How to remap one key to another (for those who don’t have a button press on the keyboard)

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User Question

Salvation.

My laptop is about 4-5 years old. And the “i / z” key stopped working (more precisely, if you press it hard – only then it will work). I wanted to replace the keyboard, but there is not exactly the same (putting a similar one means ruining the laptop).

Don’t tell me how to reassign the key instead of “I”, say, to the left “Ctrl” (I still almost don’t use it, I’m used to the right one). I tried the utilities KeyExtender, SharpKeys (and another, I can’t remember the name), but for some reason they didn’t work for me (maybe system protection doesn’t give) .

PS I’m currently using Windows 8…

Good day!

I will also add that not only those who do not have a certain key face a similar task, but also those who want to improve the controllability of the character in the game, set a sequence of clicks on one key at a time, those who want to completely disable unnecessary buttons (for example, these can be on a multimedia keyboard).

In the article I will consider several utilities and show on screenshots how to perform this task.

Shall we get to work?

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“Switch” from one button to another

📌 MapKeyboard

Developer: http://www.inchwest.com

Where to download: soft.mydiv.net

MapKeyboard: only three steps to replace a key (clickable!)

MapKeyboard: only three steps to replace a key (clickable!)

One of the most reliable utilities in terms of operation. At least it worked for me in both the “old” Windows 2000/XP and the relatively new Windows 8/10/11.

The utility is very compact and does not need to be installed. After booting, to replace the key, you only need to perform 3 steps (they are marked on the screen above):

  1. select a key instead of a broken key (e.g. Left Ctrl);
  2. then indicate in the column “Remap selected key to” the key that does not work (i.e. left Ctrl key will be used instead);
  3. press the “Save layout” button (the system will restart). After reboot – instead of Ctrl, the “Z” button will work.

If you want to reset all changes entered: use the button “Reset keyboard layout”.

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Besides, it is recommended to run the utility as an administrator. To do this, after extracting it from the archive, right-click on the executable file and select “Run as administrator…”. (see example below).

Execute as administrator

Execute as administrator

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📌PowerToys

Link to Github: https://github.com/microsoft/PowerToys/

This utility has the best compatibility with Windows 10 (works in all its versions!). Plus, deactivating and remapping keys is quick and easy!

Let’s look at a short example.

1) After installing and running the utility, you will need to open the section “Keyboard Manager” and click the button “Remap a key”. 👇

PowerToys utility - key customization

PowerToys utility – key customization

Specify more:

  • the key we are going to change (or disable) is on the left (in my example, “Numpad 0”);
  • and on the right, indicate what we change it to – for example, “Undefined” (if we completely disable it) or specify a specific key (combination).
Undefined - Key will be disabled (PowerToys utility).

Undefined – Key will be disabled (PowerToys utility).

It’s so simple! 👌

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📌KeyTweak

Developer website: http://webpages.charter.net/krumsick/

Where to download: https://keytweak.en.softonic.com/

Main windowAction 1

KeyTweak Main Window: Action #1

A simple but reliable program that allows you to change the assignment of keyboard keys. Allows you to change the scan-code of keys between them, or even disable individual keys.

I note that using the program is extremely simple. (despite the fact that it does not have a Russian translation). First, select the key that is not working well for you, then in the “Choose New Remmaping” column, specify the key to replace it, and press the “Remap Key” button (see screenshot above).

Then accept the changes (the “Apply” button in the lower right corner of the screen) and agree to restart the computer.

Applying Changes

Applying Changes

In fact, when rebooting, your keys will perform “new” assigned actions. Practical, simple and effective tool!

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📌 Key remapper

Official site: http://atnsoft.ru/keyremapper/

Main program window

The main window of the program (after installing and launching the program).

This program simply could not be rated in this article. It not only allows you to reassign individual keys on the keyboard, but also allows you to define entire click combinations: like you, for example, if you suspend Alt + Shift + Esc to the mouse wheel. (quick program change)?!

Also, using the keyboard buttons, you can emulate mouse operation.

And another important detail: you can configure a replacement only in certain applications (which, of course, gamers will like: after all, you can get an advantage and speed up your reaction if, by pressing a button, a whole combination will be executed!). 👌

The program supports multiple profiles (for example, you can create a set of replacements for each game separately).

Important: the program does not make any changes to the system registry, does not require a restart of the PC for the changes to take effect.

Side use: everything is simple here:

  • first indicate the key you want to modify;
  • then, in the second column, the key that will replace it. See screenshot below.
Please note that you can specify whole combinations

Please note that you can specify whole combinations

I note that the full version of the program is paid. However, knowledge can be started safely with a free product. I recommend!

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📌 To help!

If the above programs did not help you in any way, try just disable the unnecessary key. For example, in games, Win or Shift often interfere – disabling them won’t take you more than 30 seconds!

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Additions are welcome…

All my wishes!

👋

First publication: 05/16/2018

Updated: 02/27/2022

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