How to unlock the Windows key on the keyboard

By John Adebimitan

On your Windows OS, the Windows key opens the Start menu, and from there, you can access pretty much everywhere on your computer. It also acts as a shortcut when you pair it with other keys; Windows + I would take you to Settings, Windows + Tab would switch between open and recent Windows, and Windows + G would open your game capture settings.

Sometimes, your Windows key might not work when you press it, resulting in several issues. We shall discuss them in this article and give you tips to unlock the Windows key on the keyboard.

How to unlock the Windows key on the keyboard by turning OFF Game Mode

The Windows 10 OS has a setting that optimizes your computer for the best gaming experience whenever you start a game. But this setting can cause keyboard malfunctions, so disabling it might make your keyboard more responsive again. To disable Game Mode:

  • Move your cursor to the bottom left of your screen and click on the Start button. Next, click on the gear icon for Settings.
  • When the menu appears, look for Gaming and click on it. 
  • Click on the Game Mode tab on the left to open the Game Mode switch, then click on the switch to turn it OFF.

How to unlock the Windows key on the keyboard by turning OFF the Windows Lock Key

Like the Nums lock and Caps lock, some keyboards come with a Windows lock key that can be toggled ON and OFF. Check if your keyboard has this Key to make sure it is turned OFF. You can search the internet for your keyboard’s model if you’re unsure whether you have this Key or not.

How to unlock the Windows key on the keyboard by turning OFF Filter keys

Filter keys are an accessibility feature that takes no action when repeatedly pressing a key. This might be the reason why your Windows key isn’t working. To turn ON the Filtering keys, do the following:

  • Click on Start and search for Control Panel, then press Enter.
  • Next, open Ease of Access.
  • Look for the link that says ‘Change how your keyboard works“.
  • Uncheck the ‘Turn OFF filter keys’ checkbox, click on Apply, then OK.

You can also access the Sticky Keys by repeatedly pressing Shift.

How to unlock the Windows key on the keyboard by updating your keyboard drivers

An outdated keyboard driver might be why your Windows key isn’t responding. Updating the driver or uninstalling and then reinstalling it might fix the issue. To check your keyboard driver:

  • Click on Start and search for Device Manager then press Enter.
  •  In the Device Manager menu, expand the Keyboards category.
  • Right-click on the keyboard you use in the drop-down that shows, and click on Upgrade.
  • Select Search automatically for drivers, and your computer will check the internet for available updated drivers and install them.
  • You can also uninstall a driver from here and reinstall them.

How to unlock the Windows key on the keyboard by performing an SFC scan using Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell

You use Command Prompt to launch a system file scan. To begin:

  • Open your Start menu by clicking on the Windows icon. In the search bar, search for Command Prompt and run as administrator.
  • Type “sfc /scannow” in the Command Prompt terminal and press Enter to begin scanning. This would take a while.
  • Restart your computer after the scan is complete.

You can also perform a similar command using Windows PowerShell:

  • Search for PowerShell the same way you did for Command Prompt and run as administrator.
  • Paste this command in the PowerShell terminal, ‘Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation) AppXManifest.xml”}’, then press Enter.
  • Ignore the errors, wait for it to finish, and restart your computer.

What does the lock button do on the Corsair keyboard?

When you press the lock button close to the dimmer button on the Corsair keyboard, it locks your Windows key, preventing you from accidentally pressing it when gaming since it takes you back to your desktop or home screen.

How to turn OFF the Win lock on the Redragon keyboard?

There are two ways to turn off the Windows lock on a Redragon keyboard. First, you can press Fn + F6 or Fn + Windows key, which works regardless of your PC or notebook brand. Repeating the same command can lock them too.

How to disable the Windows key in games?

Gaming keyboards have a button that you can turn ON and OFF to lock your Windows key, but for standard keyboards, there are longer routes:

Locking your Windows key using WinKill

WinKill is an easy-to-use third-party application that you can toggle ON and OFF to enable or disable your Windows key. To use WinKill:

  • Download WinKill to your computer and extract the contents of the zip file. Then, double-click on the WinKill application file to run it.
  • WinKill doesn’t need installation, so you might think it isn’t working, but if you look in the notification tray of your taskbar or hidden icons, you should see the WinKill icon. A Windows logo represents it with a red cross on it.
  • To enable your Windows key, click the WinKill icon to remove to cross or right-click it and click Toggle or Exit.

Disabling Windows using the Registry Editor

The Registry Editor in Windows 10 is a system software you can use to tweak the keys.

  • Click on the Windows icon and type ‘Registry Editor’ in the search box. Then run as administrator.
  • When it opens, paste this in the access bar and press Enter: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
  • You should see a value that says ‘NoWinKeys’ on the right-hand pane of the window. If it is empty, right-click on that open pane, select New and select DWORD (32-bit) Value’. Then, name the value’ NoWinKeys.’
  • Double-click on the NoWinKeys value to edit it and change the value date from 0 to 1, then click OK.
  • Restart your PC, then press the Windows key. This will open your Start menu, but you can’t pair it with other HotKeys. To enable it, go to the same registry key and either delete the value or change the value data to 0.

Disabling Windows using PowerToys

You can remap your Windows key completely using Microsoft PowerToys. PowerToys is a free software used for tweaking features in Windows 10. First, download PowerToys by visiting the GitHub page for PowerToys. Next, install the software on your PC, then launch it.

  • In PowerToys, open the Keyboard Manager option on the menu on the left of the window.
  • Click on Settings and enable Keyboard Manager. Then click on Remap a key to open the Remap Keys window.
  • Click on the + icon, then click on Key to open a drop-down menu. Scroll to Win and select it. Next, click on Mapped To to open a drop-down and select Disable.
  • A warning message would pop up that you won’t be able to use Windows anymore; click Continue Anyway. After that, your Windows Key would be disabled, and you won’t have to restart your computer. To unlock it, close PowerTools by right-clicking on its icon in the taskbar tray and clicking Exit.

Read also: How to Control F on iPad With or Without Keyboard

Corsair keyboard Windows key not working? Things to check and tips to fix it

Resetting your keyboard could fix whatever issues you had with your keyboard. These resetting methods depend on the model of the Corsair keyboard you’re using.

If you use the MK2 keyboard or a K95 RGB Platinum keyboard, you can reset the keyboard by unplugging it, holding down the ESC key, and plugging it back in. Keep holding the ESC key until the keyboard starts to flash. Unplug it, then plug it back in.

If you use a K55 keyboard, reset it by unplugging it, holding down the Fn +F4 keys, then replugging it. Release the Fn + F4 keys after 10 seconds. The keyboard should flash after this. Next, open the iCUE and update your keyboard’s firmware. Disregard any compatibility warnings that pop up.

If you use any other Corsair keyboard models, reset it by unplugging your keyboard, holding down the ESC key, and replugging it. Release the ESC key after about 5 seconds. The keyboard’s lights will flash if the reset is successful.

To reset your wireless keyboards, turn OFF the keyboard, hold down the ESC key then turn it back ON. Release the ESC key after about 5 seconds. The keyboard should flash if the reset is successful.

If resetting the keyboard doesn’t fix the issue, you can contact their Customer Support for assistance. To shorten the response time, include the specific model of your keyboard, the part number of the keyboard (found under the keyboard and starts with CH-), and the sticker’s photograph at the bottom of the keyboard to verify the part number.

How to lock a Windows computer with the keyboard?

You can lock your keyboard without having to use your power button by using two different key commands:

  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open a quick menu, then click Lock to lock it.
  • You can press the Windows key + L  to lock it.

How to unlock your Logitech keyboard

To unlock your Logitech keyboard, hold down the right Shift key for 8 seconds or press it repeatedly to bring up Filter Keys and turn it OFF. Or you can turn it OFF from your Control Panel.

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