Windows has a feature named on-screen keyboard that is supposed to be an emergency option in case the physical keyboard is damaged or not responding.
It also can be used as the primary input for a touchscreen device.
If you need an on-screen keyboard right now, there are at least five ways to show it up. Some of them did not even require a physical keyboard.
…and it only takes several seconds to launch.
Note: The following guides may also work for Windows 7 and Windows 8.
#1 Show on-screen keyboard using just a mouse
In case the actual keyboard malfunction and cannot be used, you can activate the on-screen keyboard just using the mouse only.
1. First, right-click on the Taskbar and select Show Touch keyboard button.
2. Then, the keyboard icon will show. Click on it to enable the on-screen keyboard.
3. The on-screen keyboard should look like this.
This was an optimized version for Windows Tablet mode that was designed for touchscreen devices. It has bigger buttons to accommodate a convenient typing experience.
#2 Show on-screen keyboard via Start Menu
There’s no doubt that Start Menu plays a massive role in Windows 10 user experience. The on-screen keyboard is also available there.
1. Launch Start Menu, type On-Screen Keyboard search section, and open the program.
2. Then the On-Screen Keyboard will appear on a separate window like this.
This interface is quite compact for a touchscreen device, thanks to its bigger button. It also has additional buttons that nearly replicate all physical keyboard buttons.
#3 Show on-screen keyboard through Windows Settings
Windows 10 has a great new Settings menu that comparable to Control Panel on the older Windows version. This new interface is covering almost the entire OS configuration seamlessly.
1. Click Start Menu and select the Settings icon which is represented by gears shape.
2. On the Windows Settings, select the Ease of Access option.
3. Look at the left sidebar, click Keyboard, then enable the On-Screen Keyboard.
#4 Launch on-screen keyboard via “Run”
The fastest way to enable the On-Screen Keyboard feature is by Run command, but it required a physical keyboard. Press CTRL+R on the keyboard, then type “osk” (without quote)
Next, click OK, and the virtual keyboard will appear.
#5 Show on-screen keyboard from System32 folder
The System32 folder holds a lot of essential applications for the system to run. It means plenty of first-party programs can be found here as well, including the program that is responsible for the virtual keyboard.
Just open File Explorer, go to Local Disk (C:) partition, open Windows folder, go to the System32 folder and locate the osk program.
All those programs are arranged alphabetically, so it’s should be easier to find.
Similar to the first guide, this method does not require a physical keyboard. You can follow the step-by-step only by mouse or touchscreen display.
Alright, that’s five ways to enable an on-screen keyboard on Windows, either with mouse/touch screen display, or using the actual keyboard.
Which method did you prefer the most?