Home » Windows » Windows 7: Putting Control key in its proper place (ie: making Caps Lock key useful again)

For reasons too obvious (at least, for me) to expound, I prefer to have the ‘Caps Lock’ key act as ‘Ctrl’.  On my work-issued laptop, this must be done in software (specifically, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit).  To swap Caps Lock and Left Ctrl keys, here’s the how-to:

Pre-requisites:  Administrator rights on the machine in question.

1.  Open the registry editor (press Win and type ‘regedit‘ then press enter)

2.  Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

3.  Create a new sub-key of type ‘Binary Value‘ with the Name ‘Scancode Map

4.  Edit this sub-key so that its value is exactly as per the screenshot below:

Ignoring the first column, begin typing the values as you see them from top left to bottom right

Ignoring the first column, begin typing the values as you see them from top left to bottom right

5.  Unfortunately, the setting does not apply once you click OK.  A restart is required because of a spectacular architectural design failure (ie: it’s a system-wide setting rather than a per-user customisation).

If you know of a way to force the setting change without a restart, please explain how this is achieved in the comments section.