How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10  

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10

    Published by Category: Hardware & Drivers
    26 Oct 2020
    Designer Media Ltd



    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10

    Some keyboards include additional keys on them that when pressed will open a Windows app or perform a specific action (command). The app keys available will vary per keyboard model, but the most common are Calculator, Mail, Mute volume, Search, and default Web Browser.

    This tutorial will show you how to disable or change which app or action an app key on a keyboard will run when pressed in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to customize an app key.




    Here's How:

    1 Press the Win + R keys to open Run, type regedit into Run, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

    2 Navigate to the key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AppKey

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10-appkey.png

    3 Expand open the AppKey key, and click/tap on an available number key (ex: "18") you want to change. (see screenshot below)

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10-appkey-2.png

    Key Description
    1 Back (Web browser)
    2 Forward (Web browser)
    3 Refresh (Web browser)
    4 Stop (Web browser)
    5 Search
    6 Favorites (Web browser)
    7 Web Home (Web browser)
    8 Mute Volume
    9 Volume Down
    10 Volume Up
    11 Next Track (media)
    12 Previous Track (media)
    13 Stop (media)
    14 Pause/Play (media)
    15 Mail
    16 Media Select
    17 This PC or My Computer
    18 Calculator
    19 Bass Down
    20 Bass Boost
    21 Bass Up
    22 Treble Down
    23 Treble Up
    24 Mute Microphone
    25 Volume Down Microphone
    26 Volume Up Microphone
    27 Help
    28 Find
    29 New
    30 Open
    31 Close
    32 Save
    33 Print
    34 Undo
    35 Redo
    36 Copy
    37 Cut
    38 Paste
    39 Reply (mail)
    40 Forward (mail)
    41 Send (mail)
    42 Spell Check
    43 Toggle Dictation on/off
    44 Toggle Microphone on/off
    45 Correction List
    46 Play (media)
    47 Pause (media)
    48 Record (media)
    49 Fast Forward (media)
    50 Rewind (media)
    51 Channel Up (media)
    52 Channel Down (media)
    53 Delete
    54 Flip 3D

    4 Do step 5 (ShellExecute), step 6 (Association), or step 7 (Undo - default) below for how you want to change the key.

    You can only use the ShellExecute or Association string value or none for a key. You cannot use both the ShellExecute and Association string values together for a key.


    5 Use "ShellExecute" to Set Key to Run Specified App or Command

    This step will let you customize the key to open a specified app, or run any command like in a command prompt.

    A) In the right pane of the key (ex: "18"), double click/tap on the ShellExecute string value (REG_SZ) to modify it. (see screenshot below)

    If you do not have a ShellExecute string value (REG_SZ), right click or press and hold on an empty area in the right pane of the key (ex: "18"), click/tap on New, click/tap on String Value, type ShellExecute for the value name, and press Enter.

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10-shellexecute-1.png

    B) Type either the full path of the app you want the key to open, or type the command you want the key run, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8. (see screenshot below)

    If you leave the value data empty (blank) for ShellExecute, it will disable the key.

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10-shellexecute-2.png


    6 Use "Association" to Set Key to Open Default App of Specified File Extension

    This step will let you customize the key to open whatever default app (ex: "Notepad") set for the specified file type extension (ex: ".txt").

    A) In the right pane of the key (ex: "18"), double click/tap on the Association string value (REG_SZ) to modify it. (see screenshot below)

    If you do not have a Association string value (REG_SZ), right click or press and hold on an empty area in the right pane of the key (ex: "18"), click/tap on New, click/tap on String Value, type Association for the value name, and press Enter.

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10-association-1.png

    B) Type the file extension (ex: ".txt") you want the key to open the default app for, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8. (see screenshot below)

    If you leave the value data empty (blank) for Association, it will disable the key.

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10-association-2.png


    7 To Undo "Association" or "ShellExecute" to Restore Default for Key

    A) In the right pane of the key (ex: "18"), right click or press and hold on the Association or ShellExecute string value (REG_SZ), and click/tap on Delete. (see screenshot below)

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10-delete.png

    B) Click/tap on Yes to confirm, and go to step 8. (see screenshot below)

    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10-undo.png


    8 When finished, you can close Registry Editor if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn





  1. Posts : 103
    Windows 10 Pro Ghost Spectre 21H1 (2009) 19043.1021 x64 SUPERLITE
       #1

    Thanks for this! I purchased an air-mouse HTPC keyboard that came with 4 media keys (Media Player, Mail, Calculator and Browser).
    How to Customize or Disable App Keys for Keyboard in Windows 10-mx3-6-axis-gyro-2-4g-wireless-air-mouse-1571972500789.jpg

    This keyboard doesn't come with a Windows key so I couldn't access the shutdown menu (Win+X) as I could with a regular keyboard. Instead, I created a script with NirCmd that would simulate the keypresses to bring up the shutdown menu. I then mapped the mail key to the CMD file and now the Win+X menu comes up when I press the mail key! I was also able to map the Media Player key to launch Kodi.

    Cheers!!
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 61,922
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #2

    I'm glad it could help @ClippyBeer.
      My Computers


 

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