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

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 ShortcutDescription
WinKey + EOpens an Explorer window
WinKey + ROpens Run dialog
WinKey + LLocks the computer
WinKey + DShows Desktop (background)
WinKey + MMinimizes all open windows
WinKey + 1Launches 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:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

winkey shortcuts enable all

Right-click DisabledHotkeys (if it exists in any of the above locations) and choose Delete. And exit the Registry Editor.

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:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Delete the value named NoWinKeys if it exists, and exit the Registry Editor.

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"=-

Related Posts

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

Windows 10 Start Menu Shortcuts – Assign Shortcut Keys or HotKeys

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.

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