Fix: Windows Key (WinKey) Does Not Work

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.


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

  • You’ve inadvertently disabled the Win key on your gaming keyboard.
  • Incorrect Scancode Map registry setting that disables WinKey.
  • One of the Group Policies or registry settings is preventing the use of WinKey hotkeys.

Fix: WinKey Shortcuts Not Working

Case 1: Turn off the Win Lock Key

If none of the Win Key shortcuts work, you may have accidentally pressed the Win Lock key on your gaming keyboard if you’re using one. Some keyboards have the Win Lock key with an independent LED indicator to show the status of the key

win lock key

If you don’t have a separate Win Lock button on the keyboard, then check your keyboard manual to see if the Win Lock feature exists for that model.


On ASUS systems, you can enable the Win Key via Armoury Crate. The option exists in the lower right corner of Armoury Crate.

asus armourycrate win lock

For Razer keyboards, Fn + F10 will enable/disable gaming mode. The “Win” key will be disabled when the gaming mode is switched on. Or to enable or disable gaming mode on your Razer keyboard via Razer Synapse, open Razer Synapse 3 and go to “KEYBOARD” → “CUSTOMIZE.”

The keyboard shortcut varies from model to model. It could be Fn + F6 or Fn + Win on your model of the keyboard.

Case 2: WinKey and none of the WinKey shortcuts work

If the WinKey doesn’t work (and none of the WinKey shortcuts work), follow these steps to fix the problem:

  1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Delete the value named NoWinKeys if it exists in the following branches.

    The NoWinKeys registry value, if exists, turns off all the WinKey hotkeys. This registry value corresponds to the Turn off Windows+X hotkeys Group Policy Object located in the following branch of the Group Policy 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.

  5. Exit the Registry Editor.
  6. Restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Case 3: Only some of the WinKey shortcuts work

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:

    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.

The DisabledHotkeys registry value is used to disable certain WinKey shortcuts. If you want to prevent Win + E and Win + R from opening Explorer and Run respectively, you set the value data for DisabledHotkeys to ER.

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

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




[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer]

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

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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