How to Disable/Enable Laptop’s Built-in Keyboard – (Ultimate Guide)

Is it just temporary or permanent? I mean why do you want to disable your laptop’s keyboard?

Well, if it’s merely the dirt and debris inside, making your laptop keyboard produce those embittered crackling sounds, you can disable it for a brief time, just in order to clean it up.

But in case of the worst possible scenario, which I wish it’s not, where perhaps you have spilled a mug full of hot coffee on it, and you are sure that it’s beyond repair now, you would have to permanently disable the built-in keyboard and connect an another, external one, to keep going.

Anyways, if you are a Windows 10 user, seeking out “how to disable the laptop keyboard on Windows 10“, here are a few things you awfully need to know prior to jumping down into the main topic.

What Is Temporary and Permanent Disabling

In order to understand how to disable laptop keyboard, let’s discuss temporary and permanently disabling first.

Temporary disable

As the name suggests, temporarily disabling your peripheral means, disqualifying its driver/software for a brief time period without restricting the system to reinstall it on its own. So, immediately when your system will get a reboot, it will search for and automatically install the driver again and your keyboard will start working.

Permanent disable

On the other hand, when you want to permanently disable any peripheral i.e. keyboard here, you would need to restrict the system from auto reinstalling the driver. Hence, block the system’s this ability and then disable the keyboard.

It then becomes sort of a permanent change, until and unless you yourself plan to re-enable things.

How to Disable Laptop Keyboard

Different Ways How to Disable Laptop Keyboard Using Windows 10

Thinking about, why only Windows 10?

Well, although there are many different ways you can disable a laptop’s keyboard i.e:

  1. Temporarily via the “Device Manager”.
  2. Permanently via the “Group Policy Editor” (in Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise).
  3. By forcing the system to use the wrong driver/software so that things collapse and your keyboard stops working.
  4. Or by downloading and using some third-party application or device manager to block your keyboard’s working.

But, when it comes to that temporary and permanently disabling, Windows 10 shows multifarious options depending on its different versions i.e. Windows 10 Home, Pro, or Enterprise.

So let’s check out each one separately.

#1. Temporarily via the Device Manager

Well, it’s a one really simple process indeed. Here’s what to do and how.

  1. First, get into the “Device Manager”. For this, either press these two keys together i.e. Windows + X key, and from the popped-up list, choose “Device manager”, or simply search it in your laptop’s search box.
  2. Over there, seek out the “Keyboards” section and double-click on it.
  3. You`ll see different options in the drop-down list. Look for “Standard PS/2 Keyboard”, therein and right-click on it.
  4. From the popped up menu, click on “Uninstall device”.
  5. You’d be asked to confirm it. Click on “Uninstall” there again.

Your keyboard is disabled now, but keep in mind that it’s just temporary and when your device will get a reboot, it will automatically search for the driver again, will install it, and the keyboard will automatically start working.

#2. Permanently via the Group Policy Editor

If you are a “Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise” user, you can straight away use this method to restrict your system from reinstalling the driver on its own. But do keep in mind that, prior to applying these changes, must create a system restore point to avoid any possible system impairments in the future.

Well, let’s now check out how it works.

  1. Type “gpedit.msc” into your system’s search box. Or simultaneously press the Windows + R keys and enter the command into the Run dialog box.
  2. Group Policy Editor will open up.
  3. On the left side, you will see different options under the “Computer Configurations”.
  4. Navigate down to the “Administrative Templates”, then to the “System” and finally to the “Device Installation” tab.
  5. Upon clicking it, you will see “Device Installation restriction” there as a dropdown.
  6. Click it, check the right side of the screen, seek out “Prevent installation of devices not described by other policy settings”, and double click on it.
  7. Check “Enabled” in the newly popped up windows, “Apply” it, and finally click the “Ok” button.

It’s done! You have now restricted the automatic driver reinstall feature. So now, just do what we did in Method 1 i.e. Go to the “Device Manager” again, and follow each step, as it was, to uninstall the keyboard driver. Since the auto reinstall is off now, your system won’t do any reinstalls even after rebooting too, making it sort of a permanent change.

If You Are A Windows 10 Home User

The “Group Policy Editor” won’t work if you are on Windows 10 Home. So in order to do restrict the auto driver reinstall here, consider this way.

  1. Type and enter “sysdm.cpl” in the search box.
  2. Select and open the “Hardware” tab.
  3. You’ll se “Device Installation Settings” below there, click on it.
  4. Check “No” in the appearing box and “Save Changes”.

You are done.

To Undo

At any point in time, when you want to re-enable the keyboard again, you can revert things easily i.e.

  • In the “Group Policy Editor” > “Prevent Installation of devices not described by other policy settings”, check the “Not Configured” to revoke the restriction and re-enable the keyboard.
  • Whereas, change the selection to “Yes” in the “Device Installation Settings” to revert everything while on Windows 10 Home.

#3. By Forcing System to Use A Wrong Driver

Although I won’t suggest you go for this method since it can cause some other issues as well, still, if disabling the keyboard is the only and really necessary option, then you can try this too.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Go to “Device Manager” > “Keyboards” > and to the “Standard PS/2 Keyboard”, since this one is your laptop’s default keyboard.
  2. Click on it and choose “Update Driver” instead of “Uninstall”.
  3. Select “Browse my computer for driver software”, and then “Let me pick from a list of available drivers”.
  4. Uncheck the “Show compatible hardware”, and choose a manufacturer and model, other than your standard keyboard, and “Next”.
  5. “Yes” to all further steps. The computer will reboot and the keyboard won’t be working anymore now.

To Undo

To revert, after choosing “Update driver” from the “Device manager”, go for “Search automatically for updated driver/software” instead of the second option. The system will search out the right one, will install it, and the keyboard will start working again.

how to enable laptop keyboard (1)

#4. By Downloading A Third-Party Application or Device Manager Software

There are plenty of third-party applications, the most popular one being the “Key Freeze”, which you can easily install and use to block your keyboard from working. But keep in mind that, it will also curb the Touchpad’s working as well.

Still, it’s one of the most widely used applications for such purposes.

And you can also download a third-party “Device manager” software too if your system’s default one is not cooperating. There are tons of them on CNET.

Hence, bringing to use these different third-party applications and software, you can block the working of your system’s keyboard, etc. with just a few clicks.

How do I disable the built-in keyboard on my laptop?

If you wish to disable your built-in keyboard, go to your device manager, locate your keyboard, right-click on it, and then click on uninstall drivers.

Why is my laptop keyboard not typing?

It’s common for laptop keyboards to experience errors such as driver malfunctions or physical damage due to liquid spills or even improper use, which is why your keyboard isn’t working at its best.

Can you disable the laptop keyboard and use externally?

If you decide to use an external keyboard rather than the built-in keyboard, you can disable it from “device manager”, where you can uninstall or disable the driver and connect an external keyboard via USB.

Bottom Line

Either be it that, the laptop’s built-in keyboard is malfunctioning and so you are planning to add a new external keyboard to it, or perhaps you just want to clean it up since there is a lot of dirt and dust inside, or whatever else, you would have to properly disable the keyboard first and then do else’s things.

Having that in mind, I have provided you with all the possible answers to your query i.e. how to disable laptop keyboard.

So, if it’s just a temporary move, you can consider going for the Device manager method, whereas if it’s sort of a permanent change, you can check out that other plenty of methods as well.

In short, you’ll find each minute detail regarding this search query, above in this article.