We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Utilities software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

KeyTweak review


Manufacturer: KeyTweak

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

KeyTweak is a free Windows utility that lets you remap keyboard keys system-wide.

Have you ever found yourself working on a new laptop and constantly hitting the wrong key by mistake? Perhaps the Ctrl key has another key next to it, or maybe the Backspace key is too narrow. KeyTweak is a free utility that lets you remap almost any key on your keyboard so that hitting it would produce a different keystroke (the "right one").

Unlike popular scripting/remapping tool AutoHotkey, KeyTweak does not need to be running in the background to work. It remaps keys by changing Windows registry values, which then remain active system-wide, even if you uninstall KeyTweak. This means that for KeyTweak to work in Windows Vista and above, you must run it with elevated permissions. More important (and annoying, sometimes) it means that you must reboot your computer to see your changes take effect, and that any changes apply for all users of your computer.

KeyTweak features limited support for special keys, such as multimedia keys, and the author doesn't guarantee support for all special keys. When testing it, I kept trying to remap my keyboard's Browser button so that it would send a simple keystroke. Having to reboot my system after every change made testing difficult, but after two reboots I realized it just doesn't work with that key. See all software downloads.

Instead, I decided to test KeyTweak by remapping my numeric pad's Del key to send "1." This worked just fine, and did not affect the "regular" Del key (the one next to Insert, Home and End).

Remapping keys can also be useful when working with alternative keyboard layouts. I use the Colemak layout, so many of the keys on my hardware QWERTY keyboard actually send different keystrokes. While you could use KeyTweak to get the same effect, there are easier ways to install an alternative keyboard layout, such as Colemak's own installer, or the Portable Keyboard Layout utility (which is based on AutoHotkey, a great way to remap keys in itself).

KeyTweak Expert Verdict »

Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

I see KeyTweak as a useful tool mainly for remapping individual keys and resolving small keyboard annoyances, or maybe for replacing broken laptop keys when you're on the go and can't send the laptop in for repair. If there are just one or two keys on your keyboard that are driving you crazy, KeyTweak is the tool for you.

  • Belkin n52te

    The Belkin n52te is a game keypad with a wrist rest, and the inevitable blue backlighting.

  • AutoHotKey review


    Free software utility AutoHotKey is a heavyweight in features... and in the fight you need to wage to reach them.

  • Hori Tactical Assault Commander 3 review

    Hori Tactical Assault Commander 3

    The Hori Tactical Assault Commander 3 mouse-and-keyboard combo promises PC first-person shooter fans a chance to dominate their PS3 brethren.

  • Take Command 14 review

    Take Command 14

    For serious work in the console, few utilities (if any) can match the prowess of Take Command. Here's our Take Command 14 review.

  • Microsoft Arc Keyboard review

    Microsoft Arc Keyboard

    The Microsoft Arc Keyboard is an elegant desktop PC keyboard with unique features and a high price to match.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model