Sunday, February 26, 2012

Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard and the Function Lock Key

I have a microsoft multimedia keyboard with a function lock key.
Each function key does other tasks, e.g. F2 is UNDO.
However, F2 is also the "Rename" shortcut for Windows which I use very regularly to rename files. F6 is the shortcut to jump to the URL bar in Internet and Windows Explorer, etc.

Annoyingly, the F keys are OFF by default so every time I go to rename a file, I end up undoing the last action that I performed. Quite often this can be a file move and I then have to remember which file I last moved and re-move it! I suppose I could press F3 to "Redo" but that's not the point!

You can of course, turn on the function keys by pressing the Function Lock key - but usually by the time I realise I have not pressed it the damage is already done!

Anyway, others have had the same frustration that I have and created a registry hack that reverses the button functionality. So that by default, the Function Keys are the Function Keys and not whatever arbitrary functions the Microsoft engineers decided I needed instead.

The registry hacks are here:

As with any registry hack, you should always backup your registry, take a system restore point, pray to your god(s) and of course EDIT the file to make sure it does nothing terrible (if you know what you're looking for).

As of the time of writing, these files work fine and are safe. I used But there are others there that might be more helpful.

In fact, this is all it is:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,0e,00,00,00,3b,00,3b,e0,3c,00,08,e0,\

Feel free to make your own .reg file with the above code.

Make sure to reboot after applying the registry fix. If you want to undo all of this. Simply delete the "Scancode Map" entry and reboot.

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