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How can the Windows + S keyboard shortcut be disabled on Windows 8.1?

I had Win+S mapped to take a screen capture in Windows 8 using Evernote. (not using Windows built-in PrintScr to capture the entire screen): enter image description here

After the update, Win+S always brings up the Search panel: enter image description here

A solution using RegEdit would be fine. I just need it disabled so that other capture programs, such as Evernote and Greenshot can use it (as before, pre-Win 8.1).

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can disable preassigned Windows shortcuts with a registry Hack. Just start a new plaintext file with the content:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"DisabledHotkeys"=hex(2):53,00,00,00

and save it as something like disableWinS.reg. Run the created reg file by double-clicking and confirm the prompt to add the key to your registry. Then restart your machine and Win+S is happy to be assigned by Evernote!

PS: 53,00,00,00 is just hex code for S. If other keys are required, just check a ASCII Code chart

(source: http://forum.voidtools.com/viewtopic.php?p=8942#p8942)

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Doesn't seem to work for disabling Win-Z :( –  Ross Presser Mar 7 '14 at 18:36
    
I'm not sure what Win-Z is binded to. It seems "free" on my Win 8.1 machine with German keyboard layout/language settings. What happens when you press it? –  BunchOfSage Mar 26 '14 at 1:40
    
Nothing happens when I press it, but other programs (ArsClip and Jing in particular. I don't use Evernote or Greensnap) that allow me to set hotkeys, don't come up if I have assigned Win-Z. –  Ross Presser Mar 26 '14 at 16:55
1  
Aha. This list from Microsoft says Win-Z is reserved for "Show the commands available in the app" -- presumably, on Metro apps. –  Ross Presser Mar 26 '14 at 16:57

Win+S used to give you OneNote screen capture; now it goes to Win8.1 search. However Win+Shift+S still goes to onenote.

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Good point. That works for OneNote 2013, but not for OneNote 2010. Also, really looking for a non-OneNote solution. –  Rubistro Oct 31 '13 at 1:36

Using AutoHotkey you can reclaim keys that even the DisabledHotkeys registry setting won't restore. For example, this AutoHotKey script will remap Win-Z to Shift-Ctrl-Z. Configure your program to respond to Shift-Ctrl-Z and it won't know the difference.

#Z::Send,^+Z
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Oh, just noticed @jaychris also mentioned AutoHotKey. –  Ross Presser Mar 7 '14 at 18:52

In Windows 8.1, Win + PrtScrn is the key for screen capture.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/take-screen-capture-print-screen#take-screen-capture-print-screen=windows-8

I can think of a couple of ways to keep Win + S to be quiet.

  1. May not be for everyone. Autohotkey can be used to map any key to anything. Win + S can be mapped to do nothing. I am not elaborating since you might not be interested in this.
  2. A dummy .bat file can be created and Win + S can be used as the shortcut key. Some instructions can be found here. http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/4999-shortcuts-assign-keyboard-shortcut-windows-8-a.html. Basically create a donothing.bat in the desktop and assign Win + S as its shortcut key.
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Win+PrintScreen is the key for screen capture in windows 8 too –  Lưu Vĩnh Phúc Oct 21 '13 at 6:18
    
Good point, PrintScr can be used to capture the entire screen. Is there a way to capture only the selected region? –  Rubistro Oct 21 '13 at 17:31
1  
@Rubistro I like the built-in "Snipping Tool" for that, but have also been known to run Greenshot which maps itself to just printscrn, and is free. –  Mark Allen Oct 22 '13 at 0:18

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