Turning numlock off
Turning numlock off

Even if your motherboard BIOS Setup doesn't support/include an option to turn off the annoying NumLock key upon (re)boot, you can still do this by hacking your Windows 95/98/ME Registry. To have your NumLock key turned ON or OFF upon Windows GUI startup, open Regedit and go to (valid only for the current user):

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Microsoft Input Devices

or to (valid for all users):

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Microsoft Input Devices

Double-click on "Microsoft Input Devices" -> click New -> select Key -> name this new key "Keyboard" (don't type the quotes) -> highlight "Keyboard" -> right-click on it -> click New -> select String Value -> type in NumLock -> click OK -> right-click on NumLock -> click Modify -> type ON to turn the NumLock key on or OFF to turn it off (case insensitive) -> click OK. Note that this Registry tweak works mostly with PS/2 and USB keyboards built by Microsoft (with MS IntelliType software installed), but may or may not work with other (3rd party) keyboards. :(You can turn on/off the Caps Lock and/or Scroll Lock keys in a similar manner.

Just add 2 new String Values under the same Registry subkey above and name them "CapsLock" and "ScrollLock" respectively (no quotes). Then double-click on each of them and type either ON or OFF. Now close Regedit and then press F5, after left-clicking your mouse once into an empty Desktop area, so the changes can take effect without restarting Windows.

If you are using a CONFIG.SYS file (located in C:\ root) to boot up, you can also turn your NumLock key OFF by adding this line to your CONFIG.SYS (edit it with Notepad/Sysedit in Windows or EDIT.COM in DOS):


This CONFIG.SYS line turns NumLock back ON:


Save your file and reboot.

Both these commands work with ANY keyboard and are case insensitive.

FYI: Open CONFIG.TXT (located in your Windows 9x/ME folder) using Notepad to read the details about all available CONFIG.SYS commands.

TIP: To learn how to turn ON/OFF NumLock in Windows NT4/2000/XP, see "TURN OFF NUMLOCK", also in REGISTRY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

Windows 2000, XP
To set the default NumLock key state:

Use a registry editing tool to navigate to the following key:
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Keyboard

Insert or change a value with the following details:
Data Type: DWORD
Value Name: InitialKeyboardIndicators
Value: 0 = NumLock is turned off after logon, 2 = NumLock is turned on after logon

Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.