I like the close program keyboard shortcut in Mac OS X which is + Q. Nice and convenient for hand placement. In Windows however, the equivalent shortcut is Alt + F4, a little awkward.

Is there a way to change the default keyboard shortcut to Alt + Q or Ctrl + Q? I'm using Windows 7.

  • 4
    Alt+F4 closes windows, not programs. You can probably cook something up in AutoHotkey, but since Windows program commands don't always show up in menus, you might lose some commands that are executed using Ctrl/Alt+Q
    – Daniel Beck
    Feb 25, 2011 at 20:19
  • 1
    Alt+F4 will close a program for me. I just checked the 'Quit' command in Word and it's Alt+F4. Perhaps a registry edit? Not sure where to look though.
    – v15
    Feb 25, 2011 at 20:20
  • 4
    If programs close when their last window is closed, then yes, Alt+F4 closes programs if you use it to close their last open window. But it's not generally a "quit program" shortcut. There's no such thing as the Keyboard Shortcuts preferences pane in OS X on Windows. Your only hope is input redirection (like I suggested) or a third-party tool.
    – Daniel Beck
    Feb 25, 2011 at 20:40
  • 1
    In my Windows, ALT+F4 also closes the whole program, even if it has more than one document/window opened. STRG+F4, however, closes a single document window. This is applicable to most, if not any, programs I use on Windows.
    – Martin
    Apr 26, 2011 at 14:07

2 Answers 2


Get AutoHotKey. Open Notepad and paste the following:

^q::Send !{F4}

Save it as an .ahk file, run it and try it out. If it works, stick it in your startup folder and you are good to go. The above code simply maps Ctrl + Q to Alt + F4.

If you want it to be Alt + Q, then replace the ^ with a !

If you can't get AutoHotKey, I've compiled the above script for you and uploaded it here:


Download and enjoy.

By the way - you do know that Ctrl + W closes a window in any application already, right?

  • 10
    Ctrl+W is merely a common shortcut that has been adopted by many programs. It is not defined by Windows and doesn't work in all, or even most, applications.
    – Hugh Allen
    Apr 28, 2011 at 12:25
  • Share and enjoy. May 2, 2011 at 0:11
  • I took me a while before I realized you actually have to double click the resulting file. So here's my FYI, don't look in AutoHotKey for a way to run it and just run the file. Totally works btw.
    – Herman
    Jan 28, 2020 at 9:32

To change Windows to suit a Mac user, see this article : Key Remapping in Windows.
It contains an Autohotkey script that maps many Windows keys to their Mac equivalents.

To build a new keyboard layout, see The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, which lets you manipulate all keys and their combinations.

As the original article has disappeared from the Web, I copy below the Autohotkey script:

;Autohotkey script
;John Walker, 2010-11-25
;Feel free to reuse, edit and redistribute
;Key remaps for Apple users using boot camp
;(with an Apple notebook or Keyboard)

;following section remaps alt-delete keys to mimic OSX
;command-delete deletes whole line
#BS::Send {LShift down}{Home}{LShift Up}{Del}

;alt-function-delete deletes next word
!Delete::Send {LShift down}{LCtrl down}{Right}{LShift Up}{Lctrl up}{Del}

;alt-delete deletes previous word
!BS::Send {LShift down}{LCtrl down}{Left}{LShift Up}{Lctrl up}{Del}

;following section mimics command-q and command-w
;behaviour to close windows
;note these had to be disabled below for the
;command to ctrl key remaps

;following section remaps alt-arrow and command-arrow
;keys to mimic OSX behaviour
#Up::Send {Lctrl down}{Home}{Lctrl up}
#Down::Send {Lctrl down}{End}{Lctrl up}
#Left::Send {Home}
#Right::Send {End}
!Up::Send {Home}
!Down::Send {End}

;following section remaps command key to control key
;affects all number and letter keys
;note that some keys, like winkey-l and winkey-d
;need to be remapped a differeny way
;otherwise autohotkey will not take over
;following won't remap using the normal method
#f::Send {LCtrl down}{f}{LCtrl up}
;#l::Send {LCtrl down}{l}{LCtrl up} ;disabled, I like winkey-L
;#q::^q ;disabled --remapped to alt-F4 instead
;#w::^w ;disabled --remapped to ctrl-F4 instead
  • Two out of three links are dead :( Apr 29, 2019 at 11:55
  • @NathanFriend: I have replaced the links with equivalents, which still seem pertinent, and also copied here the Autohotkey script.
    – harrymc
    Apr 29, 2019 at 17:57
  • In this context, I'd like to also mention KbdEdit which is one of my favorite utilities.
    – Ville
    Aug 7, 2019 at 7:21

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