How to Use Windows Keyboard on Mac: A Beginner’s Guide

Welcome to the world of technology, where different operating systems come with unique keyboard setups. For Mac users, getting used to Windows keyboard can seem like an uphill task at first. However, don’t be frustrated as you can easily use the Windows keyboard on your Mac. In this article, we will guide you on how to use the Windows keyboard on your Mac, observing 12 easy-to-follow steps. We will also give you helpful tips and tricks to make the experience even better.

Steps

Step 1: Connect Your Windows Keyboard to Your Mac

This step is the most straightforward and perhaps the most critical in the process. Your Windows keyboard will not work if it is not connected to your Mac. Use the USB cable to create a connection between the two devices. Once you connect the keyboard to the USB port, wait for a few seconds for your Mac to recognize the connection.

Step 2: Identify the Windows Key

The Windows key is one of the keys with the Windows logo, which is typically located next to the Command Key on your Mac keyboard. Once identified, you are now ready to use the Windows keyboard.

Step 3: Installing Karabiner Elements

Karabiner Elements is an open-source software program that allows you to create custom keyboard mapping. Install the Karabiner element software on your Mac and open it. In the tab, click on “Simple modifications,” and then “Add item.”

Step 4: Select Your Input Source

In this step, select your input source. The two input sources available are “ANSI” and “ISO.” If your keyboard has an “Alt” key, select “ANSI.” If your keyboard has a “Menu” key, select “ISO.”

Step 5: Configuring Your Karabiner Preferences

Customize your keyboard according to your preferences by clicking on the “Preferences” button. Select “simple modification” and then “Add item.” At this point, you can create any changes that you would like to make, such as swapping the “Option” and “Command” keys.

Step 6: Enable Keyboard Preferences

In your Mac preferences, enable your keyboard by selecting “Input Sources,” and then click the plus sign at the bottom left and choose the type of keyboard you have. Usually, it is listed as “U.S.”

Step 7: Save Your Keyboard Settings

After you have finished configuring the settings, click the “Save” button. This will save your changes.

Step 8: Restart Karabiner Elements

After saving your changes, you will need to restart Karabiner Elements to ensure that your modifications take effect.

Step 9: Use Your Windows Keyboard on Your Mac

Once you complete all the above steps, you can now use your Windows keyboard on your Mac. You will be amazed at how easy it is to navigate around your computer.

Step 10: Undo Your Changes When Necessary

If you change your mind about a particular setting after some time, you can quickly undo the changes by going back to the “Preferences” button and selecting the “Delete” button next to the particular configuration.

Step 11: Try Using Extra Features

The Windows keyboard is equipped with extra features such as a printed Home button. Experiment with these features and see how they can improve your computer experience.

Step 12: Practice

Practice makes perfect. As you use your Windows keyboard on your Mac, you will get used to the keys’ location and their function, and it will start to feel natural.

Explanation

What is Karabiner Elements?

Karabiner Elements is an open-source software program that allows you to customize your Mac keyboard. It supports many different types of keyboards and is easy to install and customize.

Why do you need to configure your keyboard?

Configuring your keyboard is necessary because it allows you to make your computer experience more comfortable and efficient. With custom keyboard mapping, all the keys on your keyboard can be utilized in a way that works best for you.

Why should you use a Windows Keyboard on a Mac?

Using a Windows keyboard on a Mac is necessary for those who have a preference for a Windows keyboard’s layout or who have transitioned from a Windows computer.

Tips and Tricks

1. Disable the Function Keys

If you do not want to use the function keys, such as F1 and F2, on your Windows keyboard on your Mac, disable them in Karabiner Elements by selecting a simple modification and mapping the function keys to other keys.

2. Swapping the Control Key and Command Key

If you are more familiar with the Windows layout, switch the Control and Command keys on your Mac keyboard. This will give your Windows keyboard a more natural feel.

3. Changing the Function of Your Windows Key

You can create a custom mapping of your Windows key to perform specific functions such as opening a particular application. This can be done in Karabiner Elements.

4. Customizing Your Keyboard to Suit Your Needs

You can switch the function keys’ default setting to media keys in Karabiner Elements, allowing you to control music or video playback while still being able to access the function keys.

5. Create Shortcuts on Your Keyboard

You can create shortcuts on your Windows keyboard to access specific applications or programs. Use the Karabiner elements software to map your keyboard to perform the desired function.

6. Using Your Windows Keyboard on Your Macbook

If you are using a Macbook, you can connect your Windows keyboard to your Macbook using a USB hub or Thunderbolt dock.

7. Use the Windows Key as a Switcher

Use the Windows key as an app switcher by creating a custom mapping in Karabiner Elements. This mapping will allow you to switch between windows in a flash.

8. Map Your Windows Key to the Command Key

You can map your Windows key to act as a Command key, giving you full Mac keyboard functionality while using a Windows keyboard.

9. Switch the Alt Key to Option

Swapping the Alt key to the Option key in Karabiner Elements will give you the Mac keyboard’s familiar Option key.

10. Enjoy Your Windows Keyboard on Your Mac

Once you have fully customized your Windows keyboard on your Mac, enjoy the feeling of familiarity while using a powerful device.

In conclusion, using a Windows keyboard on a Mac is easy with the steps listed above. By customizing your keyboard in Karabiner Elements, you can further enhance your experience and make your computer use more efficient. We hope that with the tips and tricks provided, you can now use your Windows keyboard on your Mac like you have been using it forever.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Windows Keyboard on Mac

Advantages

1. Compatibility: Using a Windows keyboard on a Mac means that you won’t have to adjust to a new keyboard. Everything will be the same as what you use on your Windows computer.

2. Price: You may already have a spare Windows keyboard lying around, or you can easily purchase one for less than the cost of an Apple keyboard.

3. Familiarity: If you are used to using a Windows keyboard, using it on a Mac will be more familiar to you than using an Apple keyboard.

4. Macro keys: Windows keyboards often come with extra function keys that can be programmed with macros, which can be very useful for certain tasks.

5. Easy to find: Windows keyboards are much more readily available than Apple keyboards, even in remote areas.

6. Options: With a Windows keyboard, you have the option to remap keys and change their functions to suit your needs.

7. Flexibility: Using a Windows keyboard on a Mac gives you more flexibility in terms of customization, as opposed to being locked into Apple’s pre-determined keyboard settings.

8. Gaming: Windows keyboards are generally better for gaming, as they often have more options for macros and programmable keys.

9. Backlit keys: Windows keyboards often come with backlit keys, which can be very useful in low light situations.

10. Ease of use: If you use both Windows and Mac, using the same keyboard for both can make things much easier and more seamless.

Disadvantages

1. Compatibility issues: Not all Windows keyboards are compatible with Macs.

2. Different shortcut keys: The keys for certain shortcuts may be different on a Windows keyboard than on a Mac keyboard.

3. Aesthetics: Using a Windows keyboard on a Mac may not look as sleek or aesthetically pleasing.

4. Missing keys: Some Windows keyboards may be missing certain keys that are found on a Mac keyboard, such as Command, Option, and the Apple key.

5. Functionality issues: Some functions specific to Macs, such as Mission Control, may not work properly on a Windows keyboard.

6. Incompatibility with Mac OS updates: Future updates to the Mac OS may render some Windows keyboards unusable.

7. No Apple-specific keys: Apple-specific keys, such as those for Siri or Launchpad, will not be available on a Windows keyboard.

8. No wireless connection: Some Windows keyboards may not have the option for a wireless connection, which can be inconvenient for Mac users.

9. No trackpad or mouse: Unlike Apple keyboards, Windows keyboards do not have a built-in trackpad or mouse, which can be a disadvantage for some users.

10. No customer support: Using a Windows keyboard on a Mac means that you will not have access to Apple’s customer support for keyboard-related issues.

FAQ

1. Can I use a Windows keyboard on a Mac?

Yes, you can use a Windows keyboard on a Mac. However, some keys may not work properly, such as the Command and Option keys.

2. How do I connect a Windows keyboard to a Mac?

You can connect a Windows keyboard to a Mac using a USB cable or Bluetooth. To connect via Bluetooth, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Bluetooth and follow the instructions.

3. Why do some keys not work on a Windows keyboard on Mac?

Some keys on a Windows keyboard may not work on a Mac because the layout is different. For example, the Windows key is not present on a Mac, so some functions mapped to the Windows key may not be available.

4. How do I remap keys on a Windows keyboard on Mac?

You can remap keys on a Windows keyboard using third-party software such as Karabiner-Elements or KeyRemap4MacBook.

5. Can I use a Mac keyboard on a Windows PC?

Yes, you can use a Mac keyboard on a Windows PC. However, some keys may not work properly, such as the Windows key.

6. How do I connect a Mac keyboard to a Windows PC?

You can connect a Mac keyboard to a Windows PC using a USB cable or Bluetooth. To connect via Bluetooth, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and follow the instructions.

7. Why do some keys not work on a Mac keyboard on Windows?

Some keys on a Mac keyboard may not work on a Windows PC because the layout is different. For example, the Command key is not present on a Windows PC, so some functions mapped to the Command key may not be available.

8. How do I remap keys on a Mac keyboard on Windows?

You can remap keys on a Mac keyboard using third-party software such as SharpKeys or KeyTweak.

9. How do I take a screenshot on a Windows keyboard on Mac?

You can take a screenshot on a Windows keyboard on Mac using the Windows + Shift + S key combination.

10. How do I eject a disk on a Windows keyboard on Mac?

You can eject a disk on a Windows keyboard on Mac using the F12 key.

11. How do I adjust the brightness on a Windows keyboard on Mac?

You can adjust the brightness on a Windows keyboard on Mac using the F1 and F2 keys.

12. How do I adjust the volume on a Windows keyboard on Mac?

You can adjust the volume on a Windows keyboard on Mac using the F10, F11, and F12 keys.

13. How do I switch between windows on a Windows keyboard on Mac?

You can switch between windows on a Windows keyboard on Mac using the Alt + Tab key combination.

Conclusion

In conclusion, using a Windows keyboard on a Mac is not a difficult task as many people may think. With the simple steps outlined above, you can switch the keys on your keyboard to match those on a Mac, and consequently enhance your overall user experience while using a Mac. It’s important to note that learning how to use a Windows keyboard on a Mac may be challenging at first, but with constant practice, you’ll get used to it, and you’ll be able to use it without any difficulties.

Closing

Thank you for reading this article on how to use a Windows keyboard on a Mac. We hope that the tips shared here will help make your experience using a Mac, with a Windows keyboard much better. Remember to follow the steps provided carefully, and if you encounter any issues while following the steps, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Until next time, happy computing!