2010-07-31

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts FAQ

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/mswin/windows_keyboard_shortcuts_faq.html

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts FAQ

Xah Lee, 2009-12-16, 2010-07-31

This page is some frequently asked questions about defining, disabling keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Windows. For the standard shortcuts, see: Microsoft Windows Keyboard Shortcuts.

How to disable the Sleep key on the keyboard?

Go to the Control Panel, click on Classic View, then Power Options. There's a setting you can set.

How to disable the Caps Lock key, or the Windows key?

There's no built-in way to do that with Windows Vista. You need a keyboard remapping software. The following are some solutions:

See also: Why You Should Not Swap Caps Lock With Control.

Is there a way to set a hotkey to launch a app?

In the Taskbar, you can turn on the Quick Launch toolbar. (right click on a empty area in Taskbar, then Properties, Toolbars tab.) When Quick Launch toolbar is on, you can drag any shortcut files to it. Also, each shortcut file also automatically creates keyboard shortcut for it, that's Win+1, Win+2, ..., corresponding to the order of the shortcuts in the Quick Launch bar. You can drag them around to change their order.

When you press Win+n or click a button in the the Quick Launch, it will always launch a new instance of the app, not just switch to it. (except apps designed to run only one single instance. e.g. Skype, Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, Second Life , ... etc.)

See also: Windows Start Menu, Desktop, Quick Launch, File Locations.

Is there a way to have a hotkey to switch to a app? That is, launch it if it is not running, otherwise just switch to it.

Yes. Create a icon shortcut of the apps you want to launch. Then, right click on it and select Properties. Click in the box in the “Shortcut key” field, then type a shortcut you want. The shortcut must be one of “Ctrl+Shift+‹key›”, “Ctrl+Alt+‹key›”, “Ctrl+Shift+Alt+‹key›”.

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard macro software such as AutoHotkey. See AutoHotkey Example Scripts for a example of how to do this.

How to set a key to switch language input system?

Go to Control Panel, click on “Regional and Language Options”, then “Keyboards and Languages” tab, then click on “Change keyboards...” button, then the “Advanced Key Settings” tab.

How to change to Dvorak keyboard layout?

Go to Control Panel, click on “Regional and Language Options”, then “Keyboards and Languages” tab, then click on “Change keyboards...” button.

How to disable Ctrl+Shift+S for popping up HP Support Info?

All you have to do is find the alias to the executable, get its properties panel, Shortcut tab, then disable the key there. See: Disable Ctrl+Alt+S of HP Support Information.

When i press “Ctrl+Alt+Shift+3”, the MediaSmart DVD starts. How to disable this shortcut?

All you have to do is find the file shortcut that points to the program, open its properties panel, Shortcut tab, then disable the key there.

How to setup my own shortcuts?

You need to have a keyboard macro software. See: How To Create Your Own Keybinding In Microsoft Windows.

Is there a central place to manage all keyboard shortcuts that Windows uses?

No. For example, “Win+1”, “Win+2” etc keys are used to launch apps and is set in TaskBar's on Quick Launch bar. Switching keyboard language and layout shortcuts is set under the “Regional and Language Options” in Control Panel. Sticky keys are set in the “Ease of access Center” control panel. Disabling the Sleep key or Power on/off key are set in Power Options under Control Panel, etc.