I am having issues with the inbuilt Windows on-screen keyboard showing when the cursor is placed in a WinForms text field.

I am looking for an alternative keyboard that can run on Windows and automatically show whenever the cursor is placed in a text field.

I have tried these:

But I am unable to make them show when the cursor is placed in a text entry field.

  • 3
    Are you trying to get an on-screen keyboard to appear programmatically in your own program and if so what language are you using? Or are you trying to an on-screen keyboard to appear whenever you enter a text field in someone else's program?
    – Bill W
    Mar 2, 2018 at 18:05
  • Thanks for your comment! I am trying to get an on screen keyboard to appear in a text field in someone else's program. Sorry if I did not make that clear.
    – martpendle
    Mar 3, 2018 at 21:32
  • You added the "touchscreen" tag, but your question doesn’t mention it, Does the solution need to support something touchscreen-specific?
    – unor
    Mar 13, 2018 at 17:06
  • The solution doesn't need to be touchscreen specific, but the scenario I have is based on a touchscreen device. Thanks
    – martpendle
    Mar 13, 2018 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


You need to set "Show the on-screen keyboard when the text cursor is visible" option, or Show/Hide via commands: https://hot-virtual-keyboard.com/help-online/#settings-show-hide https://hot-virtual-keyboard.com/development/q1/


You can make the built-in on-screen keyboard appear automatically by going to Settings (Windows + I), click on Devices then select Typing from the list on the left then turn on "Automatically show the touch keyboard in windowed apps when there's no keyboard attached to your device". See this link for details.

It is also possible to pin an icon to start the on-screen keyboard to the taskbar. From Windows Ease of Access, right-click on On-Screen Keyboard then in the popup menu click on Pin to taskbar. See this link for screen shots.

  • Hi Bill, unfortunately, this does work for the application in question as the feature you mention is unreliable for WinForms based apps.
    – martpendle
    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:04
  • 1
    @martpendle, I updated my answer with an alternate way to start the on-screen keyboard from the taskbar. Even if you don't use it, that may be helpful for other readers.
    – Bill W
    Mar 14, 2018 at 13:20

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