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How to disable one key on a laptop keyboard

Updated April 17, 2017

To disable a key on your laptop computer, one of the simplest ways is to remap another key to its location. In other words, if you want to disable the "Windows" key, you could remap it so that it performs the same action as the "Shift" key. This would not affect the other two "Shift" keys on your keyboard, but it would make it so that the "Windows" key no longer worked as originally programmed. To easily remap a key on a laptop with a Windows-based operating system, use the Remapkey program included with the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. These tools work just as well as on other Windows operating systems (such as XP and Vista) as they do on Server 2003.

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  1. Download and install the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. Once the installation is complete, right-click "Start," then click "Explore."

  2. Click "Program Files," then click "Windows Resource Kits." Double-click the "Tools" folder.

  3. Double-click "remapkey.exe" to open the Remapkey tool.

  4. From the "Base Keyboard" (located on the top of the Remapkey window), select any key other than the one you want to disable. Drag your selected key to the "Remapped Keyboard" (located below the "Base Keyboard"), then drop it on the key you want to disable.

  5. Click "File," then click "Save." Exit the program. Click "OK" when the "OK to Write Registry?" message appears.

  6. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect. The key should no longer function as originally programmed.

  7. Tip

    If you want to entirely disable use of the key rather than disable the key's function, a third-party software is your best option. How you disable the key will depend on the software itself, but generally, you simply need to select the key, then click the "Disable" option. It's recommended that you remap the key to "Shift," "Ctrl" or "Alt," as these keys will not affect anything if you hit them by accident.

    Warning

    The Remapkey tool will not work on 64-bit versions of Windows.

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About the Author

Ruri Ranbe has been working as a writer since 2008. She received an A.A. in English literature from Valencia College and is completing a B.S. in computer science at the University of Central Florida. Ranbe also has more than six years of professional information-technology experience, specializing in computer architecture, operating systems, networking, server administration, virtualization and Web design.

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