I am trying to use an old keyboard from a laptop as a new set of keybindable keys for my desktop. I will worry about software side later what I need here is this: How can I use the keyboard from my laptop as a USB or bluetooth, etc. input to my desktop?

I have searched around and I see often that when people don't use software from a laptop to desktop (Which I cant do due to the laptop being broken and unreasonable to fix) and they actually have the same question as me, it doesn't get answered because people just say "it isn't worth it"

I know it isn't worth it, but I still want to do it. Is there any electrical wiring solution to my problem? Again, I want to connect the ribbon cable from my laptop's keyboard to my PC somehow as an input device.

  • \$\begingroup\$ hack an old USB PC keyboard ... remove the PC keyboard key matrix and wire in the laptop matrix .... you may not get keystrokes that match, but you could use it for "hotkey" input \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    May 2, 2020 at 21:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to EE.SE. Before anyone could answer your question, they would have to research the keyboard you have to figure out what sort of interface it currently offers. It would help out a lot if you could do that and include the information in your question. At that point people may be able to suggest ways to adapt it to bluetooth or USB. However, unless the keyboard already includes a USB interface or someone makes a USB adapter specifically for it, you are probably not going to be able to do what you want without some amount of software. \$\endgroup\$
    – ajb
    May 5, 2020 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


This is like asking how you would change the electrically wiring on an HDMI cable so it plugs into an PAL/NTSC television. In other words, it assumes everything is the same except the wires are swapped around. Obviously this is not the case. If you are really lucky the USB in your laptop keyboard is self-contained then you just run those signals out to a plug, but then it is just a keyboard like any other that you can buy for $20. Not some special rebindable one.

Besides, I think laptops almost always, if not always, have the keyboard USB controller on the motherboard such that the keyboard itself is just a dumb matrix keypad.

What you are asking for is a custom "laptop keyboard USB controller" which is not something that can be built without a firm knowledge of hardware and software. Buy one or build one from an open source project. Just make sure you find one that allows rebinding in the controller itself.

Frank Adam's Project:






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