Dealing with a malfunctioning keyboard is one of the most unexpected and frustrating problems you can face while using a computer. Fortunately, Windows 10 provides a virtual keyboard as a basic feature that you can turn on and use in place of a physical one through the following steps.
Turning on the Keyboard
Turn on your computer and tap on the small notification box at the bottom, far-right corner of the screen.
A new window will slide into view. Select the “All Settings” option near the bottom of the window to go to the Windows Settings page.
Click on the “Ease of Access” section of the page. This is the section of the settings that is used to make your interaction with your computer quicker and easier.
The left portion of the page carries a list of options for Vision, Hearing and Interaction customization. Scroll down the list using the slider until you see the Keyboard option and tap on it.
A new page will open up with the upper section of the page carrying an option that reads “Use the On-Screen Keyboard” with a toggle switch beneath it.
Toggle the switch ON, and the virtual keyboard will appear onscreen, ready for you to use. You can also use the shortcut Win + Ctrl + O to turn on the keyboard.
Before going any further, right-click on the virtual keyboard icon visible on the taskbar at the bottom of the computer screen. Select the “Pin to Taskbar” option so that the program is permanently visible on the taskbar.
Now, whenever you need to access the virtual keyboard, you can simply click on its icon on the taskbar instead of searching for it on the Windows Settings page.
Personalizing the Keyboard
Windows allows you to change the look and functionality of the virtual keyboard to customize it according to your preference. Here are some of the methods to customize it.
Size and Shape
Hover over one of the edges of the keyboard until you see the cursor change from a pointer to a double-sided arrow. Now, left-click on the screen and drag the cursor across. The length and breadth of the keyboard will change accordingly so you can make the keyboard as large or small as you like.
The virtual keyboard emits sounds like a by tapping any of its buttons. You can disable this sound by clicking on Options near the bottom-right section of the keyboard.
The first option on the new window that pops up is Use Click Sound. Untick the box next to it to turn off the key clicking sound.
The button to the left of the Options tab, with nothing but a box icon at the center, allows you to right-click on a page or a link to display the right-click menu attached to it.
If the keyboard is taking up too much screen-space, you can tap on the Fade button near the bottom right. This will cause the keyboard to become transparent so you can see what is visible on the screen behind it. Tapping on any part of the keyboard makes it visible again.
Controlling the Key Input
Click on Options, and you will get a list of options for how you select a key on the virtual keyboard, either by clicking on keys, hovering over keys or scanning a secondary device, like a mouse or gamepad.
The Windows 10 virtual keyboard comes with its own text prediction program that you can turn on or off through the Options menu.
The virtual keyboard can be of great help in navigating your personal computer’s functions if your physical keyboard is undergoing problems. While there are plenty of virtual keyboard programs floating around online, Window’s built-in virtual keyboard is so convenient and intuitive that it removes the need to download a separate program.