How to Work Around a Broken Keyboard and Remap Keys on Windows 10

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If you have successfully damaged any of the keys on your keyboard, you can assess the damage and replace the keyboard cover, if that is all the damage you have done to your device. If you have damaged any circuit below and permanently locked an important key on your keyboard, you may need to replace the entire keyboard assembly. If you have a wrench that temporarily works and looks normal, there may be dust underneath it that may require deep cleaning to remove. Whatever problem you encounter, whether you are using some of the permanent (not free) solutions mentioned above, or if you never intend to do so, assigning a key to your keyboard will allow you to continue to use it in the meantime. .

How does key reassigning work?

Computers process their data between inputs, outputs and the main processing interface using encoded signals. Each time you press a key, depending on the function assigned, it will send a pulse signal to your system corresponding to this particular task code. Your system then processes and follows this instruction. For example, the “A” key on your keyboard may correspond to a specific signal. Let us call it conditionally “0001”. Every time your CPU receives a “0001” signal, it enters “A”.

Assigning keys on the keyboard uses this fact to switch the signals assigned to each key upwards. For example, if you want to enter “A” using the “X” key, you can assign the signal “0001” (which actually means “Enter A”). Every time you press the “X” key, your system receives a “0001” signal and executes the “Type A” command by typing “A”. The following key mapping tools simplify this exchange of signals by providing you with a functional user interface that makes it easy to switch between the keys you want to change. You don’t have to worry about internal coding and assigning signals that are part of this process.

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Use the PowerToys utility to reassign the key

The free Microsoft PowerToys utility for Windows 10 allows you to reassign the function of a non-functioning button to one that you don’t use often, such as a button. B. A scroll key or capital letter or a function key.

  • To do this, download Microsoft PowerToys, if you have not already done so. After starting, press “Keyboard Manager” on the side panel and then the “Assignment key”.
  • In our example, we use Esc as a bad key and replace it with the rarely used Scroll Lock key.
  • In the “Redesign Keyboard” window, click the plus sign (+) to add a shortcut.
  • On the left you need to define the key you are going to reassign. In the drop-down menu select the broken key you want to reassign.
  • In the “Mapped to” section click the drop-down menu on the right and select the key you want to replace the broken key with.
  • In our example, the Esc key is broken and has been replaced by the Scroll Lock key.
  • Click OK to close the Remap Keyboard window. The newly assigned keyboard must be active. Test it and make sure that it works properly.
  • Otherwise you can always go to the Keyboard Assignment window in PowerToys to change your settings. You can also click the Recycle Bin icon to completely remove the connection.

Some suggestions about which keys to use as a replacement

There are an amazing number of keys that I don’t use regularly, if at all. Some of the keys to keep in mind are: the menu key, usually located to the right of the space bar (AppsKey), right to right (RAlt), Caps Lock, ScrollLock or the d ‘PrintScreen. The keys on the numeric keypad can also work for you if you use them infrequently.

Fix the missing key

Do you have a key missing or defective? Map around it! Some adjustments may be necessary when you get to a key location. However, this is a good temporary solution until you get a new keyboard with function keys.

For example, if your rollback does not work, it is a very important key. Just match it with the key next to it (on my keyboard it would be the “\” key) and move this less used key to a key you would never use otherwise, such as “\”. B. function key.

Use unused keys

Caps Lock seems to be hated by everyone. I’m not a fan of unnecessary function keys and the Ctrl and Alt keys on the right side of the keyboard at all. You probably either hate some keys, or you don’t use them yourself. Don’t let them get lost! Change them to what you will really use.

For example, your Caps Lock key can be anything: a Shift key, a search button like in Chrome OS, or a return key. Their function keys can be used to shut down or shut down your computer, or even as a media management tool.

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