How to Use Windows Keyboard on Mac

Kyle Wood

Mac, Tutorials

If you’re a Mac user who’s used to the Windows keyboard layout, you might find yourself struggling with some of the key placements on your new machine. But fear not!

In this tutorial, we will explore how to use a Windows keyboard on a Mac and make the necessary adjustments to ensure a seamless transition. So let’s dive in!

Changing Keyboard Settings

First things first, let’s start by changing our keyboard settings to match the Windows layout. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple menu located at the top-left corner of your screen.

  2. Select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.

  3. In System Preferences, click on “Keyboard.”

  4. Go to the “Keyboard” tab and click on “Modifier Keys.”

Once you’ve reached this point, you’ll see a window with various options for modifying your keyboard settings. Here’s what each option does:

Change Caps Lock Key

If you want to change the behavior of your Caps Lock key, this is where you can do it. By default, pressing Caps Lock will activate the Caps Lock feature, but if you prefer it to act as another Control key or an Escape key, now is your chance to customize it.

Change Control Key

The Control key is an essential part of any keyboard layout. On a Mac, it is positioned differently compared to a Windows keyboard. In this section, you can swap the Control and Command keys if that feels more natural for you.

Change Option Key

The Option key on a Mac corresponds to the Alt key on a Windows keyboard. If you prefer the Alt key to be where the Option key is on your Mac, you can make that change here.

Change Command Key

The Command key is another crucial part of any Mac keyboard layout. By default, it is positioned where the Windows key would be on a Windows keyboard. However, if you want to swap the Command and Control keys, this is where you can do it.

Once you’ve made all the necessary changes, click “OK” to save your settings. Now your Windows keyboard should behave just like it would on a Windows machine!

Using Windows-Specific Keys

While most keys on a Windows keyboard will work as expected on a Mac, some keys may have different functions or no function at all. Here are a few examples and their corresponding actions:

  • Windows Key: The Windows key is equivalent to the Command key on a Mac.
  • Print Screen Key: On a Mac, press Shift + Command + 3 to take a screenshot of the entire screen or Shift + Command + 4 to take a screenshot of a selected portion.
  • Delete Key: The Delete key on a Mac serves as the Backspace key on a Windows keyboard.

If you encounter any other keys that don’t function as expected, consult your Mac’s documentation or search online for specific solutions.


With these simple adjustments and an understanding of how certain keys map between platforms, using a Windows keyboard on your Mac becomes much more manageable. Remember, it may take some time to get used to the new layout, but with practice and patience, you’ll be typing away like a pro in no time!

Happy keyboarding!

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