Technology today is moving rapidly, and crowning either MacOS or Windows as the best is getting more challenging.
Each has its strengths and weaknesses; regardless of which system you use, one will be better at specific applications than the other.
However, the line is not as clear cut when it comes to their hardware, and sharing components, like keyboards, may pose some challenges.
So, what will happen if you try to use a Windows keyboard with a Mac?
This post will look at whether Windows keyboards work with Macs and let you in on all you need to know. Keep reading to learn more.
Are Windows Keyboards Compatible With Macs?
Fortunately, most Windows keyboards also work with Macs. However, there are some caveats and considerations you should keep in mind. Some keyboards may require drivers or software unavailable for Macs or may have hardware incompatible with the computer system.
Before purchasing a Windows keyboard for use with a Mac, we recommend doing research to ensure the keyboard is compatible.
The other thing to consider is the physical connections. Windows keyboards typically use a USB connection, which, fortunately, is compatible with Macs. You should have no issue connecting your Windows keyboard to your Mac via USB and using it immediately.
However, if your Windows keyboard uses a PS/2 connection, which is less common nowadays, it will not be compatible with your Mac without an adapter. Similarly, if your Windows keyboard uses a proprietary connection, such as a Logitech Unifying Receiver, it may not be compatible with your Mac without additional software or drivers.
Additionally, the two computer systems’ keyboard layouts are different; if you’re used to a Mac key placement, you will have to adjust to the new format. For instance, Mac keyboards have a Command key instead of a Windows key, and the position of the Option and Command keys are swapped on the Windows keyboard. Moreover, prepare for keys such as the Windows key not to function on a Mac.
To address some of these differences, use the Keyboard settings in System Preferences to remap the keys on your Windows keyboard. This will allow you to assign them Mac functions and operate as a Mac keyboard. For example, you can remap the Windows key to function as the Command key and the Alt key as the Option key.
However, some keys may not work as intended on a Mac even with remapping. For example, the Print Screen key on a Windows keyboard does not have a direct equivalent on a Mac, so you may need to use a different key combination or take a screenshot using the built-in screenshot tool.
Connecting a Windows Keyboard to a Mac
Connecting a Windows keyboard to a Mac is relatively easy. Here are the steps you can follow:
- Locate an available USB port on your Mac.
- Plug the USB cable of the Windows keyboard into the USB port on the Mac.
- Wait for the Mac to recognize the keyboard. This usually happens automatically, but the Mac may take a few seconds to recognize the keyboard and install any necessary drivers.
- Once the keyboard is recognized, you should be able to start using it on your Mac.
You may need to troubleshoot the connection if your Mac doesn’t recognize your keyboard. Some things you can try include:
- Check whether the keyboard is plugged in correctly
- Try a different USB port
- Restart your Mac
- Check for any software updates you may need for your keyboard or Mac
If you continue to have trouble connecting your Windows keyboard to your Mac, consider consulting the documentation that came with your keyboard or contacting the manufacturer’s customer support for assistance.
How to Map Keys on Your Windows Keyboard on Mac
To map keys on a Windows keyboard to work with a Mac, you can use the Keyboard settings in System Preferences; here’s how.
- Click on the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of the screen.
- Select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Click on Keyboard.
- Click the Modifier Keys button.
- Select the Windows keyboard from the Select keyboard drop-down menu.
- Below that, use the drop-down menus next to each key to assign a new function for the keys you want to map. For example, you can map the Windows key to the Command key on the Mac or the Alt key to the Option key.
Once you’ve made your changes, click OK to save them. Your Windows keyboard should now work more smoothly with your Mac, and the keys should behave more like the ones on a Mac keyboard.
Windows Keyboards you can Use With a Mac
1. Logitech K120
The Logitech K120 is a basic keyboard that’s a good choice if you need a simple, affordable keyboard that works with both Windows and Macs. It has a USB connection that is easy to set up and requires no additional software or drivers. The keyboard has a slim profile and is relatively lightweight, making it easy to transport if needed.
2. Dell KB216
The Dell KB216 is another basic keyboard designed for Windows users but can also work with Macs. Its slim profile and wired USB connection make it easy to set up and use. Moreover, it’s priced competitively compared to other keyboards on the market, making it a good choice if you’re on a budget.
3. HP K1500
This is another basic keyboard option that works well with both Windows and Macs. It has a USB connection and is affordable, making it an excellent choice for dipping your feet in the Mac Windows keyboard world.
The answer is yes if you were wondering whether Windows keyboards work with Macs. Furthermore, connecting a Windows keyboard to a Mac is straightforward, and you will manage it in a few minutes. You will also enjoy the variety the Windows ecosystem offers, as plenty of models are compatible with Macs.
Of course, the right keyboard depends on your preferences and budget. Whether you need a basic keyboard or something more advanced, there will likely be a Windows keyboard that works with your Mac.
So, just do a bit of research and find the perfect Windows keyboard for your Mac that fits your needs. Happy typing.
Will all the keys on a Windows keyboard work with a Mac?
Not all keys on a Windows keyboard will work with a Mac. Some keys may not function or have different functions when used with a Mac.
How can I check if a Windows keyboard is compatible with my Mac?
In most cases, Windows keyboards are compatible with Macs. However, it’s best to check with the keyboard manufacturer or visit their website to confirm compatibility.
What are the common differences between Windows and Mac keyboards?
Mac keyboards have some keys not found on Windows keyboards, such as the Command and Option keys. Windows keyboards may have a Windows key, while Macs have a Command key.
Do I need to install any software to use a Windows keyboard with a Mac?
You do not need to install any software to use a Windows keyboard with a Mac. Simply connect the keyboard to your Mac using a USB or Bluetooth connection.
How do I customize the keys on my Windows keyboard for use with a Mac?
You can customize the keys on your Windows keyboard by using third-party software such as Karabiner-Elements or SharpKeys.
Can I use a Mac keyboard with a Windows computer?
You can use a Mac keyboard with a Windows computer. However, some keys on the keyboard may not function as they would on a Windows keyboard.