- Most keyboards come with standard setups and regarding mapping, with no huge differences between devices, unless we're talking about keyboards for specific non-English languages.
- The standard keyboard setup may not be in perfect tune with everybody's needs.
- Below you'll find a list of key management software that can help you make advanced settings according to your preferred ways of using the device.
Keyboard layouts don’t vary greatly for most desktops and laptops. So you can find the same keys in roughly the same places across most keyboards.
If you’re looking for a way to customize keys and keyboard layouts, you can install key-mapping software packages. These are programs that enable you to remap or disable keys and add new custom shortcuts to keyboards.
For example, you could control Caps Lock and turn into the Ctrl button by remapping it. There are numerous key-mapping software packages for Windows. A lot of those are freeware programs, which is another bonus.
These are some of the best keyboard-mapping software for Windows 10 that you can transform your keyboard with.
Key Remapper has had some rave reviews. As it has a registration fee this isn’t freeware, but you can still add a non-registered version to Windows with more restricted options from this website page.
The great thing about this software is that it enables you to remap mouse buttons and keyboard keys. As such, you can add keyboard functions to mouse buttons.
Key Remapper doesn’t have the visual keyboard GUI design in some of the alternatives. Instead, the software enables you to set up profiles so you can remap keys for alternative programs and purposes.
Then users can remap buttons for profiles by double-clicking the Key Remapper window to open the options shown in the snapshot directly below.
That window also includes options that enable you to configure the remapped keys to work only in specific programs. You can as well switch between the profiles using the dropdown menu and choose between different programs.
Another advantage is that this program doesn’t alter the registry scan codes for keys, so you can remap them without restarting Windows.
Using this key mapper means you can forget about inconvenient peripherals issues and enjoy a new world.
PowerToys is a set of Windows 10 utilities targeted towards advanced users. Its features help you make more in-depth setups for your device. It comes with appearance customization options, file explorer addons, power options, a keyboard manager, and more.
The PowerToys Keyboard Manager is a comprehensive tool that helps you thoroughly set up your keyboard so that it better fits your specific needs.
It can help with remapping all your keys and change them up as you like. It is great for making your most-used keys more accessible or set up your keys to better use different language packs. You can easily type the key you want to change and then select the corresponding letter, and you’re all set. You can also use the app to swap the functions of two keys.
Moreover, you can change up the keyboard shortcuts for different actions in your apps. The feature works for each app specifically, so if you want to add, for example, the same shortcut key across multiple apps, you will have to set that specific shortcut for each app separately.
Note that there are some essential, system shortcuts that you won’t be able to remap with PowerToys: Ctrl+Alt+Del, Win+L, and the Function Key Fn.
The PowerToys Keyboard manager is a free product provided by Microsoft. It runs on Windows 10 OS 1803 (build 17134) or later.
SharpKeys is a portable keyboard mapping software tool that makes a simple tweak to the system registry. This way, it enables you to easily swap or remap one key with another. The software application has a straightforward UI that doesn’t include a keyboard layout from which to select keys.
Instead, you can simply select one key to modify from a list and then choose another to switch it with from a second list. This software supports all the standard keys and some multimedia playback buttons on more recent keyboards.
The one notable shortcoming of SharpKeys is that it lacks an option that restores the default keyboard mapping, so users have to manually delete each remapped key separately.
However, aside from this fact, this is still a decent freeware program to remap keys with.
Other worth mentioning aspects are the very simple-to-use interface or the support for multiple Windows versions, from 10 to Vista or XP.
Hence you should consider this key mapping software if you need to keep your keyboard layout even after you change the physical one.
KeyTweak has a visual keyboard layout GUI with which you can select a key to modify on the keyboard and then choose another button to remap it from the drop-down menu. The WindowReport team has covered how to switch keys off with KeyTweak.
It also enables users to remap keys with more unique buttons found on multimedia keyboards and Web browsers toolbar options such as Back, Stop, Forward and Refresh.
Unlike SharpKeys, this program does have a Restore All Defaults button that restores original keyboard settings.
Another great thing about KeyTweaks is that you can specify and save alternative mapping configurations as remap files, which can then be reloaded and applied.
Besides all, this keyboard virtualization tool has a very simple interface you can use with ease. It’s also possible to run in full teaching mode or half teach mode, disable a certain key, or see a raw map.
That being said, software like this comes really handy when you need to remap your keyboard or change the default layout, so hesitate no more.
Key Mapper has an expansive visual keyboard GUI. What sets this program apart from others on this list is the drag-and-drop UI that enables you to disable keys by dragging them off the window.
You can remap keys by dragging them onto the ones you need to assign them to.
The flexible UI also enables you to map or disable keys by double-clicking them on the keyboard to open the Create a mapping window directly below.
Aside from its intuitive UI, Key Mapper includes a variety of alternative keyboard layouts and languages from different countries.
The Mac Keyboard option will come in handy for Mac users. In addition, Keyboard Layout Manager has a handy Export As Registry file option that you can export changes to a file with.
Therefore, you should take this tool into consideration for its user-friendly interface and support for multiple input devices.
AutoHotkey is a more flexible key-mapping software for Windows that’s not entirely the same as some of the others mentioned here.
This is a scripting tool with which you can remap keys, and the software doesn’t remap the buttons via the registry. As such, AutoHotkey enables you to remap keyboard shortcuts and mouse buttons as well as the standard keys.
Then you can also save and export these scripts to other systems as EXE files, which is another advantage.
Moreover, the software offers the possibility of learning basic scripts for beginners to perform tasks like macros, auto-clicking or autocomplete in forms. Besides, it can help with remapping keys or buttons almost instantly.
On top of that, you can use this tool completely free and enjoy its practical features without other extra fees. If you want to automate some of the desktop tasks using a friendly scripting language, this is the right place.
Therefore, anybody can benefit from this open-source key mapping software, plus learning scripting language with all the needed support.
Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (MKLC) enables you to create custom keyboard layouts from scratch. For example, you could set up a Dvorak keyboard layout with it.
Alternatively, you can configure new keyboard layouts from existing ones. This program isn’t entirely the same as some of the others as it creates installers that you can add extra keyboards to Windows with.
When you’re setting up new keyboard layouts, you can select three alternative configurations for the key layouts around the Enter button. The software has a visual keyboard GUI so that you can click keys to assign values to them.
The one limitation of MKLC is that you can’t configure system buttons such as Return, Ctrl, Alt, and Tab; but assignable keys can have multiple entries such as Ctrl + key.
You can also validate and test keyboard layouts. So MKLC is one of the best remapping tools for setting up entirely new keyboard layouts in Windows.
All in all, this practical tool can get very useful in various circumstances, thus creating your personalized layouts may be of great help regarding language characters or symbols.
Those are several great keyboard mapping software packages for Windows 10 and other platforms.
With those programs, you can remap keys, disable buttons, set up new keyboard layouts, assign keyboard functions to the mouse, and more besides.
So, you can see that the keyboard is one of the main elements of a computer and the tools to optimize your work with the keyboard are plenty. Choose the best apps for you to become efficient!
Note: This article has constantly been updated for freshness and accuracy. All software suggested are carefully selected, providing quality keyboard mapping features. We really hope that this list helped you figure out which tool can be the best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can change the function keys on your keyboard using any tool on the list above. Before doing so, check out these fixes if your function keys aren’t working.
If your Caps Lock key is stuck, there are several solutions for resolving this problem.
Check out these quick fixes if your laptop keyboard isn’t working on Windows.