How Many Keys Are on a Keyboard: A Comprehensive Guide

full size keyboards

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re curious about how many keys are on a keyboard. You might be surprised to know that the answer is not as simple as you might think. Depending on the type of keyboard, the number of keys can vary significantly. In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the various types of keyboards & layouts and discuss how many keys each type has.

Table of Contents

Standard Keyboard Layout

The standard keyboard layout is the most common type of keyboard, and it is usually for desktop computers and laptops. It consists of 104 keys, arranged in the QWERTY layout. This includes the alphabet keys, numeric keys, function keys, arrow keys, and various other keys, including the shift, control, and alt keys. The QWERTY layout was designed to prevent typewriter keys from jamming. And it has been used for computer keyboards ever since.

Anatomy of a Keyboard

Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards are popular among gamers and professionals who type for extended periods. They’re tactile feedback and durability, making them a popular choice for those who want a high-quality typing experience. Mechanical keyboards come in several layouts, including the tenkeyless (TKL), 75% layouts, and so on. These layouts have fewer keys than the standard layout but are more compact and efficient for use.

Tenkeyless Layout

The tenkeyless layout, also known as the 87-key layout, is a compact version of the standard layout. As the name suggests, it excludes the ten-key numeric keypad on the right side of the keyboard. This layout is popular among gamers who need more desk space for their mouse and want a more ergonomic keyboard.

75% Layout

The 75% layout is a further reduction of the standard layout, with only 84 keys. It eliminates the numeric keypad and the function row, moving the keys to different positions on the keyboard. This layout is popular among programmers and designers who need a compact yet efficient keyboard for their work.

75% keyboard layout

65% Layout

The 65% keyboard is a compact version of the standard keyboard layout that’s even more minimalist. Trimming in shape to reduce its size, making it ideal for those who want an easy-to-carry-around compact keyboard. The 65% keyboard has 68 keys in total. It features directional keys, numerical keys, and control keys located above the alphabetical keys. With this keyboard, you can focus entirely on typing without the extra keys cluttering up your workspace.

60% Layout

The 60% layout is a further reduction of the standard layout. It is only 60% of the keys found on a standard keyboard. It eliminates the numeric keypad, function row, and all keys located to the right of the enter key. This layout is popular among enthusiasts who want a more compact and minimalist keyboard. The 60% layout is also ideal for those who are always on the go and need a portable keyboard. You can check our complete guide of 60% keyboard to know more.

40% Layout

The 40% keyboard layout is the smallest and most compact keyboard layout available. It has a maximum of 50 keys and it is offering superior portability compared to other keyboard types. Despite its small size, the 40% keyboard can also work for typing. Because it includes all the alphabetical keys and control keys. However, the directional and numeric keys that people commonly use are not present in this layout. These keyboards are relatively inexpensive, but they are niche products that can only be used for specific purposes.

Ergonomic Keyboard

Ergonomic keyboards are designed to reduce strain on the hands and wrists, with keys arranged in a curved or angled shape.


The Dvorak keyboard layout is an alternative to the QWERTY layout, designed to be more efficient and ergonomic. It rearranges the keys so that the most commonly used letters are in the middle row. This design makes it typing faster and more comfortable.


In conclusion, the number of keys on a keyboard depends on the type of keyboard and its layout. As a keyboard enthusiast, it’s essential to find the right keyboard that suits your needs and preferences. Hopefully, this comprehensive guide has helped you understand how many keys are on a keyboard and the different types of keyboard layouts available. For more keyboard info, you can check our keyboard category.