Windows: Enable/Disable On-Screen Keyboard

How to enable or disable the On-Screen Keyboard in Microsoft Windows 8, 7, or Vista. Use the On-Screen keyboard to type without an actual keyboard.

Option 1 – Control Panel Setting

  1. Select “Start” and type “Ease” in the Start Search box. Open “Ease of Access Center“. Alternately, you can go to “Control Panel” > “All Control Panel Items” > “Ease of Access Center“.
  2. Scroll down a bit and select the “Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard” option.
    Use On-Screen Keyboard check box
  3. Check or uncheck the box for “Use On-Screen Keyboard“. Click “Save” when you are finished.
    Win8 Use computer without keyboard or mouse option

Option 2 – Registry

  1. Hold down the Windows Key and press “R” to bring up the “Run” dialog.
  2. Type “regedit“, then press “Enter“.
  3. Navigate to the following location:
    • HKLM
    • Microsoft
    • Windows
    • CurrentVersion
    • Authentication
    • LogonUI
  4. Open “ShowTabletKeyboard” and set it to “1” to enable it. Set it to “0” to disable it. If this key doesn’t exist, you can create it.

Now the On-Screen Keyboard should be enabled or disabled as desired.


How can I just bring up the On-Screen Keyboard without enabling it at startup?

Select the “Start” button, type “osk“, then press “Enter“.

This setting is not selected, but a keyboard still appears when I start Windows. Why is this happening?

You may have a third-party keyboard installed or one that was installed by the manufacturer of your device. Windows Vista & 7 users can go to Start, run “msconfig“, then check under the “Startup” tab to disable (uncheck) any keyboard software that might be running. Windows 8 users can right-click a blank area of the taskbar, select “Task Manager“, then the “Startup” tab to disable keyboard software.


  1. emma says

    I solved that problem by going to manage services. Do a search for that or just Services on your PC and look in the list that comes up. It will say keyboard and mouse, double click on it and for the keyboard click on “stop”. Worked for me. I have W 8.1.

  2. Rena says

    Thank you. It worked perfectly after months of on-screen keyboard popping up at start up. I tried everything to get rid of it except for this *which I would not have known about without your help!*
    Fabulous service…and it’s freeeee!!

  3. Serenity says

    Thank you so much! i accidentally turned on my onscreen keyboard and i couldn’t figure out how to type! i had to turn it off and this helped me a lot

  4. Linda says

    I have a new Lenovo Ultrabook Ideapad. I have tried everything I can find online about “how to turn off the on-screen keyboard” – to no avail! I am literally Sick of dealing with it popping up every time I touch my screen. Can you help me with this???

  5. Terry Karnes says

    Thanks for the “type osk” tip!!! It’s amazing how hard it is to find out what Windows can do…if you ask Microsoft.

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