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[GUIDE] How to make any keyboard's eMail hotkey launch an exe of your choice

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello :)
This is a short guide on how to launch an exe of your choice by pressing the eMail hotkey. I use webmail so I have no use for the eMail key on my Ducky Shine 3 and I wanted it to launch Notepad instead. This should work with any keyboard that has an eMail hotkey since the eMail hotkey launches the mailto protocol in Windows. I tested this on my keyboard and a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit with no eMail client installed, so I can't guarantee it will work on any other Windows OS, but it should work on most of them, I think.
I couldn't find this anywhere so after hours of reading through the internet I came up with the solution myself. You can use KeyTweak and SharpKey for changing a (hot)key's function, but you can't run an exe file of your choice. They are useful for setting the behavior of (hot)keys though. For example, you can set your Media, Calculator, PC, etc. hotkey to be an eMail hotkey instead. Some people use AutoHotkey but it's not very simple to configure and it has to run in the background as far as I know. My method is very simple, let's begin ^_^

If you just want to open Notepad instead of eMail, add this regkey to your registry, restart your PC and you are done. If you want to run a different program than Notepad, then edit the provided regkey and choose the program you'd like to run (just type the address of your exe).

This is what the regkey contains:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto][HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell][HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open][HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command]@="C:\\Windows\\System32\\notepad.exe"


This is the manual method (newbie-friendly)


1. Press Windows+R and type regedit and hit Enter.

2. Right-click on the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, select New and then Key. (Re)name the key to "mailto"



3. Right-click on the "mailto" key, select New and then Key and name it "shell",

    right-click the "shell" key, select New and then Key and name it "open",

    right-click the "open" key, select New and then Key and name it "command",

    left-click the "command" key and in the right pane there will be a String Value named "(Default)"


4. Double-click it (or right-click it and click Modify...) and then you can edit the Value data. This is the address of the exe of your choice that you want to run. Type "C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe" if you want to run Notepad with the eMail hotkey.


So, for example, if you type this address "C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCleaner.exe" in Value data, you will run Ccleaner instead (provided you have it installed at that exact address).

5. Click OK, exit regedit, restart your PC for the changes to take effect and that's it.


I hope this helps somebody. If you have any questions or problems, feel free to ask for help :) .
This was created primarily for Ducky Shine users that have no use for the eMail hotkey and would like to run an executable instead, but it should work with most keyboards and versions of Windows.

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Love it! Thanks! :D

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Sorry for reviving this but do you have an idea how I could use the mail button on my Ducky Shine 4 to mute and unmute my mic? I would use Autohotkey but I honestly have no idea how to do it properly :D 

it's time for some jolly cooperation!

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