Most people take their keyboard and mouse working for granted. But when you try to use your computer and find one of these components isn’t working, it’s really frustrating. This is doubly awful when it happens as soon as you boot your PC — how are you supposed to log in without a keyboard?
Thankfully, Windows includes an on-screen keyboard that lets you log in so you can troubleshoot the issue. Here’s how to use it on Windows 7, 8.1, and 10:
- At the Windows login screen, click the Ease of Access icon that looks like a clock with arrows. On Windows 7, it appears in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Windows 8.1 users will find it in the same place, but you must click through the lock screen first. On Windows 10, the icon is located in the bottom-right corner after you’ve passed the lock screen.
- Click the On-Screen Keyboard option. Note that you may hear the Windows Narrator speak once you’ve opened the Ease of Access icon. This is to help users with visual disabilities navigate the menu.
- After a moment, a keyboard will appear on your screen. Click inside the password box to enter text in it, then type your password by clicking the keys.
- Press Enter and sign in to Windows.
After you’ve logged in, you can troubleshoot your keyboard problem. If you have the reverse problem and can’t use your mouse at the login screen, don’t despair. Just use the Tab key to highlight the password box and type your password as usual.
Want to become a keyboard expert? Check out how to navigate Windows with just keyboard shortcuts.
Have you ever had to troubleshoot a keyboard issue? What other uses have you found for the on-screen keyboard? Tell us in the comments!
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