How You Can Simply Disable Your Laptop Keyboard

Disable Laptop Keyboard

Do you want to know how to disable the keyboard on your laptop?

That’s great because I have all of the answers for you here.

If you have stumbled onto this page thinking “why would I want to disable my laptop keyboard?” then I have an interesting story for you.

A friend of mine used to work in a busy office. He used to go out of the office a lot for meetings and so he decided to use a laptop instead of a desktop.

Unfortunately, there were people in the office who didn’t like my friend. One day when he went to get some lunch these “geniuses” decided to play a dirty trick on him. It was a trick that had very serious consequences.

They used his laptop to access several “unsavory” websites. Then one of these people spoke to his boss and told her that they had walked past his desk and noticed some very inappropriate material on his laptop.

When my friend returned from lunch his boss fired him immediately. He did not have the opportunity to explain how it happened. A check of the timings on the logs would have shown that someone else accessed these websites while he was at lunch.

Reasons why you should Disable your Laptop Keyboard

This is a pretty extreme story but it made me think about the reasons why disabling my laptop keyboard is a good idea:

  • Stop people accessing your laptop in your absence – yes you can use a password but passwords are often easy to crack.
  • Cleaning your laptop keyboard – it is difficult to clean the keyboard of a switched on laptop without pressing down on certain keys and having something crazy happen.
  • Stop your pets from creating mayhem – I have a cat that loves walking on my laptop keyword and even sitting on it. I guess she likes the warmth of the laptop.
  • You want to use an external keyboard – you may have a reason to use an external keyboard with your laptop so disabling the internal keyboard is a good idea. A classic situation is spilling coffee or some sticky beverage onto your keyboard and then finding it doesn’t work anymore.

OK so now I’ve convinced you that disabling your laptop keyboard is a good idea let’s see what you need to do:

Windows Laptops

There are a few ways that you can disable a laptop keyboard on a Windows-based machine. I am going to explain 2 slightly different ways that you can do this fairly easily. I’ve tried all of these methods on laptops that have Windows 7, 8 and 10 and they all work.

Remove your Laptop Keyboard

Notice that I said “remove” here and not just disable. You might want to use this method if you have trashed your internal keyboard by spilling something on it and just want to use an external USB keyboard instead.

  1. Click on the “Start” button
  2. Select “Control Panel” from the menu
  3. Double click on “Device Manager” to open it

Or

  1. Right click on “My Computer”
  2. Click “Manage”
  3. Click on “Device Manager”.
  4. Find your keyboard in the list. You should see a list item called “Keyboards”
  5. Right click on the keyboard device and select “Properties” from the menu
  6. Click on the “Driver” Tab
  7. Click the button that says either “Disable” or “Disable Device”
  8. Restart your laptop

No Disable Option

You may find that you do not have an option to disable your keyboard driver in device manager. Laptops vary and some will have this option and others won’t. You can use a trick where you install an incompatible driver to disable your keyboard.

This is the process:

  1. Click on the “Start” button
  2. Select “Control Panel” from the menu
  3. Double click on “Device Manager” to open it
  4. Find your keyboard in the list. You should see a list item called “Keyboards”
  5. Right click on the keyboard device and select “Properties” from the menu
  6. Click on the “Driver” Tab
  7. Click the button that says “Update Driver”
  8. Don’t let your computer access the Internet for a driver. You want to use existing drivers on your laptop.
  9. Find drivers that are incompatible with your keyboard
  10. Select an incompatible driver
  11. Restart your laptop and you should find your keyboard disabled.

If you just try to uninstall your keyboard driver Windows will find it again when it restarts so this is not an effective strategy. If you want to enable your keyboard again just go through the same process and select the right driver and restart.

Disabling a Macbook Internal Keyboard

OK I get it. Not all of you use Windows laptops and some of you have a Macbook. You may want to disable your internal keyboard for one of the reasons that I stated in the introduction. So I have some solutions for you to do this.

Use a Keyboard Shortcut

One of the great things about the Macbook is that you can actually temporarily disable the internal keyboard with a nifty keyboard shortcut. It is so simple:

Press the F1 and Ctrl key together and you’ll disable the controls for your keyboard.

Using an Apple Script for Keyboard Disabling

Now please understand that I have not tested this method. Some Macbook users say that this works well and others say that it doesn’t work at all. This solution may not work with all Mac OS versions. If you want to give a try then do this:

For disabling the internal keyboard run this script:

sudo kextunload
/System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBTopCase.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBTCKeyboard.kext/

If you want to reinstall your internal keyboard:

sudo kextload
/System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBTopCase.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBTCKeyboard.kext/

Applications to Disable Macbook Internal Keyboard

You can find some third party apps to disable the internal keyboard for your Macbook. The most popular ones are:

Karabiner

Keyboard Cleaner

The Keyboard Cleaner app is for cleaning your keyboard without having to turn it off. It will disable all keyboard input and will black out your screen. The Karabiner app is pretty popular in the Mac user community and you need to install it first.

Conclusion

So whether you have a Windows laptop or a Macbook you now know how to disable the internal keyboard. It’s a bit trickier with a Windows laptop as you have to go into the device manager and play around with your keyboard drivers.

It can be very important for you to disable your laptop keyboard to keep prying eyes and fingers away. Going through the keyboard disabling sequence on a Windows laptop just to clean it can be overkill so just turn your laptop off.

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