To realign the keys in Windows 10, it is recommended to use SharpKeys for Windows 10, which is a free and easy to use application. Sharp keys for Windows 10 can be downloaded from the Github website, and it hardly takes minutes to install on your computer. Being an open-source application, it receives updates, and the current updated version is V3.9. Visit the website and download the the.MSI file and double click to install. Once installed, follow the guide to know how to use Sharpkeys for Windows 10 in an efficient way and ways to reverse the changes made.
SharpKeys for Windows 10: An Introduction
The first screen of the Sharpkeys application is displayed below. There are a total of 8 buttons that perform different functions and assist the user in remapping the keyboard on Windows 10.
Add: Add a new set of keys that need to be remapped.
Edit: Edit the existing remapped key to a different one.
Delete: Delete a command already provided for remapping a key.
Delete All: =Deletes all the commands at once.
Write to Registry: After you have added a command to remap keys, you need to press this button for the changes to take effect.
Close: Exit from the software.
Save Keys: Once you have remapped some keys of your keyboard, you can save a list of the changes made for future reference.
Load Keys: Reloads the saved list of the keys remapped previously.
How To Reassign Keys On Your Keyboard Using Sharpkeys In Windows 10?
Remapping keys on your keyboard is very simple, provided you know how to do it. I have listed the steps with screenshots where ever possible, to make it easy for you.
Step 1. Open the Sharpkeys application.
Step 2. Click the Add button. It will open another window with two lists.
Step 3. The first list or the list on the left-hand side is the list of keys you wish to realign or reassign.
Step 4. The second list or the list on the right-hand side is the list of results you want when you press the key selected in the first list.
To simplify, if you want the letter A key on the keyboard to type letter B, then select the letter A key in the first list and the letter B in the second list.
Step 5. You can either select the keys to be remapped by using the scroll bar provided on the right of each list or click the Type Key button.
Step 6. This will further open a small window which allows the user to select the key from the keyboard by pressing it once. It helps to save time and effort consumed while scrolling down the list of all the 100+ keys.
Step 7. Click on OK to close the small window. After you have selected values for both the lists, Click OK on the lists window.
Step 8. You will return to the first screen. The changes you wanted will be list in the empty white space. These changes have only been recorded, but the actual changes will carry out after you press the Write to Registry button.
Step 9. You will get a prompt stating that the change in Key values has been stored in the Registry, but the effect will only be observed after a restart of the machine.
Note: The prompt message states that log out or reboot would apply the changes. Personally, I tried a logout first as it was easier and less time consuming than a restart, but it did not work. It was only after a reboot, the key remapping was successful.
Step 10. Restart the computer.
Also Read: How to Change Keyboard Language in Windows 10?
What Are The Options Of Remapping The Keyboard Using Sharpkeys In Windows 10?
SharpKeys allow users to remap the existing keys that you see on your keyboard to any other key you want. Apart from the visible key functions, it also provides certain hidden but useful functions like:
- Turn Off Key. This removes all the functions of a key and it acts only as a dummy key which when pressed, produces no result.
- App Keys. This allows the user to program any key on your keyboard such that it would open and display an app. The current apps which can be opened are Calculator, Mail app, My Computer, and Messenger.
- F-Lock Keys. This set of functions offers options for writing like Open, Save, Print, Spell, Redo Undo and others.
- Special Keys. These offer Sleep and Wake options by pressing a single button on the keyboard.
- Web Keys. These work when you are browsing or surfing online. All the functions would work on a browser like Home Page and Refresh.
- Media Buttons. These buttons would work only if a media player is active and running on your computer. You can Mute the sound with just pressing a key on the keyboard.
Also Read: How to Assign Keyboards shortcuts to open any program in Windows 10?
What Keys Can Be Remapped Using Sharpkeys For Windows 10? (Suggestions)
You can remap all the 100+ keys on your keyboard including the multimedia ones, that is if your keyboard has those extra buttons like Play, Stop, Next, etc. Personally, I decided to remap seven keys just to try out and here is a list of those keys:
- The ~ key on the left side of the horizontal number keys, just above the Tab key was remapped to the Sleep. Honestly, I had never used the ~ before writing this article.
- The Caps Lock key was turned off, which means pressing it would not present any result on the screen. This key was accidentally pressed many times while typing and it capitalized the text without intention.
- The Escape key function was replaced with the TAB key function. This was done to test that how replacing the functions of the keys would turn out and also to observe the time taken to form a new habit. In this case, it was treating the Escape key as Tab and vice versa.
- The Left CTRL was remapped to open the calculator when pressed. By the way, there are two CTRL keys and I thought it would be better it one of them was put to good
- The Left Shift was remapped to act as the HOME button while browsing. A single press would take your current tab back to your home page.
- Finally, the Scroll Lock Key, a key which I believe no one has ever used, except to check how the three LED’s look when lit up, was remapped with Caps Lock key. I always wanted the Caps Lock but just did not want it in its original place.
After these changes were mapped, I clicked on the Write to Registry Button and restarted the computer.
After the computer rebooted it asked me to press CTRL+ALT+DEL to enter the password for login in process. It was a normal procedure until I realized that it was not working. That was because I remapped the Left CTRL to Calculator and to log in. I would have to press the Right CTRL, which I normally did not do. There were no issues and everything else was fine and the remapping had been done as per the commands I had provided.
Also Read: Ways to disable your Keyboard in Windows 10.
How To Restore The Remapped Keys Back To Default Using Sharpkeys In Windows 10?
An important feature of SharpKeys is that it displays all the keys remapped on in your computer. If you wish to reverse the changes or restore all key functions back to default, then press Delete All button and you will receive a prompt as shown below:
Press the Write to Registry button to update the registry and your keyboard will be restored back to its original settings after a restart. I would like to share a secret with all of you. I did not know that deleting and updating the registry works with the help of just two buttons. To restore the seven changes, I had made on my computer, I personally went and remapped each key to its original function. It took a great deal of time as I had to scroll down the list of the functions because the Type Key button did not work for Remapped keys. Here is some proof:
Note: Use the First method to delete the key you wish to restore and after you Write it to Registry, restart the computer. Do not use the individual re-remapping keys method.
Also Read: The Best tools to Remap your Keyboard
Sharp keys For Windows 10: A Useful Application.
Sharp keys for Windows 10 is a very useful application if you want to remap a broken key or reassign a bunch of keys for gaming. It is easy to use, and the changes can be reversed with the help of a few simple buttons. I have documented all that is there to know about Sharpkeys, but if you face any issues, drop a note in the comments section below, and I will try to resolve it.
Catherine OlivenThank you SOSOSOSO much for the tip on how to restore the keys!!! “Delete all” was not intuitive.