How Many Keys Are on a Microsoft Windows Standard Keyboard?

A keyboard, obviously the most important part of a computing device. Whether you are working on a desktop, or a laptop, the keyboard is where you spend most of your time. That would mean, if the keyboard is good enough, your work performance would be better. But, have you ever given a thought to find how many keys on a keyboard? Let us find today. 


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How Many Keys Are on a Microsoft Windows Standard Keyboard?

Quick Answer:

The original keyboard in the US for Microsoft Windows has keys. However, most of the desktop keyboards in other countries have  105 keys. In essence, the de facto standard has been either 104 or 105 keys on a standard Microsoft Windows keyboard. 

How Many Keys Are on a Keyboard?

There is no specific rule that can designate the keyboard manufacturers to use a specific number for how many keys are on a keyboard. The keyboard manufacturers may decide to use any number of compatible keys on their keyboards as long as the layout does not affect the typing functionality of the keyboard. 

The standard number of keys on the keyboard would be ideally dependent on the keyboard manufacturers. 

The chart here can provide good information on how many keys are on a Microsoft Windows standard keyboard: 

Keyboard Type  Number of keys 
Original IBM Keyboard  83 keys 
Microsoft standard keyboard in the US  104 Keys 
Microsoft standard keyboard in the rest of the world  105 keys 
European keyboard  102 keys 
Traditional US keyboard  101 keys 
Windows-based laptop keyboard  86 keys 
AT keyboard  84 keys 
Apple wireless keyboard  78 keys 
MacBook Air laptop  78 keys 
Apple keyboard with numeric keypad  109 keys 


There are several other keyboards that may have a few additional keys. Gaming keyboards, mechanical keyboards, and programmable keyboards are known to have as many as 115 or 110 keys. 

How Many Number Keys on the Keyboard?

Also known as the Num Pad, the numeric keypad on the laptop keyboard or any other keyboard includes 17 keys. The keypad section is ideally located at the far right corner and provides you with a similar experience you would find on a calculator. 

In addition, the numeric keypad, the keyboard also comes with a complete set of numbers at the top of the keyboard. It is the section that forms the first row of the keyboard. In addition to the numeric keys, the jumper keys on the top would also have a series of function keys. If you have a numeric keypad on your keyboard, the total number of keys on your keyboard would be 20. If we include the mathematical signs, dots, and other buttons, the number would further increase. 

A Standard keyboard Has How Many Function Keys?

A standard keyboard will have 12 different function keys. The function keys are marked by a prefix F. You will find the function keys from F1 to F12 on a standard keyboard. The function keys are invariably used for a few operation system-specific commands. They can also be used to perform a few certain actions on the screen. 

If you have a specialized keyboard, you may have as many as 24 function keys. They are designed to provide you access to more advanced functionality. The keys will perform different functions on a different program. Under ideal conditions, the function keys are located on the topmost row of the keyboard. The function keys and number keys stay together. If you are wondering how many keys are on a Microsoft Windows standard keyboard in terms of number keys, they would ideally be 20 if you have a num pad, and 10 if you don’t have one.

How Many Keys Are There on a Numeric Keyboard?

Most of the desktop keyboard has 17 keys on the numeric keyboard. If you are on a standard Windows keyboard, you will get access to 17 keys. This includes ten numeric keys 0 to 9, the mathematical operators, dot, and a few other functional keys related to your calculations. 

You will find an Apple keyboard will come with 18 keys on the numeric keypad. You would find that in the case of a laptop keyboard, you may or may not find the numeric keypad depending upon the model of your laptop.

How Many Symbols Are There on a Keyboard?

An original English keyboard comes with as many as 40 symbols. A QWERTY keyboard comes with a minimum 40 symbols, and that includes ~, !, @, #, $, and % to name a few. But, these 40 keys are not built on 40 keys. In most of the situations, the 40 symbols are provided on 28 keys. 

A few of the keys have two symbols. We have listed the Windows keys and the three menu keys such as Shift, Alt, and Ctrl. The total count described here does not include the arrow keys. 

How Many Arrow Keys on a Keyboard?

Ideally, arrow keys would be four in number – down, up, left, and right. These are normally located just below the Shift key on the right side. These are used, obviously, for navigating through the different directions on your page, document, or program. 

However, on a keyboard that has a numeric keypad, you would find four more arrow keys. The arrow keys are located on the following buttons – up arrow on key 8, down arrow on key 2, the right arrow on key 6, and left arrow on key 4.

How Many Types of Keys are There on a Keyboard?

Now that we have tried finding out how many keys are on a Microsoft Windows standard keyboard, it would equally be a good idea to find how many types of keys would you find on it. A keyboard basically consists of five different types of keys – they include Alphabet keys, Number keys, Special keys, Function keys, and navigation keys. Each of the keys and key types is designed for offering you a specific functionality. 

Image – Microsoft 


  1. Alphabet Keys

Now that we are discussing the standard keyboards, you can have access to the letter or alphabet keys from A to Z. You have access to 26 different keys. Do note that the keys are not arranged in strictly alphabetical order. The alphabet keys are also inclusive of the symbols as well. In that case, you will have a total of 54 keys with a total of 76 different characters. 

  1. Number Keys

The number keys include the numeric keys 0 to 9. If you have a numeric keypad on your keyboard, you will have 17 keys. You will find the number keys on the top as the first row, and on the numeric keypad. 

  1. Special Keys or Control Keys

The special and control keys include the keys specifically designed for controlling the system and what appears on your screen. Some of the examples for the control keys include Space bar, Caps Lock key, Backspace, Shift key, Ctrl key, Tab key, Enter key, and CapsLock keys to name just a few. 

  1. Function Keys

The Function keys are designed to provide you access to a few specific functions. These function keys include the keys right from F1 to F12. The functionality of each of these keys differs from one program to another. It will also be dependent on the operating system you use. A few mechanical and gaming keys can come with 24 function keys in certain cases. 

  1. Navigation Keys

The navigation keys come with special navigation purposes. These would include the cursor keys such as down, up, left, and right keys. The Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, and Delete are a few of the navigational keys you would want to give serious thought to. 

A Few of the keys Combinations You Would Find Useful

Now that we have been discussing how many keys are on a Microsoft Windows standard keyboard and the specific functions of the keys on a keyboard, it would be worthwhile to understand a few key combinations that can make your task a little easier. 

Key combination  What does it do? 
Windows Key  Launch Start menu
Alt-Tab  Switch between programs and windows 
CTRL + S  Save the current file 
Alt + F4  Cloe or exit from the current program 
CTRL + C  Copy the selected item 
CTRL + X  Cut the selected item 
CTRL +V  Paste the items on the clipboard 
CTRL + A  Copy all the data on the current page 
CTRL + Z  Undo an action 
F1  Display the Help section on a program 
Esc  Cancel the current task 

The Concluding Thoughts 

Well, the keyboard is nothing without the right keys on it. Learning how many keys are on a keyboard and having a good knowledge of your key functions can be extremely helpful. Of course, the number of keys on a keyboard will be dependent on the model and manufacturer of the keyboard. While 104 keys can be the de facto standard for the standard keyboard, you will find the different number of keys on the keyboard based on what you may be looking ahead to.