The right side of most full-sized keyboards has a dedicated area for Number Pads. This is a set of numeric buttons arranged closely to help type numbers much faster and more efficiently.
But to start using it, you need to ‘unlock’ them first. There is a lock called Num Lock, which is responsible for activating or deactivating the button set.
Here’s how you can always make it on your Windows 10 PC.
Table of Contents
Once enabled, Num Lock will always ON
Unlike the Caps Lock key, which turns off automatically once you restart the computer, the Num Lock key will remain active once you turn it on.
Even if you restart the device, the system will remember your previous setting and will set it on when the computer awakens.
Of course, there could be some instances where the keys are disabled; it could be a hardware glitch or software error, but most of the time, Num Lock is predictable.
How to turn on the Num Lock keys
On most keyboards, the Num Lock key is located on the right, slightly upper side of the device. Press the button to enable/disable it. Some keyboards may show it as NumLk.
Try the number keys around to see if it’s working.
If you are using a compact laptop or tablet, there is a good chance that it doesn’t have a dedicated Num Lock key. Instead, it might be shared a place with another button (often with F11). To get it enabled, you need to press and hold the Fn key, followed by Num Lock (NumLk).
Unfortunately for laptop users, the number keys also shared their position with other keys, making the free-flow typing a rather awkward thing to do.
They typically look somewhat like this.
If you are a laptop owner and have to work with the number keys, consider using a wireless number pad add-on to your device. It’s a little upgrade that doesn’t crush the bank.
How to keep Num Lock always on using Windows Registry
This is a trick to keep the Num Lock activated at the system startup. This is particularly helpful if your computer suffers from an unknown glitch that keeps turning off the function.
- Go to Start, search and find for Registry Editor.
- Navigate to HKEY_USERS.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Keyboard
- Right-click on InitialKeyboardIndicators and select Modify.
- Change the value with 2 and click OK.
- Restart the computer to see the result.
If you want to make Num Lock always off, set the value to 0 and restart the device.
Use Third Party Tools
If you don’t want to edit the registry directly, there are a few third-party tools available that can force Num Lock to stay on:
- NumLocker – This lightweight, portable app runs in your system tray and toggles Num Lock back on if it ever gets turned off for any reason.
- xNumLock – Similar to NumLocker, this app sits in the background and re-enables Num Lock if needed. Offers a few more customization options.
These tools essentially monitor the status of Num Lock and override the system settings if it goes off. They run silently in the background and provide a simple solution.
In some cases, Num Lock may still get switched off unexpectedly, even if you configure Windows 10 to keep it on. Here are a few things to check:
- Disable Fast Startup – This hybrid shutdown mode caches the Num Lock state and can override registry settings on restart.
- Check for Conflicting Software – Some third party tools like remote desktop apps can change the Num Lock behavior.
- Test with Different Keyboard – Bad hardware or drivers may be resetting Num Lock incorrectly. Try a new keyboard.
- Update BIOS – Outdated system BIOS versions may not handle Num Lock properly. Flash latest BIOS.
- Toggle Setting Off and On – Disable then re-enable the
InitialKeyboardIndicatorssetting to force a refresh.
Following the steps in this guide, you should be able to keep Num Lock enabled at all times on your Windows 10 computer. No more hitting the Num Lock button repeatedly! Let us know if you have any other issues getting it working.
How do I permanently turn on Num Lock?
As I mentioned earlier, the Num Lock key will stay on once pressed. This means the numeric keys on the right side of the keyboard are used to type numbers on the screen. If you press the Num Lock key again, it will be off and stay that way.
Why does Num Lock keep turning off Windows 10?
There could be a problem with your Windows Registry. To check this, press Windows key + R, type “regedit,” navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Keyboard, double-click “InitialKeyboardIndicators,” and change value data to “2”.
If you are using a wireless keyboard, you might want to check the battery indicator to see if the device needs its battery to be replaced or recharged. In my experience, a low battery level will sometimes turn off by itself.
Can I turn on Num Lock without the keyboard key?
Sure, just go to the Start, type “osk”, and open On-Screen Keyboard. Click Options, check the Turn on numeric keypad, and hit OK.