How to Open the On-Screen Keyboard

You are probably wondering why you would ever need an on-screen keyboard when you have a real keyboard right in front of you. Well things happen, and trust me, one day you may need it.

A friend of mine used it regularly because he was missing a few keys off his laptop keyboard.. They were not cheap to replace either.

onscreen Keyboard layout

It is also great for people with disabilities that find it easier to use a mouse rather than a keyboard. If you open the on-screen keyboard you can use your mouse to press the keys to type.

How To open the On-screen Keyboard

  1. Click on start at the bottom left corner.
  2. Choose run and type OSK.
  3. Then the on-screen keyboard will come up.

open the on-screen keyboard

You can also search for the osk.exe file, then right click on the file and choose open containing folder. Then you can double click on the file to open the on-screen keyboard. But going to the start menu is the easiest way.

How to Open the Onscreen Keyboard When Your Computer Keyboard Does Not Work?

If you can use your mouse, then you can open the on-screen keyboard. This is handy if you keyboard does not work when you need it.

Open the On-screen Keyboard for Windows XP

  1. Click on start at the bottom left corner.
  2. Then choose All Programs>Accessories>Accessibility>Onscreen keyboard

Open the On-screen Keyboard for Windows Vista

  1. Go to the Vista logo.
  2. Click All Programs, then Accessories.
  3. Choose Ergonomic options and then On-Screen Keyboard.

Open the On-screen Keyboard for Windows Seven

  1. Go to the Start button.
  2. Click All Programs, then Accessories.
  3. Then choose Ease of Access, and then On-Screen Keyboard.

To open On-Screen Keyboard for Windows 8

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click the Desktop tile to open the desktop.
  2. Open Control Panel by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Settings, and then tapping Control Panel(or if you’re using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, clickingSettings, and then clicking Control Panel).
  3. Tap or click Ease of Access, and then tap or click Ease of Access Center.
  4. Tap or click Start On-Screen Keyboard. Source

Create a Desktop Short-cut to Open the On-screen Keyboard

If you want to use this keyboard regularly you can create a desktop shortcut to it. Here’s how.

  1. Right click on the desktop.
  2. Choose new from the menu. Then choose shortcut.
  3. Type in the path to your file which is c:windowssystem32osk.exe
  4. Then name your shortcut ,osk, click next, and then click finish.
  5. An icon will now be on the desktop.
  6. Click on it and test it.

I hope this tutorial can help you open your on-screen keyboard. First published Jun 1, 2010. Now updated for all Windows versions.


  1. says

    On-Screen Keyboard is an important feature, but it’s rarely used. Typing long documents using the On-Screen Keyboard is very time consuming. If a keyboard breaks while working on an important task, it’s probably a better idea to have a cheap keyboard as a replacement.

  2. says

    Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Accessibility > On-Screen Keyboard (in XP)
    or Vista logo > Accessories > Accessibility > Ergonomic options > On-Screen Keyboard (in Vista)
    or Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking On-Screen Keyboard (Windows 7)