I'd like to be able to stop the Windows Key from activating the Start Menu on Windows 7. I don't want to disable the Windows Key completely. I'd like Ctrl + Esc to still open the Start Menu.

I know that you can use AutoHotKey to disable the Windows Key completely.

The reason I want this functionality is that I have a lot of shortcut keys linked to the Windows key and this often results in accidentally opening the start menu.


Here is the solution: http://www.autohotkey.com/forum/topic55858.html

Use the following code in AutoHotKey:

~LWin Up:: return
~RWin Up:: return
  • Thanks! Worked a charm in my Fusion XP guest, too. It had been driving me crazy that <CMD>-<TAB>'ing out of Fusion opened the Start Menu. – Marc Bejarano Sep 11 '14 at 21:07
  • Wouldn't this disable all the normal WIN shortcuts though? Like WIN+D, WIN+P WIN+R, etc. – Michael Z. Apr 14 '17 at 4:32
  • @MichaelZ.: It doesn't. – user598527 Jun 10 '17 at 17:56
  • 1
    The script worked fine on Windows 10 since installing six months ago, but has recently stopped functioning, maybe after I received the 1709 update. – user598527 Jan 9 '18 at 1:00
  • This does not work on Windows 8.1 – user76871 May 29 '18 at 19:21

This worked for me on Windows 8, while the current answer did not:

LWin & vk07::return



The following AutoHotkey script will disable the ⊞ Win key activating the start menu for both left and right ⊞ Win keys in Windows 10.

LWin & vk07::return
RWin & vk07::return

If you also follow the instructions here, you can disable most of the other ⊞ Win key shortcut combinations:

Method 1: Disable Win + keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 through Group Policy Editor

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to disable ⊞ Win+Tab ↹ and ⊞ Win+L functionality. I'll come back and edit this if/when I do.


I believe you can only unregister a global hotkey if you're the application that registered it, and since explorer.exe registers the global hotkey, you probably would need a modified version of that, which I think would be impossible to find.

; disable windows start menu hotkey while retaining the windows key as a modifier key.


;~ #w::SoundBeep  ; fails
<#w::SoundBeep  ; works
;~ LWin & w::SoundBeep  ; works

For some reason, if you assign a letter shortcut (any letter shortcut) to the Win key, it makes all the shortcuts work again, while still permitting the blocking of just the single key itself.

Additionally, to prevent activation of the start menu in the event that the mouse is clicked while the Windows key is down, that event can be blocked too.

This is how I've managed to get it working properly in Windows 10 1809 (I've only blocked the left Windows key here):

vk5b::return              ;Block the Win key from opening Start Menu
LWin & E::run explorer    ;Allow other ⊞ Win+whatever hotkeys to still work
#LButton:: Return         ;Avoid a mouse click mid-way activating Start

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