This wikiHow teaches you how to navigate the computer without using a mouse or mouse. You can do this through the "Mouse Keys" feature, included on some Windows computers and all Macs, or use a combination of keyboard shortcuts and arrow keys to navigate from place to place.
Method 1 of 2: On Windows
Step 1. Try using basic keyboard shortcuts
You can use the arrow keys on your computer and then the ↵ Enter key to move the selection elsewhere in an open window and to select things, respectively. If you press a letter key while on the desktop or in a Windows application (for example, File Explorer), the selection will jump to an item that begins with that letter. There are some other basic keyboard shortcuts that you can use:
- Alt + Tab ↹: swap open windows.
- Alt + F4: close an open application or window.
- ⊞ Win + D: Minimize all windows to show the desktop.
- Ctrl + Esc: Open the Start menu.
- ⊞ Win + E: open File Explorer.
- ⊞ Win + X: open the "Advanced settings" menu.
- ⊞ Win + I: open "Settings".
- ⊞ Win + A: open the "Action Center".
Step 2. Make sure your computer has a numeric keypad
If there is no number key grid on the right side of the computer keyboard (aside from the standard number key row at the top), you will not be able to use this method.
You can also use the keyboard shortcuts mentioned in the first step
Step 3. Open
To do this, press the ⊞ Win key (the key with the Windows logo). The Start window will open.
You can also open the Start window by pressing Ctrl + Esc
Step 4. Write accessibility
Doing so will search for the "Ease of Access Center" on your computer.
Step 5. Select Ease of Access Center
If necessary, use the arrow keys to select this option at the top of the Start window and then press ↵ Enter. The "Ease of Access Center" will open.
Step 6. Select Make the keyboard easier to use
It's a link in the middle of the window. Press the ↓ key until this option is selected and then press ↵ Enter to open it.
Step 7. Select Configure Mouse Keys
It's a blue link near the top of the page. Scroll down to that option using the ↓ key and then press ↵ Enter.
Step 8. Activate the "Mouse Keys"
Press the ↓ key until the box and line of text that says "Enable Mouse Keys" are selected, and then press the + key.
Step 9. Scroll down to the "Pointer Speed" section
Press the ↓ key until the "Maximum speed" slider is selected in the "Pointer speed" section.
Step 10. Adjust the pointer speed
Once you've set a value, you can press the Tab ↹ key to scroll to the next one:
- Maximum speed: determines how fast the pointer will move when it reaches maximum speed. Press the → key to increase the maximum speed, or ← to decrease it. This setting should be relatively high (for example, 75 percent or more).
- Acceleration - Determines how fast the pointer will reach maximum speed. Press the → key to increase acceleration, or ← to decrease it. This setting should be close to 50 percent.
Step 11. Select OK
It's at the bottom of the page. Doing so will activate the "Mouse Keys" and the window will close.
Step 12. Use the numeric keypad to move the pointer
You can use the 4, 8, 6, and 2 keys to move it to the left, up, right, and down, respectively.
- Keys 1, 7, 9 and 3 are used to move it through a 45º angle.
- If your pointer doesn't start to move, press Num Lock (or Fn + Num Lock on some computers) and try moving the pointer again.
Step 13. Press the key
Step 5. to click
You will find it right in the middle of the numeric keyboard.
If pressing 5 opens a drop-down menu, press / on the numeric keypad to disable that feature. After doing so, you can click the 5 key
Step 14. Open the right click menu
All Windows computers have a "context menu" key, which generally looks like the ☰ symbol inside a box. If you press that key while an item is selected, the right-click menu will appear.
Note that if you don't click an item first using the 5 key, the right-click menu will simply display a generic drop-down menu in the corner of the screen
Method 2 of 2: On Mac
Step 1. Try using basic keyboard shortcuts
You can use the arrow keys on your Mac and then the Return key to move the cursor elsewhere in an open window, but you can also use the following shortcuts to perform some slightly more complex tasks:
- Command + Q: close an application (or currently open window).
- Command + Space: Open the Spotlight search bar in the middle of the window.
- Command + Tab ↹: go to the next window.
- Command + N: Open a new Finder window if you are on the desktop.
- Alt + F2, then Command + L: Open System Preferences.
- Ctrl + F2: Select the Apple menu (if you press Return, it opens).
Step 2. Open the "Accessibility Options" window
To do this, you must use one of the following keyboard shortcuts, depending on the model of your Mac:
- MacBook with Touch Bar: Quickly tap the Touch ID button three times.
- MacBook without Touch Bar: Press Fn + Option + Command + F5 at the same time.
- iMac (Desktop Mac): Press Option + Command + F5 at the same time.
Step 3. Enable the mouse keys
To do this, tap the Touch ID button three times (MacBook with Touch Bar) or Command + Option + F5 (all other Macs).
You can also use the arrow key ↓ to select the "Enable mouse keys" box and then the Return key (or the space bar on some computers) to check it
Step 4. Leave the "Accessibility Options" window open
This way you can disable the mouse keys using the same shortcut that you used to enable them.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to type while the mouse keys are enabled
Step 5. Move your mouse cursor across the screen
With the U, 8, O and K keys, you can move the cursor to the left, up, right and down, respectively.
With the J, 7, 9 or L keys you can move the cursor at an angle of 45º down to the left, up to the left, up to the right or down to the right, respectively
Step 6. Click on the key
The 5 key basically works like the left mouse button when the mouse keys are enabled.
You can also hold down the Control key while tapping 5 to simulate a right click
Step 7. Simulate holding down the mouse
Moving the pointer over an icon and then pressing the M key will simulate the "hold down" action. In this way you can drag the icon that is below the pointer, using the movement keys.
- This is also useful if you need to open menus that are activated by holding down the button, for example the Trash menu.
- You can also press. to "release the button".