The new Surface Pro 3 comes with a pen with a purple button at the end. When pressed, it causes OneNote to open shortly thereafter. Is it possible to change the application that opens this way? Perhaps a registry entry?

  • looks like you can only choose between Desktop and modern OneNote: winsupersite.com/mobile-devices/… Jul 5, 2014 at 5:08
  • @magicandre1981 Thanks for the link. It's exactly those kinds of settings that beg the question whether or not something like a registry setting is responsible and thus can be changed. Jul 5, 2014 at 5:25

3 Answers 3


Kept stumbling on this answer via Google, so wanted to provide an update for others.

The Lockscreen ClickNote component responsible for implementing this behavior reads registry values AppID and DesktopAppPath located in the key \Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\CN.

You could tweak those to your liking.

For example, AppID could point to the immersive OneNote via its application id of Microsoft.Office.OneNote_8wekyb3d8bbwe!Microsoft.OneNoteIm. Or a DesktopAppPath of %SystemRoot%\Notepad.exe.

But be aware there are some nuances, such as the DesktopAppPath being validated (must point to a file on disk) and passed-in command line arguments (i.e. /hardwareinvoke, /fromlockscreen, and/or /screenclip) depending on when and where the button press took place. [1]

[1] http://withinrafael.com/running-your-own-app-at-the-click-of-the-surface-pen-button/


You can use AutoHotKey (http://www.autohotkey.com/) to intercept the button press and send a different command. The button press is F20.

I have an AutoHotKey script which sends a spacebar command when the purple pen button is clicked and PowerPoint is in fullscreen, to advance the slide. At all other times it launches OneNote. You can make it do whatever you want. It's free.

Example script:

#IfWinExist, ahk_class screenClass
#F20:: Send {Space}

Gov Maharaj from Microsoft answered it on his Show today.

He said there is currently no official way to change the application. It is always Onenote.

But there are some hacks with a tool called EventGhost where you can handle the insert/remove of the Surface Pen and assign an action to start an application.


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