How to Tame the Annoying Caps Lock Key in Windows

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Do you sometimes find yourself suddenly typing in all upper case because you accidentally hit the Caps Lock key?  Do you ever wonder if that key couldn’t be used for something else? If you are one of the many people who are as annoyed by Caps Lock as I am, this tip is for you.  I know there are a lot of you because I recently did a Google search for the phrase “hate Caps Lock” and got 142,000 hits.

In Windows XP, Vista, and 7, the keyboard functions can be changed in the Registry. In this tip, I’ll provide the REG files that will do the job on Caps Lock. The registry key that is involved is

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

The value that has to be edited is “Scancode Map” but it is a somewhat complicated binary entry and using a REG file is the best procedure. I’ll offer scripts for two ways to go—-disable Caps Lock entirely or change it to a Shift key.

Disable Caps Lock

If you apply this fix, the Caps Lock key will no longer do anything. Download the zipped file from the link Disable “Caps Lock” that is at this site. The file is listed in the section REG files for editing the Windows Registry.   Then do the following:

  1. Back up your Registry or create a System Restore point
  2. Unzip the downloaded file
  3. Right-click the unzipped file , which is called “disable-capslock.reg”
  4. In the right-click menu, select “Merge”. Windows Vista/7 will give UAC warnings
  5. Answer the UAC challenge if you are using Windows Vista or 7
  6. The file will be merged into the Registry. However, there will be no message to tell you that it has happened
  7. You have to log off and back on before you see the change

Depending on your system settings, you may also be able to do a normal left double-click on the Reg file instead of the right-click in step #3. That will take you to step #5.

Change Caps Lock to Shift

Go to the same page mentioned above but download from the entry called Change Caps Lock key to Shift . The procedure is the same as above except that the file in step 3 is called CapsToShift.reg

How to change everything back

If you don’t like the results of changing the Caps Lock function, download the file from the link Restore Caps Lock on the same page as before and follow the same procedure as above.

Remapping other keys

In the next tip, I  mention some software for remapping the keyboard in a more general way. In the meantime, enjoy typing without worrying about the Caps Lock key.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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