Did your Hyper key break?

[Tweet]

If this note applies to you, you already know what a Hyper key is. If you don’t, go ahead and start with the post I wrote a while back on using Karabiner Elements to make your Caps Lock key more useful. If you’re starting from scratch, you won’t need the info below, I’ve already updated the instructions.

Fixing the Hyper key

For those of you using my original instructions, you may have found that some or all of your Hyper key functionality disappeared with a recent update of Karabiner Elements. (I think it has to do with much stricter JSON parsing that was implemented, but the solution doesn’t necessarily validate that.)

To get your Hyper key back, the first thing to do is remove the current Hyper key rules in Karabiner Elements preferences. Select the Complex Modifications tab and find the “Change caps_lock to…” rule, then click the Remove button on the right. Then add it back in using the “Add Rule” button at the bottom. You can also just go straight to my example and edit in the definition yourself (~/.config/karabiner/karabiner.json), if you prefer.

Escape key functionality

The default Hyper key rule that’s imported won’t have the added benefit of making your Caps Lock an Escape key when pressed alone. If you want that part, you’ll need to edit ~/.config/karabiner/karabiner.json to add the to_if_alone key to it, as seen in line 33 of the example. The original config I offered had an extra modifers key in it, which is what was breaking the Escape key functionality. Removing those lines as shown in the example will restore it.

This solution is thanks to tweets from Joakim Kemeny and Chris Salter. I’m grateful and very happy to have my favorite modifier key back.