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I want to disable two shortcuts specifically.

F1 and WIN+=

This page describes how to disable some WIN+X keys if X is letter. But it does not work if I just enter "=" in the registry key DisabledHotkeys.

Any suggestion please?

EDIT: Direct dealing with the registry (without an external software) is much preferred.

  • possible duplicate of How can I disable selected Windows 7 shortcuts? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 1 '14 at 1:27
  • Not quite. I think specifying the keyboard key "=" needs special attention in the registry. Here, a method to selectively suppress shortcuts with letter keys is already provided. I am asking specifically of how to deal with "=". As well, I would rather not resort to an external software, which may not override the association when booting, but instead adds a separate process the whole time. – Argyll Feb 1 '14 at 1:34
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I guess OP has somehow dealt with the problem but I will post what I was able to find out when I tried to solve it without AutoHotkey (as I wanted to use these shortcuts in different programs, not via .ahk script) - maybe it will be in any way helpful for future readers. And spoiler - no, I didn't manage to make it work like I want but I discovered a few interesting things.

Question stresses Win+= combination, which I guess launches Windows Magnifier program in OP's case (as = and + are on the single key on most keyboards and it seems Windows treats + and Shift+= same in the case of that program) so I focused on it.

How to Permanently Turn Off Windows 8 Magnifier program.

Unfortunately, disabling program doesn't free shortcut and it is still visible as taken for other programs. I would say that there is a possibility that making custom Windows installation disc with deleted Magnify could lead to free shortcut but I can't check it.

Next I used link from OP's question and combined it with Virtual-Key Codes (check JBert's comment on non-printable keys).

Again, no matter what code I used and what keys I pressed, this special shortcut stays taken.

In my last attempt I tried using group policy - registry method is in OP's question, method via gpedit.msc is described here.

What is interesting - this group policy turns off most of the shortcuts but not all of them. For example Win+X is still going to work as well as Win+L, Magnify and Narrator shortcuts.

Summary:

It seems all shortcuts connected to accessibility in Windows (like Win+=) are treated specially and cannot be simply turned off via DisabledHotkeys as Explorer isn't the process that uses them. After a little bit more searching I found this article from Microsoft dealing with the topic of disabling Win key as well as all accessibility shortcuts in games - but I have no idea how to utilise this code into something useful.

Bonus:

There is a simple way to turn off all accessibility programs in Windows by using Icedog's answer from Disable Narrator shortcut key in windows 8 (creating registry key for AtBroker.exe). It will prevent launching any accessibility program but shortcuts are still reserved.

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I use the scripting language AutoHotkey to easily add my own custom keyboard shortcuts to my system, but it can be easily used to remove a default keyboard shortcut as well.

The notation for creating a new shortcut is key::command.

After installing, if you wanted to unmap the F1 key and the WIN+= key, you could simply add this to a script file called unmap.ahk or something similar.

F1::
#=::

That's really the whole thing!

Then execute the script by double clicking like any other program. You can add the script file to your startup directory so that it is always running, and you have successfully unmapped those pesky keyboard shortcuts!

  • Thank you! But do you know a way without AutoHotkey? – Argyll Feb 1 '14 at 1:24
  • Unfortunately I don't, but if you just don't want to install the AutoHotkey runtime on your computer, you can download this file and run it. It is a compiled AutoHotkey script, it should run on any Windows computer, and as soon as you start it, the hotkeys that you specified should be blocked. I made this script myself, and I just compiled it 30 seconds ago. It really has no other function than to block the hotkeys that you told me. – Nate Mara Feb 1 '14 at 2:03
  • Thanks again! So how does AutoHotkey work? Would it start an active process to redirect those keys? – Argyll Feb 2 '14 at 1:25
  • Yes, it will start its own process that sees all keys, and if they don't match any defined hotkeys, then they are passed to the system. It should spawn a little taskbar icon that will allow you to control the script. Here is what I see. taskbar image – Nate Mara Feb 2 '14 at 2:42
  • I see. However, I am still more interested in a method solution does not involve a separate process to monitor keyboard activity the whole time. – Argyll Feb 8 '14 at 0:08

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