On-Screen Keyboard on Windows 10 is a handy tool to call out when your physical keyboard becomes unresponsive. But besides using it only during such mishaps, you can also utilize the Virtual keyboard on Windows 10 while entering sensitive information like passwords to avoid keyloggers.
Read on to find how to open the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10.
What is On-Screen Keyboard on Windows 10?
On-Screen Keyboard (OSK), well, is a built-in virtual keyboard, like one on your smartphone, with all the standard keys that a physical or external keyboard for PC includes.
Though handy to touchscreen users, you can utilize the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 using your mouse or other pointing devices. And, you can use the visual keyboard in the same way you use the physical keyboard, i.e., give a single command or even press a group of keys together to direct a request. Plus, you can use a (physical) keyboard key, gamepads, or joysticks to select a key on the on-screen keyboard.
Windows has built the OSK as a component of the Ease of Access tool in Settings (given below), which you can access by pressing the Win(⊞)+U keys simultaneously. However, there are also other shortcuts to open the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10.
Method 1. Using Shortcut to Open Onscreen Keyboard in Windows 10
The quickest route to navigate and get things done (or start) in Windows 10 is to use the pre-configured keyboard shortcuts.
A similar pre-determined keyboard shortcut is also present on Windows 10 to open the OnScreen Keyboard. This straightforward method will come in handy when you have to open the OSK promptly, for instance, while entering some confidential information on a session timeout sign-in page.
Here’s the shortcut to open the OnScreen Keyboard in Windows 10:
Press the Win(⊞)+Ctrl+O (Windows logo plus Ctrl plus O pressed at once).
Note: It is essential to press the Ctrl button first and while continuing to hold, press the Windows key, and while holding both, press the O key. Here O (Oscar) is the letter, not the numerical zero.
Just remember the three keys, and you can get your hands-on (in this case, mouse on) the OnScreen keyboard at any time.
Method 2. Open On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 by Searching
Another simple approach to locate the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 is via the search menu.
Here’s how to open the virtual keyboard on Windows 10 using the Search bar:
Hover to the Search (🔎) bar, type in On-Screen keyboard (or simply, osk). Click on Open.
For a mouse-free approach, press the Windows(⊞)button and type On-Screen Keyboard, and press Enter to open it.
Method 3. Open On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 via the Run Command Box
Run is a single-line command box that can help you locate things efficiently if you know the full path of environment variables on all Windows OS.
Follow these simple instructions to learn how to open the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 using the Run command:
Step 1. Press Win(⊞)+R (Windows logo plus R keys at once) to open the Run box.
Step 2. Type in OSK and press Enter.
Note: The single-line command for accessing the On-Screen Keyboard using the Run box is, as mentioned, OSK or osk (in small letters). Windows 10 will show an error message if you type On-Screen Keyboard, OnScreen Keyboard, or OnScreenKeyboard.
Method 4. Open On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 from the Start Menu
Start menu is a central launching point that lists all programs, files, and settings; meaning, you can access the Virtual keyboard via it.
Follow these simple instructions to learn how to open the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 using the Start menu:
Step 1. Press the Win(⊞) key on your keyboard to open the Start menu options.
Step 2. Scroll down to the Windows Ease of Access option and left-click on it.
From the drop-down menu, select the On-Screen Keyboard option.
*** You will find the Start menu options listed alphabetically; so, the Windows Ease of Access option will be accessible in the W-section (bottom of the list).
Note: If you cannot find the Windows Ease of Access options, click on the Recently added option and select “W” to locate the option.
Moreover, you also have the option to pin the On-Screen keyboard in the Start menu:
- Open Search.
- Type in
- On the right pane, select the fourth — Pin to Start option.
You will find the On-Screen Keyboard tile in the right pane of the Start menu from now on.
*** Furthermore, you can also pin it to the taskbar selecting the fifth option by following the above steps.
Method 5. Open On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 via PC Settings
PC Settings, a handy integration from Windows 8 onwards, provides users with many configurable alternatives. One such selection is the Ease of Access menu containing options like Magnifier, Narrator, and On-Screen Keyboard that make the computer easier to handle in some cases.
And Of course, PC Settings is the official door to locate On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10.
Follow these simple steps to learn how to open the Virtual Keyboard in Windows 10 from PC Settings:
Step 1. Navigate to the Start menu, click on the Settings (⚙️) gear icon to open the PC Settings.
Alternatively, if you can access the keyboard, press Win(⊞)+U to open the Ease of Access directly— follow Step 3.
Step 2. On the Settings tab, select the Ease of Access option.
Step 3. Under the Ease of Access tab,
- On the left pane, scroll down to Interactions.
- Select Keyboard.
- On the right pane, under Use your device without a physical keyboard choice.
- Turn on the toggle switch below the Use the On-Screen Keyboard option.
When you turn on the toggle switch — On-Screen Keyboard will pop up.
Method 6. Open On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 in Ease of Access Center
As you might already know, the Settings menu is a newer version of the all-inclusive Control Panel; meaning, if there is an option of Ease of Access in the Settings tab, Control Panel includes one too.
Accessing it via Ease of Access Center is also a straightforward process and will be of service if you ever have to open the On-Screen Keyboard while navigating the Control Panel menu.
Follow these simple steps to learn how to open the Virtual Keyboard on Windows 10 through the Ease of Access Center:
Step 1. From the Search bar, type in Control Panel and press Enter to open it.
Note: To make this process much more comfortable, on the upper-right corner (of the control panel), in the “View by:” section, choose either small icons or large icons; ones changed, it will be like — “View by: Small icons.”
Step 2. From the list of options, choose the Ease of Access Center (alphabetically arranged ).
Step 3. Under the Make your computer easier to use option,
Click on the Start On-Screen Keyboard option.
That’s another easy method.
Note: You will also find the Ease of Access options on the lock screen of Windows 10. And, if you ever find the physical keyboard misfunctioning or not working — you can access the On-Screen Keyword to login instead. Here how:
- Click on the Ease of Access (clock-like) icon at the bottom-right of the lock screen.
- Click on the On-Screen Keyboard option to access it.
Method 7. Open On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 via Command Prompt or PowerShell
Both Command Prompt and PowerShell are text-based interfaces that can help you perform any and all (administrative) tasks if you know the commands-lets. Being similar in their functionality, they both yield the result when you enter the same command.
Here’s how to open the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 using the Command Prompt or PowerShell:
Step 1. Press Win(⊞)+R (Windows logo plus R keys at once) to open the Run box.
Type in cmd and press Enter open the Command Prompt on Windows 10.
Type in PowerShell and press Enter to open the Windows PowerShell on Windows 10.
Step 2. In Command Prompt or PowerShell, type in osk and press Enter to open the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10.
There you go! Another shortcut to open the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10.
FAQs About On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10
1. How to create a Desktop shortcut of On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10?
While there isn’t a pre-configured desktop icon for OSK, you can create one on your own nonetheless. To create:
- Right-click on an empty section on the desktop.
- Select New.
- On the context menu, choose Shortcut.
- In the “Type the location of the item box,” enter osk.
- Click Next.
- On the next box, type in On-Screen Keyboard in the name box.
- Click Finish.
Once complete, you will find the Shortcut of OSK on the desktop with the name of On-Screen Keyboard.
2. How to Close the On-Screen Keyboard?
Like any other program, click on the close (X) icon to exit the On-Screen keyboard. Plus, you can click on the top-left OSK icon and choose the close option. You can also use Alt+F4 and other closing options for exiting an app on Windows 10.
Moreover, if you use the PC Settings to access the Virtual Keyboard, you can turn off the toggle to disable it.
3. How to personalize the On-Screen keyboard on Windows 10?
There aren’t great personalization features accessible; still, Windows does allow you to perform tweaks to make the experience more personalized.
Select the Options button (bottom-left option on the right pane) to view the On-Screen Keyboard settings.
You will find Options to:
- Enable/Disable Click Sound
- Enable/Disable Numeric keypad
- Enable/Disable Hover or Click to select a key
- Enable/Disable text predictions
- Further, you can choose whether the Virtual Keyboard should automatically start when you sign in or not
Shape and Size: To make the Virtual Keyboard big or small — move the cursor to the edge and drag (outwards for making it big and inward for making it small).
Colors: Virtual keyboard adapts the color of Windows color — Black or White. You can make it transparent by choosing the Fade option.
4. Why isn’t the On-Screen keyboard working?
You may encounter different problems depending on the issue — like the keys won’t type or the On-Screen Keyboard won’t start.
To fix such issues — choose to Troubleshoot via the Settings or Control Panel on Windows 10.
Whether you are a touchscreen user or need to access the On-Screen Keyboard to type a different language, use any of the listed methods to access the On-Screen Keyboard quickly.
If your physical keyboard is responsive — you can utilize Method 1, Method 2, Method 3, and Method 7 to access the Virtual keyboard quickly.
If your physical keyboard is UNresponsive — follow Method 4, Method 5, and Method 6 to open the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10.