If the Windows key is causing unnecessary keystrokes while gaming or other activities, here’s how to block or disable Windows key in simple steps.
When you press the Start or Windows Key, the Start menu will be opened. For a vast majority of Windows users, pressing the Windows key and then searching for applications and files is almost a second nature. However, while playing you might want to disable the Windows key to avoid accidental key presses. After all, it is very easy to press the Windows Key instead of the Ctrl or Alt key.
So, if the Windows key is getting in your way for whatever reason, use one of the methods shown below to disable the Windows key or Start key. Since Windows doesn’t offer any official option, we need to use third-party applications or registry or group policy edits. I will show all of them, follow the one you like.
- How to disable Windows key using AutoHotKey
- How to disable Windows key via GPO
- How to disable Windows key via Registry
1. Disable Windows Key using AutoHotKey
Using a simple AutoHotKey script, you can quickly block the Windows key. All you have to do is execute the script and you are done. Here are the steps you should follow.
- Get AutoHotKey and install it.
- Right-click on desktop.
- Select “New → Text document“.
- Name the file as “Disable Win Key.ahk“. You can name the file anything you want, just make sure that you replace .txt extension with .ahk.
- Right-click on the file and select the “Edit Script” option.
- Copy the below code.
;; Disable Left Windows Key LWin::Return ;; Disable Right Windows Key RWin::Return
- Paste it in the opened file.
- Press “Ctrl + S” to save the file.
- Close Notepad.
That is all. Just double-click on the file you just created to execute the script. As long as the script is running, the Windows key will be disabled. While the script is running, you can see the AutoHotKey icon in the taskbar.
To enable Windows key, right-click on the AutoHotKey icon on the taskbar and select “Exit”. This will close the script and the Windows key functionality will be restored.
2. Disable Windows Key via GPO
You can also disable the Windows key using GPO. All you have to do is configure a policy in Group Policy Editor. Here’s how.
- Open Start menu.
- Type “Edit Group Policy” and press Enter.
- Go to the following folder.
User Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → File Explorer
- On the right panel, double-click on the “Turn off Windows Key hotkeys” policy.
- Select the “Enabled” radio option.
- Click “Apply” and “Ok” buttons.
- Close the Group Policy Editor.
- Restart Windows.
After rebooting, the Windows key will no longer work. Not only the Windows key but all the hotkeys paired with the Windows key will not work. For example, the task view shortcut “Win + Tab” no longer works.
To enable the win key, select the “Not configured” radio option in step 5 and reboot Windows. Setting the GPO to Not Configured will enable the Windows Key.
3. Registry Edit to Block Windows Key
With a simple registry edit, you can block the Windows key. If you are using Windows 10 Home edition, this is the alternative for the group policy method.
- Open the Start menu.
- Type “Registry Editor” and press Enter.
- Copy the below path.
- In the opened registry editor, paste the copied path in the address bar and press Enter.
- Right-click on the “Explorer” folder.
- Select “New → DWORD (32-bit value)” from the context menu.
- Type “NoWinKeys” as the value name.
- Double-click on the newly created Dword value.
- Type “1” in the Value Data field.
- Click “Ok” to save the changes.
- Close the registry editor.
- Restart Windows.
As soon as you restart the system, the Windows key will no longer work.
To re-enable the Windows key, simply delete the “NoWinKeys” value from the registry editor.
As you can see, it is pretty simple to disable the Windows key. If you are looking for a temporary solution. i.e, a simple way to enable and disable win key as and when needed then I recommend you follow the AutoHotKey method. If you are looking to permanently disable Windows key then follow the Group Policy or Registry method.
That is all. I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, check out how to disable sticky keys in Windows.