Improving the FN/CTRL keys on my Lenovo laptop

Got a new Lenovo X301 ultralight laptop that I absolutely love (thin, light, very quiet with the SSD drive) except for one horrible flaw: the FN key is where CTRL is on every other PC keyboard. Instead of CTRL-C and CTRL-V, I’m always hitting FN-C and FN-V, which are useless.

If it’s your only PC keyboard, you might get used to it. But if you switch back and forth with a desktop keyboard like I do, it will most likely be infuriating.

At some point soon, Lenovo will come out with a BIOS — on new machines only – that allow the keys to be swapped. Meanwhile, there are various workarounds ranging from removing the FN key to trying to glue FN and CTRL together. (Unlike every other key, the FN key cannot simply be remapped by itself because it does not generate a keyscan code.)

The solution I’ve adopted is to remap the (useless) CapsLock key to CTRL. This works across keyboards so it applies to both my laptop and my external desktop keyboard when docked. So now I can use CapsLk-C and CapsLk-V, which are pretty easy to learn and get accustomed to. Here’s discussion about the CapsLk issue.

If you’re using Windows, the easiest way to turn CapsLk into CTRL is to add a Registry key and then reboot:

1. Open Notepad and create a file called “RemapCapsLock.reg” (be sure to turn off the dedault *.txt file extension)
2. Put in these lines:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
“Scancode Map”=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,1d,00,3a,00,00,00,00,00

3. Save it to Desktop. Double-click on it and say Yes to add to Registry. Then reboot and your CapsLk key will be remapped.

Lenovo: PLEASE make the BIOS update available for older machines!

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