Did you know you can use an Apple keyboard with a Windows PC? It may sound like putting a round peg in a square hole, but it's true, you can. Just because Apple devices are designed for Apple devices, doesn't mean they aren't compatible with Windows devices.
Whether it's a USB keyboard, a Mac keyboard or a wireless model, you can connect it to your Windows PC and work on whatever you have in mind.
In this article, we will show you how to use an Apple keyboard with a Windows PC.
How to Use an Apple USB Keyboard with a Windows PC
Although Apple has produced various keyboard models over the years, USB models seem to have hit the sweet spot among users. They come with a sleek aluminum chassis and flat keys that sit much closer to the table than traditional keyboards.
USB keyboards are very popular with computer users because they do not need to be recharged. Instead, they're powered directly by your machine, so all you have to do is connect the keyboard and start typing.
If you have an Apple USB keyboard, here's how to use it with a Windows PC:
- Start or restart your PC.
- Before your machine has completed the boot process, you must enter BIOS setup as you are about to install a new piece of hardware. To do this, press F1, F2, or any other key specified by your device manufacturer.
- When the BIOS software window opens, look for a setting called "USB Keyboard Support" and enable it.
- At this point, close BIOS Setup and follow the on-screen instructions to save changes. Your computer will then restart to make the changes.
- Connect the keyboard to one of your PC's USB ports. Your PC should recognize the keyboard immediately.
How do I use an Apple Wireless Keyboard (Bluetooth) with a Windows PC?
Apple has also produced a series of wireless keyboard models that reduce clutter on your desk while providing quality service for hours on end.
If you want to use the Apple Magic Keyboard with your Windows PC, make sure the keyboard is fully charged. If you have one of the older models that uses batteries, make sure you have fresh batteries first.
Here's how to connect the keyboard to your PC:
- Rotate from the keyboard.
- Turn on your Windows PC and enter "Bluetooth Devices" in the search bar (located in the lower left corner).
- Click on “Bluetooth settings and other devices”.
- When the Bluetooth settings window opens, click "Add Bluetooth or other device".
- At this point, turn on the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Windows will then run an automatic scan and detect the keyboard as one of the available Bluetooth devices.
- Click on the keyboard.
- Click "Next".
- Enter the code generated by your Windows PC on your keyboard and press "Enter". Windows will then establish a connection with the keyboard and install a driver.
- Close the Bluetooth settings window. You can now start using your Apple keyboard with your machine.
How to Remap Your Apple Keyboard Keys for Use with a Windows PC
Although PC and Apple keyboards are mostly identical, some keys/key combinations are not.
For example, Apple keyboards do not have a Windows key. Instead, they have a command key that serves the same purpose.
It's a similar situation for "Enter". Windows keyboards come with two Enter keys, one on the alphabet section and the other on the numeric keypad. On an Apple keyboard, the large number pad key is still labeled "Enter," but the key in the alphabet section is labeled "Return."
These differences can slow you down and inadvertently introduce typos into your workflow. So how can you fix the problem?
For starters, you can use the Windows on-screen keyboard whenever you're not sure which keys or key combinations to press on your Apple keyboard. To do this, go to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard, then toggle the slider button next to "Use On-Screen Keyboard".
However, the on-screen keyboard can be a distracting element on your screen. You might not like the idea of venturing into settings to bring up the keyboard whenever you need it, but there are few other alternatives.
You can also remap the keys of the Apple keyboard and make it work like a Windows keyboard. Remapping gives you the ability to modify the keys on the Apple keyboard and produce the Windows characters you want. But to achieve this, you need a Microsoft PowerToy app called Keyboard Manager.
With Keyboard Manager, you can customize the Apple Keyboard and increase your productivity. You can even create your own shortcuts.
Here's how to do it:
- Download Keyboard Manager from Microsoft official website.
- Follow the onscreen prompts to install the application on your system.
- Once the application is successfully installed, open it and click on "Remap a key".
- Click "+" to introduce a new key mapping.
- Click "Type," then press the key you want to change.
- Click "OK".
- Again, click on “Type” under “Mapped”, but this time press the key you want to introduce.
- Click "OK".
- Save your new settings.
Can I take a screenshot on a Windows PC using an Apple keyboard?
Unfortunately, Apple keyboards don't have a Print Screen key, so you can't take screenshots.
But you can still take screenshots using the Snipping Tool, a built-in Windows tool available from the Start menu.
Just because you don't have a Windows keyboard doesn't mean your workflow has to be disrupted. You can easily connect an Apple keyboard to your PC and even modify certain keys to produce the characters you want.
An Apple and Windows and Microsoft keyboard can be a marriage of convenience, but necessary in certain situations.
Have you tried using an Apple keyboard with your PC? How was it?
Let us know in the comments section below.