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Windows 7: Disable "F" keys on Windows 7 Pro DESKTOP PC

26 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Disable "F" keys on Windows 7 Pro DESKTOP PC


I have a desktop PC that is functioning as a kiosk in a library. I spent much time configuring the Group Policy locking it down for minimal public use (Internet/library's online catalog only), but when testing, I discovered that simply hitting "F1" will get the help window to pop up and within 30 seconds I was messing around in the control panel!!!! You can also get to the command line this way. Grrr...Not that MOST of the users would try to do this, know how to, or even want to, but there is the possibility that I would like to remove.

How can I disable either the F keys, F1 or Windows Help in this user profile? I scoured the Group Policy and found nothing. It seems like a big waste of time going through all of those settings to just dismiss them immediately.
If I cannot disable, how can I re-assign what the F keys do? Is it possible to do so without using 3rd party software?

The PC is an HP Compaq 4000 Pro.
The Keyboard is a standard HP keyboard
Windows 7 Pro


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64

I know of no way to pull the function keys or remap them.
By and large f1 is help either for windows or whatever application you have on top when you press it. Most the others vary from program to program. Some programs may allow remapping but so far as I know you can not disable them from within windows.

If you are looking for additional keys to make some more functionality sadly a keyboard with macro support and additional assignable buttons is probably your best bet.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2012   #3

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pallipe View Post
......How can I disable either the F keys, F1 or Windows Help in this user profile? ~~~~~~~Is it possible to do so without using 3rd party software?...
First, you should probably respond to Brink's question to your post here.

I know that you did not want to use 3rd party software...
...but disabling the function keys via AutoIt3 is so easy:

HotKeySet("{F1}", "do_nothing")
HotKeySet("{F2}", "do_nothing")

While 1

Func do_nothing()
See my post here about using AutoIt3 and false positives from AV programs.

But - disabling F1 (and any other function key that you want) might not stop the user from opening the W7 Help Pane. Since this is in a public library - are you going to allow users to open/use/adjust the Windows Mobility Center? That mobility center (like other OS applets) has a little blue question mark on the interface. Clicking on that will also open the W7 Help Pane.

My attempts to prevent that Help Pane from running via GPO failed???

Disable "F" keys on Windows 7 Pro DESKTOP PC-helppane.jpg

I know that you want to only restrict this one kiosk user and not your admin account, but maybe you can figure out a way to prevent control panel from launching from Help for the entire computer.

Disable "F" keys on Windows 7 Pro DESKTOP PC-gpo.jpg

Also - will you be allowing the use of Internet Explorer? If so, have you disabled bring up Internet Options - which can lead to opening Windows (file) Explorer.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Apr 2012   #4

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

Oh - you might also want to deal with the on-screen keyboard found under ease of use... see this link.

You probably should allow users to get to the original W7 version of the on screen keyboard - since that is one that they should have some familiarity with.

Adding this line to the AutoIt3 script in my previous post will "absorb" an Alt-F4:

HotKeySet("!{F4}", "do_nothing")
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Disable "F" keys on Windows 7 Pro DESKTOP PC

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