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Windows Vista (more specifically, explorer) binds win+1, win+2, win+3, etc for its quick-launch bar. I want to use those key combinations for a different program. There is a registry key(s) to prevent explorer from binding those shortcuts so that I can bind them myself, but I can not remember what it is.

Every search I've tried turns up saying set HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NoWinKeys to 1, but that disables all the shortcuts (win+r, etc) instead of just specific ones.

I did it before on my last computer but I can't remember the specific registry setting.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I finally found it by scouring the registry of one of my old computer.

The registry key I was looking for is HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\DisabledHotkeys

If it's not present, create a new Expandable String Value and add any characters you don't want windows explorer to bind.

For example, setting DisabledHotkeys to 12 will prevent explorer from binding windowskey+1 and windowskey+2

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which character do you type in DisabledHotkeys to disable Win+Arrow (whatever arrow)? – pataluc May 21 '14 at 12:04
@pataluc This answer is missing information about virtual keys and how to add those. I checked… and the arrows need 4 characters, all of them non-printable. You need to look up a single arrow (e.g. arrow left has code 25), then right-click the registry value, pick Modify binary data and enter "25 00 00 00" (ignore the four zeroes on the left). Repeat, and in the end you should have 16 pairs of characters. – JBert Apr 3 '15 at 8:38

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