What do G-Keys on Keyboards do?

CORSAIR macro setup
CORSAIR macro setup (Source: Corsair)

I was surprised to find a set of “G” marked keys on my Logitech G510s keyboard because I had never used one.

Only after Googling about it did I find out that these are programmable or macro keys.

If you have a similar set of keys on your keyboard, do know that you can program these keys to perform many tasks to reduce your workflow effectively.

G-keys on the keyboard are shortcut keys that are commonly used to run macros (perform several keystrokes within a single click), open or close software, run various commands or assign shortcut keys.

Corsair k100keyboard with 6 configurable G-keys
Corsair k100keyboard with six configurable G-keys (source: Amazon)

In fact, you can program or reprogram the G-keys as many times as you want.

However, do not be confused by the M-keys that may appear instead of G-keys on some keyboards because they are the same.

Read on to find out how to program the G-keys on your keyboard.

What Purpose does G-key Serve on Keyboard?

G-Keys on the keyboards are a very in-handy tool that allows you to simultaneously press multiple keys or mouse movements.

In simple terms, G-keys make your workflow quick by performing multiple tasks within a single keypress.

If you are wondering, these keys (G1, G2, G3, and so on) are located on the left side of your keyboard in a vertical series.

It was initially designed as a single macro key to perform a series of keystrokes, mouse actions, or menu actions.

Macro key on old keyboard
Macro key on the old keyboard (Source: Wikimedia)

Macro = A single instruction that expands automatically into a set of instructions to perform a particular task.

Today, its usage has grown in number and is used to perform complicated commands in gaming and other regular tasks.

For someone who indulges in a lot of gaming, photo/video editing, streaming, and content development, macro keys come to be very beneficial.

You can program/reprogram infinite numbers of automation to each available G-key, including but not limited to:

  • Key sequences (Multiple or repetitive keystrokes)
  • Keyboard events or Hotkeys (Opening or closing a program)
  • Launching frequently used applications
  • Mouse scrolling and specific movements
  • Delay in-between presses
  • Shortcut command to insert a text clipping, boilerplate text, or styling
  • Simulate missing features
  • Run hotkey commands between the game (Switch weapon, open chat, etc.)

However, not all regular keyboards feature G-keys as this feature is specific to a particular type of keyboard.

Some manufacturers chose to name it M instead of G, but it does the same thing.

G-keys or macro keys
G-keys or macro keys (Source: Digit News)

How to Program G-Keys?

Programming the Macro keys will depend on the keyboard manufacturer and supporting software because not all manufacturers share the same control panel.

For example, programming the keys in the Logitech keyboard would differ from Corsair as they both offer custom consoles.

Here is a step-by-step guide to programming macro keys in different devices.

1. Corsair Keyboard

Corsair is one of the leading keyboard makers in the market specializing in a wide range of regular and gaming devices.

When you buy a Corsair keyboard fitted with G-key, you will get a supporting software and iCUE console that activates once you connect your device to the computer.

Here is how you can record Macros using iCUE version 4 or newer;

  1. Open iCUE software on your computer.
  2. Once you see the dashboard, select K70 RGB MK.2 and click Key Assignments, which will open a feature to customize the keypad.
  3. Press on Plus sign “+” and select Macro.
  4. Now, you can assign the macro to the keyboard.
  5. Select the key you want to assign the macro on the virtual keyboard. For example, G1, G2, and so on.
  6. Press the Record button marked with red and begin recording.
  7. Perform the keyboard actions such as Ctrl+A, Shift+Alt+W, or gaming cheat codes ZTY+**90.
  8. Press the record button to stop recording.
  9. Apply any advanced settings or start settings to your macro.
  10. Test the progress by pressing G-keys to ensure they are working.
CORSAIR macro setup
CORSAIR macro setup (Source: Corsair Website)

For iCUE version 3 or older;

  • Open the iCUE app and select K70 RGB mK.2 in the devices section.
  • Press Actions on the left-hand menu and press plus or + key.
  • Select the key you want to assign the macro on the virtual keyboard. For example, G1, G2, and so on.
  • Press the Record button marked with red and begin recording.
  • Perform the keyboard actions.
  • Press the record button to stop recording.
  • Apply any advanced settings or start settings to your macro.
  • Test the progress by pressing G-keys to ensure they are working.

2. Logitech Keyboard

Logitech is another famous keyboard manufacturer that provides macros in their keyboard. But do not be confused when you find M instead of G-keys. They are the same!

To assign macros, you need to access the Logitech G Hub software with the keyboard.

The process may be slightly longer.

Here is how you can record Macros using G Hub software.

  • Start with opening Logitech G Hub software. All the devices supported by G Hub will be shown in the dashboard.
  • Select the keyboard or mouse you want to assign macro to.
  • Tap on “Assignments” from the left side menu.
  • Tap on “Macros” from the left panel and choose “Create New Macro.”
  • Assign a name to the Macro filter and choose the macro type: No repeat, Repeat, Toggle Sequence, etc.
Logitech macro type
Logitech macro type (Source: Slurp Tech)
  • Once you choose the type, next, create your macro script by pressing on the plus icon next to the “Start Now.”
  • Tap on “Record Keystrokes” to record new actions or commands, such as multiple keystrokes.
  • Once you provide the action, press the red button to finish the recording.
  • You can assign a delay between each event by choosing “Use Standard Delay” or using the software’s delay time.
  • Finally, press saves to finish setting up the macro.

3. SteelSeries Keyboard

SteelSeries is another famous manufacturer of keyboards and mice with Macro features.

The SteelSeries Engine software allows you to customize, tune, and assign macro functions to the keyboard and mouse.

Start with downloading and installing the SteelSeries engine. You can find the installation file for both Windows and Mac.

  • Open the application and find Macro editor on the left-hand side menu under the settings tab.
  • Hit the launch button to open a macro editor window.
  • The window has two sections—the left one for creating new recordings and the bottom right to trigger a macro recording session.
  • Hit the red button to start recording. Choose the button to assign the macro and provide custom commands, including key or mouse presses.
  • Hit the red button to stop the recording. You can see the workflow on the right hand, including action, time delay, and chronology.
  • Press “Save” to store your macro setting.

Macro Keyboard Recommendations

A few keyboard recommendations with G-keys or macro keys.

ProductSpecificationImage
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XTRGB LED, Cherry MX Speed keyboard with six-dedicated macro keys
Corsair K100 RGB Optical KeyboardOptical, mechanical keyboard with RGB backlighting, 44-zone light edge, and six-programmable Macro keys.
Logitech G910 Orion SpectrumRomer-G mechanical switches with RGB lighting and nine programmable G-keys
Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED WirelessWireless gaming keyboard with mechanical switches and six programmable G-keys
SteelSeries Apex 300 Gaming KeyboardLow profile keys with a high F key and seventeen Macro keys.
SteelSeries Apex 350 Gaming KeyboardIt features low profile keys with ergonomically elevated F-key, anti-ghosting keys, and twenty-two macro keys

Conclusion

G-keys are lifesavers for many regular computer users for adding custom features to their devices.

Being able to commit multiple functions in a single keypress can save your time, especially for gaming, editing, or writing.

Even if you are a casual user, you can still use macro keys by assigning time-saving shortcuts such as running or exiting the software.

Read our blog about whether you should get a Hot-swappable keyboard

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