Windows 10 PowerToys to have a key remapper

Don Sharpe
by Don Sharpe
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Is Microsoft on a mission to replace all third-party utilities for Windows 10? If that is true, the software giant gets closer to that objective with each new feature it builds for its PowerToys toolset.

The company recently revealed it is adding a key-remapping function to its set of open-source system utilities.

PowerToys to get a keyboard shortcut manager

Microsoft says the new PowerToys “Keyboard Shortcut Manager” or KSM will enable Windows 10 users to personalize their keyboard to their liking. Specifically, key-remapping lets you assign your preferred output to any key.

For example, if you do not like pressing F1 to access system help files, you could assign the same outcome to a different key, provided that it helps you get the most out of your Windows 10 keyboard.

This keyboard manager enables customers to customize their computer on a keyboard level. With it, all the keys on your keyboard are dynamic and can be remapped to provide different outputs.

The proposed utility will make a lot of sense to you if you work with slightly different keyboard layouts or operating systems from time to time. It will let you configure your keyboard in a manner that always works best for you.

Check out this PowerToys guide to learn more about downloading and using the Windows 10 app.

The utility has been a long time coming

Right from its inception, the Windows OS has not been much of a help if you did not like the way some keys on your computer keyboard worked.

Well, there is the Windows 10 Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center, which you can download and use to customize your input devices in specific ways. But you can only reassign some keys with it.

Many ordinary and power users resort to third-party apps like SharpKeys to remap keys on their PC. Some of them have been commenting on the GitHub PowerToys Issues forum, urging Microsoft to intervene in one way or another.

On May 15, 2019, one user who appeared to not like some of the new Windows 10 hotkeys (such as Windows + S for search), said he wished he could remap them.

Another desired full access to the system hotkey table, which would allow users to manipulate it. Microsoft has finally responded to some of these requests.

Hopefully, the utility will get some powerful features with the help of developers involved in the PowerToys open-source project.