• Working from home has exploded in recent years and many people new to this are not sure what is the best way to set up their home office.
  • One concern is their health and posture. Will a separate keyboard while using the laptop help? Yes, it will, and we explain why it is a good idea.
  • Interested in more tips like this one? Visit our tech tips section on the website for similar articles.
  • Make sure to check out the keyboard section for finding the right keyboard you need according to your needs and preferences.
disable laptop keyboard when using external

For some, this might seem like a dumb question to ask, but it’s that has a serious basis — if your laptop already comes with a built-in keyboard, should you use a separate one? I provide my sincere opinion below, right after I show you how to disable the built-in keyboard and use the external one only.
laptop external keyboard

How do I disable laptop keyboard

Turn off automatic driver installation

disable automatic driver installation

  1. Open Start Menu and type gpedit.msc. Hit enter to open Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. Reach Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->System->Device Installation->Device Installation Restrictions. A window on the right will open with more details.
  3. Search for Prevent installation of Devices not described by other policy settings. Right click on it.
  4. Click on the Enable option, apply and save.

Uninstall the driver

uninstall keyboard driver

  1. Open Start Menu and type device manager. Hit enter to open Device Manager.
  2. Click to expand the Keyboards line. A list with the keyboards will appear.
  3. Right-click on the internal keyboard and choose Uninstall.

Reboot your computer and the device driver will not install automatically and the internal keyboard will remain disabled. You can continue using your external keyboard.

Please note that, in case your external keyboard uses the same generic device drivers then this will not solve your issue. Uninstalling that driver will disable both of them.

Looking to re-enable the keyboard of your laptop? Open gpedit.msc and follow the same steps only this time make sure you disable the option.

Recently, I have finally bought a wireless keyboard and mouse for my Windows 10 laptops and have been using them for a few days now. The reason why I have bought a separate keyboard for my laptop is because of concerns related to my health. Working for so many hours almost every day in front of my computer is affecting my health because I don’t maintain a healthy posture. And yes, relying on laptop‘s keyboard to write and work is a big cause for that. Let me explain.

Have a look at the pictures from below. As you can see in the first one, your spinal cord is bent mainly because the display is somewhat lower situated than the eyesight, despite the fact that the desktop PC comes with a separate keyboard. Now, the second image illustrates my point much better. By relying to your laptop‘s built-in keyboard to write, your incline your back and keep it like that for hours.

incorrect posture laptop

correct pc posture

A separate laptop keyboard improves your health

Now, if you would get a separate keyboard, a wireless one, especially, so that you wouldn’t be tied to a cord, first of all, the distance between the screen and your eyes will be reduced. Secondly, you will now be able to try and adopt a correct spinal cord posture, as your hands won’t be as close to the laptop as they were before. It’s just as simple as that.

Interested in keeping yourself healthy? Check out our 6 best Windows 10 fitness apps

Of course, when you are traveling and taking the laptop with you, it might not seem like such a great idea to take an extra keyboard with you, so use the keyboard if you don’t have a desktop PC and your laptop is your main working tool. You will be surprised at how big the effect will be on your health.

Customize your keyboard

And there’s also another major advantage to buying a separate keyboard — you can pick one that really suits your needs. Your built-in laptop keyboard is pretty standard. On the other hand, you can often customize your separate keyboard: you can choose its color (you may purchase a themed keyboard), select a particular key orientation design, and much more.

So, as you can see, a separate keyboard brings at least two important advantages in terms of keeping a healthy posture and choosing your own keyboard design.

FAQ: Learn more about laptop separate keyboard

  • How can I connect my keyboard to my laptop without USB?

Most laptops already come with Bluetooth built-in so you can use that technology to connect your wireless keyboard.

  • Why wireless keyboard is not working?

Most common cause is the batteries from the keyboard are depleted. Change them and it should work again. Also try resetting and reconnecting the keyboard.

  • How do I reset my keyboard?

Go to Windows Settings and choose Time & Language. Then click on Region and Language. Add a new language, then use the arrows to move it up to make it the primary language. Then use the arrows again to set the primary language the initial one. This will reset your keyboard laptop. Also choose Options under the language and make sure you detect the QWERTY keyboard. If it is not there, add it.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2013 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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