How to Add an External Keyboard to Your Laptop

If you miss the full size and action of a real PC keyboard, get one! Just plug it into your laptop, either into the keyboard port or a USB port, whichever is available. You can start using the keyboard the second it's plugged in.

Note that adding an external keyboard often doesn’t disable the laptop's internal keyboard. You can use both! But you're probably not crazy enough to do that.

When you're done using the full-size keyboard, simply unplug it.

  • If all you're yearning for is to have a separate numeric keypad, consider getting only that item. You can pick up a USB numeric keypad, which is just the keypad and not the entire keyboard, at most computer stores and office-supply stores.

  • Sometimes, the only way you can add a non-USB keyboard to your laptop is by getting a port replicator or docking station.

  • The standard color for a PC's keyboard connector — the hole somewhere on your laptop for plugging in the keyboard — is purple.

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