Running VirtualBox on a Windows 8.1 Surface host, I am running a Windows XP guest with guest additions installed.

When I have my Virtual Box machine in windowed mode I can tap the touch keyboard icon in my Windows 8 task bar to pull up the keyboard.

Is there any way I can pull up the keyboard as needed while in full screen mode where the Windows 8 task bar is of course hidden? Can I trigger a host program using the host key? I’m new to VirtualBox and not sure how to go about this.

  • by hotkey I mean shortcut key or key combination – chiliNUT Dec 8 '14 at 4:10

Guess what, next to impossible.

The way the modern/metro touch keyboard is implemented does not allow applications to explicitly show it. It's true, I'm not making this up:


Additionally, when you're in full-screen mode, overlaying something like an on-screen keyboard from the host will almost certainly cause problems:

Many desktop games will be written using full-screen exclusive mode. This presents a problem when using the built-in keyboards, because either the invoked keyboard will be hidden, or raising the keyboard will force the game out of full-screen mode. https://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2013/06/11/touch-keyboard-access-for-windows-8-desktop-apps

I know the above article talks about games but the concept is the same, exclusive full-screen desktop apps don't like sharing the display (or more accurately, they can't).

Anyway, in the end, you might as well just use the On-Screen Keyboard provided within the Windows XP guest itself:

Find the On-Screen Keyboard in the Start Menu

On-Screen Keyboard

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