How to Disable the Windows Key

The Windows key on your keyboard is used to launch the Start menu and as a shortcut for tasks such as switching between open windows.

However, it can be annoying if you accidentally press it while playing a game or working on full-screen applications as it will send you back to the Start menu. If you accidentally press the Windows key regularly, you may want to consider disabling it.

This guide shows you how to disable the Windows key in Windows 11.

Using the Registry Editor

The Registry Editor is a tool included in Windows that allows you to view, edit, and delete registry keys and values. You can use this tool to disable the Windows key.

Note: be careful when editing the registry. Mistakes can cause your computer to become unstable or even stop working.

  1. Open the Start menu and search for “regedit.” Click the first result to open the Registry Editor.

    Open regedit.
    Open Regedit.
  2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  3. Right-click the Explorer folder and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    Select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
    Select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  4. Name the new value “NoWinKeys” and press Enter.

    Name the new value NoWinKeys.
    Name the new value NoWinKeys.
  5. Double-click NoWinKeys to open its properties window. In the “Value data” field, type the number 1 and click OK.

    In the Value data field, type 1 and click OK.
    In the Value data field, type 1 and click OK.
  6. Exit the Registry Editor and restart your computer. The Windows key should now be disabled.

Using Group Policy

Group Policy Editor is a tool that allows you to edit group policy settings, including the setting to disable the Windows key.

  1. Go to your start menu, search for “gpedit.msc” and press Enter.

    Type gpedit.msc in the search box.
    Type gpedit.msc in the search box.
  2. In the Group Policy Editor, navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer.
  3. In the right pane, double-click the Turn off Windows Key hotkeys policy.

    Double-click the Turn off Windows Key hotkeys policy.
    Double-click Turn off Windows Key hotkeys.
  4. In the “Turn off Windows Key hotkeys” window, select the Enabled option and click OK.

    Select the Enabled option and click OK.
    Select the Enabled option and click OK.

Using a third-party application

If you don’t feel comfortable editing the registry or group policy settings, you can download a third-party application to disable the Windows key.

Microsoft PowerToys

Microsoft PowerToys is a free, open-source utility that helps you with tasks like renaming files in bulk, taking screenshots, and more. One of the utilities included in Microsoft PowerToys is a utility to disable the Windows key.

  1. Download the PowerToysSetup-0.43.0-x64.exe file from the GitHub releases page.

    Download the PowerToysSetup-0.43.0-x64.exe.
    Download the PowerToysSetup-0.43.0-x64.exe.
  2. Install the software and launch it.
  3. In the left-hand panel, click Keyboard Manager.

    Click the Keyboard Manager tile.
    Click the Keyboard Manager tile.
  4. Turn the “Enable Keyboard Manager toggle on.

    Turn the toggle on.
    Turn the toggle on.
  5. Click Remap a key to adjust the Windows key mapping.

    Click Remap a key.
    Click Remap a key.
  6. Two columns will appear, the “Key” column and the “Mapped To” column. Under the “Key” column, select Win, and under the “Mapped To” column, select Disable.

    Under the Key column, select Win, and under the Mapped to column, select Disable.
    Under the Key column, select Win. Under the Mapped To column, select Disable.
  7. Click OK to save your changes.

    Click OK.
    Click OK.

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