Enable Num Lock on startup or reboot in Windows 10/8/7

A relatively common issue being faced by some Windows users, is finding that their Numeral Lock key or Num Lock is not enabled, is turned off or inactive on startup or reboot in Windows 7, Windows 8.1/8 or Windows 10. I researched about this issue a bit and found these two possible solutions for the problem. One is a registry fix which may work in Windows 10/8/7 and the other is by disabling Fast Startup in Windows 10/8.

Num Lock not working on startup

For those who do not know what Fast Startup is, here is a little description. The feature is called Hybrid Shutdown.  Windows 8/10 does this by shutting down, as far as closing the user sessions – but at that point, instead of continuing and ending system services, and shutting down Session 0, Windows then hibernates. This is called Hybrid Shutdown. How this works is that, Windows sends out a message to running applications, giving them a chance to save data and settings. Applications can also request a little extra time to finish what they’re doing. Then Windows closes the user sessions for each logged-on user, and then it Hibernates the Windows session.  Here is a little pictorial explanation.

0640.Relative-time-needed-for-different-phases-of-startup_3FCAB3EF

I’m not sure how disabling Fast Startup affects Num Lock, but on systems facing this issue, disabling fast Startup did help.

Enable Num Lock on startup

Here are two ways you can do it.

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Disable Fast Startup, to enable Num Lock

  • Press Win + X and click on Control Panel
  • Click on Power Plan
  • Now click on Choose what the power buttons do on the left side panel

Enable Num Lock on startup

  • Now select Change settings that are currently unavailable

num lock not working on startup

  • Scroll down and uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended)

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That’s it. Now after shutting down and reboot your NumLock should retain the last configuration.

Enable Num Lock on startup using registry tweak

The second method is to alter the registry settings and so, Windows 7 and Windows 8 users can try this. I would strongly recommended taking a backup of the registry and/or create a system restore point first. Having done that, follow these steps:

  • Press Win + R and type in Regedit
  • Navigate to registry key HKEY_USERS\Default\Control Panel\Keyboard
  • Right click on the “InitialKeyboardIndicators”, select Modify and change Value data to 2.
  • Exit Registry.

Note: If you see the default value data as 2147483648; that is fine too and is the default on most installations.

I hope you find this helpful.

UPDATE: Please also read Ken’s and Joseph’s comments below.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.