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Hitting the Windows key on your keyboard by accident can be very annoying. Sometimes, it kicks you out of a full-screen game by opening the Start menu or unintentionally launches a shortcut. Luckily, there’s a way to disable the key on your Windows 10 PC. Here’s how.

The easiest way to disable the Windows key is by using Microsoft’s free PowerToys utility. With PowerToys, you can reassign any key to have the function of any other. In this case, we will be changing the Windows key to be “Undefined,” which means nothing will happen when you press it.

To disable the Windows key, download Microsoft PowerToys if you don’t already have it installed. Launch PowerToys, and click “Keyboard Manager” in the sidebar, and then click “Remap A Key.”

Click "Keyboard Manager" in the sidebar, and then click "Remap a key."

In the “Remap Keyboard” window, click the “+” plus sign button to add a mapping definition.

Click the plus sign (+) in the "Remap Keyboard" menu to add a shortcut.

To change a key mapping, you select the key you want to change in the left column, then define what you want it to do in the right column.

Using the drop-down menu below the “Key:” heading on the left, select “Win.” In the “Mapped To” section on the right, click the drop-down menu and select “Undefined.”

In PowerToys, select Win key and Unassigned in Keyboard Manager on Windows 10

Click “OK,” and Windows will warn you that you won’t be able to use the Windows key because it will be unassigned. Click “Continue Anyway.”

Click "Continue Anyway" in PowerToys Keyboard Manager on Windows 10

After that, the Windows key should be disabled. Your settings have been saved, and you’re free to close PowerToys and use your computer as usual.

Unlike other ways of remapping keys like using SharpKeys and the Windows Registry, you won’t have to log out or reboot for your change to take effect. The Windows key will be disabled immediately.

How to Reenable the Windows Key

If you change your mind and want to re-enable the Windows key, launch PowerToys and navigate to Keyboard Manager > Remap a Key.

Locate the “Win –> Undefined” mapping, and click the nearby trash can icon to delete it. Then click “OK” to close the window. After that, your Windows key will work normally.

RELATED: How to Make Your Scroll Lock Key Useful on a Windows 10 PC

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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