How to Create a Windows Key If You Don’t Have One

Configurare noua (How To)

Situatie

If you prefer using an older classic keyboard such as the IBM Model M that doesn’t include a physical Windows key, there’s a neat way to “add” one using Windows 10 by borrowing a key you don’t use very often. Here’s how to do it.

Using Microsoft’s free PowerToys utility, you can easily reassign any key to work like any other key (or even give them a novel function like muting your audio). In our case, we’ll be assigning the Windows key function to a key of your choice.

(By default, the Command key on a Mac keyboard functions as the Windows key if plugged into a Windows 10 machine. There’s no need to use this trick when you’re using a Mac keyboard with Windows—just use the “Command” key as your Windows key.)

Solutie

Pasi de urmat

First, if you don’t already have PowerToys for Windows 10, download it for free from Microsoft’s website. After that, launch PowerToys, and click the “Keyboard Manager” option in the sidebar. In the “Keyboard Manager” options, click “Remap A Key.”

Click "Keyboard Manager" in the sidebar, and then click "Remap a key."

In the “Remap Keyboard” window that pops up, click the plus sign (+) to add a key mapping.

Click the plus sign (+) in the "Remap Keyboard" menu to add a shortcut.

Now you have to decide which key you want to double as the Windows key. We find that the right Alt key works very well (if you have one), because it is easy to use for one-handed Windows shortcuts and most people use the left Alt key more frequently. You could also choose a seldom-used key, such as Scroll Lock or right Ctrl instead. It’s completely up to you.

While defining the mapping in PowerToys, use the drop-down menu below the “Key:” heading on the left to select the key you’d like to function as your Windows key. In this example, we’re using “Alt (Right).”

In the “Mapped To” section on the right, select “Win” (which represents the Windows key) from the drop-down menu.

In PowerToys, select a key and assign it to Windows key in Keyboard Manager on Windows 10

Click “OK.” Windows will probably warn you that the key you’re remapping won’t be usable because you’ve reassigned it to another function. In that case, click “Continue Anyway.”

Click "Continue Anyway" in PowerToys Keyboard Manager on Windows 10

After that, the new Windows key mapping should be active. Test it out. If you tap the key you assigned to Windows, your Start Menu should pop up. From then on, you should also be able to use it to launch handy shortcuts such as Windows+I to open Settings.

When you’re ready, close PowerToys, and you can use your computer as usual. You won’t have to log out or restart your PC; your change will take effect immediately.

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