Windows 10 has both a desktop mode and a tablet mode. The tablet mode is for devices like the Surface, or for touch-screen laptops. If you have a normal, non-touch screen laptop, it’s rare that you’d ever switch to tablet mode or need to use any of its features. That said, the tablet mode has a touch keyboard that can be used on the desktop version. The only problem is, in desktop mode, it automatically dismisses itself if you tap the Windows key and sometimes after you click outside it. Here’s how you can pin the on-screen keyboard on Windows 10 and use it as a substitute.
Pin on-screen keyboard
Open the Settings app and go to the Ease of Access group of settings. Select the Keyboard tab, and turn on the ‘Use the on-screen keyboard’ switch.
This will enable the on-screen keyboard and it will remain visible no matter where you click. You can also enable/disable it with the Win+Ctrl+O keyboard shortcut.
This on-screen keyboard is different from the touch keyboard. It has more or less the same keys and supports input for multiple languages, and various keyboard layouts however, it does not have different display layouts for you to choose from, nor does it have an emoji panel, clipboard access, or large keys.
The on-screen keyboard is basic compared to the Touch keyboard which, unfortunately cannot be pinned in desktop mode. Even in tablet mode, the keyboard only appears when it detects a text input field. There is, at present, no way to pin it permanently to the desktop.
If you are determined to use it, you should know that it will dismiss itself if you tap the Windows key, tap Backspace twice, double-click outside it, among other things. If you can commit to using only the buttons you see on the touch screen keyboard you can use it comfortably without it dismissing itself. This will of course take some getting used to so to make it easier to open the touch keyboard, you should add it to your system tray.
To add the touch keyboard to your system tray, right-click the taskbar and select ‘Show touch keyboard button’. The button will be added next to the date and clock in the system tray. Click it to open the keyboard. The keyboard can be dragged to other parts of the screen. If you have a dual screen set-up, you can move the keyboard to the secondary screen and it will not dismiss itself as frequently.