How to remap any key or shortcut on windows 11.
Swapping all of the vowels on your friend's keyboard isn't an officially listed use, but...
Download powertoys from microsoft and install it, use powertoys to remap keys or shortcuts, alternative solution: remap keys in windows 11 using sharpkeys.
Microsoft PowerToys is a handy utility for Windows that lets you customize all sorts of things about Windows---everything from the behavior of windows on your screen to your keyboard shortcuts. Here's how you can use PowerToys to remap your favorite (or least favorite!) shortcuts.
PowerToys doesn't come preinstalled on Windows; you need to download it manually. Microsoft recommends that you download PowerToys directly from GitHub . You should grab the latest version --- it'll always be the one nearest to the top.
Related: What Is GitHub, and What Is It Used For?
Make sure that you grab the correct version for your PC. Most Windows desktops and laptops out there use 64-bit Intel or AMD processors, so download the installer that has "x64" in the name somewhere. Click the ".exe" file once it has finished downloading and follow the prompts.
ARM-based processors are gradually becoming more common in PC, so it is possible your have one. You can always see what CPU is in your PC , and then look up the model number to be sure. Alternatively, you can just guess --- if you try to install the wrong one, you won't hurt your computer, you'll just see an error message.
The other option is to install PowerToys from the Microsoft Store. Just click "Install" and everything will be handled automatically. The only slight downside is that the version on the Microsoft Store is updated a bit more slowly than the version on GitHub, so you'll have to wait a bit longer for bug fixes.
If you want you can install PowerToys via a command line as well. Open up Terminal, make sure it is a PowerShell tab, then copy and paste
into the window and hit Enter.
Launch PowerToys and click on "Keyboard Manager" on the left-hand side.
Ensure that "Enable Keyboard Manager" is toggled to the "On" position --- it should be by default. There are two choices: "Remap a Key" and "Remap a Shortcut."
The names mostly speak for themselves. "Remap a Key" lets you map a key to a different key, a key to a shortcut, or a key to a function.
Related: Windows Task Manager: The Complete Guide
As a silly example, you could use "Remap a Key" to map the "T" key to "Ctrl+V" so that pressing "T" would trigger the paste function. You could map the "[" and "]" keys to "Volume Down" and "Volume Up," respectively.
You can select a key, shortcut, or function, using the drop-down menus, or you can click "Type." If you click "Type," you just need to press the key you want instead of scrolling through the list.
You're mostly constrained by the fact that there aren't many keys on your keyboard that can reasonably be rebound to other keys, shortcuts , or functions without impinging your ability to use your computer normally.
"Remap a Shortcut" is more useful in that regard. Unlike "Remap a Key," "Remap a Shortcut" allows you to combine multiple keystrokes and map them to another shortcut or function, and you can even make the remapping application specific. That gives you a ton of flexibility and lets you work around almost any preexisting shortcuts that might cause a conflict.
Related: 30 Essential Windows Key Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 10
Select your new key combination, select the shortcut or function you want to map the new key combination to, and then pick the application you want to use it with.
Leave "Target App" blank to make the remap system-wide. If you want a remap to apply only to a specific program, you need to enter the program's executable name into the box.
You can open Terminal and enter the command "tasklist" to get a list of the processes currently running. It will display the name you need to enter into the "Target App" box under the "Image Name" column.
Now instead of mapping "[" and "]" to "Volume Down" and "Volume Up," you can map "Ctrl+[" to "Volume Down" and "Ctrl+]" to "Volume Up," and you don't need to worry about messing with your ability to insert brackets or curly brackets at all. If you wanted, you could map "Ctrl(Left)+Shift(Right)+T" to "Delete" and make it only apply in GIMP.
Plenty of applications let you remap shortcuts or functions within their settings, but some don't --- they're ideal candidates for the PowerToys remapping utility. Microsoft specifically warns that it may not work well in games , though, so test it thoroughly before you join a competitive match.
The one drawback to using PowerToys is that the utility needs to be running if you want to keep the key remapping working. Windows actually supports built-in key remapping via the Registry, but it's so complicated that you're better off using the open source SharpKeys application to handle it.
SharpKeys will allow you to remap any key to any other key, on any version of Windows, and you can even delete the application when you're done. The limitation? It can't handle shortcut key combinations, so you couldn't remap ALT+C to CTRL+C, but you can use it for things like disabling or remapping the Caps Lock key .
Simply install the application from the Microsoft Store or their Github repository, launch it, and then you can click the Add button from the interface to bring up the Add New Key Remapping dialog. From there, you can map from one key to another easily.
SharpKeys has worked in every version of Windows since at least Vista, so you can definitely use it for remapping keys on Windows 10 as well .
How to Set Up Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 11
Fancy adding some keyboard shortcuts of your own to Windows 11? Here's how to do it.
Windows 11 includes numerous keyboard shortcuts right out of the box. However, the operating system doesn’t include any options for creating custom hotkeys that open software, documents, and folders. You can still add hotkeys to desktop shortcuts, but adding a plethora of shortcuts to the desktop isn’t exactly an ideal way to set up your system.
As a result, it’s better to check out some of the third-party keyboard shortcut software packages for Windows 11. WinHotKey is among those apps that enable you to set up keyboard shortcuts for your favorite software, documents, and folders. This is how you can set up custom hotkeys with WinHotKey.
How to Download and Install WinHotKey
WinHotKey is a freely available app for setting up new keyboard shortcuts. That software is compatible with most Windows desktop platforms as well. It has a quick and easy setup and takes up very little drive storage space. You can download and install WinHotKey as follows.
- Open WinHotKey’s Softpedia page in a web browser.
- Select the Download Now option.
- Click the Softpedia Secure Download (US) option.
- After downloading, click the folder (File Explorer) taskbar icon.
- Open up the folder that includes the WinHotKey setup wizard.
- Select the Next option.
- Click the I accept the agreement radio button, and press the Next button again.
- Select the Next option to install the software.
- After installing, select the option to set up a WinHotKey desktop shortcut. Then you can click that shortcut to launch the software.
Read also: Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Guide
How to Set Up Software Hotkeys
The WinHotKey Configuration includes a list of default Windows hotkeys. However, you can’t edit those default keyboard shortcuts in any way. What you can do is add new custom hotkeys for opening software to that list. You can set up new custom keyboard shortcuts for launching software like this.
- Type an optional description for the hotkey in the text box on the General tab if you wish.
- Select the Launch an application option on the drop-down menu.
- Select an app for the hotkey to launch.
- Click the OK button.
- You can also select additional keys for the hotkey by clicking the Alt , Shift , and Ctrl checkboxes. The Windows checkbox is selected by default, but you can deselect that option.
- Click the OK button to exit the Launch: Advanced window.
- Then press the OK button on the New Hotkey window to add the keyboard shortcut.
Thereafter, the WinHotKey Configuration window will include your custom hotkey.
Now you can press your new hotkey to open whatever software you selected for it. You can change that keyboard shortcut by selecting it and clicking Edit Hotkey . To delete one, select it and click Remove Hotkey .
You can set up hotkeys for launching Windows programs as well as third-party software. The C: > Windows > System32 folder path includes many of the built-in accessories. These are some of the Windows features you can set up hotkeys for with WinHotKey:
- Control Panel: control.exe
- Task Manager: Taskmgr.exe
- Calculator: calc.exe
- Command Prompt: cmd
- Notepad: notepad.exe
- Performance Monitor: perfmon.exe
- Registry Editor: regedit.exe
- Event Viewer: eventvwr
- Services Windows: services.msc
- Optimize Drives: dfrgui
Related: How to Shut Down or Sleep Windows 10 With a Keyboard Shortcut
How to Set Up Folder, Document, and Window Control Hotkeys
Aside from software shortcuts, you can establish hotkeys for opening folders and document files much the same. Instead of selecting Launch an Application on the New Hotkey window, select either the Open a Folder or Open a Document option. Then click Browse to select a document’s or folder’s path, configure a key combination, and press the OK button.
WinHotKey also enables you to set up hotkeys for six different window control actions. To set up such a keyboard shortcut, select the Control the Current Window option on the New Hotkey window. Then you can select minimize, maximize, restore, toggle, resize, and move window control options for the keyboard shortcut.
Set Up All the Windows Software HotKeys You Need With WinHotKey
So, you won’t need Windows 11 desktop, Start menu, and taskbar shortcuts anymore when you’ve got WinHotKey. It’s an easy-to-utilize program with which you can set up a wide variety of software, folder, and document keyboard shortcuts without cluttering the Windows desktop. WinHotKey’s only notable shortcoming is that you can’t set up website hotkeys with it, but it’s still a very handy app nonetheless.
Windows keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are keys or combinations of keys that provide an alternate way to do something you'd typically do with a mouse.
Here are several common keyboard shortcuts:
Copy: Ctrl + C
Cut: Ctrl + X
Paste: Ctrl + V
Maximize Window: F11 or Windows logo key + Up arrow
Open Task View: Windows logo key + Tab
Display and hide the desktop: Windows logo key + D
Switch between open apps: Alt + Tab
Open the Quick Link menu: Windows logo key + X
Lock your PC: Windows logo key + L
Depending on your hardware, you can use Windows logo key + PrtScn to take a screenshot, or use Fn + Windows logo key + Spacebar .
See all Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts
See all Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts
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April 11, 2023
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Remapping 101: How to change your keyboard key output
Your PC or laptop keyboard doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all. If you’re not a fan of certain key placements or find that you aren’t using some of your keys, you can rearrange the functions of your keys however you like. Most keyboards are laid out in the same way, but Windows 11 features allow you to make the necessary adjustments to help you type more comfortably. Learn how you can remap your keys and change keyboard outputs on Windows 11 .
Why remap your keyboard?
If you’re used to a standard keyboard layout, you may not initially see the value in remapping your keys. Here are some common reasons for changing keyboard outputs:
- Typing on a foreign keyboard. If you want to type in any language besides English, it can be difficult to type seamlessly on an English-only keyboard. By switching your key functions, you can cater to different language settings.
- Using your keyboard for PC gaming. PC gamers rely on their keyboards to play their favorite games. Remapping your keys to best suit your gaming needs can improve performance and make your frequently used keys more accessible.
- Repurposing underused keys. Not everyone uses their keys the same way. If it seems like a key that you don’t often use is taking up valuable space on your keyboard, you can reassign its function to find a good use for it and increase productivity.
Popular QWERTY alternatives
You may notice that top row of letters on your keyboard, going left to right, spells QWERTY. However, there are other popular keyboard layouts that can help you type faster or more comfortably. Learn more about each layout and how they might benefit your typing:
- AZERTY. The AZERTY layout simply moves the output of the Q , W , and M keys. It is most often used in France and other surrounding countries.
- Dvorak. The Dvorak layout puts the most used keys in the middle row, which decreases finger movement. This typing method can help reduce strain in your fingers, which makes for a more ergonomic experience.
- Colemak. The Colemak layout offers a slight improvement on the Dvorak layout. It also places the commonly used keys in the middle row, but it keeps the useable features of the QWERTY layout intact.
How to remap your keys on Windows 11
The easiest way to change your keyboard functions on Windows 11 is to use the Keyboard Manager utility. The Keyboard Manager is one of many utilities available in Microsoft PowerToys , which are a collection of productivity tools that allow users to customize their Windows experience.
How does Keyboard Manager work?
Once you’ve downloaded PowerToys onto your device, select Keyboard Manager and toggle Enable Keyboard Manager. You’ll find separate sections for remapping keys and remapping shortcuts, each of which can be adjusted to your liking. Some keys and shortcuts cannot be remapped in Keyboard Manager, and these limitations are highlighted on the platform. PowerToys must be running for the key mapping to work, so make sure you don’t close out of the program after making your selections.
What other keyboard mapping functions are available on Windows?
If you are still running Windows 10 on your PC, you can download Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator to create your own keyboard layouts. Microsoft keyboard users can also try the Mouse and Keyboard Center app to get the most out of the customization features within the accessories. Other keyboard mapping options can be downloaded on Microsoft Apps .
By learning how to remap your keys, you can break the mold and take control of how you use your keyboard. Shop for Microsoft Keyboards to find the perfect keyboard to test your remapped keys on Windows 11 .
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