Keyboard layout sync for Microsoft account

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Symptoms

  1. After installing Windows 10/8.1/8 in express mode, list of active keyboard layouts in Windows is the same as in Mac OS X. But after logging in with Microsoft account, some of keyboard layouts disappeared, or new layout appeared.

  2. Same Microsoft account is used both with Parallels Desktop virtual machine, and physical PC. New keyboard layout added in the virtual machine also appears on the PC.

Cause

By default, Windows synchronizes personal settings between all devices using the same Microsoft account, including keyboard layouts.

Resolution

Disable synchronization of Language preferences in Microsoft Account Settings:

How to disable synchronization of Language preferences in Windows 10:

How to disable synchronization of Language preferences in Windows 8/8.1:

For more information see: https://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/sync-settings-pcs

NOTE: Some keys on Apple and PC keyboards are placed differently. Parallels Desktop sets appropriate keyboard layouts during express Windows installation. These layouts will be mostly the same as in Mac OS X. You login with local account at the first time. When you login with Microsoft Account, Windows changes active keyboard layout list with one that is saved in Microsoft Account. All personal settings are synchronized by default. It is possible that some keyboard layouts will be removed and other added. This list will remain even if you login with local account later. You can disable Language preferences synchronization to be sure that keyboard layout list will stay unchanged.

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