A few years back computer companies started to experiment with removing the LED indicator lights from laptops for hard drive activity and Scroll Lock. After that, they moved on to remove the Num Lock the Caps Lock indicator lights. Now, most laptops only have a power on indicator light and one for the charging status.
I get that some of these indicator lights are useless to most users, but Caps Lock? In age where all online services and websites recommend, and some even require, that you use lower case and upper case letters to strengthen your password, the decision to remove the indicator seems a little unusual.
In an effort to redeem themselves, some manufacturers have provided software solutions that use OSD (On Screen Display) to indicate the status of these buttons, but in most cases these are limited to the operating system that the manufacturer supports.
Microsoft has our back on this, or at least it used to. Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 had an option for enabling a software on-screen indicator for these keys. However, this option mysteriously vanished in Windows 10. Instead, it was replaced by a sound indicator, that plays whenever you press one of these keys. This solution works, but it doesn’t give you any information about the current state of these options without having to press their dedicated keys.
[READ ALSO: Fix: Caps Lock and Num Lock Keys Stuck in Windows 10]
In this article I will show you how to enable this feature, and also mention some third-party applications that can bring back a visual on-screen indicator for these functions.
Enable CAPS lock sound indicator in Windows 10
1. Click the Start button and head over to Settings -> Ease of Access.
2. From the left navigation bar select Keyboard.
3. On the right, enable Hear a tone when you press Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock under Toggle Keys.
Now, each time you activate Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock your computer will play a notification sound, and it will also play a different one when you turn off these features by pressing the keys again.
Enable CAPS lock indicator using TrayStatus
TrayStatus is a small application developed by BinaryFortress that places indicator icons directly into the taskbar. TrayStatus supports icons for Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock, but can also display the status of the CTRL, ALT, SHIFT and WINDOWS keys. In addition to these, you can also have an indicator icon for hard drive activity.
The application is very lightweight, taking less than 4 MB of space from you system drive without increasing Windows’ boot time if you enable it to run at startup. You can download TrayStatus from their official website by clicking here.
Enable CAPS lock indicator using Keyboard Indicator
Keyboard Indicator is a small application, similar to TrayStatus. It was initially developed for Windows XP, Vista and 7 but it also works fine on Windows 8.1 and 10. Even though I recommend you first try TrayStatus as it officially supports Windows 10, Keyboard Indicator offers a lot more options.
For example, by default, when you press Caps Lock, Num Lock or Scroll Lock, you’ll get an icon inside the taskbar that changes status, exactly like TrayStatus does. However, Keyboard Indicator will also give you a toast notification and will play a notification sound, making sure you never miss activating one of these functions.
Also, Keyboard Indicator offers lots of customization options, from the font size and color to the position and time duration of the toast animation, and even allows you to customize the text it displays. The only downside of Keyboard Indicator is the fact that you can get indicators only for Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock.
If Keyboard Indicator is the application you want to try, you can download it from its official website, found here.