I'm looking for a way to uncheck the selected check box/radio button/toggle button using the keyboard in Windows 7, preferably in XP and Vista as well. I know you can use the Space bar to toggle the state of the currently selected button, but is there a way to set a control to ticked or unticked without risk of toggling it if is is already in the desired state?

  • 1
    If they are in the desired state, why would you want to tick/untick?
    – Terry
    Aug 13, 2012 at 8:02
  • djerry certainly has a point. However, I don't believe there is a way to specifically "uncheck" (or "check") a checkbox/radio button regardless of its current state, unless the software provides this functionality (eg. a "select all" option perhaps)
    – MrWhite
    Aug 13, 2012 at 8:36
  • @djerry, I think what LodSfo is looking for is a way to ensure that the control is set to the desired state. Where spacebar always toggles, is there a way to initiate a "check" or "uncheck" command directly? I just submitted an edit to that effect to clarify it.
    – Nick
    Aug 16, 2012 at 18:03

3 Answers 3


Use the Tab key or the mouse to select the check box and then press space bar key

  • 1
    This worked in Windows 7.
    – Napolean
    Jun 20, 2015 at 7:32
  • 1
    Bonus: hold shift and press tab, you can select the previous check box.
    – RogUE
    Aug 13, 2015 at 12:46
  • -1, has nothing to do with the question. LodSfo already nows pressing space, so he will now how to reach it.
    – relascope
    Mar 10, 2016 at 23:44
  • Works on Ubuntu as well
    – Jjang
    Aug 11, 2020 at 20:10
  • +1, This works in Chromium web browser and Firefox as well. Jan 9, 2021 at 23:29

To check/uncheck a checkbox (tested in Windows 7):

+ to check
- to clear

  • 1
    Doesn't work for me on Google Chrome, version 43.0.2357.130 on Windows 7.
    – mabho
    Jul 12, 2015 at 23:29
  • not working on Windows XP, tested inside Virtualbox, using a notebook (also tested with activated numpad emulation)
    – relascope
    Mar 10, 2016 at 23:48

There is no way to control this for sure.

There are underlying controls that have default behaviors in Windows forms. Factors such as if these controls are a part of a control group will also have an affect on the outcome.

Also, there is no way to know how a developer handles certain events based on control selection and changes.

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