If you’ve recently switched from an Apple Mac to a Windows computer, or have Windows installed on your Mac, chances are you will notice that the standard Apple keyboard is somewhat different from what is normally for Windows.
In this article, we present the main differences between a Windows keyboard and a Mac keyboard so that you can understand how to use a Mac keyboard on a Windows computer.
If you are thinking of buying a Mac keyboard, we highly recommend that you take a look at our buying guide in which we speak the best keyboards for Mac this year.
Will an Apple keyboard work on my Windows PC?
It doesn’t matter if you are using a Windows PC or an Apple Mac, your Mac’s keyboard should work fine with any of these devices.
Most models, including the Magic keyboardThey can be connected via USB cable or via Bluetooth connection, so no additional adapter is needed to connect the keyboard to any device.
Obviously, as we explained in the lines above, you will see that some keys on the Mac keyboard are different from the keyboard on a Windows computer.
Which keys are different or missing?
In most cases, the keyboard layouts for the PC and Mac are the same, but there are a few different keys.
The first and most obvious is that a Mac keyboard does not have the key ‘The Windows’. More exactly, it does not have a key with the Windows symbol, but the key ‘cmd’ acts as such when in a hurry.
“Alt” and “Alt GR” they are slightly different – the Apple variant only has two “Alt” keys. To use ‘Alt GR’, you must hold down the ‘control’ or ‘ctrl’ key at the same time.
Something similar happens for ‘Repress’ and ‘Return’, with Macs that only have a “Delete” button on small keyboards, although this acts as a “Backspace” because it removes the character to the left of the cursor.
To get the Windows version of “Delete,” hold down the “Control” or “Ctrl” key and press “D” or hold down the “fn” (function) key while pressing “Delete.”
You won’t find a button ‘Print Scr’ on a Mac keyboard, so if you want to capture what appears on the screen, you will need to use the Windows capture tool. To find it, open the Windows “Start” menu and type “capture tool,” then select it from the results that appear.
The only major omission is the “Menu” or “Applications” key in Windows which allows you to launch pop-up windows (essentially the same as a right click). Mac keyboards don’t have them, and there is currently no combination of shortcuts to enable them.
Some other features are missing, including “Insert”, “Previous page”, “Next page”, “Block number” and others, but these can be obtained via the on-screen keyboard present in Windows.
To find it, go to the ‘Start’ menu then to ‘Settings> Ease of access> Keyboard’ and activate the option ‘Use the onscreen keyboard’.
This keyboard can be collapsed so you can open it when you need those special commands.
For a full description of the different keyboard shortcuts available, you can also download the app Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator. It is Software Free gives you the option of reassigning the keys so that they produce the characters you choose.
Launch the app, click on “ File> Load Existing Keyboard ” and find your particular model. You can then click on the boxes to the left of the keyboard and see which combinations you should use for all extended characters.
If you want to change a key, check the corresponding box (in other words, if you want the character to appear when you press ‘Shift’, make sure you have checked this box), click on the virtual key and enter the symbol you want to use instead.
Microsoft has included a detailed help section, so be sure to check it out if you want to get the most out of the app.