Ctrl-Alt-Delete combination on Mac with Bootcamp

This case is very simple: a Windows keyboard is not equal with a Mac keyboardOpens in a new tab.. And especially if you don’t properly install Windows with the Bootcamp utility, along with adequate drivers or support files – all these things can cost you a bad mood and shiny day spent in the office.

Yet another pain for Windows System Administrators. Naturally, if you have a user with a Macbook using it on their workplace, I assume you would want to join their “Windows partition” to your domain for obvious reasons: Windows integrated authentication to network resources, access to network printers, NTFS shares, authentication to various Internet proxies, security issues and many different services – you name it. Here also comes the problem with hitting control+alt+delete combination, because user is required to use this key combination in order to log into the domain. One minor problem is that the DELETE button on your Macbook might not work as well. Here is one forum discussionOpens in a new tab. which proves that.

If you are in this situation, make sure you plug a USB keyboard and mouse into the Macbook while logged in Windows partition, so the system could be able to install internal drivers – this step is not required but it can make you feel more comfortable doing the next steps.

Ok, there is one small program named SharpKeysOpens in a new tab. that saved my life. As per the author:

“SharpKeys is a utility that manages a Registry key that allows Windows to remap one key to any other key. Included in the application is a list of common keyboard keys and a Type Key feature to automatically recognize most keyboard keys.”

Idea is simple. Remapping some of the keys on your Macbook keyboard will make your ctrl+alt+delete combination work out.

In my case the Control key was working, but the Alt and Delete keys didn’t work, even using the Fn key. I had to sacrifice two Mac keys to replace them with Alt and Delete. The Command key was acting as Windows key, so I made the left Windows key the new left Alt key. And of course, I sacrificed the Delete key which was acting as Backspace. I just swapped its function from Backspace to Delete.

Remap Mac keyboard with Windows keyboard

After you install SharpKeys, launch the program and click Add. Then click “Type Key” under the left column “Map this key” – and now press the left Command key. Next, click “Type Key” under the right column “To This Key” – now scroll down and find the entry “Special: Left Alt (00_38)”. Click OK, then Write to Registry button. Repeat this process for the Delete key by finding entry “Special: Backspace (00_0E)” in the left column and replacing it with “Special: Delete (E0_53)” in the right. Reboot for the changes to apply.

You may choose and remap only those keys that are most suitable for you, you shouldn’t stick to this arrangement. Repeat this process for all keys that need to be remapped and then do a restart.

If you decide to restore the Mac keyboard to its original state, just open SharpKeys, delete all records and press Write to Registry.

What are your resolutions?


Milan Mihajlov

Milan is a seasoned professional with a diverse background in Software Testing, IT Support and System Engineering. With a keen interest in AI, Smart Home technology, and useful software utilities, Milan brings a unique perspective to the ever-evolving world of technology. Through his expertise and passion, he aims to share insights and help readers navigate the complexities of modern tech seamlessly. Follow me for the latest trends, tips, and innovations in the digital landscape.

One thought on “Ctrl-Alt-Delete combination on Mac with Bootcamp

  1. it is very simple: press option-control-fn key together, then hit the delete key, on my macbook pro (I am running windows 10 pro with bootcamp). It produces the effect of Control-Alt-Del key.

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