How to Disable Your Laptop Keyboard in Windows and macOS

There are many reasons why you may want to disable a laptop keyboard.

You may want to prevent others from accidentally pressing keys on your laptop and possibly cause data loss or corruption. You could also disable the keyboard when cleaning out your laptop to remove accumulated dust or debris.

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    Your laptop keyboard may also be damaged from a spill or broken. In this case, you may need to use another keyboard instead of your laptop keyboard.

    Whatever the reason, we’ll show you different safe methods you can use to disable the keyboard on a Windows 10 laptop or MacBook.

    Disable a Windows Laptop Keyboard

    You can disable a laptop keyboard in Windows 10 using:

    • Device Manager
    • Device installation restriction
    • An incompatible driver

    Disable a Laptop Keyboard Using Device Manager

    Device Manager is a Windows tool that shows a graphical view of all the hardware installed in your laptop. You can use it to see and manage the hardware devices along with their drivers.

    You can quickly and safely disable your laptop’s keyboard using Device Manager, though it may not work for all laptops.

    1. Right-click Start > Device Manager.
    1. Select Keyboards to expand it.
    1. Next, right-click Standard PS/2 Keyboard > Disable device.

    Note: Restart your laptop if the keyboard isn’t disabled immediately.

    Use Device Installation Restriction to Disable a Laptop Keyboard

    If you can’t use Device Manager to disable the keyboard on your laptop, you can enable a hardware installation restriction via the Group Policy Editor. Doing this stops your keyboard from being reinstalled each time your computer starts up.

    Note: You need to know the keyboard’s hardware ID, and then you can tell the Group Policy Editor to prevent Windows from installing devices associated with that ID.

    1. Right-click Start > Device Manager.
    1. Select Keyboards to expand it.
    1. Right-click Standard PS/2 Keyboard > Properties.
    1. Select Details and then select Hardware Ids from the Property menu.
    1. Right-click Start > Run and type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box.
    1. Navigate to Administrative Templates under the Computer Configuration section.
    1. Select System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions.
    1. Find the Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device instance IDs option and right-click it.
    1. Select Edit.
    1.  Next, select Enabled > Show.
    1. Go to Device Manager > Keyboards, right-click the first entry and select Copy.
    2. Double-click the empty row under Value. Paste the ID you copied into the area in the policy you opened earlier.
    1. Select OK on the current screen and select OK again on the Group Policy screen.
    1. Go back to Device Manager, right-click on the device and select Uninstall device.

    Restart your laptop to disable the keyboard.

    Note: Repeat steps 11 and 12 with other hardware IDs on the list. The ID you used probably didn’t work, so it’s good to be sure by adding each ID from the device list.

    If you want to undo the restriction installation, turn on the keyboard, set the policy to Not Configured in the Group Policy Editor, and restart your laptop.

    Use an Incompatible Driver to Disable the Laptop Keyboard

    You can also disable a laptop keyboard by forcing it to use an incompatible driver. We don’t recommend using an unorthodox method because it may cause a BSOD or other issues. Plus, if the same driver controls the keyboard and touchpad, you’ll lose the functionality of both.

    However, it’s a viable option when it’s necessary to disable the keyboard, and the other two methods don’t work.

    1. Right-click Start > Device Manager > Keyboards.
    1. Next, right-click Standard PS/2 Keyboard > Update driver.
    1. Select Browse my computer for driver software.
    1. Next, select Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
    1. Deselect the Show compatible hardware box.
    1. Select a manufacturer and model other than that of your keyboard and then select Next.
    1. Once the driver is updated, select Close.
    1. Select Yes to reboot your laptop. 

    After the laptop restarts, the keyboard will cease to function.

    Note: You can re-enable it by repeating the first two steps but select Search automatically for drivers instead.

    Disable a Laptop Keyboard on a Mac

    If you’re using a MacBook, you can disable a laptop keyboard, albeit temporarily using Mouse Keys or a third-party keyboard utility app.

    Disable a Laptop Keyboard on a Mac Using Mouse Keys

    You can use the Mouse Keys setting to disable a laptop keyboard in older versions of macOS. In newer versions, it will only disable the trackpad.

    Enabling Mouse Keys disables the keyboard and makes specific keys available for you to move the mouse pointer. The overall goal is to prevent accidental typing or unwanted input.

    1. Select Apple menu > System Preferences > Universal Access.
    1. Next, select Mouse and Trackpad and select On for Mouse Keys.

    Note: The Mouse Keys setting is available in macOS Big Sur, but you can’t use it to disable the keyboard.

    Disable a Laptop Keyboard on a Mac Using a Third Party Tool

    Using the Mouse Keys setting disables other keys temporarily on your keyboard. But, it only works with older macOS versions. 

    With a third-party app like Karabiner-Elements, you can disable your keyboard without locking the screen or your laptop. Under the Advanced settings, you can have it disable the built-in keyboard when another device is connected.

    Prevent Accidental Typing and Unwanted Input

    Disabling your laptop’s keyboard has several advantages. You can replace your built-in keyboard, preserve its quality, or keep curious fingers from accidentally typing unwanted characters.

    We hope you were able to disable your laptop’s keyboard using the steps in this guide. Leave a comment and let us know what worked for you.

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