Did your Android phone keyboard go missing, and do you need it back? Typing on a virtual keyboard is an essential part of using an Android phone, so we understand the concern. The fact it doesn’t appear anymore can interrupt an important conversation, stop you from browsing the Internet, or even access the password or PIN-locked smartphone. Therefore, you must get the functionality back. Luckily, there are several ways to reset its position, even if you must start the device again. Also, you can install a different keyboard as a temporary or permanent replacement. Now, here’s how to restore a keyboard on an Android phone.
1. Restart your Android device
The quickest method to restore your Android smartphone’s keyboard is to restart the device. You can reset your Android smart device by long pressing the Power button and selecting Restart if the device doesn’t power off automatically. Some devices, such as LG, Samsung, and HTC, allow you to press the Volume Down and Power buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. Once your smartphone reboots, you should see the keyboard on the PIN/password screen if they are enabled. If not, enter the Messaging app or a browser and tap the text field to check whether you can type.
2. Activate the Gboard Android keyboard
First, we have to ask whether you’re using Gboard, i.e., Google’s default virtual keyboard, or a custom one. If you are, there’s a chance an update may have erased it from the keyboard list or disabled it. If you are not, the custom one may have malfunctioned or is incompatible with your device or the operating system. In both cases, you would benefit from enabling Gboard at least temporarily.
1. If any virtual keyboard still appears
If you can see any keyboard pop-up, even if you can’t type, you may try this:
- Open any application that lets you enter something, preferably tied to a Google service such as Gmail, Google Keep, or Google Drive folders.
- Tap to edit or type some text.
- When the keyboard appears, find the Globe icon at the bottom.
- Select Gboard from the list of keyboards.
- See if you enter the text as usual after switching to Gboard.
2. When the keyboard is missing or can’t choose the desired keyboard
There are many reasons a keyboard could be missing when you try to enter text. For instance, an automatic Google Play update of the installed application may have stopped halfway, or an update of the custom keyboard is no longer compatible. Even if that’s not your final keyboard choice, we suggest enabling Gboard to restore the typing function. Follow these steps to restore the chosen Android virtual keyboard:
- Tap the Settings app on your Android phone home screen.
- Find the System option, usually at the bottom.
- Select the Languages and input option. It may be independent of the System menu option on some Android devices.
- Find and choose the Virtual keyboard option. May also be named On-screen keyboard or simply Keyboard.
- Go to Manage keyboards.
- Enable Gboard on the list. See if you can now type by entering an application with a text field. If you’re fine with this choice, congratulations. Otherwise, go through steps 1 through 5 and enable your custom virtual keyboard.
- Note. Make sure the Show Keyboard button option is toggled for quick switching between keyboards.
3. Reset your settings to restore the keyboard on an Android phone
Another way to recover the default keyboard functionality is to reset all keyboard settings this way:
- Open Settings again.
- Find System → Languages and input → Virtual keyboard again. If that’s unavailable, see if there’s a Personal or General management menu option that contains the Language and Input option. On older phones, there may be a Keyboard app and input option.
- Find the Default keyboard option (may have to tap Manage keyboards or something else) and note the one currently in use.
- Find Settings and tap Reset settings inside. On some phones, Reset settings are in the main menu.
- Tap on Reset keyboard settings.
- Confirm by selecting Reset.
4. Update the Android keyboard and the operating system
Another common cause of the missing keyboard is an updated Gboard or other keyboard and a lagging operating system version or vice versa. Although applications should update automatically, you can do this:
- Go to the Google Play Store app.
- Tap your profile in the upper right corner.
- Pick the Manage apps & device option.
- Find your keyboard on the list and tap the Update available → Update option.
You can also update your operating system by going to Settings, then selecting About phone → Android version. You can now go to Settings → System update → follow on-screen instructions to update. Furthermore, you can go to Settings → Security → Google Security checkup / Google Play system update.
5. Restore the keyboard on your Android phone via clear data or force stop
If everything seems in order, yet the keyboard refuses to appear, there’s a chance of a bug in the code or that the keyboard is frozen and hanging in the background. After all, it’s an application like any other. Therefore, you may do the following to force stop or clear the cache for the Android keyboard application:
- Go to Settings.
- Find the Apps option, which may also be named Apps & notifications.
- Expand the list by tapping on All apps.
- Find the keyboard application and select it.
- Go to Storage.
- Now, choose to Force stop to kill the application, then Force start to launch it again. Otherwise, tap the Clear data or Clear cache option to remove app data.
- Open anything with a text input field to see if the keyboard appears.
6. Turn off gestures on your Android device
Many users complain that Android gestures cause their keyboards not to appear. While that is the correct behavior when used correctly, it can be inconvenient. Therefore, you can go disable gestures on Android by:
- Opening the Settings application.
- Going to System.
- Finding and selecting the Gestures option.
- Turning off gestures that you are not using or them all.
7. Download a different virtual keyboard on an Android phone
Whether you need a solution to get you through hard times or a permanent fix, you can also download many third-party keyboards, for instance, the Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard this way:
- Open Google Play and search for “swiftkey”.
- Open the aforementioned application and tap install.
- You will be asked to make it the default keyboard upon launch. Toggle the option on.
- Otherwise, follow steps 1-5 in method 2, sub-method 2, and enable it there.