The keyboard is one of the primary peripherals of a PC and it needs to work properly if you’re going to have any meaningful interaction with your computer. But if a few keys are malfunctioning, you may have no choice but to disable the keyboard.
Keeping your keyboard disabled is also a good security measure if you’re going to go AFK, be it at work, school, or at home. Knowing how to do this is even more important if you have kids or pets at home, so you don’t accidentally get a blur of non-sense when the keys are accidentally pressed.
Here we take a look at a number of ways to disable your keyboard, be it an integrated laptop keyboard or an external one, and gain more control over your keyboard.
Related: How To Change Keyboard on Android
Temporarily disable keyboard with Device Manager
You can disable your keyboard for your current session from the Device Manager. Here’s how to:
Disable built-in keyboard of your laptop
Right-click on the Start Menu and selectDevice Manager.
Then click on the arrow beforeKeyboards to expand it.
Right-click on your PS/2 keyboard (built-in keyboard), and select Uninstall Device.
When prompted, click onUninstallagain.
Your keyboard now stands disabled, until the next reboot that is.
Disable external keyboard
If you have an external keyboard connected and you want to disable that, go to the same Keyboards branch in ‘Device Manager’ as before and select your USB keyboard. It will most probably be named HID Keyboard Device.
Right-click on it and selectUninstall Device.
Your external keyboard is now disabled for the time being. Once you restart your system, Windows will detect that the device drivers are missing and automatically install them so that the keyboard is enabled again. So, for a more permanent solution, see below.
How to permanently disable your keyboard
There are a few ways that you can permanently disable your keyboard, mainly by preventing Windows from installing keyboard drivers. Let’s take a look at all the ways in which the keyboard can remain disabled even after a restart.
Related: 6 Best Keyboard apps for Android that every texting addict needs
Prevent Windows from installing keyboard drivers using Group Policy Editor
To prevent Windows from installing keyboard drivers after reboot, we’re going to turn on a device installation restriction using the Group Policy Editor. Here’s how:
First up, open Device Manager (select it after right-clicking Start). Expand theKeyboardsbranch.
Right-click on your keyboard and selectProperties.
Switch to theDetailstab.
Under ‘Property’, click on the drop-down menu and selectHardware Ids.
You will see three hardware values under it.
Keep this window open. Now open the RUN dialog box by pressing
Win + R, type gpedit.msc, and hit Enter.
Now, navigate toComputer configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions.
On the right, double-click Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device IDs.
Then, under ‘Options’, click on Show.
This will open up a ‘Show Contents’ window.
Now go back to the Keyboard properties window that you opened from the Device Manager before, right-click on the first value in the list and select Copy.
Then return to the ‘Show Contents’ window and click under ‘Value’. Then paste the hardware ID in that box (
Ctrl + V).
Now, go back to theKeyboardsbranch in Device Manager, right-click your keyboard and selectUninstall device.
This will disable the keyboard, and this time when your restart your PC, your keyboard device won’t install automatically, thereby permanently disabling your keyboard.
If your keyboard still works after reboot, try copy-pasting other available hardware IDs for the device installation restriction policy.
Stop automatic keyboard update with System Properties
Windows has a separate feature that automatically updates hardware drivers when they are missing. But if you want to disable your keyboard for good, you don’t want this to happen. So, in order to disable this feature, we’re going to take the help of System Properties. Here’s how:
Press Win + R to open the RUN dialog box, typesysdm.cpl, and hit Enter.
Switch to theHardwaretab.
Click onDevice Installation Settings.
Then clickSave Changes.
ClickOKon the ‘System Properties’ window.
Now, whenever you restart your PC after disabling your keyboard drivers from Device Manager, it will stay disabled.
Use the wrong driver for your keyboard (so it doesn’t work)
This rather ingenious workaround to keep your keyboard permanently disabled is not really advisable, especially if your touchpad and keyboard use the same driver. Itis also known to cause BSOD on Windows, so take this route only if all other methods have failed and you absolutely need to disable your keyboard.
Here’s how to install incompatible drivers for your keyboard so it loses functionality and is permanently disabled:
Open Device Manager as shown before (right-click Start and choose Device Manager). Expand theKeyboardsbranch, right-click on your keyboard driver, and select Update Driver.
SelectBrowse my computer for driver software.
SelectLet me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
Make sure there’s no check beforeShow compatible hardware.
Now, scroll through the list of manufacturers on the left and select any manufacturer other than your own. For example, we have an HP computer, but we’re selecting Compaq as the manufacturer.
Then select a model on the right.
When prompted, clickYes.
Restart your computer.
Your keyboard will now stop working. If you ever want to start using it again, simply go to Update drivers and select Search automatically for drivers.
Disable PS/2 port service from the Command Prompt
As most laptops are internally connected through the PS/2 ports, you can also disable the service that controls this port and effectively disable the keyboard. Here’s how you can do so:
Press Start, typecmd, and click onRun as administrator.
Type in the following command to disable the PS/2 port service:
sc config i8042prt start= disabled
Press Enter. Once you get the “ChangeServiceConfig SUCCESS” message, you can be sure that your PS/2 port service is now disabled and your keyboard won’t work the next time you reboot your system.
If you want to re-enable the PS/2 port service, type the following command:
sc config i8042prt start= auto
Then press Enter.
Use third-party applications to disable keyboard
Disabling the keyboard, either temporarily or permanently, does have its issues, especially if you’re on a laptop and do not have an external keyboard connected. Besides, disabling the entire keyboard because a few keys are causing you trouble can seem like overkill. That is where third-party applications come in to solve the problem. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Though this is an old application, Keyboard Locker still gets the job done easily as locking the keyboard is its sole purpose.
Download: Keyboard Locker
Download the application from the above link and extract its contents with an archive tool. Then double-clickkeyboardlock.exeto start it.
By default, the application runs and minimizes in the system tray. You can find Keyboard Locker in the system tray.
If you don’t find it there, click on the upward arrow towards the right of the taskbar to find it.
Right-click on it and selectLockto lock your keyboard.
When you want to unlock it, right-click on it again and selectUnlock.
BlueLife KeyFreeze is another application that simplifies disabling your keyboard when you’re AFK.
Download: BlueLife KeyFreeze
Unzip the contents of the downloaded file with an archive tool. Then, to disable the keyboard, double-click on KeyFreeze.exe(KeyFreeze_x64.exe for 64-bit architecture).
You will have 5 seconds to cancel the lock command.
After this, the application will lock the keyboard. By default, it will also lock the mouse. Use the default hotkey
Ctrl + Alt + F to disable the lock.
Now, to configure KeyFreeze so that only the keyboard gets locked, firstly, right-click on the padlock towards the right of the taskbar and select Options.
UncheckLock mouse keys.
You can also change the hotkey for lock/unlock here.
When you’re satisfied with your selected configuration, click on Apply options.
This will ensure that only the keyboard will lock the next time you press the KeyFreeze hotkey.
This is another keyboard locker that lets you disable the keyboard, and even lets you password protect the function.
Download the application from the above link and extract its contents. Then double-click the KeyboardLock.exe file.
In the application, you will see the password that you have to type to lock/unlock your keyboard and mouse. Press Start to go ahead with it.
Then type the given password to lock it.
Now, whenever you need to unlock, simply type the password again and the keyboard and mouse will be unlocked. The only problem with this application is that it doesn’t give you an option to not lock the mouse.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Let’s go through a few common questions that people tend to ask when looking to disable their keyboards.
How to disable Keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys?
To disable Keyboard hotkeys on Windows 11, press
Win + R to open the RUN window, typegpedit.msc, and hit Enter.
Then navigate to Computer Configuration > User Configuration> Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer.
On the right, scroll down to findTurn off Windows Key hotkeys and double-click it.
How to enable laptop keyboard after disabling?
Enabling your laptop keyboard after disabling will mostly depend on how it was disabled in the first place. If you’ve installed an incompatible driver, you will have to update drivers and install a compatible driver. If you have turned off a service, turn it back on. If you’ve specified the hardware ID in the Group Policy Editor to not install drivers upon startup, delete its value from the same. Finally, if you’ve only temporarily disabled it from the Device Manager, simply reboot. All these ways are mentioned in our guide above so make sure to undo the changes if you’ve disabled the keyboard from those methods.
So these were all the ways that you can disable your keyboard both temporarily and permanently. Doing so becomes necessary if you have two keyboards and you want one not to interrupt with the other, or if you have a problematic keyboard that registers random keys when none have been made. Whatever the case may be, we hope you found this article useful in solving your keyboard problems on Windows 11.
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1. Use the KeyTweak App
- Download and launch KeyTweak.
- Select the key that you want to disable.
- Under the Keyboard Controls section, select Disable Key.
- Click on Apply.
To lock your keyboard, press Ctrl+Alt+L. The Keyboard Locker icon changes to indicate that the keyboard is locked. Almost all keyboard input is now disabled, including function keys, Caps Lock, Num Lock, and most special keys on media keyboards.Can I disable laptop keyboard when using external? ›
Select Preferences. Click the Devices tab, then Advanced. Under the Disable the built-in keyboard while one of the following selected devices is connected section, check the box next to your external keyboard.How do I temporarily disable my keyboard without unplugging it? ›
Use KeyFreeze to disable the keyboard in Windows 10
After running the software, click Lock Keyboard & Mouse button to disable keyboard and mouse. To enable keyboard and mouse again, simultaneously press Ctrl + Alt + Del keys on the disabled keyboard (to get Ctrl + Alt + Del screen) and then click Esc key.
- Open the Start menu and type 'device manager' into the search bar.
- Open the Device Manager, then find the 'Keyboards' heading and double-click it.
- You should see two or three drivers listed here. Right-click each one and choose 'Uninstall' or 'Uninstall device'
If you can't disable the laptop keyboard, turn on a device installation restriction using the built-in Local Group Policy Editor to stop the keyboard from reinstalling every time your computer starts up. To do this, identify the keyboard's hardware ID so that you're only dealing with that one device.How do I disable keyboard on keyboard? ›
Press Windows + X and select Device Manager from the list. Find Keyboards in the list of devices and click the arrow to expand it. Right-click on the internal keyboard and click Disable.How do I disable the keyboard app? ›
In the list of apps, locate the keyboard app you'd like to remove from your Android phone or tablet. Tap on the app to open the App Info menu. Tap on the Uninstall button. In the App Info screen, tap Uninstall.How do I disable my keyboard while gaming? ›
Some modern gaming keyboards have a "game mode" which disables the Windows key as well. HyperX use Fn + F12 (F12 has a "G" in crosshairs on this key) so if you have a gaming keyboard it might be worth checking your manual for this option.What is HID keyboard device? ›
Human Interface Devices (HID) is a device class definition to replace PS/2-style connectors with a generic USB driver to support HID devices such as keyboards, mice, game controllers, and so on. Prior to HID, devices could only utilize strictly-defined protocols for mice and keyboards.
- Go to your laptop's start menu.
- Type “device manager” and press enter.
- Click on device manager.
- Locate the keyboard in Device Manager.
- Click on the “+” sign to access a drop-down menu to disable keyboard driver.
- A restart is usually required to make this permanent or uninstall it.
Just plug it into your laptop, either into the keyboard port or a USB port, whichever is available. You can start using the keyboard the second it's plugged in. Note that adding an external keyboard often doesn't disable the laptop's internal keyboard. You can use both!How do I lock my keyboard on my laptop? ›
To lock your keyboard just press this “Lock Keyboard & Mouse “option and in five seconds it will lock your keyboard and mouse. To unlock your keyboard and mouse you have to press CTRL+ALT+DEL simultaneously and next press the Esc key and your mouse and keyboard will be unlocked.Can a keyboard be locked? ›
What Causes a Keyboard to Lock Up? Any number of problems can cause your keyboard to lock or freeze up. You may have inadvertently pressed a key combination that causes your keyboard to hibernate (this is especially true on a laptop), of your keyboard, may not be properly connected to your system.How do I lock my keyboard on Windows 11? ›
To lock your keyboard, press Ctrl+Alt+L. The Keyboard Locker icon changes to indicate that the keyboard is locked.Is there a virus that disables keyboard? ›
There is no a specific virus that infects keyboards as it does not have its own ROM or any other data storage on its own. However, there are many viruses which make the keyboard malfunction. Computer viruses that affect the keyboard are considered malicious viruses.What are sticky keys? ›
Sticky Keys is a feature in Windows that allows modifier keys like Ctrl and Shift to remain active even when you're not pressing them. This can help users with physical impairments, who have trouble pressing two keys at a time (like using Shift to make uppercase letters).Why do pro gamers turn their keyboard? ›
Pro gamers tilt their keyboard to allow more room for their mouse. The extra space allows them to lower the sensitivity and make large sweeping motions when aiming to improve accuracy in FPS-based games such as CS GO. Another benefit is saving space during LAN tournaments and competitions.How do I disable keyboard in BIOS mode? ›
How to exit BIOS mode. To exit BIOS mode, hold down the same keys you held down to enter BIOS mode for three seconds. For keyboards with a Windows lock key, hold down the Windows lock key and F1 key for three seconds. For keyboards without a Windows lock key, hold down the S key and B key for three seconds.Why are there 3 HID keyboard devices? ›
Keyboards (or other input devices) use multiple HID devices for various reasons. On keyboards, multiple devices are often used to make N-key rollover possible without relying on better HID support. Keyboards are not the only type of input device that present themselves as keyboards.
HID keyboards are no different from the Standard PS/2 keyboards in laptops, except that they are plugged in via the USB rather than be inbuilt. Contrary to popular belief, the HID acronym isn't a term that was first used by Microsoft. It actually comes from USB specifications, as USB HID is the parent class.Can you disable Windows keyboard keys? ›
Click the plus button, then click the “Key” drop-down menu. Scroll down to “Win” and select that option. Now click the “Mapped To” drop-down menu and choose Disable.What can I use instead of a keyboard PC? ›
Possible alternatives include using:
- an on-screen keyboard.
- voice recognition (speech-to-text)
- an eye tracking system.
- a switch.
- a head tracking system.
Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard . Tick the box to the left of Use On-Screen Keyboard and click Apply , then OK . The virtual on-screen keyboard will come up each time you start your computer.How do I reset my keyboard drivers Windows 11? ›
- Press Windows + X, select Device Manager.
- Under Device Manager, right click on your keyboard device/driver and select Uninstall. Click OK.
- Then click Action > Scan for hardware changes.
- Close Device Manager and reboot.
Press Windows + X, select Device Manager. 2. Under Device Manager, right click on your keyboard device/driver and select Uninstall. Click OK.Why can't I disable my keyboard? ›
If you can't disable the laptop keyboard, turn on a device installation restriction using the built-in Local Group Policy Editor to stop the keyboard from reinstalling every time your computer starts up. To do this, identify the keyboard's hardware ID so that you're only dealing with that one device.What is an HID keyboard? ›
Human Interface Devices (HID) is a device class definition to replace PS/2-style connectors with a generic USB driver to support HID devices such as keyboards, mice, game controllers, and so on.How do I freeze my keyboard? ›
To lock your keyboard, press Ctrl+Alt+L. The Keyboard Locker icon changes to indicate that the keyboard is locked.How do I remove keyboard firmware? ›
Select "Device Manager" from the pane on the left. Expand the Keyboards section, right-click on the keyboard you want to repair and choose "Uninstall." Click the Windows "Start" button and select "Restart." When your computer boots up, Windows will detect your keyboard and install the driver.
Location. The lock keys are scattered around the keyboard. Most styles of keyboards have three LEDs indicating which locks are enabled, in the upper right corner above the numpad. Some ergonomic keyboards instead place the lock indicators in between the key split.