So you want to switch the caps lock key with the escape key, but you don’t want to edit the register. Don’t worry ! This is fairly simple to do on windows, except that you will need to install a software if you want something that won’t blow up. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Side note: If you are a vim user, this tip will change your life. For real.

You will need to install AutoHotkey, a lightweight application that allows you to make advanced modifications on your keyboard for specific application. We won’t need all that fancy stuff.

Once you have installed it, create a file named capsEscapeSwitch.ahk wherever you want and place the following lines in it.


You can now open the file with AutoHotkey, and it should already work. If not, try to open the application and see the log if there is any, otherwise, gl hfGood luck, have fun for the non-gamer readers among us.

Now, if you want to make the changes permanent, you just need to move this script to the Windows Startup folder. Place it in the first directory if you want this to work for all your users, and in the second one if you want this to work only for you.

  • C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp\
  • C:\Users\\[USER]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\

If the AutoHotkey script doesn’t run on startup, be sure to give execution permissions to the user.

Your caps lock and escape keys should now be swapped !

Blow up ? Other solutions propose to edit the register, but this is not really safe because the changes you make may be overriden in future updates. Besides, I am not sure that you can swap them, I think you can only map escape to the caps lock key.