Strange Issue when Remapping Alt/Ctrl – PowerToys – Win 11


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Nov 11, 2023
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I am attempting to swap/remap buttons [LEFT Ctrl] and [Left Alt] on a Win 11 laptop using PowerToys.

All I need is the swap of these two keys. That's it. But no matter what I try, something gets screwed up...

Some issue always crops up:

1. For example, using the following on PowerToys:
Alt (Left) to Ctrl
Ctrl to Alt (Left)
Outcome: AltGR (the right-side Alt key responsible for inputting alternative characters, mimicking Ctrl+Alt) stops working as such. It no longer works as intended, and instead works as a regular alt key.

2. Moving only the Ctrl (essentially creating two Ctrl buttons, and no Alt)
Alt (Left) to Ctrl
Outcome: AltGR works as intended, but now the keyboard has no access to a regular alt key, which isn't optimal.

3. Not designating the (Left) Alt in the settings
Alt to Ctrl
Ctrl to Alt
Outcome: this is the strangest one of the 3 strategies. Both swapped left-hand buttons as well as AltGR on the right side now working as intended... that is, until you type anything using any special characters (until you press AltGR basically). The second you touch AltGR the left-side Alt: stops functioning as Ctrl and goes back to functioning as alt, and not normal left-side alt but as AltGR too! This persists until you press the swapped Ctrl button (functioning as Alt), which causes the right-side Alt (functioning as Ctrl) to go back to doing that. Bizzare.

I don't know what to think of this or how to fix it. I wasted way too long trying to figure this out, and nothing seems to work. All I need is to swap the Ctrl and Alt on the left hand side without screwing anything else up, why is that so hard?

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