I’ve now held on to a beautiful old IBM Model M and used it as my primary keyboard for 13 years. Came from a school district auction, along with a Commodore 64 monitor that became my first dorm television. This keyboard’s likely seen every major build of Windows since 3.1.
For this and any other device that lacks a Windows Key, however, the need for its addition is feeling ever more pressing. The keyboard-heavy interface in MetroUI greatly benefits from finding some way to fake it. Luckily, the need for others is rapidly dwindling. (Many use Caps Lock, I prefer Scroll Lock.)
In particular, check out Windows Key+Q, a Search Charm being used throughout the MetroUI environment. The Windows Key on its own handily toggles between MetroUI and the conventional desktop, as well, although that much can also be accomplished with CTRL+ESC. Other new or updated shortcuts are listed here by the Aussies at Lifehacker.com.
Luckily, while the need has grown, the fix has stayed the same since Windows 2000. To reiterate, this fix works in Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and all builds of Windows Server.
Software-free automated fix: Download either of these Registry Editor files to remap the Caps Lock or Scroll Lock to the Windows key. Open them, say “yes” when prompted by the Registry Editor, and reboot.
Manual fix – If you want to edit or undo this, here’s how:
Step 1: Run Regedit. Hit CTRL+ESC to enter MetroUI, type “regedit” and select it from Apps.
(Already have a Windows key, or running an older version of Windows? Just Windows Key+R or Start–>Run Regedit)
Step 2: Within Regedit, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layout.
Step 3: If creating a new mapping, go to Edit–>New–>Binary Value. If changing or erasing an existing mapping, knock yourself out. Double click or right-click–>Delete away.
Step 4: After making any changes, reboot.
The syntax can be a little tricky, but I recommend either this excellent ExpertsExchange.com post on the same subject. Great detailed per-key scancode list at the bottom of his original post. (Alternatively, this post covers longer registry keys, adding a second and third remapping key-pair.)
Hope someone out there finds this useful!
Tested in Windows 8.1, and works fine in Windows 10, too, if you run Regedit from the Start Menu or a normal Run dialog.