Disable Windows standard Hotkeys in-game: How to fix accidental exits from games in Windows

You are playing CounterStrike and you are just about to get a headshot in, but the game all of the sudden disappears — and you realise it’s happening again. Windows minimized the game and you’re back at the desktop. And that headshot probably landed in your head instead.

Here is the thing: However annoying, these exits are seldomly random. The usual suspect is the Windows key. Could you have hit the Windows key or an unlucky standard Windows Hotkey combination, by chance?

There are several methods you can use to disable the standard hotkeys in Windows to avoid accidentally exiting games:

Method 1: Use “Gaming Mode” if you have a gaming keyboard

Some gaming keyboards have a dedicated “gaming mode” that disables the standard hotkeys to prevent accidental exits during gameplay. You can enable this mode by pressing a specific key or combination of keys on the keyboard.

The Razer Blade laptop and Razor’s Synapse 2-supported gaming keyboards all have “Gaming mode”. If you happen to have one, here’s how you turn gaming mode on:

  • Open Synapse 2.0.
  • Go to “System” and then “Gaming mode”.
  • Toggle the Gaming Mode switch on.

Method 2: Use in-game settings

Some games have options that allow you to disable the standard hotkeys while playing. You can usually access these options from the game’s main menu or settings screen.

Method 3: Use third-party software like AutoHotkey or HotKey Resolution

There are several software programs available that can disable the standard hotkeys in Windows. Some examples include AutoHotKey and HotKey Resolution Changer. These programs allow you to customize the hotkeys and assign new functions to them, or disable them entirely.

Method 4: Edit the registry

You can also disable the standard hotkeys by editing the registry.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type “regedit” and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  • In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  • Right-click the Explorer key and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  • Name the new value “NoWinKeys”.
  • Double-click the NoWinKeys value and set the value data to 1.
  • Click OK to save the changes.

Firing up all engines…