I am going crazy switching between Windows XP in a VirtualBox and the host (OSX), mostly due to the use of control-c, control-v, control-x and that they are different between the two OSes.

Is there any way to get my Windows machine to use different shortcuts OS-wide?

Edit: I really need a way to override Windows-C Windows-X Windows-V Windows-Z and Windows-Tab (copy, cut, paste, undo and switch-apps) for the solution to work for me.

Edit: Thanks for John T.'s help, I've got my autokey stuff working. I posted my final code for Windows guests on OSX here.

4 Answers 4


Yep, check out Autohotkey. You can choose to have the hotkeys work on a per-application basis or system wide.


^!n::Run C:\Windows

This will allow you to use Ctrl + Alt + n to open an explorer window to C:\Windows.

The hotkeys tutorial is a great start for making your own custom hotkeys.

  • Man I'm glad I asked. Are you the Jon Skeet of superuser? Jan 29, 2010 at 16:55
  • You can make WinXP machine interpret some other keys as 'Copy', 'Paste' and other actions, but you cannot stop it from interpreting Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V the same way. @John: how do you highlight hotkeys that way? I read the whole help, but didn't found anything regarding.
    – Catherine
    Jan 29, 2010 at 16:56
  • thanks whitequark. that might be fine. @John T, I edited the question to reflect what I need. Can Autohotkey do it? Jan 29, 2010 at 17:04
  • AHK can do ^c ^v just as easily. And the keyboard keys are in <kbd> tags.
    – Phoshi
    Jan 29, 2010 at 17:11
  • @Yar you can use #c::Send ^c to make the windows key and c send Ctrl-C, if that's what you're after? Similar with #v::Send ^v ...
    – user1931
    Jan 29, 2010 at 17:43

Just for the Super User archives, something I found at some blog. ;-)

  1. Change your Host key on VirtualBox to be the RIGHT command key

  2. Download AutoHotkey

  3. Put this script in as the startup script

 #SingleInstance force
 #r::Send ^r ;reload
 #z::Send ^z ; undo
 #y::Send ^y ; redo
 #f::Send ^f ; find inside apps
 #c::Send ^c ; copy
 #x::Send ^x ; cut
 #v::Send ^v ; paste
 #t::Send ^t ; new tab, Firefox
 #s::Send ^s ; save inside apps
 LWin & Tab::AltTab ; the motherlode, alt-tab!

and you're up and running!

  • I love that blog! I'm like the only reader! Thanks Arjan... Jan 30, 2010 at 16:06

First change the Host Key to Right Command key...

And then change all usages of Windows key to Control Key, in your AHK script.


Now the keys are remapped for all shortcuts!


You can also use SharpKeys to remap the keys. I found this HowToGeek article helpful for walking through the steps on OS X and Windows.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .