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ITsVISTA Tip 60: Hide a persistant on-screen keyboard in Vista

TipsI had a question in chat from a user that had the On-Screen Keyboard appearing on his screen at startup. How do I get rid of it? He tried Msconfig to see if there was an entry for it, but with no luck. After seeing there were no options of that sort in the On-Screen Keyboard options, I poked around a little and found the answer, which fixed his woes.

Here’s the On-Screen Keyboard, nice when you need it, not so nice when you don’t know why it is appearing!
On-Screen Keyboard
Here’s how to tell it not to automatically start:

  1. Open the Start menu and type Ease in the search box. When Ease of Access Center appears as an option, click it or just press Enter.
    Ease of Access Center
  2. Choose Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard.
    No Mouse or Keyboard
  3. If Use On-Screen Keyboard is checked, that’s why it keeps coming up for you. Uncheck the box and hit the Save button, and you’ll be On-Screen Keyboard free again.
    Uncheck the box

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  • J.A.

    Jun 29, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    This hint probably works if the box is checked. But, if the box was already unchecked, and never had been checked and the keyboard shows up on the login screen anyway, what can be done? Is there a way to delete the on-screen keyboard?

  • Joe

    Jul 2, 2007 at 10:05 am

    I would check in MSCONFIG to see if it is somehow being told to start. Look for ‘OSK.exe’, which is the executable for the ‘On Screen Keyboard’.

  • Nina

    Jul 7, 2007 at 3:46 am

    Not in msconfig, osk is already unchecked in ease of access. But the osk still appears at the vista logon screen. Maybe something to do with my wacom tablet, or because I installed a MUI on vista ultimate.

  • Carmen

    Jul 8, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Nina, it appeared after I installed my wacom also, not too sure if it can be removed in the wacom settings or not.

  • Nina

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Finally I managed to get rid of the OSK on the vista logon. It is indeed wacom related. Disabling Wacom Virtual HID driver under Human Interface devices under the device manager in vista, did the trick. The tablet still pressure-works in applications, only the vista side bar for tablet doesn’t. No need for that, so I am very happy!

  • Joe

    Jul 9, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Glad to hear you found a solution, and thanks for letting us know the details!

  • J. A.

    Jul 10, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    I wanted to share another workaround I found (out of desperation) after installing my Wacom Tablet and dealing with the persistent appearance of the on-screen keyboard. I went to Start… Windows Help & Support… SystemInfo… Software… Installed Programs… View enabled Windows features… Tablet PC Optional Components… and I unchecked that box. ( Since I don’t have a Tablet PC and only have an installed tablet, I thought there might be conflicting drivers.) When I rebooted, the on-screen keyboard at logon had been eliminated. My Wacom tablet works great and the on-screen keyboard has disappeared. This action doesn’t appear to have disabled anything I use on a regular basis, and everything seems to be working fine. The solution may not work for anyone else, but it has for me.

  • ITsVISTA Tip 60: Hide a persistant on-screen keyboard in Vista « Top Microsoft News

    Oct 11, 2007 at 6:52 am

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  • Enable/Disable On-Screen Keyboard | Technipages

    Nov 26, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    [...] Source: ITsVISTA Tip 60: Hide a persistant on-screen keyboard in Vista [...]

  • Blue

    Feb 20, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Just to update JA’s last comment – with an easier way to find the Tablet PC components, it’s:

    Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features – Turn Windows Features On or Off > (UAC prompt) > uncheck Tablet PC Optional Components … and reboot.

    You’d think Microsft would make these things easier to deal with, or just stop forcing changes on people without express consent (when I installed my Wacom tablet, the on-screen hand-writing thingy appeared and … I had to figure out how to turn that off as well) … I mean … what’s wrong with a dialogue popping up saying – You’ve installed (such-and-such) would you like these (list) enhancements and tools enabled?

    What’s so difficult about that, instead of just bleedin’ ASSUMING. (/rant) :-)

  • Miguel Veredas

    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Obrigado pá!
    Já estava a ficar marado com esta cena do ‘teclado on screen’… e no fim era tão simples de tirar!

  • Chris

    Apr 20, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Great thanks! that thing was really starting to get on my nerves…

  • Cris

    Sep 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP!!! That login keyboard was driving me nuts I could not figure out what was going on, mine to only appeared after I installed my tablet, UGH. AGAIN MUCH MAHALO (THANKS) FROM HAWAII!!!

  • Pete

    Oct 11, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Thanks a lot !!!!

  • Raquel

    Nov 15, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Thank you sooo much. That on-screen keyboard was driving me crazy. I am so glad to have gotten rid of it. Thanx

  • Andreas

    Feb 15, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Hi guys Im in the middle of the investigation of the same problem here.

    That is, the OSK checkbox gets reticked everytime I reboot or logoff.

    The same problem within the user account was easily fixed by finding and unticking the apropriate checkbox as admin within the useraccount.

    But to keep the checkbox unticked at Login Screen was … well, patience is needed.

    My problem is though that I dont have a tablet, nor any wacom whatever hardware. A regular desktop.

    Though my input devices are all USB, but they all worked in Vistax64 Business for about a year. Now Im running Vistax32 Ultimate, and after ticking the checkbox for On Screen Keyboard once it now wont untick.

    I will repost when I find a solution.

  • Andreas

    Feb 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Problem solved!

    The OSK checkbox at the Login screen is no longer reticked every time I reboot or logoff to the Login Screen.

    The solution lies in one or both of the following things i tried.

    First I unchecked the Vista Tablet PC optional stuff at the Windows features section as described above. After unticking the OSK checkbox at login and then rebooting the problem was still there and the checkbox was automatically reticked.

    I gave up and did other things.

    Then just by curiosity I got back to Control Panel/ Ease of Access center /Alternative input devices . OSK was unchecked as described in above posts.

    Then I turned back one step to /Ease of Access center – In the left pane is the allready investigated “Change Admin settings”. As this was unticked earlier, I ticked and unticked , and then resaved.

    Then i restarted computer and booted into the Login screen and … For no reason at all – the OSK checkbox had remained unticked and consequently no annoying On Screen Keyboard. As of now, I dont know which of the performed actions actually solved the problem. it could be the Admin settings being set in a specific order after the setting of the Login screen checkboxes… I dont really wanto mess it up again though…

    But there might be a solution out there for those of you guys stepping into the problem in the future… Cheers!

  • nikstefanoff

    Apr 10, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks a lot. It was really driving me crazy.

  • Brett

    May 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Mega thanks. Kids put it on and I could not find how to switch it off.

  • Rick

    Aug 8, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks Andreas. The “Change Admin settings” did the trick for me. I had done everything that was suggested above (did not have a Wacom tablet so that did not apply) and the stupid keyboard kept re-appearing.

  • Cherant

    Oct 22, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Oh DEAR!!!! THANKYOU!!! You are so pro!! It worked! I’ll bookmark this site. NOW!

  • Cherant

    Oct 22, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    That thing kept popping up driving people crazy and they call it “EASE of Access”. Geez.

  • Rhianna

    Jan 12, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Thankyou, just turned my pc on for the first time since doing this and omg it worked :D

    Very happy seeing that this is only website I’ve found that has actually fixed it

  • Cookie

    Aug 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    My laptop keyboard won’t let me type anything. I’m currently using an on screen keyboard. It has nothing to do with turning on or turning off the on screen keyboard option. I think it’s something with my keyboard, but I don’t know what. What can I do to fix this and have my keyboard working again?

  • adam

    Sep 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    thanks! that solved it!

  • Manoj Rajkarnikar

    Mar 29, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Great .. thanks.. still puzzled how it got enabled in the first place though..

  • Melissa

    Aug 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you!

    That was so irritating!

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