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Enabling and Disabling the Insert Key in Microsoft Word 2010

Monday, May 28th, 2012 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help, MS Word

John from Hawesville, KY writes:

I’ve got a problem with the “Insert” key. I can’t imagine why I would ever want the insert key activated in the first place, so is there some way to completely disable it?

I actually don’t know anyone who appreciates the Insert key. I presume it was a useful key once upon a time in the evolution of the computer. You can find out more from the following WorldStart tip: How to use the Insert Key.

To permanently disable it, you’d have to edit the Windows registry. However, since the Windows registry is a delicate (and possibly the most important aspect of the Windows Operating System), it is best not tamper with it. Even a minor mistake can lead to the dreaded Blue Screen of Death!

You should rather disable the Insert key from the word processor that you use. Fortunately, by default, Microsoft Word 2010 has the Insert key disabled. If someone has enabled this key by mistake, you can disable it by going to Advanced Options in the Word Options dialog box. Let me show you how this is done.

1.) Open Microsoft Word 2010.

2.) Click the Office button, located in the top left-hand corner and then click the Word Options button.

The Office Button in Microsoft Word 2010

The Office Button in Microsoft Word 2010

3.) Click Advanced in the Word Options dialog box.

The Word Options Dialog Box

The Word Options Dialog Box

4.) Deselect the check boxes highlighted in the image below. Remember, by default the Insert key is disabled in Microsoft Word 2010.

The Advanced Options of Microsoft Word 2010

The Advanced Options of Microsoft Word 2010

Hope this helps!

~Rupen Sharma

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8 Responses to “Enabling and Disabling the Insert Key in Microsoft Word 2010”

  1. Mary Kaye Bates says:

    The insert key is most useful as a toggle to overtype. I can’t begin to tell you how many times that overtype function has come in handy for me, especially when I boilerplate fill-in forms. How can anyone complain about this very useful function?

    • Barbara Jones says:

      The insert key is a valuable tool when editing. I just tap the key to start the “typeover” and tap it again to go back to the “insert mode”. It is very easy and you know immediately if its in the wrong mode.

  2. Ernie says:

    CAPS LOCK was my problem! Simple solution is to just pry cap off of keyboard! Key still enabled but not as likely to inadvertantly strike it as I so frequently did.
    Just gently pry up from under edge of key cap. ALL of my keyboards are missing this cap.

  3. Mark says:

    Thanks for the warning, I just went into Word 2010 on my laptop and enabled the insert key. I am with Mary Kayle, I can’t see why anyone would want to disable it, just don’t use it, sheesh. I guess it is like a lot of other features, people just don’t know how useful it can be because they don’t know how/when to use it.

    BTW your example of how to change it looks like Word 2007 not 2010. My 2010 doesn’t have an Office button, you use the file ribbon to get to the options after that it is the same.

  4. Vicky says:

    Why, all of a sudden, can I no longer paste a picture into Word 2010,with Windows 7?? I’ve tried pasting from the Snipping Tool, from the Clipboard and from the Insert command, but nothing works. I just get an empty box with a thin red frame. I’ve tried Googling this problem but can’t seem to find a solution. Any help would be much appreciated!!

  5. richard says:

    is it possible to make the inserted pictures clearer?
    the highlighted and red boxes are good attention getters but i cant read the fuzzy letters.

  6. John P says:

    I have the key disabled in Word, I have more trouble with it in my mail programs and on forum boards. I’ve just never really had a reason to use it. If it’s hit by mistake (usually when aiming for the delete key) I end up overstriking part of my message that doesn’t need it. I touch type, so I’m not looking at the screen and sometimes don’t realize what’s happened until I proof the message.

  7. Reb says:

    I cannot imagine how I could get along w/o the Insert key. I use it every day any time I am writing. My guess is that the guy who wants to delete it also wants to type over everything he writes.


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