How To Use On-Screen Keyboard in Different Versions Of Windows?

On-Screen Keyboard (OSK)

The on-screen keyboard is a software-based keyboard that is available in most operating systems, especially Microsoft Windows. It allows users to type text using a joystick or a pointing device. It not only improves input options for users who are physically challenged but also serves as an alternative to a physical keyboard.

Onscreen keyboards, also known as software keyboards or soft keyboards, is a virtual keyboard that is displayed on the screen for ease of the user. It can easily be accessed in a touch screen monitor or other monitors with the help of a mouse. 

The on-Screen feature is mainly used to ensure uninterrupted usage of the PC, Laptop, or any other device operating on Windows, in case of the absence of the physical keyboard. It comes quite handy for remote access too. This feature can also be used in smart televisions. 

On-Screen Keyboard in Windows

The keyboard on the screen can be accessed with a wireless mouse or gaming console even when you are sitting far from the monitor. 

on-screen keyboard
  • The on-screen keyboard consists of all the keys present in the physical keyboard such as:
    • All the alphabets
    • Ctrl key
    • Shift key
    • Alt key
    • F keys
    • Number keys
    • Delete, etc.
  • Along with this, the on-screen keyboard has an option to close to it after use.

For normal screens without the touch screen feature, virtual keyboards can be accessed easily by following the steps explained in this article.

Also read: How To Restore System Image Backups On Windows? – TechSunk

How To Use Onscreen Keyboard in Windows  ?

For Windows 10:

  • First, you need to sign in your Windows account. 
  • After signing in, you need to switch on the ‘Start’ option. 
  • There you will find the option or icon of ‘Settings’. Click on it.
  • Then you need to select the ‘Ease of Access’ option. 
  • Next, select the ‘Keyboard’ option.
  • Now you need to turn on the ‘Use the On-Screen Keyboard’ option.
  • On selecting it, a virtual keyboard panel would appear on your screen.

Note: The keyboard panel can easily be moved anywhere on the screen. 

You can even access the on-screen keyboard before signing in your Windows account.
You just need to follow the steps listed below:

  • On the sign-in screen, you will find the ‘Ease of access’ option at the bottom corner of the screen.
  • Then you need to select the ‘ On-Screen Keyboard’ option.

Also read: 10 Ways to Speed Up Windows 10 – TechSunk

 For Windows 8:

  • You first need to open the ‘Start’ menu.
  • Then you will see a ‘Search icon’. Use that.
  • You need to type ‘On-screen Keyboard’ in the search bar.
  • Once you find the ‘On-screen Keyboard’ option, click on that.

Once the on-screen keyboard is displayed on your screen, you can hover the keyboard according to your wish anywhere on the screen.

For Windows 7:

  • You need to click on the ‘Start’ menu.
  • Then search for the ‘All programs’ option and click on it.
  • From there, you need to find the ‘Accessories’ option and select it.
  • Next, you need to find and click on the ‘Ease of access’ option.
  • Finally, you need to find the ‘On-Screen Keyboard’ option and select it. Now you will be able to access the on-screen keyboard on your screen.

Features of the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 

  • Click sound: This adds sound to each click made by you on usage.
  • Highlights the keys: This lightens or highlights the keys that you place your cursor or pointer on.
  • Numeric keypad: The numeric keypad can be opened using this option and you can access all the number keys.
  • Text Prediction: This allows the keyboard to show predictions, thus helping you to work faster. English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish are the languages available for predictions. If you want any other language then you need to install it.
  • Different layouts: There are different layouts, you can select the one you prefer from the various options provided.
  • Pin: There is an option of pinning the on-screen keyboard. You can pin your on-screen keyboard to the taskbar using this option.

Also read: What Is Lockapp.exe On Windows: Is It Harmful? (techsunk.com)

Shortcuts to access the On-Screen Keyboard

The different methods to access the on-screen keyboard in Windows other than the usual way as mentioned above are:

  • Windows + U

~ You can select Windows + U simultaneously. 


~This would open the ‘Ease to Access’ tool, where you can turn on your onscreen keyboard.

  • Run option

~ You can right-click on the ‘Start’ menu present in the bottom corner of your screen. 


~Then you need to find and click on the ‘Run’ option. 


~A ‘Run dialogue box’ would appear, there you need to type “OSK” in it and click on the ‘OK’ option.

  • Command prompt

~ You can select Windows + X. 


~This will open the ‘Quick Access Menu’. 


~From there you need to select the ‘Command prompt’ option, then type ‘OSK’ in it and finally press the ‘Enter’ option.

Also read: 20 Useful Command Prompt Shortcuts For Windows – TechSunk

  •  Windows PowerShell

~ You need to click on the ‘Start’ menu option at the lower bottom of your screen and search for the ‘Windows PowerShell’ option. 


~Next, you need to click on that option to open a dialogue box. 


~There you need to type ‘OSK’ in the space provided (near a blinking cursor) and press ‘Enter’.

  • Windows + Ctrl + O

~ To directly open the on-screen keyboard, you need to press Windows, Ctrl (Control), and O (Alphabet O) simultaneously.

~The on-screen keyboard would appear immediately on your screen.

  • Windows + i

~ You can press Windows + I simultaneously. 


~After that, you need to find and select the ‘Ease of Access’ option from the ‘Settings’ panel and search for ‘keyboard’ options. 


~Once you find the ‘keyboard opinion, you need to turn on the on-screen keyboard.

Turning off the On-Screen Keyboard

The steps to turn off the On-screen keyboard in Windows are:

  • First, you need to open the ‘Settings’ from the ‘Start menu’.
  • Then you need to click on ‘Ease of Access’ and open keyboard options.
  • From there, you can turn off the on-screen keyboard by clicking again on the ‘Turn on the On-Screen Keyboard’ option.

There is another technique too that you can use-

  • You can press the ‘X’ button on the right top corner of the on-screen panel, to turn off the keyboard. 

Also read: Rename Files And Folders: Different Ways To Do It In Windows (techsunk.com)

Accessing the On-screen Keyboard on a touch screen monitor

  • In Windows 10, you need to select the ‘Taskbar’ to open its options.
  • Then you need to check the ‘Show Onscreen Keyboard’ option.
  • From the given options, select the ‘Keyboard’ symbol on the lower bottom of the taskbar.
  • After that, the on-screen keyboard will be displayed on your screen which you can use just like the physical keyboard.

For further information and help, visit the Windows support page. 

This explains how to use the on-screen keyboard in Windows. We hope you find it helpful. 

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