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Using a Wireless Apple Keyboard on a PC

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/14/2010

Many PC owners like the Mac keyboard's sleek looks so here are some simple steps to use it with a Windows 7 machine.

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    The Apple wireless keyboard has an almost cult-like following that is making inroads into the PC community. Its bare and rugged approach carries with it an air of sophistication unmatched in the keyboard market. The tactile feedback and low-level clicking of the keys are a welcome relief from the run of the mill computer keyboard. These are just a couple of reasons why computer users want to use the Apple wireless keyboard on Windows 7

    Many users like the Apple wireless keyboard for more practical reasons. For example, the keyboard doesn't have the crevices between the keys that harbor everything from sandwich crumbs to snot, meaning that the Apple keyboard is more sanitary and easier to keep clean than most.

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    Basic issues

    One of the nice things about the new Apple Macintosh computers is that they all support Windows in "Bootcamp" mode. This means that virtually all Apple devices (including the Magic Mouse) can run in the Windows environment, even on a PC. After all, Macs all have Intel architecture, so they are more like a PC than ever before. The new Apple wireless keyboard has a sleek, modern design that is the envy of PC owners everywhere. Fortunately, the keyboard can be used by Windows 7 users on a PC with just a little effort.

    Before you get used to the feel of the keys on Apple's metallic looking wireless keyboard, users have two issues to deal with: Bluetooth pairing and key mapping.

    Using the Apple wireless keyboard on Windows 7 requires a PC equipped with Bluetooth technology. Computers without built-in Bluetooth can usually be enabled using a variety of USB based Bluetooth dongles.

    While setting up an Apple wireless keyboard on Windows 7, some users encounter problems with the pairing. To address this, you can follow a simple registry procedure that almost always solves the pairing issue.

    Once you have your unofficial Apple wireless keyboard paired with your computer, you have most of the work done.

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    Unofficial Apple Wireless Keyboard Support

    Because some of the buttons on the Apple wireless keyboard are not natively supported by Windows 7, you can use an open source utility called Unofficial Apple Wireless Keyboard Support (UAWKS) that will allow you to get the most from your Apple wireless keyboard on Windows 7.

    After downloading and installing UAWKS, the program will run at startup and resides in the Windows system tray. A right click on UAWKS gives the user the opportunity to configure the unsupported keys on the keyboard and to map Windows, media, and volume control keys. With UAWKS users can also configure a <Control><-> key combination as a shortcut to the <Control><Shift><Tab> combination. Similarly, the utility allows users to use the Apple keys as control keys. There is also a Windows Vista mode that disables overlays.