How to Disable the Num Lock Key

By C. Taylor

You can use the keypad on your computer for navigating, provided you have the Num Lock key disabled. Default settings enable the inputting of numbers via the keypad. By disabling the keypad, you have access to their secondary functions, such as the arrow keys, Page Up/Down, Home/End, Ins and End. The Num Lock key offers easy cycling between enabled or disabled states of the keypad, but you can disable it permanently, if you only need the navigation features.

Step 1

Reboot your computer and enter the basic input/output system (BIOS), according to your computer or motherboard's manual. The instructions for doing this may also flash across the screen while rebooting. Usually you have to press a key shortly after the computer reboots. The key combination varies between computers, but you can try various combinations without fear of harming your computer settings. Some of the common keys for entering BIOS are F1, F2, F8, F10, Del or ESC.

Step 2

Navigate the BIOS menu using the arrow keys. Select "Boot" and look for an option to set the Num Lock state. Some BIOS offers this feature, but others do not. You can set the initial state or disable it completely, by pressing Enter while the option is highlighted and selecting the new state. Press F10 to save the settings and restart your computer. You should boot back into Windows.

Step 3

Press the "Windows" and "R" keys simultaneously to open the "Run" window. Type "regedit.exe" and press "Enter" to pull up the Registry Editor.

Step 4

Navigate through the folders on the left side to arrive at: HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Keyboard

Step 5

Double-click the entry "InitialKeyboardIndicators" in the right panel and type "1" in the resulting window. This will disable the Num Pad completely. You may also enter a "0" in the window to have the initial state disabled, but still retain the option of using the Num Lock key. Press Enter to accept this value and complete the process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful when using Registry Editor, and never change settings unless you know what you are doing. The Registry controls your entire operating system. Any misconfiguration could result in an unstable or faulty system.