Ever had the issue where one of the keys on your keyboard stops working? Maybe it broke or was stuck somehow, I think we have all been there. External keyboards are easily replaceable, but laptop keys are a different story. Regardless of if you’re on a PC or a laptop, there is a simple fix for the problem. You can use programs like SharpKeys to rebind the broken key to a different one that you don’t use, like Scroll Lock or any other key.
Windows includes native options to remap keys using the Registry, but the process is quite complicated and third-party software is usually the better option as it is more user friendly. Check out Martin’s guide on Windows keyboard remapping.
Tip: you can also remap your mouse buttons.
Dual Key Remap
Dual Key Remap is a user-friendly software that can help you rebind the key to not one, but two keys of your choice. Extract the portable archive to any folder, and run the executable to start using Dual Key Remap. You won’t see a window open or an icon on the system tray, that’s because the application runs in the background.
So, how do you know it is running? By default, the application replaces the Caps Lock key’s function and remaps it as the Escape key. Try enabling Caps Lock and type something, it won’t change the case of the letters. That’s because it is now the Escape key, right-click on your desktop and tap Caps Lock, it will dismiss the menu.
This also works with shortcuts that involves the Escape key, e.g. press Ctrl + Escape (when Dual Keymap isn’t running) and you should see the start menu open.
Repeat the above step with the program in the background, but use Ctrl + Caps Lock instead and you will see the menu appear. Please be aware that the Escape key will not do anything while Dual Key Remap is active.
How do you exit Dual Key Remap? Open the Windows Task Manager and right-click on dual-key-remap.exe, and hit the End Task button. This is slightly inconvenient, but it is the only way to close the program. You don’t have to restart the computer or the window that you were using, Caps Lock will return to its original function instantly. This also means that Dual Key Remap does not permanently rebind your keys, it only works when the program is running in the background.
But you need to use Caps Lock while the program is active. According to a comment on GitHub, there is a way to do this. If you launch an application with administrator privileges, the Caps Lock key will function as it normally does, e.g. Command prompt. This also works with Task Manager which can be opened with Ctrl + Alt + Escape. Since Dual Key Remap does not require admin rights, you can use this method as a workaround to get Caps Lock working without exiting the application.
How to remap keys using Dual Key Remap
Open the directory that you extracted Dual Key Remap to. The program stores its settings in a text document named config.txt. It has just three lines in it.
I strongly advise against remapping one of the alphabet or number keys, because you’re likely going to need those for typing content, and also for entering passwords. On the other hand, if one of those keys is not working, follow this step to remap it to a different key.
Refer to the official wiki for the key names that you can use.
Let’s pretend the Enter key has stopped working, and we want to fix it. So, let’s use Dual Key Remap to change Scroll Lock to Enter. Open the config.txt and paste the following command in it.
Save the document, and run the executable again. Try using the Scroll Lock key and it should now work like the Enter key. Simple, wasn’t it?
Dual Key Remap is an open source program, it is written in C. Using Alt + Caps Lock is much easier than Alt + Escape to switch windows.
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Dual Key Remap