How to Enable and Disable the Windows Key

Windows key is located on every keyboard, and we are using this key for various actions. If you press Windows key, you will open the Start menu. Also, you can use Windows key in combination with another key. For example, if you press Windows key + E you will open Windows Explorer or File Explorer, if you press Windows key + R, you will open a Run dialog box and many others combination keys. If Windows key is not working properly, you will not be able to to this actions. So, why this problem occurs?

There are different reasons why Windows key is not working, including keyboard issue, system settings, game settings or application settings.

We will show you how to solve the issue by using 5 different methods. These methods are compatible with operating systems from Windows XP to Windows 10. I hope you are using minimum Windows 7 because previous operating systems are not anymore supported by Microsoft. If you are one of the users who want to disable Windows key when playing games, you will be able to do it after reading this article.

Method 1: Press Fn + F6 or Fn + Windows Keys

In the first method, we will use combination keys to activate or deactivate Windows key. Please, press Fn + F6 to activate or deactivate Windows key. This procedure is compatible with computers and notebooks, regardless which brand are you using. Also, try pressing “Fn + Windows” key which can sometimes get it working again.

Method 2: Press Win Lock

Are you using gaming keyboard? If not, you should read next method. If you are using gaming keyboard, please check is there Win Lock key located on your keyboard. If yes, you should press this key to enable or disable Windows key. Few users solved their problem by pressing Win Lock key on their gaming keyboard, including keyboard model Logitech G15. If you can not find Win Lock key, please read the technical documentation of your gaming keyboard.


Method 3: Change Registry settings

If combination keys are not working well, you will need to enable Windows key through Registry Editor.  Before you do any registry configuration, we are recommending you to backup registry database. Why do you need to do registry backup? In the case of some misconfiguration, you can revert registry database to the previous state when everything worked without any problems. For this method, you will need to use a user account with Administrator privilege, because Standard user account is not allowed to do any system changes. How to do registry backup? Please read instructions on this LINK, and follow the procedure of on the method 4, from step 1 to step 7. After that, you will need to download and run registry file from this LINK. Also, if you want to disable Windows key, you will need to download and run registry key from this LINK.

Method 4: Clean the keyboard

If your keyboard is dirty and if there is dust between your keys, you should clean your keyboard. Sometimes, dust can block some of your keys, including Windows key. Based on that, we are recommending you to clean your keyboard. Please follow the procedure below.

For Computer:

  1. Unplug keyboard from computer
  2. Clean the keyboard
  3. Plug keyboard back
  4. Test Windows key

For notebook:

  1. Turn off your notebook
  2. Unplug AC DC adapter from notebook
  3. Unplug battery from notebook
  4. Clean the keyboard
  5. Plug battery back
  6. Plug the AC DC back
  7. Turn on your notebook
  8. Test Windows key

Method 5: Replace the keyboard

If cleaning your keyboard did not solve your problem, we are recommending you to replace your keyboard with the new one. Before purchasing new keyboard you should test your computer keyboard on another machine or plug another keyboard to your current computer or notebook. If you are using a notebook, please plug USB keyboard on your notebook and check is working properly. If another keyboard is working properly on your machine, you will need to purchase a new keyboard.  Before purchasing a new keyboard, please check is your brand name computer, keyboard or notebook under warranty. If yes, the vendor will replace your keyboard for free.


Jasmin Kahriman

Jasmin is a tech-savvy Systems Engineer with over 15 years of experience in IT infrastructure, holding multiple IT certifications including CNIP, MTA, MCP, MCSA, MCT, Server+, and Network+.