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On-Screen Keyboard: How to Log In to Windows Without a Keyboard

Posted by Jim Tanous on March 15, 2018
laptop spilled keyboard

Unless you’ve configured your account to skip the password, or are using an alternative login method, you need to type your password at the login screen in order to log in to your Windows account. But what if your keyboard is broken or not responding? Or what if you’re using a touch screen kiosk that doesn’t have a keyboard?
Don’t panic! If you don’t have a spare keyboard on hand, you can still log into your Windows account. All you need is a working mouse, trackpad, or touch screen. Here’s how it works.

Log In to Windows With the On-Screen Keyboard

All modern versions of Windows include a feature called the on-screen keyboard. As its name describes, this is simply a virtual representation on your PC’s screen of an actual physical keyboard. Instead of pressing the keys on your physical keyboard, you use the mouse or touchscreen to select each key. This includes modifier keys such as Shift and Alt.
windows 10 login screen
This means that you can use the on-screen keyboard to login to Windows without a keyboard, no matter how complex your password may be. To access the on-screen keyboard from the Windows login screen, look for the Ease of Access icon. It looks like a dotted circle with arrows pointing down and to the right. On the Windows 10 login screen, this icon is located on the bottom-right corner of the screen.
windows 10 login ease of access
Click the icon to see the Ease of Access menu, which includes several options to assist users with disabilities. The option we’re looking for is On-Screen Keyboard. Click or tap it and you’ll see a full-size virtual replica of a standard keyboard layout appear on the screen.
windows 10 on-screen keyboard
You can reposition or resize the on-screen keyboard in the same way that you can manipulate standard application windows. To login without a keyboard, just select your account from the list using the mouse or touch screen, make sure that the cursor is active in the account password box, and then use your mouse or touch screen to enter your password via the on-screen keyboard, one character at a time.
windows login without keyboard
When you’re done, click or tap on the on-screen keyboard’s Enter key or click the arrow to the right of the password box. This will log you into your Windows account where you can continue to navigate the operating system by mouse or touch screen until a working keyboard is available.

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