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I just wanted to ask if it is possible to use Apple`s Magic Keyboard with a Windows machine (given that it has bluetooth). Is this possible?

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  • Windows runs on Mac hardware so the limitations might be better asked on another question since that might depend on what version of Windows and what drivers you select for the keyboard.
    – bmike
    Sep 22, 2017 at 10:49
  • @bmike I was just wondering if Windows does also run with Apple hardware (as in Windows not being installed on a Mac). The reason being that I might want to use the keyboard with my desktop windows PC next to my MacBook. Regarding the extent of functionality, you are of course correct. Though I think that at least between Win 8 and 10 there won’t be any major differences. I might be wrong, though
    – CrazyQwert
    Sep 22, 2017 at 11:03
  • I’ve heard they work on android and windows as Bluetooth, but I can’t answer any better than doing a google search. I assume you’ll get some good answers here over time if the bootcamp answer doesn’t encourage you to try it and answer back with your results.
    – bmike
    Sep 22, 2017 at 11:25

2 Answers 2

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Yes, it will work as a Bluetooth keyboard but you’ll have to think about drivers if you’re not running in Boot Camp. Apple does offer the required drivers with Boot Camp Assistant.app (> Action > Download Windows Support Software) and you could try transferring it to your Windows installation.

Boot Camp Assistant

You can see all mappings on Apple's support page. Aside from the obvious keys (Expose, Dashboard, etc.) all other keys should work just fine in Windows.

The keys you can't replicate, however, are

  • 'PrintScr'
  • the 'Context menu' key
  • Pause/Break
  • Insert
  • Forward Delete
  • Home
  • End
  • Page Up
  • Page Down
  • Number Lock
  • Scroll Lock

Although Apple doesn’t support Windows directly, this support article explains how to remap keys and some of the Boot Camp differences and keyboard differences between macOS and Windows.

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  • Are these drivers also available outside of boot camp? And / or will basic functionality also work without drivers? In case said Windows installation is not running on Apple hardware: The reason being that I might want to use it with my desktop at some point in the future
    – CrazyQwert
    Sep 22, 2017 at 10:58
  • Let’s leave this about “will it work”. A second question detailing how to get around missing keys on windows 10 would make for an awesome second question linking back to here, @CrazyQwert
    – bmike
    Sep 22, 2017 at 11:07
  • @bmike alright. So the gist is it does work? Even on non Mac hardware like any ordinary Bluetooth keyboard (as long as there is support for Bluetooth, of course)?
    – CrazyQwert
    Sep 22, 2017 at 11:18
  • @CrazyQwert see here for an example techrepublic.com/article/… Sep 22, 2017 at 13:31
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Yes, the new Magic keyboard works just fine (the 2017 wireless extended one that is) with the supplied USB/lightning cable. In fact I'm using a third-party PUR braided cable, typing on the Apple keyboard right now. There's a tiny On/Off switch on the back right edge, that needs to be on even if you are plugged into USB. My cheesy Dell here at work doesn't have BT but I'll get a cheap dongle from Amazon and try it.

Next I will use KeyTweak and remap some of the keys. Right now Command is the Windows key and the tiny Option ket is ALT. Those need to b reversed so they are used to where we know them. I also like to to make F16 my Play/Pause button for iTunes, and F17 & F18 my Up-Down Volume keys and F19 my Mute. Oh, and F13 Print Screen, and the Clear button I make Num Lock. These are just my suggestions but for Windows it works. There's no way to program the Eject button to do anything but Optical is fading into the horizon anyway, lol. All This changes the registry in Win 10 so if you pop on a std keyboard, make sure to run KeyTweak again to reset the Registry back to normal!

Why go through all this for a Windows machine? Sanity. Got my first Mac in '90 (16lb Portable) and my SE/30 is sitting right next to me in my office. If I have to use Windows, at least my keyboard interaction is Apple. All my devices are, lol.

BTW, KeyTweak is downright confusing to use. Here's how you do it. It'll take a little time but worth it.

For EACH Key you want to change:

  • Click Half Teach Mode
  • In the windows that pops up, click Scan Single Key
  • Then press the key you want to change. For example, I clicked F19. You'll see a numeric ID for the key appear.
  • Then select, from the DropDown, what Function you want the selected key to do. In my example I selected Mute.
  • Then click the Remap button.

At that point you will see your choice in the Pending Changes Box. Continue on changing all the keys you need by REPEATING ALL THE STEPS.

Once done, click Apply. THAT will change the Registry and remap your keys! IMPORTANT: The app will ask if you want to reboot. Say NO. Instead, go to File-->Save Remap File As, and save your mapping. Then if you ever have to reinstall Windows, just open KeyTweak and load the file! Or if you put an Apple keyboard on another machine, do the same, and you won't have to redo all the tedious mapping.

NOW you can reboot for it all to take effect. ;-D

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  • Update: My mobo has built in Bluetooth. I turned it on and the Magic Keyboard paired right up! I'm totally wireless now, love it.
    – Paulie
    Dec 4, 2017 at 19:05
  • Beautiful! This is the best solution I've found, no crazy Bootcamp drivers or other nonsense. Thanks, one year ago you.
    – sheng
    Dec 20, 2018 at 3:15

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