Using the Apple Wireless Keyboard with a PC

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tuareg, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. tuareg macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi there!

    I received an Apple Wireless keyboard as a gift. I started to use it with my Windows 7 PC and I quite liked it. To use it with a PC I had to buy a Bluetooth adapter. It was crappy and the communication between the PC and the keyboard used to crash constantly, so I had to restart the keyboard each time, and the performance was poor and I suffered from constant lags. Eventually the adapter itself died.

    So, what is the most recommended BT adapter when using a PC + Apple wireless keyboard combination? Reliability and performance are the most important factors, of course. I also play online shooters occasionally, so keyboard performance and reliability are crucial.

    Besides, while using the Apple keyboard I missed some of the functions of my old PC keyboard, while some Apple features were useless to me. Is there a program that I can program the keyboard with and make custom key bindings?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. tuareg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    I've searched thoroughly throughout the internet, including this forum and Apple's official communities, but couldn't find a definitive answer. Most questions that revolve around this issue refer to working with an Apple Wireless Keyboard and BootCamp, and not an actual PC. Before I even try to pair the keyboard with my PC properly I need to buy a third-party Bluetooth adapter.
    That's why I really need your help and advice.
  3. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    I don't have an answer but a suggestion, find a bluetooth adapter that has a majority of positive reviews and give it a try. I don't think there is anything special about Apple's implementation of bluetooth (since it's a standard). To get full functionality you would need Apple's Boot Camp keyboard driver for the particular version of Windows that you're running, which I believe that you can find out there on the net with instructions on installing it.
  4. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    I'm not at home, so I can't be sure, but I think I purchased a Targus Travel bluetooth adapter and it has done pretty well. Sometimes it takes a couple of seconds to recognize the keyboard after sleeping. Sometimes I have to cycle the power on the keyboard. Both of those issues happen less than 1% of the time, though.

    Definitely grab the Apple BT Keyboard driver from the latest bootcamp. It helps with some of the function keys (at least the media ones).

    As far as custom key-bindings, I don't use anything like that, so I can't make a recommendation.
  5. Sir Ruben macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Jul 3, 2010
    I have to say, Im not sure why you would want to use the keyboard with a PC.

    Aside from the fact that it looks pretty I think its a very cheap feeling, below average, limited keyboard.

    When I bought a Mac Mini I also got the trackpad and keyboard. The trackpad I really like but the keyboard not so much. Plus using it when working out money etc is rubbish due to the fact that it doesnt have a dedicated number pad.

    I love Apple but very often they can be style over functionality and I think the keyboard is a good example of this.
  6. tuareg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    Thanks for the help.

    If there's anyone else with additional recommendations of solid adapter I'll be more than glad to hear. Regarding that Targus adapter, those were the exact same issues I had with the terrible generic adapter I had (they were awful, and even if they rarely occur they tend to do that at the worst possible occasions, like when gaming online), and I have to avoid them this time around.

    Sir Ruben - that's exactly the reason I'm using it, the looks. Although I have to say that I really like how it feels, reminds me of a laptop keyboard.
  7. tuareg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
  8. ehfz macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2013
    I've been using the apple bluetooth keyboard with PCs for years and have had success with both PCs with built-in BT and with an IOGear bluetooth adapter. Two related points:
    1. There doesn't seem to be a reliable way to do control+alt+delete using this keyboard (some people have success with it, some don't, certain windows settings can be changed to make it less necessary)
    2. To get it to work in windows, you right click it when it shows up in bluetooth devices that are possible to connect to and check the HID box in properties. after hitting OK it will pair and work correctly.

    I really love the apple bluetooth keyboard, but I have recently also bought a Logitech K810 which I like just as well, and the K810 is make for Windows, can toggle between 3 devices all using bluetooth, and has backlit keys.
  9. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Not at home at the moment, so I can't test this, but I think that Fn+Ctrl+Alt+Del works.
  10. John Kotches macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2010
    Troy, IL (STL Area)
    Like ehfz, I replaced my Apple wireless keyboard with Logitech.

    For ctl+alt+Del I use the onscreen keyboard. I'll have to try the fn+CTL+alt +del combo on Monday.
  11. tuareg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. More input is very much welcomed.

    Anyone had experience with one of the top rated adapter over at Newegg?

    Any other sites with user reviews I should check out?
  12. tuareg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    Now that I've settled on the hardware, there's the software side.
    Usually every adapter requires some kind of driver or software in order to communicate with the PC.

    What software would you recommend?
    Is there a certain software that is considered the best?

    Sorry for the bump. I really couldn't find a definite answer around the web.
  13. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    I think Apple's website has the drivers available for download (the Bootcamp drivers). Once you download them, browse to the correct folder (32 or 64 bit). You should install the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard Driver and I think the Bootcamp control panel. The keyboard driver will enable some of the special function keys (iTunes control) and, if I recall correctly, the control panel gives a few options including whether the function keys are special or regular by default.
  14. tuareg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009

    Will the Apple Bootcamp driver and Bluetooth keyboard driver be enough?
    No need for a software for the 3rd-party adapter?
  15. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    That's all I have installed.

    I think windows already has a generic bluetooth driver, so there's probably no need to install one. The adapter should just be plug & play.

    Here are a couple of good links with respect to boot camp drivers, windows versions and supported machines.

    Make sure you download the proper version of bootcamp drivers that matches your Windows version. For instance, version 5 only supports 64-bit installations of Win7 & Win8. Version 4 supports 32 & 64-bit versions of XP, Vista and 7.
  16. sbpetrack, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013

    sbpetrack macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2013
    special purpose apple wireless keyboard utility -- but need to map just one key!!

    Perhaps this is well known, but I found the following utility while hunting around the Net:

    I found it to be extremely valuable in making the Apple Wireless Keyboard really "sing" when attached to my Win 7 PC.

    Among other things, this utility mapped Fn-backspace into Delete, so that I can finally send and alt-ctrl-delete from my Apple keyboard, by typing alt-ctrl-Fn-backspace. I see from this thread that others had this functionality without this utility, but I did not, and i sorely needed it.

    It does quite a few other things as well, including (for example) let you choose between the mac or PC versions of Fn-key functionality.

    Edit: I also just found the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator: --
    which looks like it will solve the remaining key remapping problems I have.

    hope this helps
  17. thelightkeeper macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2014
    How to use Apple wireless keyboard on PC

    I found out the way and blog about it:

    The key is to use the correct drivers:

    1.Download latest Bootcamp drivers (as of now it is v5.0.5033 from
    2.Extract the file, then open folder \BootCamp5.0.5033\BootCamp\Drivers\Apple
    Run BootCamp.msi (do NOT run setup.exe as it will say it is unsupported on this computer model)
    3.Wait for the driver installation finish, then restart your PC.
    4.On next bootup, run Bootcamp (surprisingly you can !!!), go to Keyboard and choose whether you want F1,F2,etc as standard keyboard function. For more info, check the Apple Wireless Keyboard keyboard mapping in Windows kb

    That's it. No need extra software, just latest drivers from Apple.
  18. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    What about the BT issue ? What spec/make of BT dongle did you use ?
  19. thelightkeeper macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2014

    I have a Broadcom Bluetooth 2.1 dongle.
  20. pschauer12 macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2015
    Question for everyone- I'm trying to use my Magic Mouse and Apple Keyboard with Windows 7. I'm able to connect both devices via Bluetooth (and I know it's working because I'm able to type in the code to connect the wireless keyboard to the computer), but once connected, the devices blink as if they're not paired, and they don't work.. Any suggestions?

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