Windows+X is not really Windows+X


I recently had to look into a Group Policy called “Turn off Windows+X hotkeys”. Apparently a lot of people interpret this as meaning “Turn off the Windows+X hotkey”. Ah, the joys of semantics:

Policy Turn off Windows+X hotkeys
Category Path User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer\
Supported On At least Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Registry Key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Value NoWinKeys


Turn off Windows+X hotkeys.
Keyboards with a Windows key provide users with shortcuts to common shell features. For example, pressing the keyboard sequence Windows+R opens the Run dialog box; pressing Windows+E starts Windows Explorer. By using this setting, you can disable these Windows+X shortcut keys.
If you enable this setting, the Windows+X shortcut keys are unavailable.
If you disable or do not configure this setting, the Windows+X shortcut keys are available.

So in short, if you read through the description it seems to imply this policy affects any keyboard shortcuts that involve the Windows key, like Windows+R, Windows+E, etc. Somehow people who only want to disable Windows+X will have to make do.

Comments (1)

  1. leptosz says:

    Nice to read these kind of stories. Reminds me the syntax good old command prompt, where logics and predefinied examples hardly fit to real world scenarios, and the only way out is through the Brute Force standard.