There would be a time when a frequently used input device like our keyboard retires. Others experience just a keyboard malfunction — where keys are not working due to poor hardware construction or the faulty USB driver. In most cases, it can be solved by unplugging your keyboard for a few seconds and then plug it back again, or by reinstalling the keyboard driver. Still, if it doesn’t work, you can use the On-Screen Keyboard (OSK). In this article, there are five methods to open the On-Screen Keyboard.

Method 1: Open the On-Screen Keyboard via Settings

In Windows 10:

There is a simple approach to turn on the On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 10 when your keyboard isn’t working.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings
Step 2: Select Ease of Access and Keyboard.
Step 3: Click the switch under On-Screen Keyboard to turn it on.

In Windows 8 / 8.1:

Step 1: Move your mouse to the bottom right corner of your screen to show Charms menu, Click the Gear icon which says Settings
Shortcut: Press Windows+C to open the Charms menu
Step 2: Click Change Settings
Step 3: In the left pane, select Ease of Access, then select Keyboard
Step 4: Click the switch under On-Screen Keyboard to turn it on.

Method 2: Open the On-Screen Keyboard via Search

In Windows 10 / 7:

Step 1: Press Start menu
Step 2: Type osk in the search box which says Search programs and files and press Enter

In Windows 8 / 8.1:

Step 1: Press Windows+C to open the Charms menu
Step 2: Click Search
Step 3: Type osk into the search box and press Enter

Method 3: Open the On-Screen Keyboard via Quick Access Menu

Step 1: Press Windows+X to show the Quick Access Menu
Step 2: Choose Command Prompt
Step 3: In the Command Prompt window, Type osk and press Enter

Method 4: Open the On-Screen Keyboard via Ease of Access Center

This method applies to Windows 10, 8 and 7. Again the approach is very simple

Step 1: Press Windows+U to open the Ease of Access Center
Step 2: Select Start On-Screen Keyboard.

Method 5: Open the On-Screen Keyboard via Run window

I think this is the most easiest way that you’ll remember.

Step 1: Press Windows+R to show Run window.
Step 2: Type ‘osk’ in the box and press Enter.

On-Screen Keyboard Tweaks

While On-Screen Keyboard is active, click the Options button on the On-Screen Keyboard for more tweaks.

  • Use click sound to have an audible tone when a key is clicked.
  • Show keys to make it easier to move around the screen to illuminate each key as you click it.
  • Turn on numeric keypad.
  • Use Text Prediction. Just like your smartphone.