Pretty much every key combination on my laptop is likely to perform some sort of fancy function, thanks to Triggers with Quicksilver. Ironically, this article is about how to add another shortcut to disable them all.

For instance, if you use a notebook computer and a real notebook in class (like me) then table space is at a premium. But taking notes on top of my keys will cause a mess and closing my computer makes it sleep. Maybe your computer is at risk of being pounced on by pets, children or transformers. Or, you might find your OCD taking over and a sudden keyboard-cleaning is in order. My friends — these solutions are for you.


If you know me, you can expect that heading on just about every article. Keep it simple.

  • Unplug your Keyboard. I assume this doesn’t need explanation. Though simple, it’s a quick fix. If you have a laptop, you can still unplug your keyboard. It’ll just void your warranty and it’s not a very good hack.
  • Open a Text Editor. Then you and your kitten can mash all the keys you like. Just try to avoid shortcuts. I guess this one is strictly restricted to meticulous key-by-key cleaning. It’s compatible with all platforms!





  • For Mac: Keyboard Cleaner (Free) It’s a basic, small program. I installed it and assigned it a Trigger in Quicksilver so I can disable the keyboard quickly and switch to a notepad. It also blacks out the screen which saves a little battery life. The display brightness adjuster is left un-disabled, so I can dim the screen even more.
  • For PC: Toddler Keys (Free) While Toddler Keys isn’t meant for this specific task, it works pretty well and is free. Like the name implies, it’s a program for preventing a toddler from messing up your keyboard. Huge thanks to reader Barry Shifrin for recommending this to us!
  • For PC: Keyboard Locker (Not Free) It’s just plain stupid for such a simple program to cost money, but I give them props for giving it a handy hotkey. And I can’t completely endorse it since I don’t have a PC.