How to connect and install a computer keyboard

Updated: 03/01/2018 by Computer Hope

Today, almost all wired keyboards use USB as the interface to the computer. Older computers may use PS/2 as an interface to the computer. If your keyboard is wireless, it can be communicating over Bluetooth, RF (radio frequency), or IR (infrared).

Below are the steps on how to connect each of these types of computer keyboards.


If you want to disconnect a keyboard from a computer, do the opposite of the steps provided on this page.

Connecting a USB keyboard


When connecting a USB keyboard, the computer can be off or on during the installation.

USB cable and port

Connect the USB keyboard to the USB ports on the back or front of your computer. If you are using a USB hub, it can also be connected to the hub. However, we recommend a direct connection to the back of the computer if possible.

If you have a laptop computer, an external keyboard can also be connected to one of the USB ports. If no USB ports are available, a USB hub would be needed.

After the keyboard has been connected, it should automatically be detected and installed. If the keyboard has any special features, you need to install the keyboard software and drivers.

Wireless keyboard

All wireless keyboards have a receiver that is plugged into the computer (usually by USB connection), and the keyboard connects to that receiver wirelessly. Connect this receiver either into the back or front of your computer. Once connected, make sure your wireless keyboard has batteries or is charged and turned on.


To communicate wirelessly with the computer, your keyboard must have a good signal between the computer and the keyboard. Make sure your keyboard has a good line of sight to the receiver. If you do not have a receiver with an extension cable that can be moved, try moving theĀ USBĀ receiver from the back to the front of the computer.

After the keyboard has been connected, it should be automatically detected and installed. If the keyboard has any special features, you need to install the keyboard software and drivers.

Connecting a PS/2 keyboard


The computer needs to be off when connecting or disconnecting a PS/2 keyboard.

  1. Connect the keyboard to the PS/2 port on the back of the computer.
  2. When looking at the back of the computer, you'll notice two PS/2 ports next to each other. Verify you're connecting the keyboard to the purple connection, as shown in the picture below. If your PS/2 ports are not color coded, the keyboard will be the connection closest to the left edge of the computer (when looking at it from the back). If the connections are vertical and not horizontal like in the picture below, the keyboard connection may be either port, depending on the case and motherboard. Look for a small keyboard symbol next to the port to identify which one is for the keyboard.

PS/2 port diagram Pictures of computer green and purple PS/2 ports.


If you are unsure which PS/2 cable is for the keyboard when under your desk, the PS/2 keyboard cable is often thicker than the PS/2 mouse cable.


Newer computers no longer have PS/2 ports. If you have a PS/2 keyboard and a computer with no PS/2 ports, we suggest purchasing a USB keyboard or a PS/2 to USB converter.

Install software and drivers

If your keyboard has special features like a touchpad, special buttons, or wireless functionality, model-specific drivers need to be installed for them to work properly. Install them from the disc provided with the keyboard or download them from the support section of the manufacturer's website.