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.

Winkey shortcuts are real time savers, and here are some of the popular WinKey shortcuts. 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 most used shortcuts in our everyday life. You may also want to check out the Complete List of Keyboard shortcuts in Windows.

Cause

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

  • Incorrect Scancode Map registry setting that disables WinKey.
  • One of the Group Policies or registry settings is preventing the use of WinKey hotkeys.

How to Enable the WinKey?

If some (not all) of the WinKey shortcuts work in your system, follow these steps:

  1. 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

  2. Right-click DisabledHotkeys if it exists in any of the above locations, and choose Delete.
  3. Exit the Registry Editor.

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 to ER. If DisabledHotkeys is set to 12XE, it blocks WinKey shortcut sequence — WinKey + 1, WinKey + 2, WinKey + X, WinKey + E.



None of the WinKey shortcuts work?

If none of the WinKey shortcuts are working in the system, follow these steps:

  1. 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
  2. Delete the value named NoWinKeys if it exists. Exit the Registry Editor.

    The above registry value, if exists, turns off all the WinKey hotkeys. 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
  3. Then, go to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout
  4. Right-click the value named Scancode Map and choose Delete.

    WinKey Shortcuts Not Working

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

    00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,00,00,5B,E0,00,00,5C,E0,00,00,00,00
  5. Exit the Registry Editor.
  6. Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Download Registry fix to automate the above steps

To automate the above steps — i.e., deleting DisabledHotkeys and NoWinKeys and the ScanCode Map registry values, you may use the .reg file – winkey_enable_all.reg.

Here is what the .reg file contains:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;ENABLES WINKEY AND ALL THE WINKEY SHORTCUT COMBINATIONS.
;https://www.winhelponline.com/blog/

[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"=-

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"ScanCode Map"=-

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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

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