I have a Windows 7 computer with which I use an Apple keyboard. At each login, I am prompted to enter Ctrl+Alt+Delete before entering my password.

Because the Mac keyboard doesn't seem to have a Delete key, I have so far resorted to the "on-screen" virtual keyboard. This is quite annoying and I wondered if there is a better approach.

By the way, what is the point of this stupid Ctrl+Alt+Delete thing?

  • 1
    This requirement can be disabled via Group Policies (gpedit.msc). Oct 17, 2011 at 9:55
  • What Apple keyboard doesn't have a delete key? Anyway, try the numeric keypad (period/decimal with num lock off - if it doesn't have num lock, try and see if one of the 'non-PC' keys on the numeric keypad, clear and =, are mapped to numlock by default.)
    – Random832
    Oct 17, 2011 at 15:33
  • > The Mac keyboard doesn't seem to have a Del key o.O What kind of keyboard does not have a delete key? Can you post a photo of it? I just plugged an old Mac SE keyboard into a 64-bit Windows 7 laptop and it worked just fine using Ctrl+Alt+Del (Option has alt above it and del has a polygon (in fact, I’m typing this whole comment on it). You can also press Fn+BS, for Del, but that’s for Macbooks, not separate keyboards.
    – Synetech
    Aug 2, 2012 at 18:59
  • @Randomblue it's a feature for accessing security options [task manager], [power options] if something goes wrong. For the iMac, we use the power button instead of CTRL + ALT + DEL, because a reboot is SOO much better than just pressing 3 keys. (Sarcasm included). But please, don't call things you don't know about stupid. I'm pretty sure the Americans didn't call pizza disgusting before knowing how it tasted. [No offense]
    – Roke
    Dec 8, 2015 at 1:38
  • ASCII has both backspace (decimal 8) and delete (decimal 127). My mac keyboard (on an old PowerBook) has a key labelled "delete", but I believe it sends the equivalent of a "Backspace". Anyway, to make a long story short, on my powerbook at least pressing the keys labelled "fn", "control" "alt/option" and "delete" at the same time seems to generate the equivalent of control-alt-delete.
    – Duncan
    Oct 3, 2023 at 16:59

14 Answers 14


Windows is designed so that, unless system security is already compromised in some other way, only the Winlogon process, a trusted system process, can receive notification of the C-A-D key combination

You could probably remap the keyboard , try ctrl alt fn-delete (the easiest potential solution) or simply turn off the need to use the three fingered salute to log on

  • which one worked? ;p
    – Journeyman Geek
    Oct 17, 2011 at 8:45
  • I simply turned off the three fingered salute. :)
    – Randomblue
    Oct 17, 2011 at 10:38
  • also works quite well when using Remote Desktop from a Mac to a PC for force-quitting remote PC programs when you forget that the program to do this is called 'Task Manager'
    – Brian D
    Apr 2, 2020 at 15:27
  • the "remap the keyboard" link is dead. Nov 5, 2021 at 17:01

You can try the Apple Wireless Keyboard Helper, it maps Mac keys combos to windows keypresses.

  • F3: Printscreen
  • F4: Task Manager
  • F7 - F9: iTunes Control
  • F10 - F12: System volume Control
  • Eject: Toggles Fkeys/Functions
  • Fn + F key: Triggers function (useful when in F keys mode)
  • Fn + Backspace = Del
  • Good try, but didn't work. Thanks for the other shortcuts though.
    – Randomblue
    Oct 17, 2011 at 8:45
  • I use ctrl+alt+fn+backspace from my mbp keyboard Apr 20, 2018 at 9:28

When using a Mac keyboard attached to a PC, the Mac keyboard key I use for the PC Del key is the fndelete ⌦ key combination.

This works with control and option (alt) to form a CtrlAltDel.

Using the Mac's delete, which is equivalent to the PC's Backspace, does not work for me. I don't need to use with option (alt).

  • this actually worked, it should be the selected answer
    – phil_lgr
    Sep 15, 2021 at 14:09

I had the same issue. Every combination failed me. In full disclosure, I am not using a wireless bluetooth keyboard. I am using a usb keyboard with the numeric keypad on the right. After failing with all the combos above, I made sure the num lock was off. I used control (not the command key, just regular control key), option (aka alt with no fn key combo), and the "." from the keypad. No lie, that is what I used. Control + option + .

  • thanks! I just set up an incredibly ancient Mac keyboard -- the 1999 USB one w/ transparent housing -- USB -- to my Win laptop, and CTRL-ALT-NumericPad"." worked! Since this KB doesn't even have a <FN> key, this was the only way. Feb 9, 2017 at 15:41
  • It works!! Thanks. I'm using a Bluetooth magic keyboard.
    – gummiost
    Jul 3, 2020 at 5:58

I had the scenario of working on my Mac, but was forced to remotely log into a Windows VM.

Windows would automatically lock the screen after several minutes of inactivity and the usual

Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to Unlock!

message would appear.

The key combinations on my Mac keyboard - that's equivalent to that Window's counterpart - for me was pressing Fn+Control+Alt/Option+Command+Delete.

  • Thats funny, none of my Macs or my Apple keyboards have a delete key
    – Toms Code
    Jul 26, 2021 at 9:37

If you want to get rid of CTRL+ALT+DELETE then go to start and type netplwiz open it and hit advanced then uncheck Require CTRL+ALT+DELETE at login.Hope this helps!!!


For my MAC, Fn+Control+Option+Delete works for VMWare Horizon Client running a Windows desktop. The combination will not work if the Command key is used.


On my Mac keyboard, I can do Ctrl alt Backspace which says Delete.


You have to remap your Del key to something. You can use Input Remapper to do that. It will even try to detect you mac keyboard and make some of the setting for you.


It's very easy, just download and install this software: http://ahkscript.org/ It will enable you to remap your keyboard buttons. and run the script Iv'e created to replace the backslash button need the enter key with delete key (see picture attached)

Link to the script


  • 1
    Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change.
    – DavidPostill
    Sep 22, 2016 at 20:23

I was on the same problem and the best solution I found is to use Apple's BootCamp which provides the drivers for Apple Keyboard.

Go to apple support page, download BootCamp, extract and install AppleKeyboard only (instructions here), and then fn key works on windows.

One can now use fn-BackSpace to get the windows-like del, like it is done on a mac. Together you get all the predefined function keys on the mac keyboard working on windows (like volume control, brightness control, etc)

  • Thank you for you contribution, but whilst this may potentially answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential information here, and provide the link for reference. Please edit your answer to include that information. Thanks :)
    – bertieb
    May 16, 2018 at 13:43

Using an old transparent Mac keyboard of an original Bondi Blue iMac which has no Fn key (I like the touch of it!) on a Windows PC running Win 10, I find that the key combination of Control-ALT-Numeric keypad . (numeric keypad decimal or dot key) works and will bring up the task manager.


Because any keyboards have 2 CTRL and ALT keys, I manage to use like this: CTRL (left) + ALT (right) + Del (like normal keyboards).


I use an Apple magic keyboard with number keypad on a PC. Control, Option and Decimal (on numeric keypad portion) executes a Ctrl - Alt - Del on my PC. Hope its helpful here.


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