How to Display a Laptop’s Onscreen Keyboard

Some people have problems pressing the keys on a regular keyboard. If you have a touchscreen laptop, there’s often a handy onscreen keyboard feature that appears when you tap in a text entry area that you can tap with your fingers. If you have a non-touchscreen laptop, Windows offers its own onscreen keyboard you can use by clicking its (virtual) keys with your mouse.

1To use the onscreen keyboard, from the Control Panel, choose Ease of Access.

A window will appear.


2In the resulting window, click the Ease of Access Center link to open the Ease of Access Center window.

The Ease of Access Center window will appear.


3Click Start On-Screen Keyboard.

The onscreen keyboard appears.

4Open a document in any application where you can enter text, and then click the keys on the onscreen keyboard with your mouse to make entries.

If you have a tablet with a touchscreen and Windows 8.1 operating system, tap the keyboard with your finger.

To use keystroke combinations (such as Ctrl+Z), click the first key (in this case, Ctrl), and then click the second key (Z). You don’t have to hold down the first key as you do with a regular keyboard.

5To change settings, such as how you select keys (Typing Mode) or the font used to label keys (Font), click the Options key on the onscreen keyboard.

Choose any one of the options shown in the Options dialog box and click OK.

6Click the Close button on the onscreen keyboard to remove it from your screen.

You can set up the Hover typing mode to activate a key after you hover your pointer over it for a predefined period of time (x number of seconds).

If you have arthritis or some other condition that makes clicking difficult, this option can help you enter text. Click the Hover over Keys item in the Options dialog box and use the slider to set how long you have to hover before a key is activated.

The Ease of Access settings in the PC Settings screen offer a setting that has Windows activate keys on a touchscreen keyboard whenever you remove your fingers from the physical keyboard. Press Win+I→Change PC Settings→Ease of Access to reach this setting.