The Caps Lock key is something of a relic nowadays – most people never use it (those who use it to ‘shout’ really shouldn’t).
HOWEVer it is often turned on by mistake because it is just above the SHift key – it’s easy to end up with a whole line of unwanted capitals.
It can also cause mistakes when typing a password with a capital letter in – you can’t see the password as you type so don’t realize Caps Lock is to blame until the password is rejected. If you never (or rarely) use Caps Lock, why not disable it to avoid such mistakes – with an easy option to re-enable it temporarily if required?
There are many ways to disable Caps Lock but the one I’ll recommend is very easy and offers a cool override feature – skip to method 3 if you want to jump straight to it.
Method 1 – Keyboard Remap – Advanced users can use keyboard remap software such as Sharpkeys or Autohotkey to disable/remap Caps Lock or any other key.
However, unless you want to remap several keys or need hotkey/macro functionality, these programs are really overkill – and not easy to use or switch remaps on and off.
Method 2 – Registry Edit – It is also possible to edit the Windows registry to permanently disable Caps Lock but this is more complex and outside the scope of this article.
Nor does it offer a simple option to quickly re-enable Caps Lock if you suddenly need it e.g. for writing an address on an envelope.
Method 3 – CapsUnlock – My favorite program to disable Caps Lock is a tiny free utility called CapsUnlock.
Download CapsUnlock from here.
Install the program – the installation options let you choose where to install it (best to leave as the default) and whether to create a link in the Startup folder – highly recommended so the program automatically runs when you start Windows:
Once installed, the program automatically prevents the turning on of Caps Lock (and the Insert key) – it runs as a little icon in the system tray area (near the clock).
Right clicking the icon displays the Settings menu as shown below:
Disable CapsLock – by default the Caps Lock key is disabled. Untick if you wish to enable the key permanently (you can disable it later by re-ticking this option).
Disable Insert – by default the Insert key is disabled. Untick if you wish to enable the key permanently (you can disable it later by re-ticking this option).
Enable Override (Shift) – by default override is enabled. Override means you can turn the Caps Lock key on and off by simply holding down the left Shift key at the same time as pressing the Caps Lock key. This is an instant way to temporarily enable Caps Lock if you ever need it.
Exit – closes the program. All key settings revert back to a standard keyboard.
You can also enable/disable the program by just double clicking on the icon.
Impact On System Resources?
I am usually wary of programs which run continuously in the background in case they impact on system resources i.e. slow down the computer.
But CapsUnlock is so tiny it makes no real difference. In my tests it used 0% of CPU power and less than 1MB of RAM which is nothing – a web browser can use 400MB+ of RAM to display just a few webpages…
There are multiple ways to disable Caps Lock but many are difficult to use and do not provide a simple way to re-enable it if required.
CapsUnlock is a tiny free program which does the job perfectly – and adds a simple override if you ever need to type a long series of capital letters.