How to Enable, Use, and Disable Chromebook On-Screen Keyboard

If you're having trouble with your physical Chromebook keyboard or you have a tablet-style Chromebook, using the on-screen keyboard might be a good solution. The on-screen keyboard, also known as a virtual or touchscreen keyboard, appears on your Chromebook's screen and allows you to type using the touch-screen, stylus, or mouse. In this article, we will guide you on how to enable, disable, and use the Chromebook on-screen keyboard effectively.

How to Enable and Launch On-Screen Keyboard in Chromebook

The virtual on-screen keyboard comes pre-installed on all Chromebooks but is turned off by default. To enable and open the Chrome OS on-screen keyboard, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open Settings on your Chromebook.
  2. Go to Advanced > Accessibility > Manage accessibility features. You can also type “Accessibility” in the search bar in Settings.
  3. Scroll down to the Keyboard and text input section. Turn on the toggle next to Enable on-screen keyboard.
  4. Once you turn on the touch screen keyboard on your Chromebook, its icon will appear on the Chromebook's shelf at the bottom-right corner. Click or tap on it whenever you want to use the on-screen keyboard.

If you're in tablet mode, the on-screen keyboard will appear automatically whenever you want to type something. Another way to enable the on-screen keyboard is from the Accessibility menu. Click on Time on the Chromebook's Shelf and press the Accessibility button in the menu. Then, click on the On-screen keyboard to enable or disable it.

How to Get Rid of On-Screen Keyboard on Chromebook

If the on-screen keyboard keeps popping up and you want to hide or disable it, follow these steps:

To hide the on-screen keyboard when it shows up, click or tap on the Minimize keyboard icon at the bottom-right corner. That will minimize the keyboard.

Alternatively, you can disable it by going to Chromebook Settings > Advanced > Accessibility > Manage Accessibility. Turn off the toggle next to Enable on-screen keyboard. The toggle should turn grey.

What Do the Icons in the Top Row of the Chromebook Virtual Keyboard Mean

The top row of Chrome OS's touch keyboard shows several icons that provide different functionalities. Here's what each symbol means and how to use them:


Tap the clipboard icon on the keyboard to see the last five copied items, including both text and images.


The doodle icon allows you to handwrite on the blank area provided by the keyboard. You can write using a stylus or your finger, and the handwritten text is converted into typed text in the app you are using. The keyboard also provides word suggestions as you write. Tap on a suggestion to enter it.


The layout icon lets you change the size of the on-screen keyboard. You can switch from a full-screen keyboard to a compact (floating) keyboard and vice versa. In compact mode, you can move the keyboard across the screen and position it wherever you prefer.


The settings icon takes you to the keyboard settings, which can also be accessed from Chromebook Settings > Advanced > Languages and inputs > Inputs & keyboards.


The microphone icon on the on-screen keyboard allows you to type using your voice. Whatever you say will be converted into typed text. To switch back to the keyboard layout, press the keyboard icon in the top row.

How to Change Chromebook On-Screen Keyboard Language and Layout

If you want to change the language and layout of the on-screen keyboard on your Chromebook, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Chromebook Settings > Advanced > Languages and inputs > Inputs and keyboard.
  2. Tap/click on Add input methods and select the language you want to add.
  3. Once added, the language will show up under Input methods. Tap on the language to make it the default one.
    Alternatively, you can switch between languages from the on-screen keyboard itself. Open the on-screen keyboard and tap on the Language icon on the left side of the spacebar. Select the desired language.

How to Enable Sound, Autocorrect, Swipe Typing, and More

The Chromebook on-screen keyboard offers additional features like sound on keypress, swipe typing, auto-correction, and auto-capitalization. You can enable or disable these features from the on-screen keyboard settings. Here's how:

  1. Go to Chromebook Settings > Advanced > Languages and inputs > Inputs and keyboard.
  2. Tap on the language whose settings you want to change under Input methods.
  3. In the Physical and On-screen keyboard sections, turn on the toggle next to the desired settings, such as sound, glide typing, auto-correction, and auto-capitalization. You can also choose the strength of auto-correction using the drop-down box.

How to Add Emojis Using On-Screen Keyboard

To add emojis using the on-screen keyboard on your Chromebook, follow these steps:

  1. In the touchscreen keyboard, tap on the Smiley icon at the bottom-left corner to open the emoji panel.
  2. Tap on an emoji to use it.

How to Type Special Characters on the Virtual Keyboard

To type special characters on the virtual keyboard, follow these steps:

Long-press a number key on the touchscreen keyboard to input the special character associated with that number. Alternatively, press the Shift key to see more special characters. Tap on a character to enter it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to Enable Dark Mode for On-Screen Keyboard?
Currently, Google doesn't offer a dedicated dark mode for either Chrome OS or the on-screen keyboard. However, you can switch to the Chrome OS Beta channel and enable the dark mode experimental flag in Chrome as a workaround.

2. What's the Chromebook On-Screen Keyboard Shortcut?
Unfortunately, there is no specific keyboard shortcut to enable the on-screen keyboard in Chromebook. However, you can use Ctrl + Space to switch to the last used input method.

After mastering the Chromebook virtual on-screen keyboard, you can explore other areas of Chrome OS. Check out the best tips and tricks for Chromebooks, top video players for Chromebook, and the best games optimized for Chromebooks. Enjoy your Chromebook experience!