuts

You can also create shutdown, logoff, and reboot hotkeys in Windows 10 without using third-party packages.

win hotkey2

  • Press Next and type a suitable title for the shortcut. For example, you can name the shortcut “shutdown” if the shortcut shuts down Windows.

win hotkey3

  • Give the shortcut a hotkey.
  • Select OK to exit the window.

Now, pressing that key and Ctrl + Alt will shut down, restart, or log you out of Windows 10, depending on what you entered in the first text box of the Create Shortcut wizard.

Adding Custom Hotkeys With Third-Party Software

You can do a lot more with extra third-party software. There are a few programs available for Windows 10, and some of those are free programs. WinHotKey is one of the packages you can use to set up customized Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts. Add it to Windows 10 from the WinHotKey Softpedia page. Click the DOWNLOAD NOW button there to save the setup wizard, and then open that to add WinHotKey to windows.

win hotkey4

The WinHotKey window in the shot above includes a list of default Windows 10 hotkeys. Note that you can’t edit those with this package. What you can do is set up new keyboard shortcuts that open software or documents or adjust the active window.

win hotkey5

  • Click the I want WinHotKey to : drop-down list and select Launch an Application , Open a Document , or Open a Folder .
  • Click Browse to select what action hotkey will open when you press it.
  • Choose from a variety of keyboard combinations for the hotkeys by selecting the Alt , Shift , Ctrl , and Windows checkboxes. Then click the Along with the key : drop-down list to add a unique key to the hotkey.
  • Press the OK when you’ve selected all the required options.

The new keyboard shortcut should then be listed on the WinHotKey window, along with the others. Press the hotkey to try it out. It will open the software, document, or folder you selected.

You can also set up some window hotkeys with this package.

  • Select the Control the Current Window option from the I want the WinHotKey to: drop-down list.

win hotkey6

  • Choose your action from the drop-down list.

Another useful software package to set up customized hotkeys with is NirCmd, which is available for most Windows platforms. You can add the utility to Windows 10 from this NirSoft page . Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Download NirCmd or Download NirCmd 64-bit to save the file (depending on whether or not you are running the 64-bit version of Windows).

Since NirCmd saves as a compressed zip, you’ll also need to select its compressed file in File Explorer and press the Extract all button. Choose a path to extract the folder.

Once NirCmd is extracted, you can set up Desktop shortcuts with the Command-Line Utility and turn them into hotkeys.

assign hotkeys windows 10

  • Press Browse and select the NirCmd executable path from there, but DO NOT click next just yet.

win hotkey7

  • Click on the new NirCmd desktop shortcut. If the volume isn’t already muted, this will complete the action.
  • Turn the NirCmd shortcut into a mute hotkey by right-clicking it, selecting Properties , and entering a key in the Shortcut key text box.

You can set up a variety of NirCmd hotkeys in much the same way. For example, if you add “ setsysvolume 65535 ” to the end of the NirCmd path instead of “ mutesysvolume 2 “, the hotkey will maximize the volume when pressed. Alternatively, adding “ emptybin ” to the end of the path would set up a shortcut that empties the Recycle Bin.

win hotkey8

As you can see, Windows 10 features both in-house hotkey customizations, as well as third-party hotkey integration. The NirCmd and WinHotKey programs offer more keyboard shortcut options than Windows 10 does by default. With these hotkeys, you can open software, shut down the pc, restart Windows 10, adjust volume settings, and much more.

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How to Create Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 10

Any time you open a Windows app by rolling your mouse pointer over to an icon or lift your finger up and tapping on a tile, you're wasting time and putting unnecessary strain on your shoulder. The fastest and least physically-taxing way to launch any program is with a keyboard shortcut you can hit without even lifting your hands off of the homerow.   Windows 10 allows you to create custom shortcuts for any program, whether it's a traditional "desktop" app, a new-fangled "universal app" or one of Windows 8's "metro apps." Here's how.

Method 1: Create a Desktop Shortcut

1. Open a command prompt window.  You can get there by typing "cmd" into the Cortana / Search box and then right clicking on Command Prompt and selecting "Run as administrator."

2. Type "explorer shell:AppsFolder"  (without quotes) at the command prompt and hit Enter. A window with a list of all your apps appears.

3. Right click on an app and select Create shortcut. It may be easier to find your app if you change the view setting to "detailed list" so you can see all the icons in a single column.

4. Click Yes when asked if you want the shortcut on the desktop. A new shortcut icon appears on your desktop.

5. Right click on the new shortcut icon and select Properties.

6. Enter a key combination in the Shortcut key field. The combination must be CTRL + ALT + a letter / number.

7. Click OK.

Note:  Remember not to use the same key combination twice. Also note that some programs use CTRL + ALT + keyboard shortcuts that would also launch if you were in their windows. For example, in Photoshop Elements, CTRL + ALT + I brings up the resize menu.

Method 2: Use the Start Menu

If you're creating a keyboard shortcut for a "desktop app," any application that installs via direct download rather than Windows Store alone, you can create the shortcut directly from the Start Menu. By using this method, you can avoid creating a separate shortcut icon on the desktop.

1. Open the Start Menu.

2. Navigate to the icon or tile for the app you want. If the app is not pinned as a tile, you can find it by clicking on the All apps and scrolling through the alphabetical list.

3. Right click and select Open file location. A window opens with a shortcut icon. If Open file location doesn't appear on the menu, this is a modern or universal app and you'll have to follow method 1 above.

4. Right click on the shortcut icon and select Properties.

5. Enter a key combination in the "Shortcut key" box.  

6. Click OK.

Customize Windows 10

  • Previous Tip
  • Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Make Windows 10 Look and Feel Like Windows 7
  • Change the Default Windows Font
  • Turn Off Notification and System Sounds
  • Change Your Desktop Background in Windows 10
  • Change the Icon Size
  • Give Windows 10 a Dark Theme
  • Make Your Own Windows 10 Theme
  • Hide Your Name on the Login Screen
  • Add Another Column to the Start Menu
  • Get Mac-Like File Previews
  • Add My Computer Icon to Desktop
  • Edit Photos to Fit as Backgrounds
  • Add Accent Colors
  • Customize Autoplay Menu
  • Install and Delete Fonts
  • Customize the Action Center
  • Disable Transparency Effects
  • Get Classic Solitaire and Minesweeper
  • Change the Look of Windows 10 Books
  • Add a URL Field to the Taskbar
  • Add Clocks from Multiple Time Zones
  • Get the Old Volume Control Back
  • Disable Windows 10 Startup Delay
  • Add Quick Contacts to the Start Menu
  • Show Hidden Files and Folders
  • Enable Spatial Sound
  • Best Themes
  • All Windows 10 Tips
  • Change the Login Screen Background
  • Install New Desktop Themes

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Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10

Speed up your workflow and get rid of repetitive tasks

Author avatar

Want to know how to create keyboard shortcuts to do anything on Windows 10? This guide will help. Surprisingly, it’s quite easy to create a quick keybind that can open programs, perform repeatable tasks, and speed up your workflow.

I’ll suggest a number of different options you can use to make keyboard shortcuts and provide some examples of how you can use them to their max potential.

assign hotkeys windows 10

Open Programs Quickly

I can see this shortcut option being useful for a large number of Windows 10 users. It’s quick and easy to set it up so that a quick shortcut can open any executable file. Here’s how to do it.

First, download the WinHotKey program from Directedge . It’s free to use. It’s a bit old, but it works and it’s clean. Once downloaded, go through the installer wizard, then launch WinHotKey. In WinHotKey, click New HotKey in the top left.

assign hotkeys windows 10

In the new window that appears, give the hotkey a name . After, choose what combination you’d like to trigger the shortcut. For example, I chose to do Windows+F2. After, you can click the Browse option to find the location of the executable you’d like to open.

Alternatively, you can just copy and paste the location. WinHotKey will automatically grab the application icon so that you are given visual context about it. You can now open your program with the hotkey you’ve specified.

You must make sure that your keyboard shortcut doesn’t conflict with any existing shortcuts, either Windows defaults or from within the WinHotKey interface. For example, Alt+F4 couldn’t be used. It’s best to stick to Windows + ’X’ combinations to avoid conflicts.

Automatically Type Text

assign hotkeys windows 10

If you consistently type the same sentences or words, you can automate it with WinHotKey too. To do this, click New Hotkey in WinHotKey, then click the drop down box under I want WinHotKey to: and select Type some text .

assign hotkeys windows 10

Now, type or paste the text into the box at the bottom of the new hotkey window. Finally, make sure to choose a new keyboard shortcut you haven’t used before.

There isn’t a limit on how many characters you use with this shortcut, but if there is a line break in anything you paste, it will end there. So, it’s best for copying single paragraphs, things like hashtags for Instagram or social links for YouTube descriptions.

Open Folders and Documents in Windows 10

assign hotkeys windows 10

WinHotKey can also be used to quickly open specific folders and documents within Windows 10. You can simply select the Open a Document or Open a Folder options under the I want WinHotKey to: dropdown box and then follow the same steps as above.

This time though, you’ll need to browse to a specific file or application. If you choose the open document option, most documents will work, so long as you have a supporting application defaulted to open those kinds of files. From my testing, I could get Photoshop, office apps like Excel, PDF files, and text files.

If a file didn’t work, Windows 10 will ask you to choose a default application for that file type, and then future hotkeys with that file type would then also work.

Use Autohotkey for Emojis

AutoHotkey is another application for Windows 10 that can help you to create more complex keyboard shortcuts. This software can be used to automate a large number of different tasks. You can download Autohotkey from their website for free.

Once you’ve downloaded it, extract the file to a memorable location. Then, in the directory, double click an .ahk file , then when asked, choose to browse what application should be used to open such files. Next, browse and navigate to AutoHotkeyU64 . This will allow you to run AutoHotkey scripts by double clicking them.

assign hotkeys windows 10

It’s very easy to use emojis on a smartphone, but there isn’t any easy way to do this on a computer by default. With Autohotkey, you can set up a number of emoji shortcuts. Here’s how to do it.

assign hotkeys windows 10

Creating a hotkey extension can be quite complex, but thankfully there are dozens of great autohotkey scripts on the internet. For creating emojis, we’d suggest this one .

On the page shared above, click the Raw button to be taken to a raw text file. Next, press Ctrl+A to select the entire code. Then press Ctrl+C to copy it all. After, open a Notepad file and paste the code there.

assign hotkeys windows 10

Now, click File in Notepad, then click Save as . Navigate to the directory you extracted Autohotkey. Next, click the Save as type drop down box and select All files. Now, name it Emoji.ahk and click Save.

To use this hotkey script, you’ll need to double click it each time you start your PC . After, you can type emoji codes like :smiley: to automatically use emojis. At any time, you can refer back to the Github link above to see which codes are used for each emoji.

More Advanced Autohotkey Scripts

The potential for more advanced Autohotkey scripts is quite impressive. You can read up on some of the best scripts here .  Some examples include the following:

  • Magnify the screen with keybinds
  • Use mouse gestures
  • Drag windows easily
  • Quickly access your favorite folders
  • View upload/download speed via a small on-screen overlay

I hope that this guide on using Windows keyboard shortcuts has been useful. Did you learn anything? I hope so. Did you struggle with any of the suggestions in this guide? If so, send me a Tweet and I’ll be happy to help out as soon as possible.

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Ollie stumbled upon writing online whilst participating in a mobile network forum back in 2011. Since then, he has developed an incredible passion for writing about all sorts of tech from smartphones, PC hardware, software, and everything in between. Read Ollie's Full Bio

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Keyboard Manager utility

  • 10 contributors

The PowerToys Keyboard Manager enables you to redefine keys on your keyboard.

For example, you can exchange the letter A for the letter B on your keyboard. When you press the A key, a B will be inserted.

PowerToys Keyboard Manager remap keys screenshot.

You can exchange shortcut key combinations. For example: The shortcut key Ctrl + C will copy text in many applications. With PowerToys Keyboard Manager utility, you can swap that shortcut for ⊞ Win + C . Now, ⊞ Win + C will copy text. If you do not specify a targeted application in PowerToys Keyboard Manager, the shortcut exchange will be applied globally across Windows.

PowerToys Keyboard Manager must be enabled (with PowerToys running in the background) for remapped keys and shortcuts to be applied. If PowerToys is not running, key remapping will no longer be applied.

There are some shortcut keys that are reserved for the operating system or cannot be replaced. Keys that cannot be remapped include:

  • ⊞ Win + L and Ctrl + Alt + Del cannot be remapped as they are reserved by the Windows OS.
  • The Fn (function) key cannot be remapped (in most cases). The F1 ~ F12 (and F13 ~ F24) keys can be mapped.
  • Pause will only send a single key-down event. So mapping it against the backspace key, for instance, and pressing and holding will only delete a single character.
  • ⊞ Win + G often opens the Xbox Game Bar, even when reassigned. Game Bar can be disabled in Windows Settings .

To create mappings with Keyboard Manager, open the PowerToys Settings. Inside PowerToys Settings, on the Keyboard Manager tab, you will see options to:

  • Launch the Remap Keys settings window by selecting Remap a key
  • Launch the Remap Shortcuts settings window by selecting Remap a shortcut

Remapping keys

To remap a key, changing it to a new value, launch the Remap Keyboard settings window with Remap a Key . When first launched, no predefined mappings will be displayed. Select ╋ to add a new remap.

Once a new remap row appears, select the input key whose output you want to change in the “Physical Key” column. Select the new key value to assign in the “Mapped To” column.

For example, to press A and have B appear:

To swap key positions between the A and B keys, add another remapping with:

Keyboard Remap Keys screenshot.

Remapping a key to a shortcut

To remap a key to a shortcut (combination of keys), enter the shortcut key combination in the "Mapped To" column.

For example, to press the Ctrl key and have it result in ⊞ Win + ← (left arrow):

Key remapping will be maintained even if the remapped key is used inside another shortcut. The order of key press matters in this scenario as the action is executed during key-down, not key-up. For example, pressing Ctrl + C would result as ⊞ Win + left arrow + C . Pressing the Ctrl key will first execute ⊞ Win + left arrow . Pressing the C key first will execute C + ⊞ Win + left arrow .

Remapping shortcuts

To remap a shortcut key combination, like Ctrl + C , select Remap a shortcut to launch the Remap Shortcuts settings window.

When first launched, no predefined mappings will be displayed. Select + to add a new remap.

Once a new remap row appears, select the input keys whose output you want to change in the “Physical Shortcut” column. Select the new shortcut value to assign in the “Mapped To” column.

For example, the shortcut Ctrl + C copies selected text. To remap that shortcut to use the Alt key, rather than the Ctrl key:

Keyboard Remap Shortcut screenshot.

There are a few rules to follow when remapping shortcuts. These rules only apply to the "Shortcut" column.

  • Shortcuts must begin with a modifier key: Ctrl , Shift , Alt , or ⊞ Win
  • Shortcuts must end with an action key (all non-modifier keys): A, B, C, 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • Shortcuts cannot be longer than four keys

Remap a shortcut to a single key

It is possible to remap a shortcut (key combination) to a single key press by selecting Remap a shortcut in PowerToys Settings.

For example, to replace the shortcut ⊞ Win + ← (left arrow) with a single key press Alt :

Shortcut remapping will be maintained even if the remapped key is used inside another shortcut. The order of key press matters in this scenario as the action is executed during key-down, not key-up. For example: pressing ⊞ Win + ← + Shift would result in Alt + Shift .

App-specific shortcuts

Keyboard Manager enables you to remap shortcuts for only specific apps (rather than globally across Windows).

For example, in the Outlook email app the shortcut Ctrl + E is set by default to search for an email. If you prefer instead to set Ctrl + F to search your email (rather than forward an email as set by default), you can remap the shortcut with "Outlook" set as your "Target app".

Keyboard Manager uses process-names (not application names) to target apps. For example, Microsoft Edge is set as "msedge" (process name), not "Microsoft Edge" (application name). To find an application's process name, open PowerShell and enter the command get-process or open Command Prompt and enter the command tasklist . This will result in a list of process names for all applications you currently have open. Below is a list of a few popular application process names.

How to select a key

To select a key or shortcut to remap:

  • Select Type Key or Type Shortcut .
  • Use the drop-down menu.

Once you select Type Key or Type Shortcut , a dialogue window will open in which you can enter the key or shortcut, using your keyboard. Once you’re satisfied with the output, hold Enter to continue. To leave the dialogue, hold Esc .

Using the drop-down menu, you can search with the key name and additional drop-down values will appear as you progress. However, you can not use the type-key feature while the drop-down menu is open.

Orphaning Keys

Orphaning a key means that you mapped it to another key and no longer have anything mapped to it. For example, if the key is remapped from A to B , then a key no longer exists on your keyboard that results in A . To ensure this does not happen by accident, a warning will display for any orphaned keys. To fix this, select ╋ to create another remapped key that is mapped to result in A .

PowerToys Keyboard Manager orphaned key.

Frequently asked questions

I remapped the wrong keys, how can i stop it quickly.

For key remapping to work, PowerToys must be running in the background and Keyboard Manager must be enabled. To stop remapped keys, close PowerToys or disable Keyboard Manager in the PowerToys settings.

Can I use Keyboard Manager at my log-in screen?

No, Keyboard Manager is only available when PowerToys is running and doesn’t work on any password screen, including while Run As Admin.

Do I have to restart my computer or PowerToys for the remapping to take effect?

No, remapping should occur immediately upon pressing OK .

Where are the Mac/Linux profiles?

Currently Mac and Linux profiles are not included.

Will this work on video games?

We suggest that you avoid using Keyboard Manager when playing games as it may affect the game's performance. It will also depend on how the game accesses your keys. Certain keyboard APIs do not work with Keyboard Manager.

Will remapping work if I change my input language?

Yes it will. Right now if you remap A to B on English (US) keyboard and then change the language setting to French, typing A on the French keyboard ( Q on the English US physical keyboard) would result in B , this is consistent with how Windows handles multilingual input.

Can I have different key mappings across multiple keyboards?

Currently no. We are not aware of an API where we can see the input and which device it came from. The typical use case here is a laptop with an external keyboard connected.

I see keys listed in the drop down menus that don't work. Why is that?

Keyboard Manager lists mappings for all known physical keyboard keys. Some of these mappings may not be available on your keyboard as there may not be a physical key that it corresponds to. For instance: the Start App 1 option shown below is only available on keyboards that physically have a Start App 1 key. Trying to map to and from this key on a keyboard that does not support the Start App 1 key will result in undefined behavior.

PowerToys Keyboard Manager List of Keys.


If you have tried to remap a key or shortcut and are having trouble, it could be one of the following issues:

  • Run As Admin: Remapping will not work on an app or window if that window is running in administrator (elevated) mode and PowerToys is not running as administrator. Try running PowerToys as an administrator .
  • Not Intercepting Keys: Keyboard Manager intercepts keyboard hooks to remap your keys. Some apps that also do this can interfere with Keyboard Manager. To fix this, go to the settings, disable and enable Keyboard Manager.

Known Issues

  • Keyboard Manager should not be used when playing video games. Keyboard Manager interception of key presses currently will impact the FPS.
  • Remapping keys like Win, Ctrl, Alt or Shift may break gestures and some special keys
  • AltGr and Ctrl+Alt gives issues, since AltGr behaves as (L)Ctrl + (R)Alt and remapping one of these keys can break the function.

See the list of all open keyboard manager issues .

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Additional resources


Create Keyboard Shortcuts Windows 10 | Best Shortcut Keys List

You can create keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 for any program. This tutorial provides 2 ways to create keyboard hotkeys in Windows 10. It also lists some best Windows 10 shortcut keys for you to refer. MiniTool , a top-ranked software producer, provides you professional drive partition manager, data recovery, backup software.

Windows keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys allows users to easily and quickly open applications or conduct operations. Windows 10 allows you to easily create keyboard shortcut keys for any program. This post provides 2 ways to help you create keyboard shortcuts Windows 10. Check the step-by-step guide below. Still, a list of best Windows 10 shortcut keys or hotkeys are also offered for your reference.

Way 1. How to Create Keyboard Shortcuts Windows 10 with Command Prompt

You can create a keyboard shortcut for a program in Windows by using Command Prompt. Check the steps below.

Step 1. You can press Windows + R keys on the keyboard to open Windows Run . Type cmd , and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run Command Prompt as administrator.

You can also type cmd or Command Prompt in the Search box. Right-click on Command Prompt desktop app and select “Run as administrator”.

42 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel | Excel Desktop Shortcut

List of useful keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Excel. Also learn how to create a desktop shortcut for Excel to easily open it every time.

Step 2. Next you can type the following command explorer shell:AppsFolder in the command prompt, and hit Enter . It will pop up a window with a list of all your applications.

create Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Step 3. You can right-click the target application which you want to create a keyboard shortcut for, and choose Create shortcut . Click Yes to create a shortcut on desktop .

click Create shortcut

Step 4. Then you can right-click the newly created shortcut icon and choose Properties . And set a keyboard shortcut key for the program in Shortcut key field. The shortcut key combination should be Ctrl + Alt + letter/number, e.g. Ctrl + Alt + N. Click OK to create keyboard shortcuts Windows 10 for the application.

create a keyboard shortcut key for the app

Way 2. How to Create Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts from Start

You can also create a keyboard shortcut in Windows 10 for a desktop app from Start menu.

Step 1. Click Start to find the application from the app list, you can scroll through the alphabetical list to find it.

Step 2. Right-click the target application and click Open file location . You will see a pop-up window with a shortcut icon. If you don’t see the Open file location option, then you should use Way 1 to create the keyboard shortcut for it.

Step 3. Right-click the app shortcut icon and click Properties . Then input a keyboard shortcut key in Shortcut key box, and click OK . Still, the keyboard shortcut key should be like Ctrl + Alt + letter/number, e.g. Ctrl + Alt + D.

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Best Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcut Keys List

Windows keyboard shortcuts, also known as Windows hotkeys, allows users to press a combination of keys to activate certain operating system commands or open some applications. Here is a list of some popular Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts/system hotkeys which worth remembering, and it will make our computer work more convenient and efficient.

Windows: Open Start menu.

Windows + R : Open the Run dialog box.

Windows + E : Open File Explorer .

Windows + I : Open Settings window.

Windows + L : Lock your Windows 10 computer to return to Sign-in screen.

Windows + D : Hide all open apps and take you to Windows 10 desktop. Pressing Windows + D the second time will display all open apps again.

Windows + U : Open Ease of Access Center .

Windows + X : Open Quick Access menu.

Windows + S : Open Cortana.

Ctrl + Shift + Esc : Open Task Manager to check all apps that are currently running and how much CPU they are using.

Ctrl + Shift + N : Create a new folder in File Explorer.

For the full complete list of Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts, please visit Microsoft official page: Windows Keyboard Shortcuts .

Microsoft Edge Shortcut | Keyboard Shortcuts in Microsoft Edge

Learn how to create a Microsoft Edge desktop shortcut or keyboard shortcut. The popular keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Edge are also listed.

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Remapping 101: How to change your keyboard key output

Your PC or laptop keyboard doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all. If you’re not a fan of certain key placements or find that you aren’t using some of your keys, you can rearrange the functions of your keys however you like. Most keyboards are laid out in the same way, but Windows 11 features  allow you to make the necessary adjustments to help you type more comfortably. Learn how you can remap your keys and change keyboard outputs on Windows 11 .

Why remap your keyboard?

If you’re used to a standard keyboard layout, you may not initially see the value in remapping your keys. Here are some common reasons for changing keyboard outputs:

  • Typing on a foreign keyboard. If you want to type in any language besides English, it can be difficult to type seamlessly on an English-only keyboard. By switching your key functions, you can cater to different language settings.
  • Using your keyboard for PC gaming. PC gamers rely on their keyboards to play their favorite games. Remapping your keys to best suit your gaming needs can improve performance and make your frequently used keys more accessible.
  • Repurposing underused keys. Not everyone uses their keys the same way. If it seems like a key that you don’t often use is taking up valuable space on your keyboard, you can reassign its function to find a good use for it and increase productivity.

Popular QWERTY alternatives

You may notice that top row of letters on your keyboard, going left to right, spells QWERTY. However, there are other popular keyboard layouts that can help you type faster or more comfortably. Learn more about each layout and how they might benefit your typing:

  • AZERTY. The AZERTY layout simply moves the output of the Q , W , and M keys. It is most often used in France and other surrounding countries.
  • Dvorak. The Dvorak layout puts the most used keys in the middle row, which decreases finger movement. This typing method can help reduce strain in your fingers, which makes for a more ergonomic experience.
  • Colemak. The Colemak layout offers a slight improvement on the Dvorak layout. It also places the commonly used keys in the middle row, but it keeps the useable features of the QWERTY layout intact.

How to remap your keys on Windows 11

The easiest way to change your keyboard functions on Windows 11 is to use the Keyboard Manager  utility. The Keyboard Manager is one of many utilities available in Microsoft PowerToys , which are a collection of productivity tools that allow users to customize their Windows experience.

How does Keyboard Manager work?

Once you’ve downloaded PowerToys onto your device, select Keyboard Manager and toggle Enable Keyboard Manager. You’ll find separate sections for remapping keys and remapping shortcuts, each of which can be adjusted to your liking. Some keys and shortcuts cannot be remapped in Keyboard Manager, and these limitations are highlighted on the platform. PowerToys must be running for the key mapping to work, so make sure you don’t close out of the program after making your selections.

What other keyboard mapping functions are available on Windows?

If you are still running Windows 10 on your PC, you can download Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator  to create your own keyboard layouts. Microsoft keyboard users can also try the Mouse and Keyboard Center  app to get the most out of the customization features within the accessories. Other keyboard mapping options can be downloaded on Microsoft Apps .

By learning how to remap your keys, you can break the mold and take control of how you use your keyboard. Shop for Microsoft Keyboards  to find the perfect keyboard to test your remapped keys on Windows 11 .

Products featured in this article

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Set shortcuts to change keyboard layout in Windows 10?

Is there any way to set keyboard shortcuts to quickly change to a different language/keyboard layout? The old shortcuts still seem to work (when set back in Windows 7), but I can't seem to find anything to change it in Windows 10.

  • keyboard-layout
  • input-languages

Alan's user avatar

  • 11 Is Win+Space not good enough? or not what you are looking for? –  Peter Hahndorf Aug 18, 2015 at 7:36
  • 2 @Huh... never realized that function existed.. thanks! But I still want to find a way to at least remove the current shortcuts set up –  8176135 Aug 19, 2015 at 4:50
  • 1 Possible duplicate of How to disable Ctrl+Shift keyboard layout switch (for the same input language) in Windows? –  Tobias Kienzler Dec 2, 2016 at 6:59

12 Answers 12

Go to Control Panel → Clock, Language, and Region → Change input methods (under Language ) → Advanced settings → Change language bar hot keys .

"Control Panel → Clock, Language, and Region → Language → Advanced settings" and "Text Services and Input Languages"

  • 3 Yay, found it, for english users, it is in Control Panel -> Clock, Language, and Region -> Language -> Advanced Settings -> Change language hotbar keys (under Switching input methods) . Thanks! –  8176135 Dec 11, 2015 at 1:08
  • 4 I keep hitting one of these default shortcuts without realising it and before I know it I'm typing random nonsense all over 🙄 Is it possible to change the WinKey + Space shortcut somewhere as well? –  Toby Sep 27, 2016 at 15:11
  • 5 Later update win10 1803 removed this panel, cannot set hotkey anymore. Don't update to 1803. –  Til May 8, 2018 at 7:35
  • 7 @POW, 1803 just moved this panel. BTW, 1809 moved it again. –  i3v Oct 20, 2018 at 19:55
  • 3 This is outdated, I could not find it. Why didn't anyone edit it to put the right path to it? –  Leonardo Alves Machado Jul 1, 2019 at 12:31

In Windows 10 version 1809 (also versions 1903, 1909, 2004, 20H2), the setting described in the accepted answer is here:

Settings -> Time & Language -> Language -> Spelling, typing, & keyboard settings -> Advanced keyboard settings -> Language bar options -> Advanced Key Settings .

Step-by-step screenshots .

Known issues

These hotkeys are quite buggy since 2012 or so . They may disappear (the setting is cleared or simply not working) after a windows update, after an RDP session, after logout/login, or even without any obvious reason .

There's one well-known workaround , that usually helps:

Settings -> Time & Language -> Language -> Administrative language settings -> Copy settings... -> tick both checkboxes -> OK .

If you ran into this, you may want to upvote some of these items on the FeedbackHub:

As a regular (non-insider) user :

Input language hotkeys keep being reset every time Windows starts

language bar hot keys are not reliable: a) sometimes they disappear ...

Language bar hotkeys get erased after every RDP session

Language bar hot key setting keeps resetting back to default I'm using 3 languages input

When I set up language bar 'hot key' shortcuts to switch to keyboards with other alphabets, they are deleted whenever Windows restarts!

Language hotkeys keep disappeared by itself every time the system was rebooted.

Language hotkeys keep getting erased

Windows auto reset language input hotkey in every reboot after I make changes to the setting.

As insider :

  • Keyboard layout switching shortcuts disappear and do not work
  • Hot keys for input languages getting erased on each windows feature update
  • Keyboard layout changes randomly
  • Windows keeps switching the language and keyboard input methods

i3v's user avatar

  • 2 Great answer! But where do your obfuscated links go? I don't trust that they're safe if I can't resolve the destination address. –  CJ Dennis Apr 17, 2019 at 1:19
  • 1 @CJDennis, they are Feedback Hub share links , not web pages. I you'd like FH links to look more human-readable, you can vote for this my suggestion: as normal user , as insider . –  i3v Apr 24, 2019 at 22:29
  • 1 Only answer that helped me. Insanely hidden setting in this crazy GUI! –  wim Jun 27, 2019 at 16:51
  • Another step-by-step that is outdated. Following the screenshots on the link, we just can't find step 4 when we have English system and Portuguese keyboard. –  Leonardo Alves Machado Jul 1, 2019 at 12:20
  • 2 It's absolutely bizzare why MS chose to hide this menu in such an obscure spot... –  cyqsimon May 19, 2020 at 8:28

The menu in the accepted answer does not exist in Control Panel anymore on Windows 10 version 1803 (not sure about 1709 and older).

But the same setting is accessible from Modern Settings app → Time & Language → Region and Language → Advanced keyboard settings (from the Related settings section) → Language bar options → Advanced Key Settings tab .

Update: Windows 10 version 1809 moved this setting again. see i3v's answer .

Mahdi Ghiasi's user avatar

  • 3 Thank you, you saved me. What a slap from Microsoft again. –  Youda008 Oct 29, 2018 at 12:17
  • 1 Yes, this should be the accepted answer now! –  antimirov Jan 20, 2019 at 0:23
  • 3 This seems to be outdated - at least I could not find it (there is no Region and Language option, and the related options seems to vary depending on system). Why didn't anyone edit it to put the right path to it? –  Leonardo Alves Machado Jul 1, 2019 at 12:35
  • 5 They are using good coke in MS headquarters - change this shit every year –  Toolkit Aug 23, 2019 at 12:13

Windows key + Space is the new shortcut for switching keyboard layout!

arkod's user avatar

  • 12 Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. –  DavidPostill ♦ Dec 1, 2016 at 12:22
  • 2 On my system switching layouts does not work correctly using language switching. The question is asking for switching layouts, not languages. –  arkod Dec 1, 2016 at 12:34
  • 2 OP is asking how to change the shortcuts and remove existing ones. Your answer does not address that. –  DavidPostill ♦ Dec 1, 2016 at 12:37
  • If you know how to change the shortcut for changing layout please let me know. Windows key + space is the way to change layout. –  arkod Dec 1, 2016 at 13:06
  • 2 @arkod - Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. "I still want to find a way to at least remove the current shortcuts set up" Notice your suggestion, was suggested, over a year ago and the author indicated it didn't answer this question. –  Ramhound Dec 1, 2016 at 14:48

None of the answers work for me as of date; right now, to open "Text Services and Input Languages" one has to run the following:


CaldeiraG's user avatar

  • 1 You can open "Text Services and Input Languages" without a shortcut: 1. In the start menu search, type in "Advanced keyboard settings" and open it. 2. Press "Language bar options" to open "Text Services and Input Languages". All relevant hotkey settings are under the "Advanced Key settings" tab. –  Pillowcase Apr 6, 2020 at 11:02
  • That was the solution at one point, but unfortunately now that link is broken for me; by clicking "Language bar options" an error message showed up. –  Hsien-Chih Chang 張顯之 Apr 6, 2020 at 13:43

Unfortunately this has changed in the latest Windows 10 update. You now need to go to 'Languages' and then 'Advanced settings' in Control panel, and choose 'Change language bar hot keys':

enter image description here

Which will then bring up this dialogue from which you can change the hot key by clicking 'Change Key Sequence...'

enter image description here

  • 3 In the current Windows, i can't even easily get to the plain old Control Panel, and when i do, there is no more a 'Language' item. –  Youda008 Oct 29, 2018 at 12:22
  • @Youda008 in Windows 10 just type "language" in the start menu and open "Language settings" then select "keyboard" and there'll be a "language bar options" menu item –  phuclv Aug 17, 2020 at 3:59
  • Could you please specify the Windows 10 version this answer is about? Maybe "latest Windows 10 update" was true in 2017 but not now. –  i3v Jan 22, 2021 at 19:42

For the latest Windows version since late 2018/ early 2019, Microsoft has changed this:

  • select "Language Preferences" from the Task Bar/ Language options control (docked language bar)
  • Select "Spelling, typing, & keyboard settings" under "Related Settings" at the top right.
  • Scroll down to the bottom, then under "More keyboard settings", select "Advanced keyboard settings".
  • Under "Switching input methods", select "Language bar options".
  • Choose the "Advanced Key Settings" tab.
  • Press the button at the bottom of the window: "Change Key Sequence…"

I hope Microsoft will not leave these vital settings in such an obscure place, in the long term (that they will at least give more convenient alternative ways of adjusting these settings!) The default settings are infuriating: I am forever accidentally pressing CTRL+SHIFT and accidentally switching between keyboard layouts…

Matthew Slyman's user avatar

Just wanted to add to the accepted answer . I am using an Apple keyboard on Windows 10 here and the best way for me to switch input languages is to turn off the shortcut "Between input languages" completely and instead set individual shortcuts for each input language, for example:

  • Left Alt + Shift + 1(US Keyboard)
  • Left Alt + Shift + 2(UK Keyboard)
  • Left Alt + Shift + 3(Any other input language)
  • Left Alt + Shift + ...
  • Left Alt + Shift + 0(10th input language)

I find this setting the only one that doesn't disturb my work all the time as occasionally pressing Alt + Shift changes language when it is not needed. Also if to remove all shortcuts from the settings then holding WIN (CMD on Apple keyboard) followed by [space](press multiple times to iterate the list) or [1,2,3..] or [Select with mouse] works well too.

Glorfindel's user avatar

I'm running Windows Server 2019 at work and the setting is (again) in a different spot. Since any and all tooling you might use on a Server uses hotkeys, many of which start with the Ctrl + Shift or Left Alt + Shift that trigger the language switch, the only reasonable setting is to have those turned off.

Here's how:

Settings → Devices → Typing (left panel) → Advanced keyboard settings (right panel, bottom) → Language bar options → Advanced Key Settings (the right-most tab in the new window) → Change Key Sequence... (button at the bottom) → Not Assigned (top option)

The Win + Space hot-key still works after turning the above setting to Not Assigned, so you can still switch easily without switching accidentally.

asontu's user avatar

  • 1 This works on Windows 10 version 1903 build 18362.295. –  Zdeněk Gromnica Aug 31, 2019 at 23:15
  • Type advanced keyboard settings , select it from the dropdown menu
  • Click Input language hot keys
  • Change key sequence in the dialog box that appears.

studiohack's user avatar

an easier way to do it is:

hold left Alt press Shift once (keep holding Alt ) a small menu should appear on the right side of the screen with your language options press 1 , 2 , etc. to select the option you want release Alt

mael''s user avatar

  • 2 This seems to be basically the same as Constantin Zagorsky’s answer (posted 2½ years ago), with at least some overlap with Jack Aidley’s answer (posted 1½ years ago). –  Scott - Слава Україні Jun 20, 2019 at 15:09

For Windows 10 version 1803 I found the option in this location, they had moved it from the control panel to settings.

Open up "Settings" by searching for it in the windows menu.

Step 1 picture

Go to "Region & language" on the left hand side and click "Advanced keyboard setting" on the right hand side.

Step 2 picture

Here you can find the "Language bar option"

Step 3 picture

Change the hotkey by pressing "Change Key Sequence"

Step 4 picture

  • Welcome to StackOverflow! Given the number of similar answers to this question, this answer would be more helpful if you specified which Windows version and build you are using. As a new contributor, you will find that you will have a better experience if you take moment to take the Stack Overflow tour . If you follow the norms of the Stack Overflow community and approach it with an attitude of helping others too, it will serve you well. –  Rey Juna Dec 5, 2018 at 22:33
  • Welcome to Super User. Unfortunately, your answer duplicates content from several other answers. The intention is that each answer should contribute something new. –  fixer1234 Dec 5, 2018 at 22:43

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How do I assign hotkeys to my keyboard in Windows 10 Home?

   I spilled wine on my new keyboard and broke it so I have to use my old keyboard which has some keys that don't work. I want to know how to assign those letters/symbols/numbers to other unused keys (like the pause break key). If the hotkeys don't work in games that's okay I just need it to work for the desktop, word processing programs and Chrome. I would be very grateful for any help. 

   I use Windows 10 Home 4bit

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List of all Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts: The ultimate guide

Windows 10 includes many keyboard shortcuts to make your experience around the desktop easier, and you can check them out here.

Surface Laptop 3

Windows 10 includes a long list of keyboard shortcuts you can use to quickly navigate and perform actions using one or multiple key combos, which otherwise would take many more clicks and time to complete the task with the mouse.

The system has many shortcuts, but you don't need to learn every shortcut on Windows 10 . You only need to remember those that can help you make your workflow easier.

In this how-to guide , I'll outline all the most helpful keyboard shortcuts to navigate and operate the desktop and apps. You can also check out these additional shortcuts you need to know for Windows 11.

Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

This comprehensive list includes the most helpful keyboard shortcuts to perform tasks on Windows 10.

Essential shortcuts

In this list I'm including the most essential keyboard shortcuts you should know on Windows 10:

Desktop shortcuts

On Windows 10, you can use these keyboard shortcuts to open, close, navigate, and perform tasks more quickly throughout the desktop experience, including the Start menu, Taskbar, Settings, and more.

File Explorer shortcuts

These are the most useful keyboard shortcuts you can use on File Explorer:

Settings page shortcuts

This list includes the keyboard shortcuts for the dialog box legacy settings pages (for example, Folder Options).

Command Prompt shortcuts

On Command Prompt, you can use these keyboard shortcuts will help to work a little more efficiently:

Microsoft Edge shortcuts

On Microsoft Edge, you will benefit from these keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts apply to any version of Windows.

Windows key shortcuts

The "Windows key," combined with other keys, allows you to perform many useful tasks, such as launch Settings, File Explorer, Run command, apps pinned in the Taskbar, or open specific features like Narrator or Magnifier. You can also complete tasks like controlling windows and virtual desktops, taking screenshots, locking the computer, and more.

This list includes all the most common keyboard shortcuts using the Windows key.

More resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

  • Windows 11 on Windows Central — All you need to know
  • Windows 10 on Windows Central — All you need to know

Get the Windows Central Newsletter

All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.

Mauro Huculak

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

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assign hotkeys windows 10

How to Pin Windows "Always on Top" Using a Keyboard Shortcut

If you've ever needed to keep a window on top no matter what other window you click, then this simple script will make it easier than ever to do.

Have you ever found yourself needing to pin a window to the front on your PC ? There are ways to do it, but the one we're about to show you might be easiest, as once you set it up, you'll simple need to tap a couple buttons on your keyboard, and you'll be good to go.

Here's how to setup an AutoHotkey script to pin a window to the front in just a couple quick steps!

  • Download and install  AutoHotkey (it's free and free of spyware and other garbage).
  • After running through the installation, right-click your desktop and select  New,  then  AutoHotkey Script.
  • Rename the file that was created on your desktop something that makes sense like "Pin to top."
  • Right-click the file, then select  Edit script.
  • Delete the default script from the box, and enter the following
^SPACE::  Winset, Alwaysontop, , A
  • Save the file you just created.
  • Right-click it on your desktop and select  Run script.  (You should see an "H" in the system tray.)

Now, open a window and press Ctrl+Space to pin it to the front. Press the same buttons again to unpin it. If you want to change the keyboard shortcut , the "^SPACE" portion is the part you'd need to change. If you wanted ALT+Enter, you'd do "!ENTER" in its place.

Now, anytime you want to quickly pin a windows to the front, you can hit a keyboard shortcut and be good to go!

Have you used AutoHotkey before? Know of any other ways to pin windows to the front? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: wrangler via ShutterStock

assign hotkeys windows 10

How do I reassign mouse buttons?

Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center software provides default commands for all of the mouse buttons. You can reassign some buttons to different commands or keyboard shortcuts to better fit your work style. You can also disable buttons you might press accidentally, such as the wheel button. If you don't have the software or want to learn more, go to Mouse & Keyboard Center Download . 

To reassign a button across all applications

Using the mouse that you want to configure, start Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center.

Select basic settings .

Select the button that you want to reassign.

In the list of the button that you want to reassign, select a command. To disable a button, select Disable this button .

You must assign the Click command to either the left or right button. You can assign this command to additional buttons if you want.

Reassigned button commands may not work as expected for some programs or games. Some programs or games may not support customized button assignments.

Some mouse models include specialized buttons that cannot be reassigned.

How do I reassign my mouse buttons for a specific application?

You can assign mouse buttons to perform different commands in different programs. For example, you can assign the same mouse button to activate Digital Ink when in PowerPoint, a macro when in a game, and the Magnifier when in any other application. 

To reassign a button for a specific program

Select the app-specific settings .

Click Add New button, select the program that you want. If the program that you want is not on the list, click Manually Add a Program at the bottom, select the program.

In the button command list, select a command.

To use a button that has been reassigned for a specific program

Start the program and click the reassigned button.

Note:  If you open a program by using the Run as administrator command, you will not have access to application-specific mouse button settings. Instead, the mouse will use the global mouse button assignments. To enable application-specific mouse button settings, open the application without administrator credentials, or log on to Windows as an administrator.


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How To Check And Manage All Active Windows Hotkeys

Keyboard hotkey

Windows hotkeys or keyboard shortcuts are combinations of keyboard keys that can be pressed to do a particular task without using the mouse. Hotkeys are an essential part of being productive on a Windows system.

For example, here are some global Windows hotkeys we all are familiar with:

[skey k=”Alt+Tab”] to switch between open apps on Windows Desktop.

[skey k=”Alt+F4″] to close the active application or program.

[skey k=”Win+L”] to lock your system.

[skey k=”Win+I”] to open Windows Settings.

Check out more Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts here .

You can also create your own global Windows hotkeys. In this article, we will show you how to see all the active Windows hotkeys on your system and how to manage your own hotkeys.

So let’s start with how to check the list of currently active hotkeys in Windows.

Display the list of hotkeys in Windows 10

NirSoft HotKeysList is the best alternative to Ethervance Active Hotkeys and can display the complete list of hotkeys actively engaged by Windows globally.

NirSoft HotKeysList

By checking out the list of hotkeys being used, you can easily see the available hotkeys combinations and use them for your own purpose.

HotKeysList is a portable program and does not require any kind of installation. Just download run HotKeysList.exe and it will display the information you need.

Using HotKeysList is very easy. Just run the program and it will display the table with Hotkey, Alt, Ctrl, Shift, and the keyboard key. If the key is being used, it will be displayed as a *.

For example, if I see the first entry on my screen, it shows as Alt + Ctrl + Delete key combination. The program shows a * under Alt and Ctrl and Delete under the key.

Alt Ctrl Delete

During my research, I felt that one piece of information is missing in this program. It does not display the name of the program which is using the hotkey combination. It will only show that which hotkey combinations are being used.

The best way to know about which program is using the hotkey is to press the hotkey combination which will trigger the program which is using the hotkey.

Windows Hotkey Explorer is another program which not only displays the Windows hotkey combinations but also tries to detect which program has reserved the hotkey.

Windows Hotkey Explorer

When I ran this program on my Windows 10 PC, there was definitely one problem. It triggered all the active hotkey combinations currently reserved on the system. This resulted in opening a plethora of applications and actions being performed on my system, all at the same time.

But once it is finished, you will be able to see all the Windows hotkey combinations along with the programs which have reserved those combinations.

Manage and change Windows Hotkeys combinations

Shortcuts Map is a wonderful program to manage and customize the global Windows hotkey combinations. It will not let you change the system hotkeys but you can assign and change hotkey combinations for all other programs.

Shortcuts Map

When you open the Shortcuts Map, it displays all the programs installed on your system . You can select any program and press the Change button to assign a new global hotkey for opening the program.

You can also change the Windows hotkeys being assigned by other programs.

I was not able to find a free program with these two functionalities in the same place. Ethervane Active Hotkeys was one program but it has been discontinued long ago and does not work on Windows 10 or even any 64-bit Operating System .

How do you manage your Windows hotkeys? Do you use them or use the convenience of a mouse along with the keyboard?

Usman Khurshid

Usman Khurshid

Usman Khurshid is a seasoned IT Pro with over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. He has experience in everything from IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. He is also certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.

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Daniel Baker

Daniel Baker

so if i have another program on my computer that uses the same hotkey as windows… there will be a conflict?

Leave your comment (Cancel Reply)


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