Winkey Not Working. How to Enable it?

Winkey shortcuts are real time savers, and here is some of the popular Winkey shortcuts.

Windows logo key Shortcut Description
WinKey + E Opens an Explorer window
WinKey + R Opens Run dialog
WinKey + L Locks the computer
WinKey + D Shows Desktop (background)
WinKey + M Minimizes all open windows
WinKey + 1 Launches the 1st Pinned Taskbar shortcut. Similarly, you can use 0, 1, 2 upto 9.

There are many such keyboard shortcuts – the above is some of the mostly used shortcuts in our everyday life. You may also want to check out the Complete List of Keyboard shortcuts in Windows.

Winkey does not work?

There are situations where your favorite Winkey shortcuts don’t work. This is caused due to a couple of reasons.

Case 1. Incorrect Scancode Map registry setting that disables WinKey.

Case 2. One of the Group Policies or registry settings is preventing the use of WinKey hotkeys.

How to Enable the WinKey?

Download, unzip and run the enclosed REG file. Restart Windows and check if WinKey is operable.

Manual registry editing instructions are below in case you need it.

1. Start the Registry Editor and go to the following key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

2. Export the branch to a REG file.

3. Right-click the value named “Scancode Map” and choose Delete.

The ScanCode Map registry entry, if set to the following value, can disable the Windows Logo key altogether. This value doesn’t exist by default in a standard Windows installation.


4. Exit the Registry Editor.

5. Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

If the “ScanCode Map” value doesn’t exist, you’ll need to check if “Case 2” applies. Check and clear the two Policies namely DisabledHotkeys & NoWinKeys using the Local Group Policy Editor or the Registry Editor. For more information and a REG file to clear those Policies, see article Certain WinKey Shortcut Hotkeys Not Working. This applies to standalone systems, which means systems that are not part of a domain (where the central Group Policies take effect.)

Related articles

Certain WinKey Shortcuts Not Working. How to Enable all WinKey Hotkeys?

How to Change WinKey + E Shortcut Target in Windows 10?

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in Windows — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP (2003-2012) who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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