5+ best keyboard mapping software for Windows 10

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5+ best keyboard mapping software for Windows 10

by Matthew Adams

Windows & Software Expert

Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about… Read more

  • Most keyboards come with standard setups and, in terms of mapping, there are no huge differences between devices, unless we’re talking about keyboards created for specific, non-English languages.
  • The standard keyboard setup may not be in perfect tune with everybody’s needs.
  • Below you’ll find a list of key management software that can help you make advanced settings according to your preferred ways of using the device.

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Keyboard layouts don’t vary greatly for most desktops and laptops. So you can find the same keys in roughly the same places across most keyboards.

If you’re looking for a way to customize keys and keyboard layouts, you can install key-mapping software packages. These are programs that enable you to remap or disable keys and add new custom shortcuts to keyboards.

For example, you could control Caps Lock and turn into the Ctrl button by remapping it. There are numerous key-mapping software packages for Windows. A lot of those are freeware programs, which is another bonus.

These are some of the best keyboard-mapping software for Windows 10 that you can transform your keyboard with.

atn soft keyremapper

Key Remapper has had some rave reviews. As it has a registration fee this isn’t freeware, but you can still add a non-registered version to Windows with more restricted options from this website page.

The great thing about this software is that it enables you to remap mouse buttons and keyboard keys. As such, you can add keyboard functions to mouse buttons.

Key Remapper doesn’t have the visual keyboard GUI design in some of the alternatives. Instead, the software enables you to set up profiles so you can remap keys for alternative programs and purposes.

Then users can remap buttons for profiles by double-clicking the Key Remapper window to open the options shown in the snapshot directly below.

That window also includes options that enable you to configure the remapped keys to work only in specific programs.

Another advantage is that this program doesn’t alter the registry scan codes for keys, so you can remap them without restarting Windows.

Get Key Remapper

PowerToys is a set of Windows 10 utilities targeted towards advanced users. Its features help you make more in-depth setups for your device. It comes with appearance customization options, file explorer addons, power options, a keyboard manager, and more. 

The PowerToys Keyboard Manager is a comprehensive tool that helps you thoroughly set up your keyboard so that it better fits your specific needs.

It can help with remapping all your keys and change them up as you like. It is great for making your most-used keys more accessible or set up your keys to better use different language packs. You can easily type the key you want to change and then select the corresponding letter, and you’re all set. You can also use the app to swap the functions of two keys.

Moreover, you can change up the keyboard shortcuts for different actions in your apps. The feature works for each app specifically, so if you want to add, for example, the same shortcut key across multiple apps, you will have to set that specific shortcut for each app separately.

Note that there are some essential, system shortcuts that you won’t be able to remap with PowerToys: Ctrl+Alt+Del, Win+L, and the Function Key Fn.

The PowerToys Keyboard manager is a free product provided by Microsoft. It runs on Windows 10 OS 1803 (build 17134) or later.

Get PowerToys

SharpKeys is a portable keyboard mapping software tool that makes a simple tweak to the system registry. This way, it enables you to easily swap or remap one key with another. The software application has a straightforward UI that doesn’t include a keyboard layout from which to select keys.

Instead, you can simply select one key to modify from a list and then choose another to switch it with from a second list. This software supports all the standard keys and some multimedia playback buttons on more recent keyboards.

The one notable shortcoming of SharpKeys is that it lacks an option that restores the default keyboard mapping, so users have to manually delete each remapped key separately.

However, aside from that, this is still a decent freeware program to remap keys with.

Get ShapKeys

KeyTweak has a visual keyboard layout GUI with which you can select a key to modify on the keyboard and then choose another button to remap it from the drop-down menu. The WindowReport team has covered how to switch keys off with KeyTweak.

It also enables users to remap keys with more unique buttons found on multimedia keyboards and Web browsers toolbar options such as Back, Stop, Forward and Refresh.

Unlike SharpKeys, this program does have a Restore All Defaults button that restores original keyboard settings.

Another great thing about KeyTweaks is that you can specify and save alternative mapping configurations as remap files, which can then be reloaded and applied.

Get KeyTweak

Key Mapper has an expansive visual keyboard GUI. What sets this program apart from others on this list is the drag-and-drop UI that enables you to disable keys by dragging them off the window.

You can remap keys by dragging them onto the ones you need to assign them to.

The flexible UI also enables you to map or disable keys by double-clicking them on the keyboard to open the Create a mapping window directly below.

Aside from its intuitive UI, Key Mapper includes a variety of alternative keyboard layouts and languages from different countries.

The Mac Keyboard option will come in handy for Mac users. In addition, Keyboard Layout Manager has a handy Export As Registry file option that you can export changes to a file with.

Get Key Mapper

AutoHotkey is a more flexible key-mapping software for Windows that’s not entirely the same as some of the others mentioned here.

This is a scripting tool with which you can remap keys, and the software doesn’t remap the buttons via the registry.

As such, AutoHotkey enables you to remap keyboard shortcuts and mouse buttons as well as the standard keys.

Then you can also save and export these scripts to other systems as EXE files, which is another advantage.

Get AutoHotkey

Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (MKLC) enables you to create custom keyboard layouts from scratch. For example, you could set up a Dvorak keyboard layout with it.

Alternatively, you can configure new keyboard layouts from existing ones. This program isn’t entirely the same as some of the others as it creates installers that you can add extra keyboards to Windows with.

When you’re setting up new keyboard layouts, you can select three alternative configurations for the key layouts around the Enter button. The software has a visual keyboard GUI so that you can click keys to assign values to them.

The one limitation of MKLC is that you can’t configure system buttons such as Return, Ctrl, Alt, and Tab; but assignable keys can have multiple entries such as Ctrl + key.

You can also validate and test keyboard layouts. So MKLC is one of the best remapping tools for setting up entirely new keyboard layouts in Windows.

Get Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator


Those are several great keyboard mapping software packages for Windows 10 and other platforms.

With those programs, you can remap keys, disable buttons, set up new keyboard layouts, assign keyboard functions to the mouse, and more besides.

So, you can see that the keyboard is one of the main elements of a computer and the tools to optimize your work with the keyboard are plenty. Choose the best apps for you to become efficient!

Note: This article has constantly been updated for freshness and accuracy. All software suggested are carefully selected, providing quality keyboard mapping features. We really hope that this list helped you figure out which tool can be the best for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

This post was written by Matthew Adams and was first posted to windowsreport.com


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