How to Disable a Laptop Keyboard in Windows 11

Disable or permanently uninstall your Windows 11 keyboard

What to Know

  • Open Device Manager, expand Keyboards, right-click your keyboard name, and select Uninstall device.
  • Restarting your Windows 11 laptop will enable your keyboard again.
  • Open Start Menu, type Device Installation Settings, select change device installation settings > No > Save to make the keyboard disable permanent.

This article explains the two main methods for disabling a keyboard on a laptop running Windows 11. The first method can be used to temporarily disable a Windows 11 laptop’s keyboard, while the second process explains how to make this change permanent.

How Do I Temporarily Disable My Laptop Keyboard?

If you just want to disable your Windows 11 laptop’s keyboard for the current session, follow the steps below. This will turn off all of the keyboard’s functionality until your Windows laptop is restarted or turned off and on again.

Make sure you have a mouse connected to your laptop so you can navigate the operating system after the keyboard is disabled. If your device has a touch screen, you should be fine with touch controls and gestures.

Restarting or turning your laptop off will undo the below process.

  1. Open the Start menu on your Windows 11 laptop.

    Windows 11 desktop with Start icon highlighted.
  2. Type Device Manager.

    Windows 11 Start Menu with Device Manager highlighted in the search bar

    You don’t need to select the search bar before typing. The Start Menu will immediately detect anything you type once it’s open.

  3. Select Device Manager.

    Windows 11 Start Menu with device manager selected
  4. Next to Keyboards, select the arrow icon to expand the list of connected keyboards and related devices.

    Windows 11 Device Manager with Keyboards and its arrow icon highlighted
  5. Right-click your keyboard's name and select Uninstall Device.

    Windows 11 Device Manager with keyboard selected and Uninstall Device highlighted

    The name of your Windows 11 laptop’s keyboard will likely vary depending on your device model and manufacturer.

  6. Your laptop’s keyboard and its trackpad, if it has one, will now stop working. To enable your keyboard, restart your laptop.

How Do You Lock the Keyboard on a Laptop Permanently?

The above method for disabling a keyboard is effective, but as soon as your laptop is restarted, it will automatically reinstall and activate the keyboard again. Fortunately, you can turn off this automatic reinstall preference fairly quickly in Windows 11.

Changing the Windows 11 Device Installation settings can prevent newer device drivers from being installed when needed and can also prevent other accessories and hardware from working properly. This should only be done as a last resort.

It’s a lot safer to simply use Windows 11’s Sleep Mode instead of the Restart and Shut Down options to keep your keyboard disabled.

  1. Open the Start Menu.

    Windows 11 desktop with the start menu icon highlighted
  2. Type Device Installation Settings.

    Windows 11 Start Menu with Device Installation Settings highlighted in the search bar
  3. Select change device installation settings.

    Windows 11 Start Menu with Change Device Installation Settings highlighted
  4. Select No.

    Windows 11 device settings with No highlighted in the change device installation settings box
  5. Select Save Changes.

    Windows 11 device settings with Save Changes highlighted in the change device installation settings box

    To undo this change, repeat the above steps and select Yes instead of No.

A Warning About the Incorrect Driver Method

There is another method for permanently disabling or locking a laptop’s keyboard which involves deliberately installing the incorrect driver for it. While this process can disable your laptop’s keyboard, it can also cause some major issues such as the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) that can break your entire device. This method is strongly discouraged and shouldn’t be attempted.

Quick Laptop Keyboard Fixes and Tips

In addition to the two above methods for disabling a laptop keyboard in Windows 11, there are some other things you may want to consider.

  • Do you need to disable your keyboard? Unless your keyboard’s keys are glitching and causing major annoyances, there’s very little need to disable your laptop’s keyboard.
  • Plug in a USB keyboard. Most USB laptops should work with your Windows 11 laptop.
  • Use a Bluetooth keyboard. Another alternative is to connect a wireless Bluetooth keyboard when your main one is broken.
  • Detach your Type Cover. If you’re using a Surface laptop/tablet two-in-one device, you can physically remove the Type Cover keyboard whenever it breaks or glitches.
  • Use the Windows 11 on-screen touch keyboard. Windows 11 has a built-in on-screen keyboard that you can use with a mouse or with touch if your device has a touch screen.

How Do I Disable My Laptop Keyboard 2021 Style?

The best ways to disable your laptop’s keyboard in 2021 are likely the same or very similar to the methods used in 2020 and are expected to still be effective in 2022, 2023, and beyond. Both main methods are shown at the top of this page and are written with Windows 11 users in mind though the instructions should also work for those using Windows 10 and Windows 8.

Why Can’t I Disable My Laptop Keyboard?

If you’re having trouble disabling your keyboard, there are likely two main reasons behind your frustration.

  • You selected the wrong keyboard. Make sure you’re editing the settings for the correct keyboard in Device Manager.
  • Did a Windows 11 restart enable it again? Remember the first method is undone when your laptop restarts. Try placing Windows 11 in Sleep Mode instead.
  • Windows may have updated. The Windows update process also often scans devices for any errors and fixes them. This may have undone your keyboard disable attempts.
  • How do I disable a laptop keyboard in Windows 10?

    To disable a laptop keyboard in Windows 10, navigate to Device Manager and then select Keyboards. Right-click Standard PS/2 Keyboard and choose Disable device, then select Yes to confirm.

  • How do I disable a key on my keyboard?

    To disable a specific key on your keyboard, try a third-party tool such as the free KeyTweak. Download KeyTweak, select the key you want to disable, then go to Keyboard Controls > Disable Key > Apply. Select Restore All Defaults to enable the key again.

  • How do I disable a Mac keyboard?

    To turn off keyboard access on a Mac, go to the Apple Menu and select System Preferences > Keyboard, then click the Shortcuts tab. Select Keyboard from the menu on the left, then uncheck Turn keyboard access on or off.

Was this page helpful?