Switch Control and Alt buttons in Windows

If are an Apple fan but use Windows (perhaps via Boot Camp or Parallels Desktop or – like me – at work), you may find that you often hit Alt instead of Ctrl, as much of the Windows Ctrl key functionality is present in Mac’s Cmd key functionality, located it the same place as Windows Alt key. The solution is to swap the positions of the left Alt key with the left Ctrl key. Here’s how.

(If you are searching to swap, trade, or exchange the Cmd or Command and Ctrl or Control in Windows, as typical Mac or OS X user, this is the right place to be.)

While Windows does not let you swap modifier keys as does Mac (go to System Preferences, Keyboard, and Modifier Keys), there is a program called AutoHotKey which makes it easy. I introduced this program in a previous article here on AlanHogan.com. If you do not have AutoHotKey, download and install it on Windows.

The second step is to save the code below as swap-alt-ctrl.ahk on your Windows computer. Then drag it onto the Start button, All Programs, Startup (create the folder Startup if it does not exist), and drop it in the Startup folder. Now whenever you log in, your left (and only left) Ctrl and Alt keys will be switched!

; This file by Alan J. Hogan, http://alanhogan.com/
; Switches the left Control and Alt keys.

LCtrl::Alt

LAlt::Ctrl

July 10th, 2007. (Updated: July 10, 2007 at 3:20pm.)
Alan Hogan (@alanhogan).  Contact · About