I want to remap CAPS to escape (I use escape functionality all the time in many programs), but the two suggestions that seem to pop up are:

  1. Hot Keys (which even the people proposing say is a pain)
  2. SharpKeys - which Norton is reporting as a malicious site now

Are there any other suggestions?


Autohotkey can do this. It's quite trivial.

Make a file with the extension .ahk:


Just double click to run, once you have installed Autohotkey.

It's really that easy. You can compile the script into a executable (.exe) to make it portable with the compiler that comes with Autohotkey.

You'll have to run this at startup somehow if you won't want to manually run it every time you restart. Adding a shortcut to the script to the Startup folder in the Start Menu works.

If you don't feel like installing Autohotkey, I've compiled the executable and uploaded it to MediaFire. If you don't trust me, go ahead and make one yourself using the above script.

Autohotkey themselves provide some advantages and disadvantages of using this method compared to remapping via changing some registry keys (which is what SharpKeys does, and what Piskvor describes). They also provide instructions, specifically:

  • Use a (free) program such as KeyTweak
  • Manually editing the registry, using a .reg file as described here
  • 1
    That works. Note that this requires AHK to keep running in the background. – Piskvor Apr 15 '12 at 16:20
  • Excellent! I prefer this solution to the registry hack that I found here: vim.wikia.com/wiki/Map_caps_lock_to_escape_in_Windows – Justin Force Jan 9 '14 at 7:19
  • Is there a way to map Esc or ScrollLock to Capslock? Because there are times when you actually need the capslock. – thameera Jul 7 '14 at 3:46
  • 2
    @thameera You should be able to just add a Esc::Capslock line. – Bob Jul 7 '14 at 17:27

The remapkey.exe program included in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools mentioned in this article works nicely in Windows 7. The techrepublic article has pictures but following is a quick summery of how to remap esc to caps.

After installing the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools:

  1. Open the run dialog by pressing Win+R
  2. Type 'remapkey.exe' and press enter
  3. Drag-and-Drop the Base Keyboard's 'Esc' button from the to the Base Keyboard's 'Caps' button.
    • Note: after releasing the 'Esc' button over the 'Caps' button on the Base Keyboard the Remapped keyboard should reflect the change.
  4. Click the "Save and Exit" button. (it is the first icon on the upper left.)
  5. Click through the warnings.
  6. Reboot (this is windows, after all).
  7. Enjoy your remapped keys without needing an extra service running all the time!
  • Greetings Justin, welcome to SuperUser. We generally encourage expanding on information found in links. Could you perhaps edit in a summary of the information? This way we have something even if the links go out of date. – Jonathan Garber Apr 8 '13 at 16:07
  • Attempting to install "Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools" on windows 7 gives a compatibility error. I'm guess it still may work but that was enough to cause me not to install it. – User May 13 '14 at 7:23

Well, the author of SharpKeys himself notes that it only creates a special key in the registry.

You could go the hard way and mess with the layout manually, or get the MS keyboard layout creator - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/bb964665

Note also that SharpKeys has a page at CodePlex - you could get it from there: http://sharpkeys.codeplex.com/

  • Also, Norton's "malicious site" reporting doesn't look like a very useful feature to me - I don't trust it, as in my experience, they too often blocked legit sites and let the malicious ones slip through. – Piskvor Apr 15 '12 at 16:19
  • 1
    The MS Keyboard Layout Creator does not allow remapping the Caps Lock key; it is marked "Unassignable". – Doug Oct 28 '16 at 12:31
  • Ah well. Sharpkeys is obviously the superior solution then (and the layout creator seems to be intentionally crippled, as they both operate on the same registry data), but since the question explicitly and absolutely trusts Norton (which I do not), there's nothing to do. – Piskvor Oct 28 '16 at 12:42

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