Change the keyboard layout of your computer

Change the keyboard layout via Settings

The easiest method to quickly change the keyboard layout on your Windows computer, is to visit the Settings page. In order to open the Settings page, you can choose to go to Start, then search for ‘keyboard’. Or, directly open the Settings window and go to Languages, after which you can select ‘Keyboard’.

Search for the keyboard settings via the Start menu on Windows computers . The keyboard settings you need to change are hidden under the ‘Edit language and keyboard options’ entry.

Once you have located the keyboard settings in the ‘Settings’ windows (previously, this was called the Configuration Screen), it is time to actually switch the hardware keyboard input of your device.

You have the option to override the default input method. In your case, you may be using an external keyboard attached via USB and so the default keyboard is no longer correct. You can select the input method from the dropdown list which says: “If you want to use an input method that’s different from the first one in your langauge list, choose it here”.

Furthermore, there is a little trick that you can apply to easily switch between keyboards later on. Possibly you speak multiple languages and need to switch between keyboard to accommodate to this reality. Click on the option ‘Input language hot keys’ and go to Advanced Key Settings on the window that opens. From this window, you will see there is a default keyboard hotkey Left+Alt+Shift to switch between input languages. This key sequence can be user-defined, so if you wish to change this key combination, click on the option ‘Change key sequence’. Then, click on Apply for the changes to take effect.

It wouldn’t be the first there that users get locked of of their computer, only because they accidentally have pressed the key combination: Alt-Shift. By doing so, the user may have accidentally activated an AZERTY keyboard instead of QWERTY for example. That user may think he/she has entered ‘password’, but in reality they entered ‘pqsszord’, which will not be correct and Windows will say the username or pasword is incorrect.

Apply a keyboard sticker to your physical keyboard

Changing the keyboard layout via software is one thing, yet this may not be sufficient for your use case. If you are typing blind, you may be comfortable to type on one keyboard layout, but in reality the input method is another keyboard layout. Yet, even for advanced users who can type blind, special characters on a keyboard are a challenge and having a look at the physical keyboard does help greatly.

An alternative way to change the keyboard layout on your device is to buy some keyboard stickers. This is a super easy solution – and very cheap as well. You stick the different stickers onto your keyboard and by doing so, you hide the original keyboard and replace them with your own keyboard style. Again: this is a very cheap solution to switch keyboard layout on Windows, MacBooks or external keyboards and will help you achieve your goal of another keyboard lettering. Such stickers can be found typically in two colours: black and white.

Example product page of a keyboard sticker on a popular shopping website.

Use the on-screen keyboard

A third option you have is the on-screen keyboard. This is basically an overlay window that looks like a physical keyboard. The keyboard can be configured as you wish, including adapting the layout of the keys.

The on-screen keyboard can be found on Windows by going to Start, and typing: “on-screen keyboard”. This digital keyboard will look something like this:

The Microsoft Windows on-screen keyboard will show you a keyboard overlay on your screen.


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Thank you for your interest in my blog! On this miniblog, I write mostly short (technical) blog posts that might interest other people. Read more about me or feel free to contact me.


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