For example, the Win + D key combination is often used to access the desktop from an open window of any application, while the Win + E shortcut is used to open the Explorer. The hot key utility is standard across all the versions of MS Windows.
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Both Windows 7 and Vista have the same Win + X hot keys. However, they also come with the Win+ shortcuts for switching between apps and for launching the shortcuts in the Quick Launch menu. Although the hot keys aid in quickly accessing the desired programs or perform the desired tasks, there are times when you seriously feel like disabling all these key combinations.
How to Block Windows Hot Keys
The Need to Disable the Hot Keys
One of the situations wherein I feel like disabling all the shortcut keys is when my kids or guests use the computer. I had a tough time when one of the guests at my home pressed the Ctrl + Alt + Delete key combination to see its functionality. This opened the Task Manager and the guest unintentionally stopped my antivirus and some more vital programs.
Unfortunately, this invited a virus attack. Therefore, from that day onwards, I always disable the hot keys when somebody else sits on my PC. So, here is how to disable the hot keys in Windows Vista or Windows 7 in case even you when you want to be a litle proactive and take that step of prevention in advance.
Via Registry Tweak: A Geeky Way
You can disable all the hot keys in one go with only one registry entry. Remember, any change related to hardware is possible via the Registry Editor. Just adding a new key can make you block all the hot keys on your computer. Below are the steps to disable all the hot keys.
1. Log on as administrator.
2. Click the Start button.
3. In the Run text box, enter regedit. The Registry Editor gets opened.
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4. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft key.
5. Browse further to \Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer key.
6. On the right side, right-click to select DWORD Value from the context menu for creating a new 32-bit DWORD value.
7. Enter the name as NoWinKeys. Kindly note that this name is case-sensitive; therefore, enter the name exactly as mentioned here.
8. Double-click the new value and assign it 1 in its Value data field.
9. Close the Registry Editor.
10. Restart your PC so that the desired change can be seen as an effect in action.
11. Try pressing any hot key combination. You will now see that it is not working.
This means that all hot keys are now blocked on your PC. If at any point of time you want to enable all the shortcut key combinations, just open the Registry Editor and change the value to 0 of the newly created DWORD value. Alternatively, you can also delete the NoWinKeys DWORD value.
Via Graphical Tool: A Fun Way
If you do not want to touch your registry and want to play safe, try the Intelliadmin utility that is available for free as www.intelliadmin.com/hotkeyset.exe. It is not a spyware or adware and allows you to both enable and disable the hot keys.