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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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How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 11

Take control of your function keys in Windows 11! Discover how to easily switch Fn keys between app shortcuts and multimedia. Then, optimize their behavior for your needs with simple tweaks in BIOS, UEFI or the powerful - yet easy to use - Microsoft PowerToys.

Parth Sawhney

The 'Fn' keys, F1 to F12, are very useful and handy in more than one way. By default, they help you trigger shortcuts on different apps. For instance, if you press F11 in Chrome, it will make the browser full-screen. These shortcuts perform different tasks in each app.

On the other hand, they also act as multimedia and essential operation keys. When you press the 'Fn' row keys along with the 'Fn' key, you can change your screen brightness, adjust volume, toggle the keyboard backlit, control media (play, pause, next track, previous track), and much more depending on what the device manufacturer has assigned them for.

What is 'Fn Lock'? Many computers have a 'Fn Lock' key, which toggles the Fn row keys between multimedia and normal key operation. This way, you do not have to lose out on the multimedia functions of the Fn row while also having easy accessibility to Fn keys at the same time. However, they are not available on each and every computer.

How Do I Enable the 'Fn' Lock? Typically, you can press Esc key along with the Fn key on your keyboard to toggle the 'Fn Lock' on or off. However, the 'Fn Lock' key might vary by device manufacturer.

You can easily identify the 'Fn Lock' key by a lock icon with 'Fn' text on it. If you are still not sure, you can always head to your device manufacturer's website to learn more about it.

1. Change the Fn Keys from UEFI Settings

  • Head to the Start Menu and click on the 'Settings' app.

change keyboard button function

  • Click on the 'System' option from the left sidebar.

change keyboard button function

  • Select 'Recovery' from the right section to proceed.

change keyboard button function

  • Click 'Restart Now' on the 'Advanced Startup' option. This will restart your PC immediately and boot up your PC in the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).

change keyboard button function

  • Once the computer restarts, select the 'UEFI Firmware Settings' option.

change keyboard button function

  • Choose 'BIOS Setup' on the next screen.

change keyboard button function

  • On the subsequent screen, head to the 'Configuration' tab.
  • Navigate to the 'Hot Keys/Action keys' option and press Spacebar to change values or click to switch the toggle. There are typically two options to select from, 'Enable' or 'Disable'. For your ease of convenience, here's a gist of what these values mean:
  • Enable: When 'Hot/Action keys' are enabled, the Fn keys will act as multimedia keys by default. To use the Fn row, you will need to press the Fn key along the desired (F1-F12)key.
  • Disable: If the feature is disabled, the Fn row will act as normal keys by default. To use them as multimedia keys, you will need to press the Fn key along with the multimedia key.

change keyboard button function

  • To apply the changes, find the key mentioned for 'Save and Exit' on the screen; typically it is the F10 key.

2. Use Microsoft PowerToys to Remap Fn Keys

Microsoft PowerToys allows you to remap the keys of your keyboard with any other keys or shortcuts. The software universally works with keyboards of all kinds and makes.

  • Head to github.com/PowerToys using your preferred browser.
  • Click on .EXE file following the 'Per User' option. This will open a File Explorer window on your screen.

change keyboard button function

  • Click on 'Save' to download the PowerToys installer on your computer.
  • Once downloaded, double-click on .EXE. file to run the installer.

change keyboard button function

  • On the installer window, check 'I agree to the license terms and conditions' and click on 'Install'.

change keyboard button function

  • Once the installation is completed, you will be prompted of same on the installer window. Click 'OK' to close the window.
  • On the PowerTools window, click on the 'Keyboard Manager' option from the left sidebar. Then, turn on the toggle for 'Enable Keyboard Manager' from the right section of the window.

change keyboard button function

  • Click on the 'Remap a key' option. This will open an additional window on your screen.

change keyboard button function

  • On the newly appeared window, click '+' to proceed. The key selection window will open.

change keyboard button function

  • On the 'Remap Keys' window, click on the 'Select' option.

change keyboard button function

  • Press the Fn key you wish to remap. The pressed key will be displayed on-screen. Then, click 'OK' to save and close the window.

change keyboard button function

  • Click 'Select' under the 'To Send' column to set the key(s) you wish to map to the Fn key.
  • Once the key selection window opens, press the key(s) and click 'OK' to save and apply.

change keyboard button function

  • You shall be able to see the key binding on the PowerToys window. You can change the Fn key or the assigned keys using their respective dropdown menus. To remap another key, click the '+' icon and repeat the above-mentioned process.

change keyboard button function

  • Once you have mapped all the keys, click 'OK' to apply the changes.

change keyboard button function

In conclusion, the Fn keys provide useful shortcuts and multimedia controls, but determining the best configuration depends on your specific usage. Most PCs allow toggling between multimedia and normal key modes using the Fn Lock key. For those without this option, the UEFI/BIOS settings or third-party software like Microsoft PowerToys provide flexibility to remap the keys as needed.

Taking a few minutes to configure the Fn keys can enhance productivity and convenience when working in Windows 11. Testing different settings to understand how the keys function is recommended to find the optimal setup. With some simple adjustments, any user can customize these keys to best suit their workflow and preferences.

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How to Change What the Fn Keys Do in Windows 10 and 11

The function keys are handy, but you can truly make them your own with some customization.

The function keys at the top of your keyboard serve as a shortcut to control certain hardware features. For instance, if you want to turn on the backlit keyboard, they allow you to do so by pressing a key, saving you from having to do the same through Windows.

By default, these keys can only be used when you press the dedicated Fn key with them. Nevertheless, you can customize this setting, along with many others, to suit your needs. Here are the different ways you can modify the settings of Windows 10 and 11 function keys.

What Are the Function Keys, and Why Do You Need Them?

Function keys, or just "Fn" for short, are used to trigger functions of the F keys (F1, F2, F3, etc.) on the top of the keyboard. In essence, it acts as a shortcut key for basic yet essential functions like changing the volume, brightness, and backlight.

In most laptops, there are 12 function keys (they used to be a lot more in the older devices), and you can use them by pressing them along with the "Fn" key on your keyboard. So for instance, if you wish to enable the backlit keyboard using the F3 key, you can hold the Fn key and then press F3 to make the desired changes.

We have a detailed guide to function keys where we discuss what all 12 keys do. You can check it out for more insight on the topic.

1. How to Change the Function Key Settings Using the Mobility Settings on Dell Computers

The easiest way to change function keys is by modifying settings within the Windows Mobility Center. This method, however, will only work for those of you using a Dell device.

Here is how to proceed:

  • Type Windows Mobility Center in Windows search and click Open .

Hardware and Sound in Control Panel

  • In the following window, look for the Fn key row section and expand the drop-down under it.
  • If you wish to choose the F keys for basic functions, choose Function key .

Multimedia key in Windows Mobility Center

If you own other devices, then you might want to look for similar options in the System or keyboard settings. You can also search the manufacturer’s official website for information regarding such customizations.

2. How to Modify the Function Keys Settings in the BIOS

You can also make the changes directly in BIOS, which helps the operating system and the hardware load properly.

The steps of accessing BIOS in different devices can vary. Below, we have discussed the steps of accessing BIOS and making the desired changes in HP and Acer. If you own a different device, then it is best to head over to the manufacturer’s website and look for the steps of accessing BIOS there.

Follow these steps if you have an HP device:

  • First, turn off your PC.
  • Now restart the device and repeatedly press the F10 key. This should successfully launch the BIOS.
  • Navigate to System Configuration menu > Action Keys Mode .
  • Use the Enter key to enable or disable the features.
  • Click Exit to save the changes.

Similarly, if you have an Acer device, follow these steps:

  • Hold the F2 key and the Power button simultaneously.
  • Once you reach the BIOS screen, head over to the System Configuration Menu and click Enter in the Action Keys Mode option.
  • Pick the desired mode and hit Exit.

3. How to Change the Function Key Settings Using the UEFI Settings

If you cannot boot into BIOS for some reason, try changing the Fn keys using UEFI settings. UEFI is basically BIOS on steroids, as it offers a bunch of additional functions and is more powerful.

Here is how you can boot into UEFI Settings if you are a Windows 10 user:

  • Press the Win + I keys to open Windows Settings.

Recovery settings

If you are a Windows 11 user, follow these steps:

  • Press the Win + S keys together to open the Windows Search utility.
  • Type Recovery in the search field and choose Recovery options from the list of options available.

Click on Restart now

Once you have booted in the Windows Recovery Environment using these steps, proceed with the following:

  • In the following window, select Troubleshoot .

UEFI Firmware settings

  • In the following window, head over to the Configuration tab.

hotkey-mode-disabled

  • Click Save and then press Exit to sign out of BIOS.

How to Enable the Fn Lock

If you do not want to press the Fn key every time you want to enable/disable any of the 12 functions, you can toggle on the Fn lock. With this feature, the Fn key will appear to always be held down on the keyboard, and you will be able to use any function key without having to first press the Fn key.

In most keyboards, the Fn lock is associated with the Esc key, but it can be different in your device. Typically, these keys have a lock icon on them. You can use the manufacturer’s website to find the lock on your device if you cannot locate a key with a lock icon.

Once you have found the key, hold the Fn key and press the lock key. This will enable the function. You can follow the same steps for disabling it in the future.

Is It a Good Idea To Change Fn Key Settings?

Changes to Fn keys are safe and do not have any negative consequences. The customization options for the keys within Windows are limited, but there are quite a few third-party resources that you can look into if you want to modify keys a step further.

On Windows, you can also disable specific keys on your keyboard so you can avoid accidentally pressing keys you don't use. As a general rule, if you follow the steps carefully, you should have no problems.

Here are some considerations to help you decide if changing the Fn keys is a good idea for you:

  • Familiarity : If you are familiar with the traditional behavior of function keys and use them often, it may be a good idea to change the Fn key settings so that you can use the standard functions keys without having to press the Fn key every time.
  • Multimedia functions : If the function keys on your keyboard are assigned multimedia functions, and you use them frequently, standard fn key functions might not be as useful for you. In that case, you may want to keep the default Fn key settings.
  • Compatibility : If you use software that requires input from the standard function keys, it may be necessary to change the Fn key settings to ensure compatibility.

Ultimately, whether it is a good idea to change the Fn key settings or not will depend on how you use your computer and what you prefer. We recommend weighing the pros and cons and consider your usage patterns before you make a decision.

Use the Function Keys Like a Pro

Function keys are great for improving productivity and efficiency. With the right techniques in mind, you can make the most of them. We hope that following the steps above enabled you to modify the setting of your function keys. It is also important to note that all the methods outlined above don't make a permanent change to the system, so you can always revert the changes.

change keyboard button function

How do I reassign hot keys for my keyboard?

You can reassign some keys to access different commands, shortcuts, or Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center features to better fit your work style.

Note:  The options listed in this wizard vary depending on the key selected. For example, since you cannot reassign the Windows key, the only option available is to disable it.

To reassign a key

Download and install the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center .

Connect the keyboard that you want to configure.

Select the Start  button, and then select Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center .

From the displayed list of key names, select the key that you want to reassign.

In the command list of the key that you want to reassign, select a command.

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How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 10

It makes your life f'n easy

Author avatar

Remember hitting the F5 key to refresh on your Windows 95 computer? It was almost obsessive. Back in the day, the F1–F12 keys had just one function each, but modern keyboards often include extra functions that you access with an Fn key (also called the Function key ). 

How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 10 image 1

How are Fn Keys Helpful?

The Fn key turns the F1–F12 keys into dual-purpose keys. Essentially, it works as a default hotkey, but there’s a slight difference. The combinations differ among manufacturers and models. You’ll mostly find them on laptops (where you can usually change things like screen brightness), but you’ll also find them on some specialty keyboards (like gaming or productivity-centric boards). 

For instance, on a Dell XPS15z, Fn + F5 increases the brightness, while on a Lenovo G560, the same combination will display the wireless device settings.

In addition to F-keys, you can also use Fn keys with other keys like PgUp, Insert, and arrow keys. Using a combination of Fn along with one of these keys comes in handy for doing a wide range of things, including adjusting the screen brightness , turning off the display, or controlling the volume, among many other things.

How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 10 image 2

However, sometimes, you find that simply pressing an F-key (without the Fn key) triggers a command like increasing the playback volume. In such cases, you’ll be unable to use F-keys for standard keyboard shortcuts like hitting the F5 key for refreshing.

There’s a simple fix for this. You can tinker with the Fn key settings in several ways, and that’s what we’ll walk you through in this guide.

Disable the Fn Lock

Modern desktop and laptop keyboards have an Fn Lock key (i.e., a key with a lock icon). In most cases, you’ll find a lock icon printed on your Esc key, but it’s also possible that your keyboard has the lock on the Shift key or the Num Lock key.

When you press Fn + Esc (or the key with the lock icon), it toggles the Fn lock. 

How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 10 image 3

Once you’ve done this, you won’t need to press the Fn key for performing functions like adjusting the screen brightness or enabling and disabling WiFi or Bluetooth. Simply press the relevant F-key, and that should work. It’s similar to how you use Caps Lock. You won’t need to hold the Shift key for typing caps when Caps Lock is enabled.

If you’re experiencing something similar but want to use your standard F-keys, you’ll need to disable the Fn lock. You can disable it the same way as you’d enable it. Press the key with the lock icon along with the Fn key.

Change Fn Key Settings from Within Windows

You can also change Fn key settings from within your operating system. If you own a Dell laptop that runs Microsoft Windows 10 or 8, you can change function key settings from Windows Mobility Center.

Press Win + X or right-click the Start Menu button on Windows 10 to open the power menu and select Mobility Center . Alternatively, you can go to the Control Panel and navigate to Hardware and Sound > Windows Mobility Center .

Select the drop-down menu under the Function Key Row option under the Customized by Dell Inc. section. You’ll see two options here: Function key and Multimedia key . 

How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 10 image 4

Select Function key if you’d like to use the F-keys for standard functions, and Multimedia key if you want to use F-keys for performing functions that would otherwise require you to press the Fn key.

Similarly, on laptops from other manufacturers, you might find the option to change function key options in its system configuration tool. For instance, on Lenovo, you can use the Lenovo Keyboard Manager or the Samsung Settings app on a Samsung laptop to change function key behavior.

Change Fn Key Settings in BIOS

In most cases, the previous two methods should help you change Fn key settings, but on the off chance that they didn’t, you can use the BIOS settings. 

Note that you shouldn’t mess around with any settings you don’t fully understand because it can render your computer unbootable. 

Many, though not all, laptops will allow you to change Fn key settings from the BIOS or UEFI firmware. You can enter your BIOS setup with a reboot. Press F2, F10, or Delete (the keys differ among manufacturers) at the startup when your computer is still booting. Alternatively, you can use the new way of accessing the BIOS on Windows 10 . 

At this point, you’ll need to look around a little because UEFI settings are placed under different sections based on the BIOS interface, which differs among manufacturers.

For instance, on my HP laptop, the setting is under the System Configuration tab. Changing the Action Keys Mode to Enabled will make the F-keys function like normal, i.e., you’ll need to use the Fn key along with an F-key to perform a relevant function.

How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 10 image 5

Fn Key Makes Life Easy

If an OS upgrade or an accidental change in settings has caused your Fn key to not work as it should, it can cause you momentary annoyance. 

However, the Fn key is still one of the most helpful keys on your keyboard. It eliminates a few clicks for plenty of functions and lets you perform them just by pressing a combination of keys.

Fn key is also available on several Apple keyboards. If it’s not working correctly, you can troubleshoot Fn key problems on Mac OS as well.

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Arjun is a freelance writer based in India. After working as an equity research analyst, Arjun decided to do something that he has been passionate about – tech. He gets excited talking about and explaining how to solve everyday tech problems. His area of expertise is Windows and is a go-to for all things Excel. Read Arjun's Full Bio

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How-To Geek

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...

Quick Links

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.

Click on the latest "x64" executable.

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 error message you'll get if you try to install an ARM64 program on an x64 PC.

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.

Open up PowerToys, then click "Keyboard Manager."

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."

Make sure the toggle is set to "On."

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.

An example mapping the "[" key to volume down and the "]" key to volume up.

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.

Enter your desired shortcut, select what key, shortcut, or function you want it mapped to, and then select which application you want to use it with .

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.

An example remapping. "Ctrl+Shift+T" has been mapped to the "Delete" function, but only 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 Add Key

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 .

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How to Remap a Keyboard in Windows 10

Use Microsoft PowerToys to reassign keys and change keyboard shortcuts

change keyboard button function

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What to Know

  • Download Microsoft Power Toys, open it, and then go to Keyboard Manager > Remap a Key or Remap a Shortcut .
  • To reset keys and shortcuts to the default, select the Trashcan icon beside the entry.
  • If you have an external keyboard and mouse, use the Windows Mouse and Keyboard Center tool to customize both.

This article explains how to remap a keyboard in Windows 10. Instructions apply to external keyboards and the built-in keyboards of Windows-based laptops.

How to Change a Keyboard Layout in Windows 10

The easiest way to customize your keyboard is by using PowerToys, a free program made by Microsoft. It allows you to reassign keys and change your keyboard shortcuts using a simple interface. PowerToys also enables you to personalize the layout and appearance of the operating system.

Can You Reassign Keyboard Keys?

Follow these steps to reassign keys in Windows 10:

Download Microsoft Power Toys and install it on your PC.

Open Power Toys and select Keyboard Manager in the left sidebar.

Select Remap a Key .

If the keyboard options are grayed out, select the Enable Keyboard Manager switch.

Select the Plus ( + ) under Key .

Under Key , choose the key you want to reassign from the drop-down menu, or select Type and enter a key.

Under Mapped To , choose the new key. If you want to switch two keys, repeat steps 5 and 6 to create another entry, reversing the keys.

To reset the key to its default, return to this screen and select the Trashcan icon beside the entry.

Select OK .

Select Continue Anyway , if you see a notice telling you you'll no longer be able to use the keys for their original purpose.

How to Remap Windows 10 Shortcuts

You can change keyboard shortcuts for specific apps or your whole system:

Open Microsoft Power Toys and select Keyboard Manager in the left sidebar, then select Remap a Shortcut .

Select the Plus ( + ) under Shortcut .

Choose the key you want to reassign from the drop-down menu under Shortcut or select Type and enter a keyboard shortcut.

Under Mapped To , choose the new key or shortcut.

Under Target Apps , enter the name of an app (if you leave this section blank, the change is applied system-wide).

How to Reset Keyboard Mapping

To set your key reassignments back to the defaults, go to Keyboard Manager in PowerToys, select Remap a shortcut , and then select the Trashcan icon beside the entry you want to delete.

How Can I Customize My Keyboard?

PowerToys lets you reassign keys and shortcuts, but some keyboards come with customization software that gives you even more control over how your device works. For example, you could create multi-key macros and insert blocks of text with a single keystroke. You can customize both with the Windows Mouse and Keyboard Center tool if you have an external keyboard and mouse.

If you need to reassign a key because it isn't working, you can enable the Windows 10 on-screen keyboard to access all keys.

Remapping a keyboard on a Mac works differently than on a Windows PC. While you can't wholly remap the keyboard, you can set up custom shortcuts. Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard and click the Shortcuts tab. Select a shortcut and highlight its existing key combination. Then, type in your new key combination, which will replace the previous shortcut.

If you want a hotkey to access a different shortcut or command, download the Windows Mouse and Keyboard Center and connect the keyboard you wish to configure. Open the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center and choose the key you'd like to reassign, then select a command from the command list to become the key's new function.

You don't need to remap a Windows PC keyboard for use on a Mac, but you'll need to be aware of the Windows keyboard equivalents for Mac's special keys . For example, the Windows key is equivalent to the Mac's Command key. Also, key locations are different on a Windows keyboard. If you want to reassign a Windows keyboard key's location for use with your Mac so it's easier to find, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard . Select Modifier Keys , then switch the keys' functions to your liking.

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How to Use Function Keys Without Pressing Fn on Windows 10

Last Updated: January 17, 2024

Using Function Lock

Changing bios settings.

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Darlene Antonelli, MA . Darlene Antonelli is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. Darlene has experience teaching college courses, writing technology-related articles, and working hands-on in the technology field. She earned an MA in Writing from Rowan University in 2012 and wrote her thesis on online communities and the personalities curated in such communities. This article has been viewed 194,730 times. Learn more...

It can get annoying if you have to constantly and consistently press the FN key to use the F1-F12 keys on your keyboard. Luckily, there are a few ways you can change that. This wikiHow article will teach you how to use the function keys (F1-F12) without pressing the FN key on Windows 10. Beware that some computer manufacturers have it set up already to set your FN key to activate the small icon on the F1-12 row instead of the F1-12 keys; check your computer manual or test the keys to see if the FN key is necessary before you continue.

Step 1 Find the Fn Lock key on your keyboard.

  • For example, if you're using a Lenovo ThinkPad, the Esc key says "FnLk" at the bottom, which means that you'll use the Esc key as the function lock key. [1] X Research source
  • Not all keyboards have a Function Lock key, so this method won't work for everyone.

Step 2 Press and hold the Fn key on your keyboard.

  • You can restore the original settings at any time by pressing those two keys again.

Step 1 Enter the system BIOS or UEFI.

  • Press the Windows key + I key together to open Settings.
  • Click Update & Security (Windows 10).
  • Click Recovery in the left panel.
  • Click Restart now under "Advanced startup" in the right panel.
  • Click Troubleshoot .
  • Click Advanced Options .
  • Click UEFI Firmware Settings and select Restart . The PC will boot into the BIOS.
  • If you don't have a UEFI settings option, search for your computer model to figure out which key you need to use to enter the BIOS.

Step 2 Select the Configuration or System Configuration tab.

  • If you don't see an option with a name like this, look for System Options or similar.
  • You may need to select an Advanced menu first. [2] X Research source

Step 3 Set

  • Pressing the FN key along with an F1-F12 key will activate the action. For example, tapping FN + F10 toggles airplane mode, which is shown as an airplane on the MSI keyboard.
  • You can toggle this feature back on by returning to these BIOS settings at any time.

Step 4 Press F10 and then Enter to save.

  • If you want to use the hotkey functions of the keyboard, such as toggling Wi-Fi on or off or muting the volume, you can still press Fn and the associated F1-F12 key to do so. [4] X Research source

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  • ↑ https://support.lenovo.com/es/en/solutions/ht103044
  • ↑ https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02035108
  • ↑ https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/591222/disable-function-keys
  • ↑ https://softwarekeep.com/help-center/use-function-keys-without-pressing-fn-key-on-windows-10

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1. Find the FN Lock key on your keyboard. 2. Press and hold the FN key on your keyboard 3. Press the Fn Lock key. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Change Key Functions on Windows 10/8/7

Change Key Functions on Windows 10

Ever wondered what are you gonna do with two Shift keys, two Alt keys and the Caps Lock key. Pretty Useless right! Every Windows keyboard has duplicate keys and the only purpose it serves is you can use them with both your hands. But wouldn’t it be more efficient if you were able to remap these duplicate keys to open Applications? For example, I have mapped my Caps Lock to open Calculator and Menu key to open Google Chrome.   This trick really helps me as I don’t even have to lift my hand from the keyboard to grab the mouse. Doing this is pretty easy and just requires you to remap windows keys. This can be done manually or with the help of third-party apps like SharpKeys, KeyExtender etc.

Before we begin

To find out find least used keys on Windows, use apps like  KeyCounter . Simply download the app, it’s free and installs it on your PC just like you install any other Windows software. Once, done, run the app, and select specific keys to monitor, or you can monitor all keys on your keyboard. Let it run for a day or two and click on ‘Stop Monitoring’ to stop the app from counting your keys. It’ll give you a list of keys along with how many times they were pressed.

key counter

Change Key Functions on Windows

1. editing the registry entry.

Editing the registry keys is a tedious method to remap keys and can lead to small problems if you are not being cautious. I would advise taking a backup before going ahead. If you have no idea about Windows backup, check out  this article .

For this instance, we will try to disable the caps lock key(Just because I find it useless!). To achieve this, we will have to modify the  Scancode Map entry. It is located under Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout. You can directly begin modifying the file but I would rather prefer creating a Registry entry and merging it with the original file.

Initially, we will create a notepad file and add the following to it.

RegistryKeyScriptToDisableCapsLock

Before we proceed further, it’s important to understand the meaning of these numbers. Each button on the keyboard has a hexadecimal code attached to it. Better known as Scan Code and it is extremely important to know the scan code of the key you want to remap. You can check Scancodes of all the keyboard buttons  here . In our case, the Scan Code of the Caps Lock key is 3A.

So, the first 4 entries 00,00,00,00 stands for header version and the next 4 entries 00,00,00,00 stands for flags. For the next entry, we have to specify the number of buttons we want to remap. Since we are only disabling Caps Lock key, we require 1 entry for specifying the Caps Lock key and a default null entry at the end which makes it 2. So, the next 4 digit hex number would be 02,00,00,00. Now, I need to specify the scancode of Caps Lock key and the action to be performed when it’s pressed. I want no action to be performed on the key press so the action is null which means 00,00. Hence, our entry will be 3A,00,00,00. The last entry is a default null entry and should be 00,00,00,00.

Save the file as disable_capslock.reg and this should convert it into a registry file. Now, we have to merge these entries with the current Scancode Map entry. To do that, right click on the file and choose Merge .

Merge_RegistryKeyEntries

Now, the changes have been written to the registry and you need to restart the system for it to take effect. If you are not good with the manual work, you can try doing the same with the help of third-party apps.

2. SharpKeys

SharpKeys is the popular choice when it comes to remapping your keys. It is an open-source utility and I have also recommended it as the essential utility for Windows .  It has a simple and minimal user interface. When you launch the app, you get a traditional looking dialogue box. To add a key remap, click on the Add button. It will open another dialogue box.

sharp_keys

Here, you just have to specify the For Key and the To Key. For example, let’s remap the Caps Lock key to open the native Calculator app. We will specify Caps Lock for the For_Key and App: Calculator for the To_Key . You can scroll through the list of buttons or simply hit Type Key and press the key you want to remap.

SharpKeys_RemapKeys

Once done, hit OK. You will be brought back to the main dialogue box where you can see the entry you have just configured. Click Write to Registry and upon prompt, restart your computer.

CapsLock_to_Calculator

SharpKeys thus lets you indirectly modify the Scancode Map registry skipping all the manual work and trouble. But the only problem with SharpKeys is that you cannot set the trigger action to be a custom application or a combination of multiple keys.

3. KeyExtender

KeyExtender is a paid app that takes key remapping to next level . It not only performs all the basic functionalities like SharpKeys but also provides advanced trigger actions. You can set a custom application to be launched at the click of a button or remap a combination of keys to a single key. The only crux is that the free version lets you launch the application for 18 times and later you have to pay for it. Prices start at 30$ per user.

As soon as you launch the app, a tiny dialogue box opens. At the bottom, you will see the option to remap keys. Suppose I want to launch Google Chrome when I press the Menu key. To do that, I will select the Set Key to be Menu and the To Key would be launching a file. The file would be chrome.exe. The remapping should look like the following:

key_remap_combination

You need to hit Activate to register this remapping. Surprisingly, you don’t need a restart for the changes to register. You can begin using the remap as soon as you hit Activate. You can also remap a combination of keys to a single button. To do so, click on the two dots beside the To textbox. Navigate to KeyCombination and hit enter. It will give you a pop-up where you can enter the key combination.

KeyRemap_KeyCombination

It’s not possible to remap key combinations such as Ctrl+Shift+Esc which are system hotkeys. It’s quite understandable because this is not the purpose KeyExtender is built for. If you have a set of custom shortcuts, you can remap those to a single key with this app. For example, I have remapped my custom shortcut Ctrl+Alt+D to Numpad Enter which now opens Google Chrome in Incognito mode with DuckDuckGo.

Which is the best way?

I would any day prefer using SharpKeys because it is an abstract way to remap keys with zero complexities. If you are good with codes and scripts then do try the manual way. And in case you don’t mind spending 30$ for KeyExtender then it is the best key remapper you can get for Windows.

Comment and let me know if you have any issues.

Also Read: Set 2 Default Search Engines On Any Browser

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Pratik works as an In-house writer and video host at TechWiser. Former Programmer, Current writer. Loves tech in any form, quite optimistic about AI, data science and IoT. Talks extremely less but you betcha can geek out over anything on Twitter.

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Quickly Disable or Change Function of Keyboard Key in Windows

An average keyboard has 100+ keys. A gaming keyboard might have more. Each key has a purpose ; but more often than not the purpose of some keys escapes us. In all my years of computing, I haven’t used all the Function keys for what they were meant to be used for. In the disuse of keys lies an opportunity to turn them around and make them productive in some way.

Differentkindakeyboard

( Image credit: John Scalzi )

Just to give you three examples upfront:

  • Some older keyboards lack multimedia keys. You can convert a couple of unused Function key to a volume (+) and Volume (–) key.
  • You are more comfortable with a hard key that launches your email client . You can map an extra or unused key to your default email client.
  • You can remap a key to another if the key is damaged.

Of course, there are many more uses when it comes to mapping keyboard keys to specific actions. But let’s check out the little software that makes it all possible in a very simple manner.

SharpKeys (ver. 3.5) is a very tiny Windows freeware that allows you to remap or even reassign computer keyboard keys in the couple of different ways we saw above. It does so by adding an entry to your computer’s registry. SharpKeys runs on Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000.

To start mapping an old key to a new custom one, run SharpKeys and click on the Add   button. The key mapping dialog opens up giving you a long list of key positions to pick from.

Sharpkeys01

You can also click on Type Key and manually select the key you want by pressing it on the keyboard.

Sharpkeys02

Next, click the Write to Registry button and a reboot for the changes to take effect notification will come up. After the reboot, your keys will stand remapped. You can go back to Edit   or Delete the mapping altogether.

Sharpkeys03

SharpKeys is a nifty way to quickly enhance the use of your keyboard and bring your productivity up to speed. You can remap keys and give them new functions or disable keys if you find them irritating. You can shift a key from the right to the left if you find that it gives you a speed boost. Tell us about your remapping job and if it served to add to your productivity.

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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How do I change a keyboard key function?

I do not use my right Alt , and I would like to have a Underline key on that place.

Is there a way to configure my right Alt to be an underline character key?

update: using Windows 7

  • keyboard-layout

Phoenix's user avatar

  • 2 By "underline key" you mean something like Ctrl+U in Word, or did you mean the underscore key? If the former, there's no generic key for that and different apps may use different shortcuts, so this will probably require a fairly complex AutoHotkey script that will do per-app key remapping. –  Karan Jun 7, 2013 at 1:57

2 Answers 2

You should look into AutoHotkey . You can use that program to assign different functions to your keys or you can create your own keyboard shortcuts.

cyborgcommando0's user avatar

Check out Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator. With that you can create you own keyboard layout and install it on you computer in control panel -> keyboard. You should be able to map Alt to what ever you want.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/bb964665.aspx

Hans S's user avatar

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Not the answer you're looking for browse other questions tagged windows-7 keyboard keyboard-layout remapping ..

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How to remap keys or shortcuts on Windows 11

Do you need to reassign keyboard keys or shortcuts? In this guide, we'll show you how on Windows 11.

Avatar for Mauro Huculak

  • To remap a key on Windows 11, open PowerToys > Keyboard Manager > Remap a key , configure the key remap and save changes.
  • To remap a shortcut on Windows 11, open PowerToys > Keyboard Manager > Remap a shortcut , configure the shortcut remap and save changes.

On Windows 11 , you can remap keys and shortcuts in different ways, but using PowerToys is the fastest and easiest method, and in this guide, you will learn how.

If you play games on your computer or use the device for work, sometimes, you may need to reassign some keys and shortcuts to different keys or a combo of keys because it makes more sense to you or can help improve productivity. 

Regardless of the reason, Windows 11 doesn’t include a feature to change the actions of keys or shortcuts, but you can use the tools like Microsoft PowerToys to remap virtually any key or shortcut.

This guide will teach you how to use the PowerToys app to remap keys and shortcuts on Windows 11 quickly. (These instructions should also work on Windows 10 .)

Remap keys on Windows 11

Remap shortcuts on windows 11.

To remap keys on your keyboard on Windows 11, use these steps:

Open PowerToys .

Click on Keyboard Manager .

Turn on the “Enable Keyboard Manager” toggle switch.

Click the “Remap a key” option.

Keyboard manager remap keys

Click the Plus (+) button.

Select the key to remap in the “Physical key” setting.

Select the key that will be mapped to the other key in the “Mapped to” setting.

Windows 11 remap keys

Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the key will now perform the action of the new key mapping on Windows 11.

To remap shortcuts on Windows 11, use these steps:

Click the “Remap a Shortcuts” option.

Keyboard manager remap shortcuts

Confirm the shortcut to remap in the “Physical Shortcut” setting.

Confirm the new shortcut that will replace the previous shortcut in the “Mapped to” setting. 

Windows 11 remap shortcuts

(Optional) Confirm the app executable to apply the new shortcut in the “Target Appp” setting.

After you complete the steps, the shortcut remap will perform the action you configured in the application.

If you want to remove the remap, you can go to the “Remap a key” or “Remap shortcuts” page and click the “Delete” (trash) button for the action you want to remove.

Although PowerToys can make it easier to remap keys and shortcuts on Windows 11, it’s important to note that the application doesn’t make system changes, meaning that the remaps will only work as long as PowerToys is running.

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Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter) , YouTube , LinkedIn and About.me .

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How to disable or change the keyboard Windows key

windows key

Below are recommended steps for disabling the Windows key on your keyboard in Windows. The availability of these steps depend on the keyboard you have and the software that's installed.

Keyboard key designed to disable the Windows key

Some keyboards (e.g., gaming keyboards), have a key designed to disable and enable the Windows key. Check your keyboard for a key with a lock, crossed out Windows logo, or a Fn key combination that disables the Windows key.

Users with Microsoft keyboards

Users of keyboards designed by Microsoft, who have keyboard software installed, can disable or alter the function of their Windows key by following the steps below.

  • Open the Control Panel .
  • In the Control Panel, double-click the Keyboard icon.
  • In the Keyboard Properties window, under the Key Settings , you'll be able to adjust the Windows key functionality.

If you are using a non-Microsoft brand keyboard or did not install the included software, you will not have the Key Settings section in the Keyboard Properties window.

It is possible to change or disable the functionality of the Windows keys through the Windows registry . However, we highly recommend using KeyTweak, a free utility that lets you re-map and disable any key on the keyboard. This utility also can correct any improper re-maps that are made.

A download for this utility is available on Digital Trend's website .

Once downloaded and installed, run the program and re-map or disable the Windows keys. In this program, they are keys 59 and 63. Once changes are made, you'll need to restart the computer for them to take effect.

Related information

  • How to disable or change keys on my keyboard.
  • See the Windows key definition for further information and related links.
  • Keyboard help and support.
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HP PCs - Keyboard shortcuts, hotkeys, and special keys (Windows)

Discover useful keyboard features in Windows that can make navigation, tasks, and functions quicker and easier.

Common keyboard shortcuts

You can use key press combinations to perform common tasks in Windows.

change keyboard button function

Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Use key press combinations to quickly access common functions in Windows 10.

Keys with icons or symbols

Most keyboards come with special symbols applied to the function keys. Your HP keyboard might have extra keys or buttons with icons as well.

On most laptop keyboards, you must press and hold the fn key before pressing the key with the symbol or icon to perform the function.

Frequently asked questions

Review these frequently asked questions (FAQs) to find answers to common questions about keyboard shortcuts.

How do I change or disable a key?

You can use additional software to change the behavior of keyboard keys in Windows.

There are several free software apps for changing the behavior of keys, such as Sharpkeys, MapKeyboard, KeyTweak, Keyboard Layout Creator by Microsoft, and others. Search the internet for the name of one of these software applications or "keyboard mapping software" to learn more.

It is important to create a System Restore point before remapping keys in case you need to return to your original keyboard layout.

The fn key is a special key controlled by hardware. It cannot be remapped using software.

What do the function keys do?

Function keys allow you to perform an action by pressing a key instead of typing a character.

The action that happens for a function key depends on the software that is active when the key is pressed. Some software or apps might have functions for the keys, while others might not. If you press a function key while using an app and nothing happens, the app might not have a function programmed for that key.

Some function keys have a symbol printed on the key in addition to the function number. To activate the function that corresponds to the symbol, press and hold the fn key while pressing the function key. See Keys with icons or symbols for more information.

See the software help menu or support site to find out which keys are supported and the associated functions for those keys.

How do I turn the fn key on or off?

You can change a setting in the BIOS to change the Action Key mode setting.

Normally, you must first press the fn key to perform the secondary action of a function key, which is the action of the printed symbol on the key. Some notebook computers use a feature called Action Key mode that allows you to perform the secondary action without needing to press and hold the fn key first.

For more information, see HP Notebook PCs - How to lock or unlock the fn (function) key .

How do I type an at sign (@)?

On most keyboards the at sign (@) is created by pressing shift + 2 .

If your keyboard has more than one symbol on the number 2 key, press ctrl + shift + 2 to type the at sign. If the at sign is found on the letter Q key, press and hold the altgr key, and then press q to type the at sign.

Can I use my keyboard as a mouse?

Yes. You can use keyboard shortcuts to perform normal Windows tasks in place of actions that would normally be done through a mouse. Or, you can enable mouse keys to use the numeric keyboard in place of a mouse.

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to perform normal Windows tasks that would normally be done by using a mouse.

Use mouse keys (numeric keypad required)

Move the mouse pointer and click items in Windows by using the keys on the numeric keypad.

Press the Windows key + u to open the Ease of Access Settings screen.

Open the Ease of Access options for using a mouse.

Using the keyboard: Use the arrow keys and the tab key to highlight the Mouse option from the Ease of Access menu on the left side of the window, and then press enter .

Using the mouse: Click the Mouse option from the Ease of Access menu on the left side of the window.

Turn on mouse keys.

Using the keyboard: Use the arrow keys and the tab key (if needed) to highlight Use numeric keypad to move mouse around the screen , and then press space to make the selection.

Using the mouse: Click the slider for Use numeric keypad to move mouse around the screen .

If Num Lock is not enabled, press the num lock key to enable the numpad and Mouse Keys . The Mouse Keys feature is only on when Num Lock is enabled.

Press the following keys to perform mouse actions from the numeric keypad:

To move the pointer, press a number other than 5 in a direction that corresponds to the number's placement on the keypad. For example, press 8 to move the pointer up or press 1 to move the pointer down and to the left.

To left-click, press forward slash ( / ) and then press 5 .

To right-click, press the minus sign ( - ) and then press 5 .

To double-click (the left mouse button), press forward slash ( / ) and then press + .

To drag (hold the left mouse button), press zero ( 0 ).

To drop (release the left mouse button), press period or decimal point ( . ).

The speed of the mouse pointer might be slow after first enabling this feature. Increase the speed of the mouse pointer from the pointer options tab in mouse settings.

What do I do when some keys type the wrong characters?

Make sure that Num Lock is off by pressing the num lock key. If the problem persists, make sure that your keyboard input method in Windows matches your keyboard's country/region type. For example, if a QWERTY input method is used with a QWERTZ keyboard, some letters, such as Y and Z, do not produce the key press as labeled on the keys.

Additional support options

Try one of our automated tools or diagnostics

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How to change keyboard layout on Windows 10

If you have to use more than one keyboard layout on Windows 10, in this guide, I'll show you how.

Change keyboard layout

  • Chang layout
  • Remove layout

On Windows 10 , in the initial setup, you usually get prompted to configure additional keyboard layouts. However, you can always add or remove layouts if you don't choose the correct setting or must type in another language.

Typically, changing the input settings is uncommon, but there are many situations when you might need to. For instance, sometimes you may need to switch to the Spanish layout to write words that include special characters like "Ñ," or prefer a different layout, such as the United States-Dvorak.

Whatever the reason it might be, Windows 10 ships with easy settings to add, remove, and change layouts for hardware and touch keyboards.

In this how-to guide , I will walk you through the steps to manage keyboard layouts on Windows 10.

How to add keyboard layout on Windows 10

To add a new keyboard layout on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Open Settings .
  • Click on Time & Language.
  • Click on Language .
  • Under the "Preferred languages" section, select the current default language.
  • Click the Options button.
  • Under the "Keyboards" section, click the "Add a keyboard" button.
  • Select the new keyboard layout to add to Windows 10.
  • Repeat steps 6 and 7 to add more layouts.

Once you complete the steps, the new keyboard layout will be added to the device, and you can switch between them using the instructions below.

While changing layouts is straightforward, it'll reconfigure some of the keyboard keys, which means some of the keys may print a different character depending on the layout.

To switch between keyboard layouts on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Click the Input Indicator icon in Taskbar (bottom right).
  • Select the new keyboard layout.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 to switch back to the default layout.

After you complete the steps, you can start typing with the new keyboard layout.

Enable Input Indicator

If the Input Indicator is not present in the Taskbar, you can enable it through the Settings app.

To enable the Input Indicator on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Click on Personalization .
  • Click on Taskbar .
  • Under the "Notification area" section, click the "Turn system icons on or off" option.
  • Turn on the Input Indicator toggle switch.

Once you complete the steps, the icon will appear in the Taskbar's notification area to access the layouts and switch between them. You can also use the "Windows key + Spacebar" keyboard shortcut to cycle between the available keyboard layouts quickly.

How to remove keyboard layout on Windows 10

To remove a keyboard layout on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Under the "Keyboards" section, select the keyboard to remove from the list.
  • Click the Remove button.
  • Repeat steps 6 and 7 to remove additional layouts.

Once you complete the steps, the keyboard layout will be removed from the device.

More resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

  • Windows 11 on Windows Central — All you need to know
  • Windows 10 on Windows Central — All you need to know

Get the Windows Central Newsletter

All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.

Mauro Huculak

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

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change keyboard button function

CBS News

New Microsoft PC button will be its 1st major keyboard change in decades

M icrosoft is adding an artificial intelligence button to its Windows keyboards in a move that marks the company's first significant keyboard change in nearly three decades. 

The button — called the Copilot key — will launch Microsoft's AI chatbot , the company's executive vice president Yusuf Mehdi wrote in the Thursday announcement. He said Microsoft sees the key addition as "the entry point into the world of AI on the PC."

"We believe it will empower people to participate in the AI transformation more easily," Mehdi wrote. 

Copilot, announced in March of last year, integrates AI into Microsoft's software. The tool is integrated with Microsoft 365 and works alongside Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams. Users can currently access it with the keyboard shortcut Windows + C.

Mehdi wrote that the additional key will move the technology world closer to a future where AI is "seamlessly" woven into Windows, from the system to the hardware. 

"This will not only simplify people's computing experience but also amplify it, making 2024 the year of the AI PC," Mehdi wrote.

Starting this month, some new PCs running Windows 11 will have the Copilot keyboard button. The key will also be included on some upcoming Surface devices. 

Microsoft did not specify which computer manufacturers would be adding the button, only saying the key would be on "many of the new Windows 11 PCs from our ecosystem partners." Dell Technologies on Thursday said the Copilot key would be on its newest XPS laptops. 

If Copilot is not available or enabled on the device, pressing the key will launch Windows' search function instead.

Microsoft compared the new button to the Windows key, which was introduced nearly 30 years ago. The new button, featuring the Copilot logo, will be located near the keyboard's space bar. The QWERTY layout, which comprises the bulk of the modern keyboard, was developed in the 1870s.

Copilot keyboard button

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Remap Your Keyboard

    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?

  2. How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 11

    When you press the 'Fn' row keys along with the 'Fn' key, you can change your screen brightness, adjust volume, toggle the keyboard backlit, control media (play, pause, next track, previous track), and much more depending on what the device manufacturer has assigned them for. What is 'Fn Lock'?

  3. How to Change What the Fn Keys Do in Windows 10 and 11

    1. How to Change the Function Key Settings Using the Mobility Settings on Dell Computers The easiest way to change function keys is by modifying settings within the Windows Mobility Center. This method, however, will only work for those of you using a Dell device. Here is how to proceed:

  4. Shortcuts, Hotkeys, Macros, Oh My: How to Remap Your Keyboard

    How-To Input Devices Keyboards Shortcuts, Hotkeys, Macros, Oh My: How to Remap Your Keyboard If you're looking to change key functions on your computer's keyboard in Windows or macOS,...

  5. How do I reassign hot keys for my keyboard?

    To reassign a key Download and install the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. Connect the keyboard that you want to configure. Select the Start button, and then select Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. From the displayed list of key names, select the key that you want to reassign.

  6. How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 10

    When you press Fn + Esc (or the key with the lock icon), it toggles the Fn lock. Once you've done this, you won't need to press the Fn key for performing functions like adjusting the screen brightness or enabling and disabling WiFi or Bluetooth. Simply press the relevant F-key, and that should work. It's similar to how you use Caps Lock.

  7. How to Remap Any Key or Shortcut on Windows 10

    First, select the key you'll be remapping in the "To:" column by either clicking the "Type" button and pressing the key on your keyboard, or by selecting it from the list in the drop-down menu. For example, we'll pick Scroll Lock here, since it often sits unused. Next, select the key or shortcut you want to perform in the "Mapped To" column.

  8. How to Choose Whether Your Function Keys Are F1-F12 Keys ...

    On most laptop keyboards --- and some desktop keyboards --- you can tap the "Fn" to choose whether your Function Keys act like regular F1-F12 keys or special keys. Alternatively, you can find a setting in the BIOS/UEFI or Control Panel to pick which behavior you want.

  9. [Tip] Change Function of Any Key (Remap) in Your Computer Keyboard

    To change any key function i.e. remap a key, click on " Remap a key " button. Advertisement It'll open a new window. Click on " + " button given under " Key: " section to tell Windows which key do you want to remap. Now you can select the desired key from the given drop-down box.

  10. How to Remap Any Key or Shortcut on Windows 11

    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 ...

  11. How to Remap a Keyboard in Windows 10

    Open Power Toys and select Keyboard Manager in the left sidebar. Select Remap a Key . If the keyboard options are grayed out, select the Enable Keyboard Manager switch. Select the Plus ( +) under Key . Under Key, choose the key you want to reassign from the drop-down menu, or select Type and enter a key. Under Mapped To, choose the new key.

  12. How to Change Fn Key Settings in Windows 10

    HP Turn off the computer by pressing and holding the Power button for at least five seconds. Press the F10 key repeatedly when the device restarts, to open the BIOS Setup Utility. Press the right or left arrow key to select the System Configuration menu. Next, select the Action Keys Mode.

  13. How to Use Function Keys Without Pressing Fn on Windows 10

    Press and hold the Fn key on your keyboard. Hold this key down while you move to the next step. 3 Press the Fn Lock key. When you release your fingers, the Fn key will no longer be needed to use the F1 - F12 keys. You can restore the original settings at any time by pressing those two keys again. Method 2 Changing BIOS Settings Download Article 1

  14. How to Change Key Functions on Windows 10/8/7

    Change Key Functions on Windows 1. Editing the Registry Entry Editing the registry keys is a tedious method to remap keys and can lead to small problems if you are not being cautious. I would advise taking a backup before going ahead. If you have no idea about Windows backup, check out this article.

  15. HP Notebook PCs

    Keyboard function keys (f1 through f12) often have a printed icon that indicates a secondary action, such as muting sound or adjusting display brightness. ... Change the fn (function) key setting on certain HP ProBook and EliteBook business notebooks. Press fn and the left shift key at the same time to enable fn (function) mode.

  16. Quickly Disable or Change Function of Keyboard Key in Windows

    The key mapping dialog opens up giving you a long list of key positions to pick from. You can also click on Type Key and manually select the key you want by pressing it on the keyboard. Next ...

  17. How do I change a keyboard key function?

    How do I change a keyboard key function? Ask Question Asked 10 years, 8 months ago Modified 8 years, 1 month ago Viewed 23k times 1 I do not use my right Alt, and I would like to have a Underline key on that place. Is there a way to configure my right Alt to be an underline character key? update: using Windows 7 windows-7 keyboard keyboard-layout

  18. How to swap the Fn (Function) and Ctrl (Control) keyboard keys

    Press Enter when you see this message, To interrupt normal startup, press Enter. Press F1 to enter BIOS Setup Menu. Go to Config -> Keyboard/Mouse -> Fn and Ctrl Key swap. Press F10 to Save and reset system for the change to take effects. The function of the Fn and Ctrl keys will be swapped after system reboots.

  19. How to remap keys or shortcuts on Windows 11

    To remap shortcuts on Windows 11, use these steps: Open PowerToys. Click on Keyboard Manager. Turn on the "Enable Keyboard Manager" toggle switch. Click the "Remap a Shortcuts" option. Click the Plus (+) button. Confirm the shortcut to remap in the "Physical Shortcut" setting. Quick note: Also, you can click the "Type" button to ...

  20. How to Disable or Change the Keyboard Windows Key

    Help Hardware Help Keyboard Help How to disable or change the keyboard Windows key Updated: 08/02/2020 by Computer Hope Below are recommended steps for disabling the Windows key on your keyboard in Windows. The availability of these steps depend on the keyboard you have and the software that's installed.

  21. How to change keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11

    Click the dropdown and select a shortcut, or click Type and press the keys you want. 5. Choose your Mapped To keys. Now choose your Mapped To keys in the same way as step 4. As you can see in the ...

  22. HP PCs

    On most laptop keyboards, you must press and hold the fn key before pressing the key with the symbol or icon to perform the function. Frequently asked questions Review these frequently asked questions (FAQs) to find answers to common questions about keyboard shortcuts. How do I change or disable a key? What do the function keys do?

  23. How to change keyboard layout on Windows 10

    Open Settings. Click on Time & Language. Click on Language. Under the "Preferred languages" section, select the current default language. Click the Options button. Under the "Keyboards" section ...

  24. Keyboard Troubleshooting Guide: Quick Solutions for Common ...

    Most Corsair keyboards have a reset function for fixing unexpected issues. If you have a K95 RGB Platinum or any MK2 keyboards: Unplug the keyboard. With the keyboard unplugged, hold down the ESC key. While holding down the ESC key, plug the keyboard back into the computer. Keep holding the ESC key until the keyboard begins to flash.

  25. New Microsoft PC button will be its 1st major keyboard change in ...

    M icrosoft is adding an artificial intelligence button to its Windows keyboards in a move that marks the company's first significant keyboard change in nearly three decades. The button — called ...