Change the default keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10

Creating your own keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 isn’t too complicated. Right-click the executable file for which you want to create a shortcut, click Properties, and then type a command in the box. (Learn more about creating custom shortcuts here.)

But what if you want to change the default keyboard shortcuts that Windows 10 has set for you, like a much easier shortcut instead of Ctrl + Change + exit to access the task manager or Ctrl + S do I use an alternate search tool? To do this, we need a tool called AutoHotKey.

Here’s how you can change keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 with this great tool.

Meet AutoHotKey

So let’s start with the bad news, that is, there is no original way to change the default Windows keys. After all these years, Microsoft is still unwilling to offer this simple flexibility.

Instead, you must create scripts for each hotkey you want to replace. Don’t worry, this process is actually pretty straightforward thanks to a great tool Automatic speed dialing. This is a scripting tool that can be used for all sorts of creative purposes, but today we’re looking in particular at how you can use it to change your default Windows shortcuts.

First, download AutoHotKey.

Next, we’ll walk you through the basics of automatic shortcut syntax that you need to know to edit Windows shortcuts. Most Windows shortcuts use a combination of the buttons below, so it should be enough to get you started.

Automatic shortcut syntax Representation
^ Ctrl key
! Alt key
+ Change key
# Win key
Up down left right Arrow keys / instructions
Course, Allows a keyboard shortcut to open a file, folder, or program on your computer
send, Assign a shortcut key to the keys you selected

If you want to type a letter, all you have to do is type it literally when the buttons hold exit, Remove and others can also be entered directly into your script. You will find a suitable place a list of automatic shortcut syntaxes for this site.

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Change the default Windows shortcut

Once you’ve done that, right-click on an empty space on the Windows desktop, then select “New -> Automatic Shortcut Command” and invite it to be recognized. We are going to create a better shortcut to access the task manager (Ctrl + Change + exit by default), so we call our shortcut Task Manager.

Then right-click on the script you just created and click “Edit Script.” Based on the syntax above, the shortcut you enter here is as follows:

First enter the shortcut you want to use and follow it ::Send, then the space and shortcut that you want to replace your custom shortcut. Because the Esc key is a command rather than a standard key, we enclose it in special parentheses.

When you change all keyboard shortcuts, we recommend that you add another line to the script with the text #NoTrayIcon. This prevents the automatic shortcut bar icon from being displayed and ensures that the entire process stays in the background.

When your script is complete, close and save it and double-click it to run it and test the keyboard shortcut to see if it works as it should.

Change the program shortcut

Next, try to control the Windows default search shortcut Win + S to the alternative search tool we want to call Get everything. Type the following command:

:: distinguishes the shortcut from the function you want it to perform. Shortly before that is the keyboard shortcut we give (Win + S in this case) and shortly thereafter run is a command to open the Find All application.

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Run shortcuts when Windows starts

Keyboard shortcuts work as soon as you start Windows and move the .ahk script to the system startup folder in File Explorer – C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartUp. Do the same for all keyboard shortcuts. This way, they all work as soon as you turn on your computer.

It’s a bit of an effort, but it certainly works to change Windows keyboard shortcuts. As a bonus, you’ll also learn the absolute basics of AutoHotKey – a very handy tool that can execute much more complex scripts than the one we mentioned here.

If you want to stay full in Windows, check out a list of the best sandbox apps for Windows 10 and how to convert your old BIOS to UEFI.

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