My friend/enemy switched the keys on my keyboard as an April fool's joke. When I press Y, Z appears on the screen. Some keys work like b, x, g, i, d, and a few more. Also, when I press ctrl, it returns Enter. Even the function keys are switched!!

I called a technician and even he wasn't able to detect the issue and told me installing the operating system was the only go. I really don't want to call up my friend and ask him.

I'm on Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and there is no problem with my mouse. (Thank God)

Can you help me?

  • 23
    System restore to 31st March.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 13:35
  • 74
    "I really don't want to call up my friend and ask him" Why not? Go visit him and take your baseball bat ;)
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 13:39
  • 43
    Physically swap the keys on your keyboard to their (now) correct locations, and then spend the next few days adapting to your new non-QWERTY keyboard. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 7:01
  • 16
    Start locking your workstation when you walk away!
    – dotancohen
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 10:00
  • 17
    The real question here is: how did you type this question?
    – Braiam
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 6:19

3 Answers 3


For the simple case, it sounds like you have a different keyboard layout (e.g German, as that swaps Y and Z).

Change layouts in Control Panel:

  1. "Clock, Language, and Region"
  2. "Region and Language "
  3. "Keyboards and Languages" tab, -> "Change keyboards"

Press Alt-Shift to switch layouts.

However this does not explain function keys. It's possible to arbitrarily remap keys using the registry. I think you'll need a 3rd party tool to fix this. Example: https://sharpkeys.codeplex.com/

Remember you can use the "On screen keyboard" (Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Ease of Access\On screen keyboard) to type with the mouse.

  • 5
    And what if <alt> and <shift> have been remapped? ;)
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 13:32
  • 3
    Another way to get to the on-screen keyboard is to press the Windows logo key+U... if you can figure out where those are. That will bring up the Ease of Access "Utility" menu with a link to the keyboard. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 14:03
  • 2
    Yep, the left alt is mapped to U and the right one is mapped to shift itself I think. Anyway, I tried sharpkeys and started mapping keys to the right ones. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 15:23
  • 2
    @GoogleServices You can use a virtual keyboard while your physical one is being fixed. That way you'll type with your mouse and wont have any keyboard issues. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 19:57

If you don't want to use any third-party applications to reverse the SharpKeys modifications, you can cut out the middleman and edit the Registry directly.

Open the Registry Editor by navigating to C:\Windows\regedit.exe in Explorer. Once it's open, navigate here:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

If there are entries called Scancode Map or Value Scancode Map, delete them. Those are what cause Windows to remap incoming keypresses from the keyboard.

Once you're done, reboot. Key remappings will be reset to the default. You can do all of this with the mouse only, no keyboard.

References for those IDs: Main.cs in the SharpKeys source code, "How to Disable the Insert Key in Windows" from WikiHow.


It's worth checking for processes running in the background which manipulate your key entry. I use AutoHotkey scripts to add/override some keybindings. They generally appear in the system tray as a little green icon with a capital 'H'.

If you can't find the process there, you can also check the 'startup' folder in your start menu to see if they have added something to run when you log on.

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