Windows includes several Windows logo key (WinKey) shortcut combinations to launch programs. If these built-in WinKey keystrokes do not work in your system, they may have been blocked in the registry.
Here are some of the most used 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.
Certain WinKey shortcuts are not working
If some (not all) of the WinKey shortcuts work in your system, start the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) and go to the following locations:
What does DisabledHotkeys registry value do?
DisabledHotkeys registry value is used to disable certain WinKey shortcuts. If you want to prevent WinKey + E and WinKey + R from opening Explorer and Run respectively, you set the value data for "DisabledHotkeys" as "ER".
Example: If "DisabledHotkeys" is set to "12XE", it blocks every WinKey shortcut sequence listed there — WinKey + 1, WinKey + 2, WinKey + X, WinKey + E.
None of the WinKey shortcuts are working
If none of the WinKey shortcuts are working in the system, there is another registry value you need to check, and delete if exists.
Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) and go to the following location:
Delete the value named
The above registry value if exists, turns off all the WinKey hotkeys. Registry value “NoWinKeys” corresponds to the "Turn off Windows+X hotkeys" Group Policy Object, located in the following branch of the Group Policy Object Editor (Gpedit.msc)
Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer
Download Registry Fix to Automate the Above Steps
To automate both of the above steps (deleting "DisabledHotkeys" and "NoWinKeys"), you may use the REG file – winkey_enable_all.reg.
Contents of the REG file
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 ;RE-ENABLES ALL WINKEY SHORTCUT COMBINATIONS IF THEY WERE DISABLED. ;https://www.winhelponline.com [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced] "DisabledHotkeys"=- [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced] "DisabledHotkeys"=- [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer] "NoWinkeys"=- [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer] "NoWinkeys"=-
Complete List of Keyboard shortcuts in Windows (Microsoft)
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.