How can I make the keyboard layout selection apply to all windows, not just the current window?


I use the Dvorak keyboard layout, and my wife uses the standard U.S. layout.  We just got a new computer with Windows Vista, and we want to share one user account, but be able to switch between the two keyboard layouts. 

I have already gone to Control Panel > Regional and Language Options > Keyboards and Languages > Change Keyboards, and on this page both "US" and "United States - Dvorak" are listed, with "US" set as the default.  I have found that I can use the language bar to select US or US-Dvorak at any time, which seems perfect at first glance. 

But the problem is that if I select US-Dvorak while I am using one program (e.g., a web browser), and then later I switch to another program (e.g., Notepad), then the keyboard layout reverts back to US.  Essentially, I have to re-select US-Dvorak every time I launch a new program or switch to a new window, which is quite annoying.

How can I easily switch between US and US-Dvorak keyboard layouts, in such a way that once I select a layout, that layout takes effect for all windows, not just the current window?  I want to be able to select the keyboard layout one time, and have that selection stay in effect until I make a different selection.  I know from experience that this can be done very easily on a Macintosh or in Ubuntu Linux, so surely it can be done in Windows Vista, right??

(By the way, I know that I could solve this problem by creating separate user accounts for myself and for my wife, with each user account having a different default keyboard layout.  But we simply don't want to do that.)


Hey PH3,


So far you’ve successfully changed the keyboard layout. However, to make sure that the keyboard layout setting is in effect for that account, perform the steps below:


1.    Go to Control Panel and Click on Change Keyboard or other input methods link

2.    Under administrative tab click on Copy to reserved accounts

3.    Check both the check boxes.

4.    Click Apply to apply the changes.

5.    Click Ok to confirm the changes


Now check if you are able to switch the keyboard layouts without having to manually re-select US-Dvorak every time you launch a new program or open a new window.


Hopefully this should work.


Shinmila H - Microsoft Support

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Question Info

Last updated February 12, 2020 Views 10,681 Applies to: