The windows key on your keyboard is easy to hit accidentally when playing a full screen game. If you are sick of unintentionally minimizing your game, there’s a simple fix you can apply to disable your windows key.
This little hack involves editing the registry. If you want the simplest and quickest solution possible, we’ve made a registry file that will make the change for you, so you don’t have to dig into the registry to make the edit manually.
Simply download Disable_Windows_key.reg and run it. You’ll have to restart your PC in order for the changes to take effect. Note that you may have to right-click that link and click ‘Save link as’. If you need to re-enable the Windows key later on, you can download and run Enable_Windows_key.reg
The Manual Process
If you’d like to make the change manually or are curious what that little file is doing, here are the step-by-step instructions for editing the registry yourself to disable the Windows key:
Open regedit by clicking start and typing ‘regedit’.
In the left pane, navigate to:
You’ll do this by expanding the arrows of each folder (see image below) in the left pane, until you finally reach ‘Keyboard Layout’.
Once you have reached Keyboard Layout, click it once so it’s highlighted, and then right click on a blank area in the right pane and select New > Binary Value.
Name this new key Scancode Map and press Enter.
Now, double-click on the newly created Scancode Map key in order to edit it. You have to enter this monstrosity of a value in the Data Field, and it’s not able to be done via copy+paste.
When you are done typing that long value, it should look exactly like this screenshot below.
As long as your newly added registry key looks exactly like this, all that’s left to do is click OK and restart your PC. When you boot back up, hitting the Windows key should no longer have any effect and you can get back to some hassle-free gaming!
Re-enabling the Windows key
If you need to re-enable the Windows key, you’ll have to navigate to the same area of regedit, right-click on the Scancode Map key you created, and delete it.
Image credit: I G on flickr