OSK

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Short for on-screen keyboard, OSK is a software feature found in Microsoft Windows that allow a mobility-impaired user to use their mouse to select keys on the keyboard. It can be used instead of a hardware keyboard to type in virtually any software program. The on-screen keyboard has a layout like a standard keyboard, including all letters, numbers, symbols, and system keys like Home, End, Insert, Page Up, Page Down, Ctrl, Alt, Caps, and Shift. Below is an example, of what the on-screen keyboard looks like running in Windows.

Microsoft Windows on-screen keyboard

How do I open the on-screen keyboard?

  1. Click the Start button or press the Windows key.
  2. Type OSK and press Enter.

How do I close the on-screen keyboard?

To close the on-screen keyboard app, click the "X" in the upper-right corner of the window.

An image showing users how to close the Windows on-screen keyboard.

How do I enable the numeric keypad on the on-screen keyboard?

  1. Click the Start button or press the Windows key.
  2. Type OSK and press Enter.
  3. An image of a keyboard should appear. Click the Options key located in the lower-right corner of the window.

The Options key on the on-screen keyboard in Windows.

  1. In the window that appears, ensure that the check box next to Turn on numeric key pad is checked (A) and then click OK (B).

The option to turn on the number pad through the on-screen keyboard in Windows.

  1. You should now see the numeric keypad on the on-screen keyboard.

The Number Lock key enabled in the OSK.

Where is the Enter key on the on-screen keyboard?

In the case of the Windows keyboard shown above, the Enter key is the arrow pointing down and to the left. On phones and tablets, the Enter key may be marked as "return," "done," or be a small arrow pointing down and to the left.

How do I disable the on-screen keyboard?

If the on-screen keyboard opens when Windows starts up, you can disable it and stop it from loading on Windows start-up by following the steps below.

  1. Access the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Click the Ease of Access Center icon.
  3. Find and click the Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard link near the bottom of the window.
  4. Uncheck the box for the Use on-screen keyboard option and click OK.

Computer acronyms, Keyboard, Keyboard terms, Thumb keyboard