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How To Enable On-Screen Keyboard in Windows 11

An on-screen keyboard is a piece of software that replaces your physical keyboard with a virtual one. When you need to type something in Windows, you can use the on-screen keyboard, which is a software keyboard that shows on the screen. It’s a virtual keyboard, which is an alternative to the physical keyboard that you may use to input text into any program. This feature has been around for a long time, and it has been developed over time with additional capabilities and greater usability.

It is designed to be used with touchscreens, but it can also be used with a mouse or a stylus in tablet mode. Although, the tablet mode is depreciated in Windows 11, but it has an additional capability to detect whether the keyboard is attached or detached (Tablet Posture Experience), depending on which it automatically enables the touch keyboard.

It looks that your built-in or external keyboard is malfunctioning, so you need to use the virtual keyboard to enter text into programs. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to open onscreen keyboard in Windows 11:

Step 1: Open the Windows Settings app from the Start Menu or press the “Windows Logo key + I” key combination on the keyboard.

windows setting app in windows 11
Windows Settings App

Step 2: Select the “Accessibility” tab from the left sidebar, scroll down and select the “Keyboard” option under the “Interaction” section.

click the keyboard option in accessibility tab in windows settings
Accessibility Tab > Keyboard

Step 3: Toggle on the “On-Screen Keyboard” option under the “On-screen, access keys, and Print screen”.

toggle on the "on-screen keyboard" option in keyboard settings
Toggle on the “On-Screen” keyboard
opened the on-screen keyboard using windows settings
On-Screen keyboard opens

To turn on the On-Screen keyboard using the keyboard shortcut, press the “Ctrl + Windows Logo key + O” key combination on the keyboard.

shortcut to open onscreen keyboard in windows
Shortcut to open On-Screen Keyboard

Step 1: Open the Start Menu from the taskbar and click the “All apps” button.

click the "all apps" button in start menu
Start Menu > “All Apps” Button

Step 2: Scroll and click the “Windows Ease of Access” folder.

"Windows Ease of Access" Folder in Start Menu
“Windows Ease of Access” Folder

Step 3: Click the “On-Screen keyboard” button to open it.

open the on-screen keyboard using start menu
Open the On-Screen Keyboard

Step 1: Open the Control Panel from the Start menu.

control panel icon in windows 11
Control Panel Icon

Step 2: Click the “Ease of Access” Button.

select the ease of access option in control panel
“Ease of Access” option

Step 3: Click the “Ease of Access Center” Button.

click the "ease of access center" button in control panel
“Ease of Access Center” Button

Step 4: To open the on-screen keyboard, click the “Start On-Screen Keyboard” button.

click the on-screen keyboard button in ease of center section in control panel
“Start On-Screen Keyboard” Button

Step 1: Open the Command Prompt or PowerShell from the Start menu.

Step 2: To turn on the On-Screen Keyboard, type the command: “osk” (without quotation marks) and hit the enter key.

command to open onscreen keyboard using command prompt
Command: “osk”

Step 1: Press the “Windows Logo key + R” key combination on the keyboard to open the Windows Run.

Step 2: To open the on-screen keyboard, type “osk” (without quotation marks) and click the “OK” button or hit the enter key.

open the on-screen keyboard using windows run with command "osk"
Type: “osk”

Step 1: Right-click the desktop and add a new “Shortcut” file.

right-click and create new shortcut on desktop
Create new Shortcut

Step 2: In the item location, type: C:\WINDOWS\System32\osk.exe, and click the “Next” button.

add file location of on-screen keyboard in the shortcut
Location of On-Screen Keyboard

Step 3: Allot any file name to the shortcut and click the “Finish” button to create the On-Screen keyboard shortcut.

name the newly created on-screen keyboard shortcut
Name the Shortcut

Step 4: The shortcut will be created on the desktop. Click the On-Screen keyboard shortcut to open it.

Where is the On-Screen Keyboard located in Windows?

The On-Screen keyboard is actually located at C:\WINDOWS\System32 with the executable file named osk.exe.

What is Difference Between On-Screen Keyboard and Touch Keyboard?

The size of the on-screen keyboard may be changed, but the touch keyboard has limited scaling options. In terms of customizing the UI, however, the touch keyboard is more flexible than the on-screen keyboard.

Next Steps

We’ve covered how to enable and open on-screen keyboard in Windows 11. You can use any one of the methods listed above. If your keyboard is not functioning, you may try reinstalling respective drivers on your computer to ensure that the issue isn’t related to the computer’s drivers, otherwise you may keep using the On-Screen keyboard.

Further, customize your device’s settings by referring to the related articles below.

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