How to Disable a Laptop Keyboard With Windows 10

And if you can't disable it, what you should do

What to Know

  • Easiest method: Device Manager > Keyboards > right-click Standard PS/2 Keyboard > Disable device > Yes > Restart.
  • Alternatively, use the group policy editor to stop the keyboard from reinstalling every time your computer starts up.

This article explains three ways to disable a laptop keyboard. Instructions apply to Windows 10.

How to Disable a Laptop Keyboard in Windows 10

If you want to disable your laptop keyboard in Windows 10, there are two safe methods: disable it in Device Manager or permanently uninstall it.

Another technique is to force the keyboard to use a driver that it can't use, thus stopping it from working. We don't recommend doing it, but if the other two methods don't work, that is an option.

Person typing on laptop keyboard

EVG / Pexels

Use Device Manager to Disable the Keyboard

Before performing any of the steps below, connect a USB keyboard to the laptop, and ensure it functions.

This is the safest solution to permanently turning off a laptop keyboard, and it's also the easiest to do. But it might not work for everyone.

Disabling a device in Device Manager takes just a few clicks:

  1. Open Device Manager. One of the easiest ways to do this is to open the Run dialog box (press Windows key+R) and enter the devmgmt.msc command. Or, right-click the Start button in Windows 10 and choose the tool from there.

  2. Expand the Keyboards section to see a list of devices.

    Device manager keyboards option
  3. Right-click Standard PS/2 Keyboard and choose Disable device. If you don't see this option, try a different method below.

  4. Confirm with Yes. If the keyboard isn't disabled right away, restart the computer.

Stop the Keyboard From Installing With Group Policy Editor

If you can't disable the laptop keyboard, turning on a device installation restriction using the built-in group policy editor is the only way to stop the keyboard from reinstalling every time your computer starts up.

To do this, identify the keyboard's hardware ID so that you're only dealing with that one device. Then, tell the Local Group Policy Editor to prevent Windows from installing anything that matches that ID.

The policy editor is only available with Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise. If you don't have those versions of Windows and want to try this method, install it manually.

  1. Press Windows key+X and then select Device Manager.

    Windows Device Manager
  2. Expand Keyboards.

    Device manager > keyboards
  3. Right-click Standard PS/2 Keyboard and choose Properties.

    PS/2 keyboard menu items in Device Manager
  4. Go to the Details tab and change the Property drop-down option to Hardware Ids.

    The Hardware Ids option on the Details tab
  5. Open the Run dialog box (Windows key+R) and enter the gpedit.msc command.

    Windows 10 Run window.
  6. Under the Computer Configuration heading, navigate to Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions.

    local group policy editor in Windows 10 Pro
  7. Right-click Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device instance IDs, and select Edit.

    Local Group Policy Editor Device Installation Restrictions settings.
  8. Select Enabled from the left side, and then choose Show from the area below it.

    The "Enabled" and "Show" options
  9. Return to Device Manager as you left it in Step 4. Right-click the first entry in that list and choose Copy.

    Copy option for PS/2 keyboard hardware ID in Device Manager.
  10. Go back to the policy you opened in Step 8, double-click the space under Value, and then paste the copied ID into that box. To past the ID, either press Ctrl+V or right-click and choose Paste.

    Show Contents screen in the local group policy editor for Windows 10
  11. Choose OK on that screen, and then OK on the policy screen.

    Selecting OK to confirm hardware ID.
  12. Find the device again in Device Manager, right-click it, and choose Uninstall device. Accept any prompts that might show up.

    Uninstall keyboard prompt in Device Manager.
  13. Restart the computer to disable the laptop keyboard permanently.

If the keyboard still works, repeat steps 9 and 10 with any other hardware IDs listed there. There's a possiblity that the one you used didn't take. In that case, add every ID from the list to be sure.

To undo this method, turn the keyboard on, return to the group policy editor, and set the policy to Not Configured. A reboot after that re-enables the laptop keyboard.

Use the Wrong Driver to Break the Keyboard

Updating a device with an incompatible driver is unorthodox and should usually be avoided. However, it's a viable solution in this instance. When you install an incompatible driver for a keyboard, it ceases to function.

If the same driver controls the laptop's touchpad and keyboard, you'll lose the functionality of both. Have a mouse or USB keyboard handy to be safe.

This method could cause a BSOD or other issues. Only perform these steps if disabling the keyboard is absolutely necessary, and you tried the less harmful methods above. Another option is to plug in a USB keyboard and use that instead.

  1. Open Device Manager, expand Keyboards, right-click Standard PS/2 Keyboard, and select Update driver.

    Keyboard devices in Windows 10 device manager.
  2. Select Browse my computer for driver software.

    Browse my computer for driver software
  3. Select Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.

    Browse for drivers on my computer
  4. Clear the Show compatible hardware check box.

    Unchecking the Show compatible hardware box.
  5. Scroll through and select a manufacturer (different than your standard keyboard), select a model, and then choose Next.

    Various hardware manufacturers inside Windows' device manager.
  6. Select Yes.

    A driver warning dialog window.
  7. Select Close once the driver is updated.

    Confirming the installation of a driver in Windows 10.
  8. Select Yes to restart the computer.

    Windows asking to restart.
  9. Once the computer reboots, the built-in keyboard will no longer function.

If you want to re-enable the keyboard, repeat steps 1 and 2 but choose Search automatically for drivers instead.

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