Fixing MacBook Pro keyboard annoyances under Windows

This article was written when Boot Camp had limited device driver support and is now therefore out of date.

There are a few annoyances with the MacBook Pro keyboard when in use under Windows XP via Boot Camp. The lack of back lighting and the swapped WindowsAlt keys I can’t help with but the getting the Fn key operational, replacing Alt Gr and switching misplaced symbols I can.

The lack of Alt Gr for those people who need to use foreign characters or the Euro symbol can be solved by simply pressing Alt and Ctrl together instead.

Misplaced symbols (UK keyboards)

The UK keyboards don’t quite work as expected so I’ve put together a couple of key maps to solve the problems.

For the most part the keyboard act as a normal UK Windows keyboard, i.e. # is next to Enter and " are up on Shift2. One key however isn’t right and that’s </kbd> which should be next to Z but can be found up by 1.

MacBook Pro UK Windows Keymap solves this backslash problem and is recommended for experience Windows laptop touch-typists.

MacBook Pro UK Mac Keymap makes the keyboard operate as it is labelled and indeed how it operates in OS X. Experienced Mac users, non touch-typists or consistency seekers – this is the one for you. (Note that # is CtrlAlt3 as per OS X)

Installing these key maps

Download the above file and ensure you unpack the ZIP – you’ll get an error if you try and run the MSI from inside the ZIP as there is another file inside the i386 folder that it needs.

Once installed head into Control Panel > Regional and Language Options then go to the Language tab and press Details…

Click Add… and choose input language English (United Kingdom) and the appropriate keyboard layout of either United Kingdom (MacBook Windows) or United Kingdom (MacBook Mac).

Click OK then choose English (United Kingdom) – United Kingdom (MacBook … from the drop-down box under Default input language and finally hit OK!

Getting the Fn key to work

Input Remapper lets you remap various keys but most importantly comes preconfigured and with a driver to enable Fn on the MacBook while in Windows.

Volume, brightness, Eject, Num Lock, page up/down, home and end will work just as you’d expect.

Additionally FnBackspace will delete, FnEject will print screen, the odd key to the right of the Apple logo will provide context menu and pressing Fn while clicking the track pad will give you right mouse clicks so no need for Apple Mouse.

Have fun!


9 responses

  1. Avatar for TobyB

    Great tips - thanks!

    TobyB August 13, 2006
  2. Avatar for Ish

    Many thanks for the fix. How can I get the F7 ket to work - connectiong tp a projector?

    Ish August 18, 2006
  3. Avatar for recumbentJ

    Sounds like just what I'm looking for, except... I'm getting a "Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)" error on both of the Keymap links :(

    recumbentJ September 20, 2006
  4. Avatar for recumbentJ

    Ah ha! Links good now.

    Tried it out on my iMac with a standard Apple Pro Keyboard to see how it would fare...

    Couple of minor hiccups: The keys left of 1 and Z seem to be transposed. And the = key on the keypad seems to be sending a carriage return.

    Apart from that, its all good!

    Many thanks, J.

    recumbentJ September 21, 2006
  5. Avatar for recumbentJ

    Oh, one onther thing not mentioned in your post in case people trying this have probs... I had to do a reboot after setting the new keymap to get it to work.

    recumbentJ September 21, 2006
  6. Avatar for Damien Guard

    This is because my Keymap was made before Apple release their key remapper.

    As such my keymap switches them round and then so does the Apple utility. So they end up back where they started - i.e. wrong.

    Damien Guard September 21, 2006
  7. Avatar for Scouser

    Hi there, I read your blog with great interest as I have just got myself a macbook pro with Parallels on it and the keyboard is driving me crazy. However the link to your file does not work. Is there any small chance of you fixing this?

    Best Scouser

    Scouser November 26, 2008
  8. Avatar for Damien Guard

    Sorry, I don't even have these files any more - it was a long time ago.

    Damien Guard November 26, 2008
  9. Avatar for okta

    This is Interesting.. But after checkiing i have seen that not all keys are maped (like for example RIGHT-MOUSE-MENU-KEY) witch is verry imprtant for keyboard navigation witout mouse.. Also even when most keys are maped somhow they are not where you would like them to be and you have to use very complicated combinations witch makes navigation harder as usual.


    Small App called MapKeyboard

    Here is the Link -->

    I'm shure that this will be a greate help for everybody withe this Problem !!!

    After remaping my Keys in Bootcamp i have everything wehere i want it to be :)

    Put DEL --> F12 Print screen --> F11 RightMouseMenu --> small Enter (between right Apple and Left Arrow Key) AltGr --> Right Apple

    and switch

    Left Apple with Left Alt

    This is almost the usual Windows Keyset exept the F-Keys But of course every one can find his way and Keymap !!!

    I hope that not everybody will have to search for a solution as long as i did...

    Have FUNN !!!! By

    okta July 6, 2009