Isn’t It Time You Made Use of Your Caps Lock?

Tina Sieber 24-04-2013

how to use caps lockThe CAPS LOCK key is probably the most useless key on your keyboard. Netiquette 7 Netiquette Guidelines For Writing Emails & Forum Posts Netiquette is short for network or internet etiquette. It encompasses the special set of social conventions found in online interactions. While netiquette is very similar to good behavior or etiquette in offline encounters, there are... Read More forbids you to use it because it’s considered screaming, which is simply rude. And what else would you use it for other than expressing your raw emotions? Unintentional activation of the CAPS LOCK Oops! 10 Keyboard Shortcuts Users Keep Hitting by Mistake Find that your keyboard won't type properly? Here are common keyboard shortcuts that cause issues and how to fix them. Read More is also a common reason why people fail to type the right password. That’s because it sits on the home row, a prime location that is easily hit by accident.


On the other hand, it is possible to replace the CAPS LOCK key with a character or function you use a lot. What are keys and shortcuts that are missing on your keyboard? Or maybe there are keys you wish were in a more convenient location. It’s time to remap your keyboard Remap Keyboard Keys with These 3 Free Apps [Windows] Read More and put all those neglected keys to good use, starting with how to use the CAPS LOCK key.

Before you go ahead and fix an entire keyboard key by key, note that there are other alternatives for optimizing the keyboard layout How I Quickly Mastered A Superior Keyboard Layout Without Losing Productivity If you're reading this on a computer, look at your keyboard. Chances are it's a QWERTY keyboard, or something closely modeled after QWERTY, like AZERTY for French or QWERTZ for Germany. Is that really the... Read More , especially if you are dealing with a foreign keyboard How To Get To Grips With a Foreign Keyboard While Travelling Have you ever travelled abroad and sat down in an Internet café only to find that you can't work out how to type anything on the foreign keyboards? Well, you're not alone. This happens to... Read More . This article is written for Windows users. If you are on a Mac, check out these articles on how to remap your Mac keyboard for more geek power Reconfigure Your Mac Keyboard for More Geek Power [Mac] If you're the type of Mac user who likes to customize every feature or program on your computer, you might want to check out the system preferences application, KeyRemap4MacBook. It essentially enables you to re-map... Read More and learn everything about Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts Everything You Need To Know About Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts No matter what operating system or program you're using, keyboard shortcuts are a tool you can use to make things quite a bit easier for yourself. Simply not having to take your hands off the... Read More .

Map Backspace To CAPS LOCK Key Without Rebooting

Most tools that let you remap the keyboard edit the registry. Hence, for the changes to come into effect, you need to reboot the computer. That’s OK if you want to make permanent changes, but not always practical.

Keymapper is a portable app for coders. It applies a global keyboard hook whenever the CAPS LOCK key is pressed and throws in a Backspace in its place. So instead of SHOUTING, you will be deleting what you just wrote.

how to use caps lock


Map A Useful Key To The CAPS LOCK Key

Install a tool like SharpKeys to remap your CAPS LOCK key. Note that SharpKeys requires Microsoft .NET Framework 4 to run.

Open SharpKeys (hint: it’s in the folder in All Programs) and click Add in the bottom left. Select Special: Caps Lock as a From key and pick a desired key. Whatever you select, CAPS LOCK will adopt the behavior of that key. Click OK to confirm your selection.

how does caps lock work

Once back in the main window you can either add another remap combo or complete the procedure by pressing the Write to Registry key in the bottom right.


how does caps lock work

This is when you will have to log out or reboot your computer for the changes to come into effect. To undo changes made with SharpKeys, launch the program, delete the respective entries in the list, click the Write to Registry button and restart your computer.

how does caps lock work

When you log back in, hitting the key that once used to trigger the CAPS LOCK will now produce a character or function of your choice.


Turn Your CAPS LOCK Key Into a Hotkey

Is there a program you open all the time or a website you visit frequently, MakeUseOf for example? When writing, I constantly open IrfanView for pasting screenshots. So we will turn the CAPS LOCK key into a hotkey for opening this app. You could also make it a hotkey for and thus turn it into a search key à la Chrome OS.

First you need to map another key to the CAPS LOCK key because you cannot assign CAPS LOCK itself as a hotkey. Use the method described above to remap the key and pick a key that doesn’t do anything as To key, for example Function: F10.

Once the CAPS LOCK has been taken care of, you can create a shortcut which will open the desired file, folder, program, or website. The shortcut can live anywhere on your computer and you can also use existing shortcuts. Let’s create a shortcut on your Desktop. Right-click the Desktop, go to New and click Shortcut.

why use caps lock


In the Create Shortcut window, browse to the desired item, click Next, name the shortcut, and click Finish. To point the shortcut to a website, simply type in the complete URL, e.g. //

why use caps lock

To link the shortcut with your new hotkey, right-click it and select Properties. Under the Shortcut tab, click into the Shortcut key field and press your CAPS LOCK key. This will paste in the key that was mapped to your CAPS LOCK key, in this example F10.

how to use caps lock

Click OK to save and try it. Pure awesomeness!

This procedure was adopted from How-To Geek, who have also explained how to manually remap keys in the registry.

You can also use a program called AutoHotkey to assign Hotkeys. Lifehacker has created a nifty website-based tool to easily create your own custom AutoHotkey script for remapping keys on your keyboard.


Following the instructions above you can finally put your CAPS LOCK key to good use. Moreover, you can apply the method to any other key on your keyboard and increase your productivity manifold. Now all you need is a good way to repaint your keys.

Are you finally becoming a fan of your keyboard? It’s good to know that you could operate Windows with your keyboard alone Missing or Broken Mouse? Operate Windows With Only Your Keyboard Is your mouse missing or broken? Here's how to use your Windows computer without a mouse! Read More should your mouse break or go missing.

Which keys did you retire and how are you using them now?

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  1. waruna abeykoon
    May 1, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I found a video about keyboard hacking. it is in youtube. maybe you can use this hack for your capslock key also.

  2. Mihovil Pletikos
    April 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    what about scroll lock? isn't it even more useless?

  3. Oron Joffe
    April 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I have to say I think caps lock gets undeservedly bad press. I don't use it a lot, but I use it a lot (you'd soon know if I did!), but I do use it from time to time. Probably more than several F-keys, or the downstroke or hash keys (` and #). Of course, you can remap it if you like - I have several keyboard layouts I designed for myself and others, but the caps lock is one key that always seems to keep its position!

  4. Govertz J
    April 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

    My friend who lost a hand in a traffic accident uses the capslock all the time, to him it's the only way to start sentences with capital letters.

  5. PIoutsource
    April 25, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Little Warning: I used Sharp Keys on Win 7 to remap my Caps lock. Upon reboot I got a "Please Wait" signal on the boot screen. Boy was I nervous. Fifteen minutes later I was fed up and pulled the battery. Restart went fine, CAPS lock remapped. All OK, just a bit of a scare!

    • Tina Sieber
      April 26, 2013 at 7:48 am

      Thanks for the heads-up! I didn't run into this issue. And glad to hear that it all went well in the end.

  6. Robert Thomson
    April 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I used sharpkeys to map the caps lock key to the F1 key. I don't use the F1 key for help so it works great as a caps lock key. I disabled the caps lock key and the number lock keys by setting them to "None" so no more accidentally pressing them.

  7. Zhong J
    April 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Cap Locks are useful in situations when you're creating some flyers with getter attention and people who aren't familiar with the keyboard would naturally ignore cap locks. Instead they all type their first words in capital, Like This.

  8. Humpster Sameasabove
    April 25, 2013 at 11:32 am

    thanks for the info, do believe I will give this a try

  9. Nevzat A
    April 25, 2013 at 10:21 am

    My last frustration was not with "caps lock" but "num lock"! On my laptop there was no separate num keys, and somehow FN+Num key activated, this drove me mad until I find why different characters were displayed when I press usual keyboard buttons. :)

  10. macwitty
    April 25, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Might do it on friends keyboard - the one who insist to write messages in capital letters

    • Tina Sieber
      April 26, 2013 at 7:52 am

      Remapping keys is a nice prank to pull. :)

  11. Kieran
    April 25, 2013 at 7:07 am

    What would be good for caps lock is to set it as a multi-tap toggle key, as there are occasions where it does actually come in useful. So, tap it once, and it does whatever other function you want, and then double-tap it (or alt-tap or shift-tap or something like that), and it does "old school" caps lock. Or you could remap it so that it's on the scroll lock key (I mean, who the hell uses that?).

    Any tips as well on how to remap it on linux?

    • Scott M
      April 25, 2013 at 11:29 am

      You have listed a few options and I'm certain there are many others.It makes me wonder why it hasn't been addressed before.

    • null
      April 28, 2013 at 9:32 am

      I am only a Windows man (sorry), but your suggestion is similar to what was hatching in my head.
      I am fairly sure that I could write something in VB6 (won't need installing) that could respond to the Capslock press.
      I was thinking of showing a popup menu with two (or more) choices -
      - Turn ON Capslock
      - Do something else
      If I did write a program, I would give it away free.

      • Christian
        April 28, 2013 at 9:52 am

        I wrote a tool like that. Just pressing Caps Lock gives you an input window for notes. But it can also be combined with other keys, like Caps+F to automatically google for the currently selected text.
        It's not free but it's got a trial version. So if you like to take a look, you can find it at http.//
        Drop me a line if you like it :)