Swap Ctrl & Caps Lock keys

TradeKeys is a utility from PC Magazine that, although listed as free, requires you to take a subscription to access the file library. This can be for as low as around $5 and may be worth it if you use Windows NT, 2000, or XP and want to swap other than the Ctrl and Caps lock keys; on-line subscription details are displayed when you try to download the program from the PC Magazine Web site:

"TradeKeys 2 lets you map your keyboard almost any way you want. Under Windows 95, 98, and Me, you can change, swap, or disable any of the standard keys (those that existed on the original 84-key keyboard layout). Under Windows 2000 and XP, you can also remap extended keys such as Right Ctrl and Right Alt, the Windows logo key, and the navigation cluster. You can save your mappings to a file for reloading later. This lets different users on a system switch quickly between different mappings."

To find TradeKeys go to the PC Magazine Web site and type TradeKeys into the search box at the top of the pages on the site.


It is quite easy to swap the Ctrl & Cap Lock keys for all users on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 by editing the Windows Registry. This is easier than it may sound, and you don't need to worry about finding or downloading utility programs to do the job for you.

Before editing the Windows Registry make sure you have a recent backup! Then follow the instructions below:

  1. Click Start, then click Run
  2. Type regedit, and then press Enter to start the Registry Editor.
  3. In Regedit navigate (just as you would in Explorer) to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout
    Note: There's also a "key" called Keyboard Layouts, you want the one without the 's' at the end.
  4. With the Keyboard Layout key selected (If there is a sub-key displayed in the right-hand window of Regedit called Scancode Map STOP! You will need to merge the existing settings with the new ones before continuing.
  5. Right-click in the right-hand window of Regedit and select New, Binary Value from the pop-up menu.
  6. Name the new sub-key Scancode Map
  7. Right-click the Scancode Map sub-key you just created and select Modify from the pop-up menu.
  8. Type in the list of letters and numbers below - the '0's are the number zero, not capital letter 'O's - You don't need to type the commas.
  9. Exit Regedit
  10. Reboot the PC to bring the changes into effect.

Windws Registry Scancode Map

To restore the default keyboard settings you can either delete the Scancode Map key, or set its value to nothing, i.e., select to Modify the key and delete all of the values above.

If you're not brave enough to do the steps above, and you're sure you don't already have any keyboard customisations (by default there aren't any) you can download a registry patch file that will make the changes for you. To use this save the swapkeys.reg file onto your hard disk, and also copy it to your WordStar Command Emulator backup floppy just in case you ever need it again. Then, double-click the file and when asked if your sure you want to add the information to the registry, Click Yes.

There is another registry patch file that will return the keyboard to the default non-customised state. Save the defaultkeys.reg file to your hard disk, and also copy it to your WordStar Command Emulator backup floppy just in case you ever need it again. Then, Double-click the file and when asked if your sure you want to add the information to the registry, Click Yes.

This is part of the Windows 95 Kernel Toys set. The Remap utility also works with Windows 98, and Windows Me.

The program hasn't been tested with other versions of Windows, so use it with anything other than Windows 95, 98, or Me, at your own risk.

The Keyboard Remap utility is supplied as part of a set of tools written by the Microsoft Kernel programming team released as The Windows 95 Kernel Power Toys. This is a self-extracting Zip file, which you can open in WinZip, or your favourite Zip tool, instead of running the downloaded file, if you prefer.


  • To install, right-click the KEYREMAP.INF file and select Install
  • To uninstall, select Key Remap from Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel

Note: This utility is ideal for swapping the Caps Lock and Left Ctrl keys if you're a WordStar user and still using Windows 95, 98, or Me. The utilities are free. Use of any of the other utilities in the set is at your own risk.

PC Magazine's key remap utility for Windows 95 and 98 adds a property page to Control Panel's Keyboard applet that lets you remap all the standard keys on the keyboard. This free utility was first published in PC Magazine on May 6, 1997.

Unfortunately microsoft hasn't seen fit to release this on their Web site, so the only way to get this is to find a copy of the Windows 2000 Resource Kit book/CD combination.