PowerToys Keyboard Manager utility for Windows (2023)

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The PowerToys Keyboard Manager enables you to redefine keys on your keyboard.

For example, you can exchange the letter A for the letter B on your keyboard. When you press the A key, a B will be inserted.

PowerToys Keyboard Manager utility for Windows (1)

You can exchange shortcut key combinations. For example: The shortcut key Ctrl+C will copy text in many applications. With PowerToys Keyboard Manager utility, you can swap that shortcut for ⊞ Win+C. Now, ⊞ Win+C will copy text. If you do not specify a targeted application in PowerToys Keyboard Manager, the shortcut exchange will be applied globally across Windows.

PowerToys Keyboard Manager must be enabled (with PowerToys running in the background) for remapped keys and shortcuts to be applied. If PowerToys is not running, key remapping will no longer be applied.

Important

There are some shortcut keys that are reserved for the operating system or cannot be replaced. Keys that cannot be remapped include:

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  • ⊞ Win+L and Ctrl+Alt+Del cannot be remapped as they are reserved by the Windows OS.
  • The Fn (function) key cannot be remapped (in most cases). The F1 ~ F12 (and F13 ~ F24) keys can be mapped.
  • Pause will only send a single keydown event. So mapping it against the backspace key, for instance, and pressing and holding will only delete a single character.
  • ⊞ Win+G often opens the Xbox Game Bar, even when reassigned. Game Bar can be disabled in Windows Settings.

Settings

To create mappings with Keyboard Manager, open the PowerToys Settings. Inside PowerToys Settings, on the Keyboard Manager tab, you will see options to:

  • Launch the Remap Keys settings window by pressing Remap a key
  • Launch the Remap Shortcuts settings window by pressing Remap a shortcut

Remap Keys

To remap a key, changing it to a new value, launch the Remap Keyboard settings window with the Remap a Key button. When first launched, no predefined mappings will be displayed. You must select the + button to add a new remap.

Once a new remap row appears, select the input key whose output you want to change in the “Physical Key” column. Select the new key value to assign in the “Mapped To” column.

For example, to press A and have B appear:

Physical Key:Mapped To:
AB

To swap key positions between the A and B keys, add another remapping with:

Physical Key:Mapped To:
BA

PowerToys Keyboard Manager utility for Windows (2)

Key to Shortcut

To remap a key to a shortcut (combination of keys), enter the shortcut key combination in the "Mapped To" column.

For example, to press the Ctrl key and have it result in ⊞ Win + (left arrow):

Physical Key:Mapped To:
Ctrl⊞ Win +

Important

(Video) Part 5 - Microsoft PowerToys for Windows 10 Keyboard Manager

Key remapping will be maintained even if the remapped key is used inside another shortcut. The order of keypress matters in this scenario as the action is executed during keydown, not keyup. For example, pressing Ctrl+C would result as ⊞ Win + left arrow + C. Pressing the Ctrl key will first execute ⊞ Win + left arrow. Pressing the C key first will execute C + ⊞ Win + left arrow.

Remap Shortcuts

To remap a shortcut key combination, like Ctrl+C, press Remap a shortcut to launch the Remap Shortcuts settings window.

When first launched, no predefined mappings will be displayed. You must select the + button to add a new remap.

Once a new remap row appears, select the input keys whose output you want to change in the “Physical Shortcut” column. Select the new shortcut value to assign in the “Mapped To” column.

For example, the shortcut Ctrl+C copies selected text. To remap that shortcut to use the Alt key, rather than the Ctrl key:

Physical Shortcut:Mapped To:
Alt + CCtrl + C

PowerToys Keyboard Manager utility for Windows (3)

There are a few rules to follow when remapping shortcuts (these rules only apply to the "Shortcut" column):

  • Shortcuts must begin with a modifier key: Ctrl, Shift, Alt, or ⊞ Win
  • Shortcuts must end with an action key (all non-modifier keys): A, B, C, 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • Shortcuts cannot be longer than three keys

Remap a shortcut to a single key

It is possible to remap a shortcut (key combination) to a single key press by selecting the Remap a shortcut button in PowerToys Settings.

For example, to replace the shortcut ⊞ Win+ (left arrow) with a single key press Alt:

Shortcut:Mapped To:
⊞ Win + Alt

Important

Shortcut remapping will be maintained even if the remapped key is used inside another shortcut. The order of keypress matters in this scenario as the action is executed during keydown, not keyup. For example, pressing ⊞ Win++Shift would result in Alt + Shift.

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App-specific shortcuts

Keyboard Manager enables you to remap shortcuts for only specific apps (rather than globally across Windows).

For example, in the Outlook email app the shortcut Ctrl+E is set by default to search for an email. If you prefer instead to set Ctrl+F to search your email (rather than forward an email as set by default), you can remap the shortcut with "Outlook" set as your "Target app".

Keyboard Manager uses process-names (not application names) to target apps. For example, Microsoft Edge is set as "msedge" (process name), not "Microsoft Edge" (application name). To find an application's process name, open PowerShell and enter the command get-process or open Command Prompt and enter the command tasklist. This will result in a list of process names for all applications you currently have open. Below is a list of a few popular application process names.

ApplicationProcess name
Microsoft Edgemsedge.exe
OneNoteonenote.exe
Outlookoutlook.exe
TeamsTeams.exe
Adobe PhotoshopPhotoshop.exe
File Explorerexplorer.exe
Spotify Musicspotify.exe
Google Chromechrome.exe
Excelexcel.exe
Wordwinword.exe
Powerpointpowerpnt.exe

How to select a key

To select a key or shortcut to remap, you can:

  • Use the Type Key or Type Shortcut button.
  • Use the drop-down menu.

Once you select the Type Key or Type Shortcut button, a dialogue window will pop up in which you can enter the key or shortcut, using your keyboard. Once you’re satisfied with the output, hold Enter to continue. If you’d like to leave the dialogue, hold the Esc button.

Using the drop-down menu, you can search with the key name and additional drop-down values will appear as you progress. However, you can not use the type-key feature while the drop-down menu is open.

Orphaning Keys

Orphaning a key means that you mapped it to another key and no longer have anything mapped to it.

For example, if the key is remapped from A to B, then a key no longer exists on your keyboard that results in A. To ensure this does not happen by accident, a warning will display for any orphaned keys. To fix this, use + to create another remapped key that is mapped to result in A.

(Video) How to Remap Keys with Windows PowerToys

PowerToys Keyboard Manager utility for Windows (4)

Frequently asked questions

I remapped the wrong keys, how can I stop it quickly?

For key remapping to work, PowerToys must be running in the background and Keyboard Manager must be enabled. To stop remapped keys, close PowerToys or disable Keyboard Manger in the PowerToys settings.

Can I use Keyboard Manager at my log-in screen?

No, Keyboard Manager is only available when PowerToys is running and doesn’t work on any password screen, including while Run As Admin.

Do I have to restart my computer or PowerToys for the remapping to take effect?

No, remapping should occur immediately upon pressing OK.

Where are the Mac/Linux profiles?

Currently Mac and Linux profiles are not included.

Will this work on video games?

We suggest that you avoid using Keyboard Manager when playing games as it may affect the game's performance. It will also depend on how the game accesses your keys. Certain keyboard APIs do not work with Keyboard Manager.

Will remapping work if I change my input language?

Yes it will. Right now if you remap A to B on English (US) keyboard and then change the language setting to French, typing A on the French keyboard (Q on the English US physical keyboard) would result in B, this is consistent with how Windows handles multilingual input.

Can I have different key mappings across multiple keyboards?

Currently no. We are not aware of an API where we can see the input and which device it came from. The typical use case here is a laptop with an external keyboard connected.

I see keys listed in the drop down menus that don't work. Why is that?

Keyboard Manager lists mappings for all known physical keyboard buttons. Some of these mappings may not be available on your keyboard as there may not be a physical key that it corresponds to. For instance, the Start App 1 option shown below is only available on keyboards that physically have a Start App 1 key. Trying to map to and from this key on a keyboard that does not support the Start App 1 key will result in undefined behavior.

PowerToys Keyboard Manager utility for Windows (5)

(Video) How to Remap Keys in Windows 10 | Powertoys Keyboard Manager | Remap keys windows 10

Troubleshooting

If you have tried to remap a key or shortcut and are having trouble, it could be one of the following issues:

  • Run As Admin: Remapping will not work on an app or window if that window is running in administrator (elevated) mode and PowerToys is not running as administrator. Try running PowerToys as an administrator.
  • Not Intercepting Keys: Keyboard Manger intercepts keyboard hooks to remap your keys. Some apps that also do this can interfere with Keyboard Manager. To fix this, go to the settings, disable and enable Keyboard Manager.

Known Issues

See the list of open keyboard manager issues.

FAQs

How do I use PowerToys on Windows? ›

To use PowerToys Run, select Alt + Space and start typing! (Note that this shortcut can be changed in the settings window.) PowerToys must be running in the background and Run must be enabled for this utility to work.

Does Windows 10 have PowerToys? ›

Microsoft PowerToys is a set of freeware system utilities designed for power users developed by Microsoft for use on the Windows operating system. These programs add or change features to maximize productivity or add more customization. PowerToys are available for Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Does Windows PowerToys work on Windows 11? ›

Microsoft has released the latest version of PowerToys, its suite of tools for power users on Windows 10 and 11, bringing it to version 0.60.

Does Windows 11 have PowerToys? ›

Install PowerToys from Microsoft Store on Windows 11

To install PowerToys on Windows 11, use these steps: Open Microsoft PowerToys page. Click the Get in Store app button. Click the Install button.

What can Windows 10 PowerToys do? ›

It comprises a set of useful tools like an image resizer, file renamer, colour picker, among others! PowerToys for Windows 10 are free and open sourced software licensed under the MIT License and is hosted on GitHub. Windows 10 PowerToys provides tools that can help you to be more productive while using your computer.

Can I do PIP on Windows? ›

Pip must be manually installed on Windows. You might need to use the correct version of the file from pypa.org if you're using an earlier version of Python or pip. Get the file and save it to a folder on your PC.

How do I remap my keyboard keys in Windows 10? ›

To reassign a key

Connect the keyboard that you want to configure. Select the Start button, and then select Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. From the displayed list of key names, select the key that you want to reassign. In the command list of the key that you want to reassign, select a command.

Does PowerToys slow down computer? ›

Powertoys Run has noticeable input delay along with slow searches regardless of computer load #10429.

How do I use keyboard manager? ›

Press INSERT+F2 to open the Run JAWS Manager dialog, then press K, followed by ENTER. When you start the Keyboard Manager from within an application, the Keyboard Manager automatically opens the key map file for that application.

How do I only use the keyboard on Device Manager? ›

Method 1: Right-click the Start button or press the Windows Logo + X key combination on the keyboard and, from the list, click to select Device Manager.

Does Windows 10 have CyberLink? ›

Is CyberLink software designed for touch on Windows 10? CyberLink makes it easy for Windows 10 users to get the most out of their systems with award-winning applications for both “desktop” and “modern” interfaces.

What is power tools for Windows 10? ›

Power Tools for Windows is an electrical engineering analysis software that provides power systems analysis and design software for fault calculations, load flow, coordination, arc flash hazards, motor starting, transient stability, reliability, harmonics, grounding, and cable pulling.

What is not compatible with Windows 11? ›

Windows 11 will only be released for 64-bit systems, so computers with a 32-bit processor will not be able to upgrade. However, 32-bit programs can still be used in the 64-bit environment.

Does Windows 11 have inbuilt emulator? ›

Your Windows 11 install likely doesn't include one of the most-anticipated features of the operating system — native Android emulation. This allows you to run Android apps directly on your PC.

Where is the power management in Windows 11? ›

To adjust power and sleep settings in Windows 11, select Start > Settings > System > Power & battery > Screen and sleep.

How do I enable Power Options in Windows 11? ›

To change the power mode, select Start > Settings > System > Power & battery. For Power mode, choose the one you want.

Should I run PowerToys as administrator? ›

PowerToys only needs elevated administrator permission when interacting with other applications that are running in administrator mode. If those applications are in focus, PowerToys may not function unless it is elevated as well.

Can I uninstall PowerToys? ›

Method 2: Uninstall PowerToys via Apps and Features/Programs and Features. Look for PowerToys in the list and click on it. The next step is to click on uninstall, so you can initiate the uninstallation.

Is Microsoft Power Toys safe? ›

The first released version of PowerToys can be downloaded from the link below. Download the MSI file as shown in the screenshot. Note that the file has been signed by Janea Systems instead of Microsoft, for now. We checked that it's safe.

Why is pip not recognized Windows? ›

A “pip: command not found” error occurs when you fail to properly install the package installer for Python (pip) needed to run Python on your computer. To fix it, you will either need to re-install Python and check the box to add Python to your PATH or install pip on your command line.

Can Windows 10 run pip? ›

You can easily install PIP on Windows by downloading the installation package, opening the command line, and launching the installer. This tutorial will show how to install PIP on Windows, check its version, upgrade, and configure.

What slows down a PC the most? ›

Here are some of the things that may have caused your computer to become so slow: Running out of RAM (Random Access Memory) Running out of disk drive space (HDD or SSD) Old or fragmented hard drive.

Does Windows 10 animations affect performance? ›

Disable shadows, animations and visual effects

On fast, newer PCs, these don't usually affect system performance. But on slower and older PCs, they can exact a performance hit. It's easy to turn them off. In the Windows 10 search box, type sysdm.

Does high performance hurt PC? ›

Running your pc in high performance mode will not harm it. You cpu will not be running at full speed constantly it will still perform as intended. This just allows your computer to be used to its max capacity whenever it needs to be.

How do I open Task Manager on Windows keyboard? ›

Task Manager is launched in Windows 11 by using CTRL + ALT + Delete, Right-Click the Start Button, CTRL + Shift + ESC, Windows Key + X, or the Run Command.

What is keyboard manager? ›

Keyboard Manager enables you to remap shortcuts for only specific apps (rather than globally across Windows). For example, in the Outlook email app the shortcut Ctrl + E is set by default to search for an email.

Why do I have 4 keyboards in Device Manager? ›

Multiple keyboards are normal inside the device manager. It sounds like your laptop needs a keyboard replacement as the symptoms suggest. Press Win+I Keys to open Settings.

How do I manage Device Manager without a mouse? ›

First, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to launch Task Manager. If it opens up in its compact mode, press the “More details” button. Then, go to the File menu and click or tap on “Run new task.” Finally, press Enter or OK, and Device Manager will immediately open.

How do I access Device Manager without a mouse? ›

Press Win + R to open the Run command dialog box. Type CMD and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open an elevated Command Prompt. Type devmgmt. msc and press Enter to open the Device Manager.

How do I install PowerApps on Windows 10? ›

Go to the Microsoft Store and install Power Apps for Windows. When the app is installed, open it and sign in.

How do I access Microsoft PowerToys? ›

PowerToys Run

To open, use the shortcut Alt + Space and start typing. It is open source and modular for additional plugins. Window Walker is now included as well.

How do I get the power bar on Windows 10? ›

Select Start > Settings > Personalization > Taskbar, and then scroll down to the notification area. Choose Select which icons appear on the taskbar, and then turn on the Power toggle. (Note: The Power toggle is not visible on a system such as a desktop PC that doesn't use battery power.)

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