How to reset the keys on a keyboard with Windows 8

Updated April 17, 2017

It can be frustrating when the keyboard layout on your computer is not set in the software to be the same as the physical keyboard. Although the main keys on your keyboard might work as expected, the punctuation keys vary from English language country to English language country. If you notice that you do not get the expected character when you press a key, then you probably need to reset the keyboard software to be suitable for a UK keyboard.

Move the mouse pointer to the bottom right corner of the screen. This will bring out the side menu. Click on “Settings”. Select “Control Panel” from the following menu. An alternative method is to press “Win” key together with the “R” key. Select “Control Panel” from this menu.

Select “Add a language” in the “Control Panel” window. You will find this link in the “Clock, Language and Region” section of the panel. If you have the layout of the Control Panel set to “Small icons” this option will appear as “Language” in the alphabetical list of functions.

Read the list of languages shown as active on the computer. It is better to only have one, and that should be shown as a box which has English (United Kingdom) written inside it. If you don’t have that, click on the “Add a language” tab at the top of the language list.

Choose the “English” box in the list of languages that are displayed in the next screen. Find the “English (United Kingdom)” box in the next list. You will be returned to the “Change your language preferences” screen and a box saying “English (United Kingdom)” should have been added to the page. There is less possibility of the keyboard being reset back to an unwanted version if this box is the only language available. If you don’t need to switch to other languages on your computer, remove all other languages from this page. The “English (United Kingdom)” box should be the first in the list.


Making sure the “English (United Kingdom)” box is the only active language on the computer should reset your keyboard to the appropriate mappings. If you still have strange results coming out of the keyboard, click on the Options link next to the “English (United Kingdom)” box and look for the “Input method” section in the next screen. Click on “Add an input method” and select the “QUERTY” layout for the United Kingdom from the list of options. Click on “Add” and then remove any other definitions listed in the “Input method” section.

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About the Author

Stephen Byron Cooper began writing professionally in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computing from the University of Plymouth and a Master of Science in manufacturing systems from Kingston University. A career as a programmer gives him experience in technology. Cooper also has experience in hospitality management with knowledge in tourism.