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This is how artists can disable the Windows button on the Surface Pro 3

Surface Pro 3

Owners of Microsoft's large 12-inch Surface Pro 3 tablet can now disable the Windows button on the device, a couple of months after Mike Krahulik, the artist of the popular Penny Arcade web comic strip, complained that he kept hitting the button while drawing and thus was kicked to the desktop.

At the time, Krahulik said that Microsoft was working on a fix that would disable the button when the Surface Pen was in contact with the Surface Pro 3 screen, but there was no word on when this fix would be released. However, there is a workaround that has been discovered which can disable the button completely, but it does require some effort from the tablet's owner.

As posted by Neowin, Surface Pro 3 owners can launch Windows Device Manager and then select "System Devices". They should see a "Surface Home Button" on a list. When that item is clicked, they should see a "Surface Home Button Properties" box. Selecting the "Driver" tab should show the "Disable" button which can be clicked to shut down the Windows button on the tablet.

Unfortunately, this move does also disable the volume buttons and power button on the Surface Pro 3, so we would recommend that this procedure should only be used if you find that the home button is a problem when you use the tablet to draw. Otherwise, you might just want to wait until Microsoft's official fix is released.

Source: Neowin

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Reader comments

This is how artists can disable the Windows button on the Surface Pro 3

48 Comments

Just use my earlier workaround I posted using autohotkey and remap the windows key. The only side-effect is that the windows key on keyboard doesn't work either but better than this solution.

Yeah, not the best solution. Perhaps Microsoft should just hurry up with this fix? I mean, they're about to launch the tablet on a bunch of markets at the end of the month. It wouldn't hurt them to correct these things BEFORE wider release.

Why did Microsoft in the first place move the button which I think it was a bad decision, I have surface pro and no problem when I draw

Because the new keyboard attaches to the bottom and would completely obscure the Win key if it was left in the same spot.

Also, when holding the SP3 with two hands, which you need to do, the Win key is now right by your thumb, so you do not need to take your hands off the device just to tap it.

Why is there a home button in the first place? I own the pro 1, and it just sucks. Charms bar is the way to go. Why do we even need 4 windows keys on the desktop? Charms, start, keyboard and hardware... Overload...

This... is not the fix we're looking for.

On a side note, I've been rotating my screen 180 when I'm doing photo work to keep the button away from my (right) drawing hand. That's my workaround.

I've had Surface RT & Surface 2 both since launch and have never intentionally hit the Windows button.  They should just do away with it entirely and use that bezel for more screen space.

The new location of the home button is good but if you open the charms bar, it doesn't match up with the on-screen button. An oversight or confirmation that MSFT are dropping the charms bar?

Same problem with my Lumia 920. Keep accidently hitting Cortana's button. Any idea on how to temporarily disable the button/s so it will not interrupt me ?

Was thinking of chisel and hammer, but I gave up. The most annoying and useless capacitive button ever and its going nowhere!

They should have it were you "Long Press" the Windows Button and then a management window pops up with the appropriate capabilities to turn the windows button off, turn it off until next reboot/logoff, or to turn it off for a selected time frame. Or even a selection where you pick which apps/programs disable the windows button while being used.

Maybe a way to filter your login settings so you only see WP articles and such. Me, personally, love all the articles because I have so many MS devices.

Here's a tip: Then don't read the articles that are related to news other than WP. Simple, quick, and efficient solution huh?

...and as an added bonus tip: Stop whining. Just because you don't find it useful doesn't mean that others carry the same sentiment. I happen to like the way they present info here.

Im just shocked its taking this long, this is something that needed to be done within 7 days.  How hard can it be for a company with billions and hundreds of thousands of employees?  The issue with BT and WiFi for the SP2 never got fixed at all, as its discontinued it probably never will be.  I fear the SP4 will be out before they fix this.

 

I guess the SP4 will be given to real artissts to test before they release it.

As a lefty, the start button placement doesn't really affect me, but I paid my dues-- i suffered thru my life smearing all pencil and ink in my writing and drawings on paper with my left palm! :) The curse of being a lefty.

Anyway, I'm still anxiously awaiting the pressure curve fix.

Windows has the ability to disable almost every device in device manager since more than 20 years already. What is the point in writing this "feature" as news? It's not newsworthy. John, how about not turning WPCentral into Neowin version 2 with such unprofessional journalism?...

Maybe I am not very smart, but I do not understand the problem. On my Windows 8 tablet, I can roate the device however I want. So, you have a capacative windows key botton on the right side of the screen and you are right handed, problem. Rotate the screen 180 degrees, it is now on the left side of the screen. You will not accidently touch it then!

Yes, you do not have the keyboard hooked up anymore, but do you really do serious artwork with in in the position of a laptop, holding your hand akwardly over the screen?

Why not just put the button back where it belongs on the bottom of the screen? It looks ridiculous on the side.