If you are tired of the way certain keys work on your system, you can remap them to function as another key using a free utility called SharpKeys. This is how it works.
You can remap your keys the hard way using a registry hack like the one we cover for disabling your Caps Lock key. But why use the hard way, when there is an easier and free way. That’s where SharpKeys comes in. It’s a small utility that manages all those registry keys and values for you, giving you a simple interface to assign one key to another – or even disable keys – without having to go all out with the registry hold. Key remapping is great for making your keys work the way you want them to. It’s also especially useful if you’re running Windows on your Mac through Boot Camp and the Opt/Cmd keys don’t translate correctly to the Windows and Alt keys.
We’ve tested SharpKeys in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Vista, and it all works fine. However, keep in mind that the exact keys available to you to remap will depend on your keyboard. For example, if you’re using a multimedia keyboard with additional volume, mute, and play/pause keys, they should appear in SharpKeys.
Update: While SharpKeys still works well, Microsoft now offers a PowerToy that you can also use to remap keys.
Start by downloading the latest version of SharpKeys from the project’s release page. You can download and install it by grabbing the MSI file or as a standalone app in the ZIP file. Anyway, go ahead and run SharpKeys when you’re ready.
The main window shows all the keys you have already assigned. If you start from scratch, you won’t see anything in the list. Click the “Add” button to create a new key mapping.
In the key mapping window you will see two lists. The list on the left represents the key whose behavior you want to change: the ‘from’ key. The list on the right is the new behavior you want to adopt: the “to” key. Select the key you want to remap on the left and the key you want to remap it to on the right, then click “OK”.
Here I change the Scroll Lock key – which I never use – to act as my Caps Lock key. After that, I’m going to disable the actual Caps Lock key so I won’t accidentally stop on it. But we’ll come back to that in a moment
If you find it easier than scrolling through the lists, you can also click the “Key Type” button below either list and then press the key you want to change.
SharpKeys can also disable a key by assigning it to no action at all. From the list on the left (the “From” key list), choose the key you want to disable. On the right, select the top item – “Turn Key Off” – then click “OK”.
Here, I’m turning off that Caps Lock key.
When you’re done reassigning keys and you’re back in the main SharpKeys window, click the “Write to Registry” button to confirm your changes.
SharpKeys tells you to log out or restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
After your PC restarts, the key reassignment should be complete.
RELATED: How to Remap Any Key or Shortcut on Windows 10