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In Windows 7 how can I disable the function that activates the menu bar when Alt is pressed?

Are there some registry values to modify this behaviour?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The answer is no. How could they do that? If they did that, and someone disabled it, they would cut people off from very necessary menu items. It would be a nightmare.

The only thing you can do is live with that, or activate the menu permanently by clicking Organize>Layout>Menu bar.

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Should be a comment. – Moab Jul 11 '11 at 14:13
@Moab I thought it was an answer, but I will be more clear. – KCotreau Jul 11 '11 at 14:16
@KCotreau: As you say, there is a way to obtain the menu bar, so for me is unnecesary that the ALT key produce that. – mjsr Jul 11 '11 at 15:37
@voodoomsr But if you have no ALT, and you previously had not exposed it permanently, you would be locked out, no? – KCotreau Jul 11 '11 at 15:42
It is easy for a program to disable the Alt globally, but testing it is tricky. There is no guarantee that another program won't intercept the call before you . . . – surfasb Jul 11 '11 at 17:07

I've been using AutoHotkey already, so I added this line to my script and it fixed this annoying behavior in almost all applications:

~LAlt Up:: return

It doesn't work in IE but I don't use IE anyway. :)

BTW, I also killed the annoying start menu popup via:

~LWin Up:: return
~RWin Up:: return
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This one should be the accepted answer. – thorn Mar 20 at 15:48

I found this question because I have a new keyboard and sometimes accidentally hit the ALT key when typing emails in Gmail. The focus is lost and any following keystrokes are passed to my browser (which can have very annoying results sometimes).

The best solution I found, which is an improvement but not perfect, is with a keymapper program called KeyTweak, which as far as I understand, changes the registry.

In the program, you map Left Alt to Right Alt, and Right Alt to Left Alt. This allows the Alt functions to still work somewhat (Ctrl-Alt-Delete). However, Alt-Tab is partially broken (at least on my Windows-7). It allows you partially to move to the other applications, but when you release the Alt key, the "selection" of the next application isn't made (you can make it with a mouse-click, however).

It's too bad Windows doesn't have something to prevent loss of focus from errant Alt presses. The Shift and Ctrl keys don't have that effect, for example.

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I use a similar approach using SharpKeys, registry remapping rocks! :D – mjsr Apr 14 '12 at 0:05
Remapped via SharpKeys (KeyTweak couldn't install, just quiely exits. Perhaps it doesn't work with XP?), rebooted, but the trick didn't worked. – Hi-Angel Oct 1 '14 at 9:17

This one is interesting. I don't know of any programs besides Autokey. Or just end up writing a program. But no registry setting. That would break TONS of programs.

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I try with autohotkey but i have problems that I explain in two question that i post in the AutoHotkey forum, here is the most related: – mjsr Jul 11 '11 at 15:40

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