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How can I make the Android emulator show the soft keyboard?

Posted by: admin March 11, 2020 Leave a comment


I’m debugging an issue with the soft keyboard display not displaying when it should. However, I don’t have a device handy for testing. The problem is that the emulator never shows the soft keyboard.

Some skins have a keyboard constantly displayed on the right, some don’t, but none that I’ve tried so far has ever shown a keyboard on the device screen.

Is there some setting that I missed?

How to&Answers:

I found out how to do this on the emulator itself. All you need to do is:

open settings app -> Language & Input -> Go to the “Keyboard & Input Methods -> click Default

This will bring up a Dialog in which case you can then disable the Hardware Keyboard by switching the hardware keyboard from on to off. This will disable the Hardware keyboard and enable the softkeyboard.


If you’re using AVD manager add a hardware property Keyboard support and set it to false.

That should disable the shown keyboard, and show the virtual one.


Here are the steps:

  • => Settings
  • => Language and Input
  • => Default
  • => Hardware Physical Keyboard
  • => off to turn on the On Screen Keyboard

Settings =>Language and Input

Select Default

Hardware Physical Keyboard => off


Settings > Language & input > Current keyboard > Hardware Switch ON.

This option worked.


Settings > Language & input > Current keyboard > Hardware Switch ON.

It allows you to use your physical keyboard for input while at the same time showing the soft keyboard.
I just tested it on Android Lollipop and it works.


To be more precise, with Lollipop these are the steps I followed to show soft keyboard:

  1. Settings > Language & Input;
  2. under “Keyboard & input methods” label, select “Current Keyboard”;
  3. A Dialog named “Change Keyboard” appears, switch ON “Hardware”, then select “Choose keyboards”;
  4. another Dialog appears, switch ON the “Sample Soft Keyboard”. Here you get an alert about the possibility that keyboard will store everything you write, also passwords. Give OK;
  5. Repeat above steps in order to show “Change Keyboard” Dialog again, here the new option “Sample Soft Keyboard” is available and you can select it.

NOTE: after that, you might experience problems in running you app (as I had). Simply restart the emulator.


  1. Edit your virtual device using AVD.
  2. Press the “show advance setting” button to show more option scroll
    down to the bottom and check “Enable keyboard input” press “finish” button
    at the bottom corner of your window
  3. then start the emulator device that you just set up.
  4. inside the emulator, go to the “Settings” -> “Language & Input”
  5. and in the “Keyboard & Input Methods” -> “Default” then “choose
    input method” is shown
  6. and switch off “Hardware Physical Keyboard” toggle button