How to deactivate the Insert Key on Windows 10?

How to deactivate the Insert Key on Windows 10?

Insert key in windows can be easily located on your PC keyboards. It is primarily used to switch between the two text-entering modes on a Windows PC or word processor.

  • One is the overtype mode, in which the cursor, when typing, overwrites any text that is present in the current location; and
  • Second the insert mode, where the cursor inserts a character at its current position, forcing all characters past it one position further.

The insert/overtype mode toggling is not global for the computer or even for a single application but rather local to the text input window in which the Insert key was pressed.

On early text-based computing environments and terminals, when the cursor is in overtype mode, it was represented as a block that surrounded the entire letter to be overstruck; when in insert mode, the cursor consisted of the vertical bar that is highly common among modern applications, or a blinking underline under the position where a new character would be inserted.

Overtype mode can also be referred to as over script mode, and is sometimes referred to as overstrike mode, which is a typography term.

Notably, on some recent keyboards, the Insert key is completely absent (except on the numeric keypad), its space instead filled with a double-size Delete key

When keymapping using Octal code, set the desired key by sending \e\161 to perform the “insert” function.

Insert Key Usage

Modern word processing applications operate in insert mode by default, but can still be switched to overtype mode by pressing the Insert key. Some applications indicate overtype mode with a letter-width cursor box, as opposed to the standard narrow cursor; however, others use the narrow cursor for both modes, and indicate overtype with an “OVR” indicator in the status bar.

The Insert key, when pressed along with Control or Shift, can also be used to copy or paste in Microsoft Windows. This behavior comes from the Common User Access standard.

Screen readers use the insert key for hotkeys for reading text, speaking formatting information, or opening the screen reader’s configuration menu or window.

When you inadvertently press Insert on your keyboard, it toggles to Overtype mode. This means anything you type next will overwrite the text that follows the cursor. Fortunately, you can disable this annoying key in Windows 10.

Every key on your keyboard has a corresponding key scan code that tells Windows how to handle each keystroke. While you can’t turn off the Insert key by default, you can tell Windows to replace it with a null character in the Windows Registry.

How to deactivate the Insert Key on Windows 10?

How to deactivate the Insert Key on Windows 10?

Before you begin understand how keys are organized in a keyboard. As your keyboard is the main way to enter information into your computer there are simple keyboard commands (instructions to your computer) can help you work more efficiently.

The keys on your keyboard can be divided into several groups based on function:

  • Typing (alphanumeric) keys. These keys include the same letter, number, punctuation, and symbol keys found on a traditional typewriter.
  • Control keys. These keys are used alone or in combination with other keys to perform certain actions. The most frequently used control keys are Ctrl, Alt, the Windows logo key , and Esc.
  • Function keys. The function keys are used to perform specific tasks. They are labeled as F1, F2, F3, and so on, up to F12. The functionality of these keys differs from program to program.
  • Navigation keys. These keys are used for moving around in documents or webpages and editing text. They include the arrow keys, Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, Delete, and Insert.
  • Numeric keypad. The numeric keypad is handy for entering numbers quickly. The keys are grouped together in a block like a conventional calculator or adding machine.

The Insert key therefore comes under Navigation keys. The navigation keys allow you to move the cursor, move around in documents and webpages, and edit text. You can turn Insert mode off or on. When Insert mode is on, text that you type is inserted at the cursor. When Insert mode is off, text that you type replaces existing characters.

To deactivate the insert key you need a free software called Sharp Keys. With SharpKeys you can use to edit the specific Registry entry for you. It uses a graphical interface to remap keys on the keyboard. This tool makes it easy to make the necessary change to the Registry without actually having to open Registry Editor.

To do this, fire up a browser, head over to the SharpKeys GitHub page, and download the most recent release.

After you install SharpKeys, open it from the Start menu, and then click “Add” when it opens.

Sharp keys app

Scroll through the list on the left and click “Special: Insert (E0_52),” click “Turn Key Off (00_00)” in the list on the right, and then click “OK” to remap the key.

The value in the parentheses is the key scan code associated with it, so the Insert key’s code is “00_52.” We want to disable it, so we replace the code with the nonexistent “00_00.”

Next, click “Write to Registry,” and SharpKeys adds the values to the Windows Registry for you.

Click “OK.”

Key Mapping to deactivate Insert key in Sharp keys app

For the changes to take effect, you have to log out or restart your computer.

You can also use SharpKeys to disable other annoying keys, like Caps Lock.

How to deactivate the Insert Key on Windows 10 via Registry Editor?

If you’re comfortable making changes to the Windows Registry, you can also disable the Insert key manually in the Registry Editor. You’ll be making the same change that SharpKeys performs in the background.

The Registry Editor is a powerful tool, though. If it’s misused, it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. However, this is a pretty simple hack. As long as you follow the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Remember to back up the Registry and your computer before you make the following changes. For extra safety, you might want to create a System Restore point before you continue. This way, if something goes wrong, you can just roll back to a time before things went berserk.