It’s hard to predict in advance when you might need a virtual keyboard on your computer. You can’t do without it if you need to reinstall the input device drivers if the physical keyboard doesn’t work, if there’s no other way to enter text or if there are problems with some of the keys on the keyboard.
There has always been an on-screen keyboard in Windows operating systems, and getting it up and running has never been a problem. That said, in Windows 10, Microsoft got so carried away that the system has two keyboards that can be typed with a mouse.
The on-screen keyboard is a field with virtual characters, resembling the layout of a conventional keyboard. As a rule, in the bottom line of such a keyboard, there’s an “Fn” button, which switches the upper row of digits to the function keys.
Well, if you want to enable an on-screen keyboard in Windows 10, here’s how you can do that.
Why do you need an on-screen keyboard in Windows 10 at all
There may be several reasons why you might need a virtual keyboard on Windows 10:
- The batteries on the wireless keyboard are dead, and there are no spare batteries on hand.
- Health problems and inability to type on a physical keyboard.
- For some reason you don’t have an input device at all or it’s broken.
- For secure password typing and protection against keylogger hijackers, e.g. when using a browser.
- You can use it in virtual machines and Nox – the Android emulator for Windows.
- You just want to learn how to type fast with your mouse.
How to enable the on-screen keyboard in Windows 10
It was mentioned above that there are 2 types of on-screen keyboards on Windows 10 PCs. In essence, their functionality is the same, but they’re slightly different in the interface. All in all, there are 5 different ways to start the on-screen keyboard in Windows 10, each of which is quite simple and it’s not hard to remember them all.
To start, a few of the easiest ways to enable the Windows 10 on-screen keyboard. The first one involves using the taskbar.
In the lower right corner of the Windows 10 screen, where the clock and other shortcut icons are located, you can place the “hot button” to turn on the on-screen keyboard.
To display it, right-click on the taskbar and check the “Show touch keyboard button” checkbox.
After that, a new icon will be available in the quick taskbar.
Just click on it with the left mouse button to launch the touchscreen-style virtual keyboard.
To turn on the on-screen keyboard, click the search icon in the lower-left corner of the screen and type “On-screen keyboard” into it, then select the option you find.
The obvious disadvantage of this method is that it will be quite difficult to start an on-screen keyboard in this way if the physical keyboard doesn’t work and there’s nothing to enter the request.
Using the “Run” command
To activate the “Run” tool, press “Win + R” on your keyboard or right-click on the “Start” button and select the appropriate item. Type “osk” in the “Run” window and click “OK” or press Enter and the on-screen keyboard will appear.
This method has the same disadvantage as the above. It has also the need to enter the request from the keyboard, which is difficult if it’s faulty.
The “Ease of Access” in the “Settings” allows you to enable the on-screen keyboard.
To do this, right-click on the “Start” button and select “Settings” from the pop-up menu.
After that, click the “Ease of Access” icon and go to the “Keyboard” section.
Then, turn on the “Use an on-screen board” option under the “Use your device without a physical keyboard”.
You can also press “Win + Ctrl + O” to open the on-screen keyboard.
Once you have completed these steps, you will be able to open the on-screen keyboard in Windows 10.