Disable the Windows and Menu Keys in a VM

March 5, 2009

If you use Windows in VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop on your Mac you may have run into a small but annoying issue - pressing the left or right ⌘ key brings up the start menu or right-click menu even if the key is unbound in the virtual machine application.

To work around this issue I made a modification to John Haller’s excellent registry tweak for disabling the Windows key to create a single file that disables both the Windows and context menu keys in one go:

Registry Patch: Disable Windows and Menu Keys

One caveat: This file does make a change to the Windows registry, so use at your own risk. You can open the file in a text editor to see exactly what it modifies.

To install, download the .reg file into the guest OS, double-click it, approve the prompts, then restart Windows. The keys should now be ignored by Windows and you can ⌘-Tab or ⌘-Function Key without any more annoying menus.