121

In Windows 8 I used to remap my capslock key to control using the registry script

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,1d,00,3a,00,00,00,00,00

After having upgraded to Window 10, this does not work anymore.

How can it be done?

1
  • Note this only remaps Caps Lock to another Ctrl key. I want them swapped, so I used the instructions here to tweak the script above: superuser.com/a/1202601/315584 – jia103 Sep 20 '17 at 15:00

10 Answers 10

103

Did you remember to re-boot? Seems to work fine for me, just like in 7 and 8.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,1d,00,3a,00,00,00,00,00
5
  • 9
    The issue for me was that the Windows 10 upgrade reset my caps lock mapping. But doing it again the same way worked after another restart. – Jack O'Connor Dec 1 '15 at 2:48
  • 46
    If anyone else like me needs the final piece of the puzzle: paste the above into a new text file, save it with the .reg extension, double click the file to apply the changes to the registry, then reboot. – Mike Niebling Sep 6 '16 at 0:00
  • 5
    How do you map it back to Caps Lock afterwards? – Ehtesh Choudhury Dec 1 '16 at 1:36
  • 7
    @EhteshChoudhury you can delete the "Scancode Map" entry under the registry key, reboot, and default behavior will be restored. – bojolais Apr 11 '17 at 19:16
  • 2
    I only had to logout and login again, didn't have to reboot (win 10) – piec Feb 7 '20 at 15:10
125

In case anyone needed this done via PowerShell:

$hexified = "00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,1d,00,3a,00,00,00,00,00".Split(',') | % { "0x$_"};

$kbLayout = 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout';

New-ItemProperty -Path $kbLayout -Name "Scancode Map" -PropertyType Binary -Value ([byte[]]$hexified);

Run it as Administrator and reboot.

4
  • 24
    Have an upvote for giving a Linux-like "copy&paste into shell" answer! – mikezter Sep 8 '17 at 8:44
  • 3
    Seriously. I miss having *initrc scripts. Thanks. – stewSquared Apr 24 '18 at 20:18
  • 9
    You sir, have made using Windows today a slightly less miserable experience. For that, I thank you. – binarymason Jan 23 '19 at 19:25
  • 3
    Apparently logging out and an in again is sufficient – piec Feb 7 '20 at 15:10
35

There is now a solution directly from Microsoft for mapping caps lock to the control key called PowerToys. PowerToys does not involve using a third party tool or modifying the registry by hand (which has the potential for causing serious problems if done incorrectly). The tool in PowerToys that handles this is installed by default and called Keyboard Manager. It works exactly as expected - here is an image of the Caps Lock key mapped to the Ctrl key.

enter image description here

4
  • 1
    Wow... thanks for making me discover a nice gui to do this, so I can enable it and disable it when I change keyboard... but most importantly thank you so much form making me discover power toys... just wow... – Enrico Oct 14 '20 at 20:48
  • I used the registry "Scancode Map" key for years, including on Windows 10, but one day it stopped working for Ctrl-X. Caps Lock acted as Ctrl most of the time, but not when used with the X key. Keyboard Manager seems to work correctly and also handles Ctrl-Alt-backslash, another key combination which can defeat remapping. – Ed Avis Dec 29 '20 at 10:22
  • 1
    ...However, the PowerToys remapping does not work over remote desktop. You can remap on your local PC but the remote desktop session does not get the remapping. And running the same PowerToys on the remote PC doesn't work either. (It seems that somehow, both Ctrl and Caps Lock keypresses are being sent to the remote computer.) – Ed Avis Dec 31 '20 at 13:01
  • Here's the Microsoft Docs page and install link – karmakaze May 11 at 1:56
28

You can use SharpKeys to map any key to any other key in Windows 7, 8, or 10. It's much easier and cleaner to do than to modify the registry yourself.

Hope this helps.

2
  • 2
    Can I use this to switch languages by pressing caps lock ? – thanos.a Jan 5 '19 at 17:34
  • Just wanted to note that this program just modifies your registry, so it's not something that has to be running all the time or anything. Great utility! – xaxxon Jan 4 at 18:29
21

I use the following to send CTRL for the CAPS LOCK key, send ALT for the CTRL key, and send CAPS LOCK for the ALT key. CTRL is to the left of "A" where God intended it, ALT is below SHIFT, and the utterly useless CAPS LOCK key is safely tucked away where I have to break my wrist to hit it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; The hex data is in five groups of four bytes:
;   00,00,00,00,\    header version (always 00000000)
;   00,00,00,00,\    header flags (always 00000000)
;   04,00,00,00,\    # of entries (3 in this case) plus a NULL terminator line.
;                    Entries are in 2-byte pairs: Key code to send & keyboard key to send it.
;                    Each entry is in "least significant byte, most significant byte" order,
;                    e.g. 0x1234 becomes `34,12`
;   1d,00,3a,00,\    Send LEFT CTRL (0x001d) code when user presses the CAPS LOCK key (0x003a) 
;   38,00,1d,00,\    Send LEFT ALT (0x0038) code when user presses the LEFT CTRL key (0x001d) 
;   3a,00,38,00,\    Send CAPS LOCK (0x003a) code when user presses the LEFT ALT key (0x0038) 
;   00,00,00,00      NULL terminator

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,\
                   00,00,00,00,\
                   04,00,00,00,\
                   1d,00,3a,00,\
                   38,00,1d,00,\
                   3a,00,38,00,\
                   00,00,00,00
4
  • 6
    I really appreciate the comments. I always wondered what the codes meant. Very helpful. – zaphodtx Aug 8 '18 at 22:01
  • What a nice explanation ! Do you know by any chance the kye code of the Windows key ? I need to remap the CapsLock to act as Windows Key – Andrei Boyanov Jul 2 '20 at 17:12
  • 1
    @AndreiBoyanov that would be 0xE05B, so instead of 1d,00,3a,00 you should use 5b,e0,3a,00. – selurvedu Jan 17 at 16:15
  • Thanks for this answer! I spent a while to find an explanation for the data structure. Other answers and sources suggest a working solution without explaining how it works and how to alter it. SharpKeys, however, does the same with a user-friendly UI. – selurvedu Jan 17 at 16:24
7

I used to use AutoHotKey to do this.

I'd have a link in the startup directory to run a very basic ahk script:

Capslock::Ctrl

The thing is, Autohotkey isn't run as Administrator so it won't affect privileged windows, unless you use the task scheduler instead of the startup directory to run the script at login with higher privileges. The second problem is that sometimes, the script hangs when resuming sleep, so you may need to reload it, which is annoying.

AutoHotKey is better suited for more complex tasks, like writing macros.

3
  • I tried the autohotkey solution and i do not recommend it. It doesn't work well if you have your autorepeat speed high, delay low. It also doesn't mix well with xkeymacs, which makes emacs keys work almost everywhere in Windows. – Reb.Cabin Mar 30 '19 at 4:32
  • I don't use emacs, open a .ahk file automatically at login, and find this solution to be the most simple and portable by far – 3pitt Aug 7 '19 at 10:51
  • I use emacs and this is a very feasible solution for me. I just execute the script at login every time on the desktop. I don't have admin rights. – scientific_explorer May 12 at 10:01
6

This is the script to swap CTRL and CAPS LOCK keys:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,1d,00,3a,00,3a,00,1d,00,00,00,00,00
5

The inexhaustible sysinternals toolbox also provides a little program just for switching capslock with control -- Ctrl2Cap

Ctrl2cap is a kernel-mode device driver that filters the system's keyboard class driver in order to convert caps-lock characters into control characters.

It has a long history, but does work on Windows 10, including 64-bit. You run it once to install the driver.

1
  • 1
    For me, Ctrl2Cap is currently the most reliable solution. The registry key "Scancode Map" does work in Windows 10, but strangely stopped working for the Ctrl-X keystroke in particular. The PowerToys Keyboard Manager works, including Ctrl-X, but doesn't work over remote desktop (and running it on the remote PC as well as the local one doesn't seem to let you remap successfully). Ctrl2Cap is remapping in all applications including remote desktop. – Ed Avis Dec 31 '20 at 9:09
3

If, for some reason, you don't want to run third-party tools, it's possible to do this yourself with a bit of C. Thanks to Susam Pal's brilliant answer, I put the snippet below together.

It's practically a key-logger. It listens for key presses, captures them, and constructs keyboard input with the mapping in mind. The below console app need to be running for it to work.

You will need to compile this somehow. I used msys2.org with pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-gcc and compiled with /mingw64/bin/gcc nocaps.c -o nocaps.exe.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <windows.h>

HHOOK hook;

#define KEYCODE_CAPSLOCK 20
#define KEYCODE_LCTRL 162

LRESULT CALLBACK keyboardHook(int nCode, WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam)
{
    KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT *p = (KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT *) lParam;
    INPUT input = {.type = INPUT_KEYBOARD };

    printf("nCode=%d\t wParam=%d\t p->vkCode=%lu \t p->scanCode=%d\t\n", nCode, wParam, p->vkCode, p->scanCode);


    if (wParam == WM_KEYUP || wParam == WM_SYSKEYUP) {
        input.ki.dwFlags = KEYEVENTF_KEYUP;
    }

    if (p->vkCode == KEYCODE_CAPSLOCK && (p->flags & LLKHF_INJECTED) == 0) {
        input.ki.wVk = KEYCODE_LCTRL;
        SendInput(1, &input, sizeof (INPUT));
        return 1;
    } else if (p->vkCode == KEYCODE_LCTRL && (p->flags & LLKHF_INJECTED) == 0) {
        input.ki.wVk = KEYCODE_CAPSLOCK;
        SendInput(1, &input, sizeof (INPUT));
        return 1;
    }

    return CallNextHookEx(hook, nCode, wParam, lParam);
}

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
    MSG messages;

    hook = SetWindowsHookEx(WH_KEYBOARD_LL, keyboardHook, NULL, 0);
    if (hook == NULL) {
        printf("Error %d\n", GetLastError());
        return 1;
    }

    printf("Mapping CAPSLOCK=>LCTRL and LCTRL=>CAPSLOCK..\n");
    while (GetMessage (&messages, NULL, 0, 0))
    {
        TranslateMessage(&messages);
        DispatchMessage(&messages);
    }
    return 0;
}
2

You can use lswitch to remap language input to CapsLock.

Use any key to switch input languages, usage: lswitch [keycode]. Keycode is optional and defaults to context menu key. Another good candidate is a CapsLock key with a keycode of 20.

lswitch 20

Add it to autoload.

1
  • this works, however the caps lock functionality is lost. any idea on how to define the caps lock functionality to shift+caps lock combination? – thanos.a Jan 5 '19 at 17:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.