How to fix the Windows 8.1 US Keyboard Problem

Nikki Stasyszyn | August 7th 2014

Recently, several of the computers in the PushON office have been upgraded to use Windows 8.1. This was all well and good until the users of those machines realised that this had changed their keyboards to the American layout, meaning things like @ and “ were the wrong way round, no £ signs, all things that are not ideal for an online marketing agency.

Now on any other Windows computer I have ever used, this has not been an issue at all. You simply go in to the Control Panel, go to Regional settings and change the keyboard. However, on Windows 8.1, this doesn’t work. We tried all the logical steps of deleting the US keyboard but it simply comes back and remains the default keyboard. So after all sorts of settings changes and several computer reboots, we eventually stumbled on the rather simple (but slightly stupid) answer.

What you need to do is open your computer setting and go in to the Control Panel and select Clock, Language and Region:

Windows 8.1 Control Panel

Go to Language:

Windows 8.1 Language

Select English (United Kingdom) and then select options:

Windows 8.1 Keyboards

Add an input method:

Windows 8.1 input

Find the United Kingdom Extended keyboard layout and add this:

Windows 8.1 extended keyboards

You can then press the Windows key + space to bring up the keyboard options. Select the English UK layout:

Choosing a keyboard on 8.1

This should then bring back your UK keyboard and keep it as your default. Still, this seems to be a pretty widespread problem with little response from Microsoft who really need to hurry up and sort it out!