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.

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

In Windows 8 / 8.1:

  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
  2. Click Change Settings
  3. In the left pane, select Ease of Access, then select Keyboard
  4. Click the switch under On-Screen Keyboard to turn it on.

Must readDisable repeating / stuck keys on a faulty laptop keyboard (solved)


Method 2: Open the On-Screen Keyboard via Search

In Windows 10 / 7:

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

In Windows 8 / 8.1:

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

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

  • Press Windows+X to show the Quick Access Menu
  • Choose Command Prompt
  • In the Command Prompt window,Type osk and press Enter

Also readHow to hide “ENG” word / Input Indicator in Windows 10 Taskbar

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

  1. Press Windows+U to open the Ease of Access Center
  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.

  1. Press Windows+R to show Run window.
  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.