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Disable Win+X Shortcut Keys on Windows 7 or Vista

Windows 7 and Vista have all the same Windows+X shortcut keys as other versions of Windows, such as Win+E for explorer and Win+D for the desktop, but adds in all of the Win+<num> keys to launch the shortcuts in the Vista Quick Launch menu (or switch to apps in Windows 7), as well as Win+X for mobility center, etc. But what if you want to disable all these extra keys?

Turns out you can disable all the extra keys at once with a single registry entry, which I’ve provided as a downloadable registry hack.

Manual Registry Hack

Just open up regedit.exe through the start menu search box and navigate to the following key (create if it doesn’t exist)

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

image

Create a 32-bit DWORD value called NoWinKeys and set the value to 1. You’ll need to log on and back off for the changes to take effect.

Downloadable Registry Hack

To disable: Unzip the file and then double-click on the NoWinKeys.reg file to disable all the shortcut keys.

To enable: Unzip the file and then double-click on the RestoreWinKeys.reg file to re-enable all the shortcut keys.

Make sure that you log off and back on in order for this change to take effect. You could also restart explorer.exe through task manager if you wanted.

Download DisableWinKeys Registry Hack

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/24/07

Comments (20)

  1. Nik

    Thanks, thats great!

    Is there a way to disable individual keys though? I quite like all the standard ones, but win-x for mobility centre is driving me crazy – I normally have it for winamp control.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.

  2. The Geek
  3. Nik

    Worked like a charm – thanks :)

  4. Scott

    I really like this!!! THANKS. but i need to know how to disable win+L also

  5. Adam

    I have found this code in loads of websites unfortunatly it doesnt work for Windows XP

    Ive tried restarting explorer.exe, logging off and back in and still no joy

    PCTOOLS.COM forum also shows other members having this problem even though PCTOOLS.COM said its applicable to all windows version (However the last update was in 2002 prior to XP’s release), never the less XP is based on the NT system so it should work should it not?

    The only thing ive not tried is a power down and power on (but restarting explorer.exe should have done it any how)

    im looking for 2 registry values
    1) To disable delete, copy and rename
    2) to disable system keys such as WIN key, CTRL + ESC, CTRL + TAB so forth

  6. Josh

    I used the Reg Hack here and it did not work, my Win Key still works.Vista 32b, I opened Regedit and verified that the Key was added I have both logged out and restarted the computer

  7. depthcharge101

    Yeap, tried it on my vista 32bit, doesn’t work as well.

  8. smileylich

    Works great; now I can go back to Winkey+number to switch between virtual desktops instead of Winkey+Alt+number. :)
    Thanks!

  9. smileylich

    Ah, I didn’t understand… this works, but it completely disables all Win+keys, meaning you can’t use them as shortcuts in another software package.
    Back to the drawing board, thanks anyway…

  10. JungleJim

    Yes you can use Win+Keys in other apps if you use that reg trick, I use set WIN+1 WIN+2 WIN+3 and WIN+4 for virtual desktops using VirtuaWin. I just found a prog called AutoHotKey (open-source) which has more features

  11. earl

    followed your idea to disable keyboard shortcuts in vista and it didnt disable them. any other ideas on how to do it on vista home basic?? thanks

  12. earl

    The keyboard shortcuts that I want to disable are the “CTRL” + enter and the ALT + S which send emails without use of mouse. Any ideas on disabling these?? Many Thanks

  13. Howard

    How can I disable WIN+arrows shortcuts? This registry hack doesn’t disable these.

  14. Howard

    I discovered program AutoHotKey can override all system hotkeys. Now I only need to find the way how can be Winamp controlled from AutoHotKey ;-)

  15. roydukkey

    @Howard Could you please submit the script that you’ve created to change the WIN+arrow shortcuts. Thanks.

  16. Mari

    If you, like me, used to have such Win+key combinations to suit your custom needs (like a media player), Windows 7 killed all of them. There is no way to disable such “features”. Guess what? I’m going back to old and good Windows XP. Enough of these Windows 7 “features”.

  17. hlopetz

    thank you, it works. but is it possible to disable Win+number shortcuts only? i used to use Win+R for Start->Run… window. thanks in advance.

  18. MiWorld

    Shorter way is -> Gpedit.msc\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer\Disable Win-x keys

  19. B Chandra sekhar

    Thak you my issue was resloved

  20. nrickman

    I used this trick, but it does not disable the win+P combination. Does anyone have an idea of how to accomplish this?

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