Fixing a physical keyboard is simple enough, but what about a digital one? Here’s how to fix a malfunctioning Windows 10 on-screen keyboard.
If you’re multi-lingual and your work implies switching between different alphabets or character sets, you know how useful the on-screen keyboard is. Instead of changing the default language or searching online for every character, you can insert it with a single click on the Windows virtual keyboard.
If your on-screen keyboard suddenly stopped working, there’s no need to fret. We’ll walk you through the troubleshooting process, so you can get it working again in no time.
1. Update Your System
Microsoft constantly releases updates to fix security issues, install new features, or patch known problems. So if you’ve missed the chance to update to the latest Windows version, you might run into all sorts of problems, including the on-screen keyboard malfunctioning.
Launch Windows Settings and head to System > About to check if your system is up to date. If you’re not using the latest Windows version, you can schedule Windows to update so it doesn’t interrupt your current activities.
2. Launch the On-Screen Keyboard via Settings
If you’re experiencing issues when trying to launch the on-screen keyboard using the Win + Ctrl + O keyboard shortcut or clicking it from the taskbar, let’s try and launch the keyboard from Windows settings.
- Right-click the Start button and select Settings.
- Go to Ease of Access > Keyboard.
- Turn on the toggle below Use the On-Screen Keyboard.
Additionally, you might notice the on-screen keyboard doesn’t launch when you’re not using tablet mode. In this case, you should configure your system settings, so you can still use the on-screen keyboard even if you’ve disabled tablet mode.
- Press Win + I to bring up the Settings menu.
- Head to System and from the left pane, select Tablet.
- Click Change additional tablet settings.
- From the When I’m not using tablet mode settings, turn on the toggle for Show the touch keyboard when there’s no keyboard attached.
3. Check Windows Services
Windows uses the Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel service to ensure the functionality of the on-screen keyboard. So if the service stopped running, you’ll notice issues when trying to use the virtual keyboard.
Here is how you can check this service:
- Press Win + R to launch a Run dialog.
- Type services.msc and press Enter.
- From the Services list, open Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel.
- Make sure the service is running.
- Set Startup type to Automatic.
- Click Save > OK to save your new settings.
- Restart your computer and check if the on-screen keyboard is now working.
4. Run an SFC Scan
If a corrupt system file is causing the on-screen keyboard problem, running the System File Checker should fix the problem. Start by launching Command Prompt with administrative rights. Then, type sfc /scannow and press Enter to launch the scan.
SFC will search for any corrupted or missing system files and automatically replace them.
5. Try a Third-Party App
If you’ve had no success when fixing the Windows on-screen keyboard, or you still can’t identify the issue, you can try using a third-party app. In general, virtual keyboard apps are easy to configure, and they even have productivity features such as text prediction or spell-check.
How to Fix the On-Screen Keyboard Not Working in Chrome for Windows
When using the on-screen keyboard, you may notice it stops working in Google Chrome. In this case, you should edit Chrome’s properties as such:
- Right-click Chrome’s executable files.
- Select Properties and open the Shortcut tab.
- In the Target field, add –disable-usb-keyboard-detect at the end of the line.
- Click Apply > OK to save your new browser settings.
Bring Back the On-Screen Keyboard
It can be difficult to identify what’s wrong with the on-screen keyboard, but these tips will help you sort it out. Once you’ve fixed it, you shouldn’t settle for the standard user experience. Instead, look for ways to make the on-screen keyboard easier to use and more efficient.
5 Quick Tips to Type Smarter With the Windows 10 On-Screen Keyboard
About The Author