Keyboard Typing Backwards: Why and How to fix?

We have already talked about keyboard shortcuts which are often very practical in everyday life, whether for surfing the web or for working. They can also sometimes play tricks on us, like the keyboard shortcut that allows you to switch your keyboard from AZERTY to QWERTY on Windows or Mac.

Why is my Keyboard Typing Backwards?

Here are some of the potential reasons, Why the Windows or Mac Keyboard Typing Backwards?

  • Reverse Keyboard Problem
  • Conflicts with Right-to-Left Language and Region.
  • Application Settings forcing backward typing.
  • Keyboard driver issues.
  • Typing as soon as an app starts.

Difference between the AZERTY keyboard and the QWERTY keyboard

The layout of the letters on the keyboard changes according to the country: in Arabic, France and Belgium, the keyboard is called AZERTY, named after the first six letters of the upper alphabetical row of the keyboard. It includes of course the accents and special characters related to the Arabic or French language.

However, the AZERTY keyboard is far from being the standard in the world, many countries such as the United States, England, Spain and Northern Europe use the QWERTY keyboard instead, inherited from the era of typewriters. The letters were arranged in this way to limit the blocking of the typewriter stems. Qwerty keyboards are therefore the most used in the world.

You can quickly get lost when using a keyboard where the letters, numbers and punctuation are not arranged as you are used to, even on the best desktop computer.

Here is the layout of the keys on the two keyboards. You will see that the keys are not arranged in the same way:

Qwerty Keyboard Layout
The key layout of a QWERTY keyboard
Azerty Keyboard Layout
The layout of the keys of an AZERTY keyboard

Keyboard Typing Backwards? Try These Fixes

Changing a QWERTY keyboard to AZERTY or switching your keyboard from AZERTY to QWERTY on Windows or Mac

Under Windows (Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista etc…) there is a very simple trick that allows you to switch your QWERTY keyboard to AZERTY and vice versa, from the French keyboard to the English keyboard.

To change the layout of the keys, simply use one of the following key combinations to switch from one keyboard to another:

  • Alt + Shift

Note the following comment: the SHIFT key is the key on the keyboard that allows you to write in upper case. It is often represented by an upward arrow and is located just above the Ctrl key. This key is also called SHIFT on English keyboards.

If none of these combinations change the keyboard mode, you will have to check the language settings of your Windows using for example the language bar in Windows 10 (click on the language bar and choose your keyboard).

I know that some people prefer to watch video tutorials, here is one that explains in detail how to change the layout of the keys on your keyboard to easily switch your keyboard to Azerty or Qwerty:

Use Writing Direction Shortcuts

If you use a Right-to-Left (RTL) language, like Arabic, you can often use a keyboard shortcut o shift between RTL and Left-to-Right (LTR) mode. The shortcuts are:

On Windows:

  • RTL: Ctrl + Right Shift
  • LTR: Ctrl + Left Shift

On Mac:

  • RTL: Command + Option + Control + Left Arrow
  • LTR: Command + Option + Control + Right Arrow

Change the default keyboard and language of Windows

It is also possible to change the default language by going to the Windows Control Panel via the regional options: under Windows 10, click on the Start menu and then on Settings Windows 10 Settings then Time and Language then Region and Language. Then select the desired language in the Language section. If it is not present in the list, click on Add a language.

Change System Region Settings Windows 10
Region and Language setting (Windows 10)

To change a keyboard, select the default language and click on Options. In the Keyboards section, select the keyboard you want to use, regardless of the type of keyboard (USB keyboard or Bluetooth keyboard). If it is not available, click on Add a keyboard and choose the keyboard layout, Azerty, Qwerty or another “exotic” keyboard layout.

For completeness, here is a video that will explain in detail how to change the language of Windows:

Run Keyboard Troubleshooter: If Changing the Language doesn’t work

Hardware and Device Troubleshooter Windows 10

1. Search for Troubleshooter on your Windows search bar or Open Settings (Win + I).
2. Go to the Troubleshoot settings.
3. Look for Keyboard and click to expand.
4. Click Run the troubleshooter.
5. Follow the instructions on how to troubleshoot your keyboard.

Reinstall Your Keyboard Driver: If Keyboard Troubleshoot doesn’t work

Keyboard Driver Update On Windows 11

1. Navigate to the Device Manager or search in the Windows search bar.
2. Look for Keyboards and click the down arrow to expand.
3. Right-click on your keyboard name. If you are unsure, choose the “Standard PS/2 Keyboard”.
4. Click Uninstall Device.
5. Follow the steps and restart your computer.
6. Download the keyboard driver from your keyboard manufacturer’s website and install it.

Was the article helpful? Let us know in the comments below.

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