I once bought a laptop in the USA, because it was much cheaper than buying it at home in the UK. All well and good – I thought the power adapter was the only different thing but nope, the keyboard was different too! I wrote this article after getting stuck with the @ (at) symbol.
Being unable to type this character leads to much frustration, as it reduces your ability to communicate online — you can’t send emails (since all email addresses contain the character “@”) or tag friends on social media without it.
When using a UK keyboard, typing the @ (at) symbol differs slightly from the way you type it on a US keyboard.
Here’s how to type the @ (at) symbol on a UK keyboard:
- Hold SHIFT and press the apostrophe (‘) key.
- Press Alt + 64 or OPTION + 0040.
- Copy and paste the symbol.
Fortunately, there’s no need for advanced technical knowledge to type the @ (at) symbol on a UK keyboard, even if you’re unfamiliar with the current keyboard’s layout.
This article shows you the three ways to type the character on your keyboard — and if one way doesn’t work, just move on to the following method. Read on to learn more about typing the @ (at) symbol on a UK keyboard.
Covered in this Article:
1. Hold SHIFT and Press the Apostrophe (‘) Key
On PCs in the United States, manufacturers position the @ (at) symbol on the number 2 key. To type the character on these keyboards, users simply press SHIFT + 2.
PC keyboard layouts in the United Kingdom slightly differ. That’s because keyboards in the United States follow the American Standard (ANSI) keyboard layout, while the ones in the UK follow the ISO layout. (source: Digital Trends)
To type the @ (at) symbol on a UK keyboard, hold SHIFT + the apostrophe (‘) key. The apostrophe is located just to the left of the “#” symbol and to the right of the letter L. Unshifted, this key produces only the apostrophe.
On standard UK keyboards, the image of the @ (at) symbol doesn’t appear on the keyboard, but you can still use it by typing SHIFT + apostrophe. Extended UK keyboards are the same, although they may show the symbol directly on the keyboard with the apostrophe.
Typing @ on Mac UK Keyboards
Mac keyboard layouts generally remain the same across the United States and the United Kingdom. The primary difference is that some Mac keyboards in the UK don’t always feature the SHIFT key.
Instead, users must utilize the OPTION key for additional symbols. Type the @ (at) symbol on a UK Mac keyboard by pressing OPTION + 2.
American Keyboards With UK Formatting
Sometimes, you’ll come across an American keyboard set up with a UK keyboard input setting. If you attempt to type the @ (at) symbol using SHIFT + 2 on an American keyboard with the UK layout setting, you’d see double-quotation marks, not the @ (at) character.
To align with the layout on most UK keyboards, the UK keyboard input places the @ (at) symbol function in the apostrophe (‘) key. Therefore, when using UK keyboard inputs on an American keyboard, you’d have to type SHIFT + apostrophe/double-quotes to type the @ (at) symbol.
(source: Parsons Technology)
If these methods aren’t working, move on to method number two.
2. Press Alt + 64 or OPTION + 0040
Keyboards have limited space, so developers created Alt codes so users can type additional symbols without requiring a designated key. If you’re experiencing issues typing the @ (at) symbol using your standard keyboard keys, you can use an Alt code instead.
Press and hold Alt + 6 + 4 to render the @ (at) symbol. You don’t have to press 6 and 4 simultaneously. As long as you hold Alt while pressing the numbers in sequence, the symbol should appear on your screen. (source: Alt-Codes)
On Mac keyboards, you must use the OPTION key instead of Alt and a different number code. To type the @ (at) symbol on a Mac using Alt codes, press OPTION + 0 + 0 + 4 + 0.
3. Copy and Paste the Symbol
You can resort to using the copy-and-paste method until you’re able to figure out why you can’t type the @ (at) symbol using standard keyboard inputs. It’s not ideal, but it gets the job done in the meantime.
- Perform a web search for “at symbol keyboard.” or just use this article – it’s full of them!
- Locate a website featuring the text of the @ (at) symbol.
- Copy the symbol by highlighting it with your mouse cursor.
- Right-click and select “Copy,” or press CTRL+C (CMD+C on Mac).
- Place the cursor where you want the symbol to appear and click until you see the insertion point (the blinking line you see when typing or preparing to type).
- Right-click and select “Paste,” or press CTRL+V (CMD+V on Mac).
The symbol should appear on the screen.
Since the rise of the Internet, the @ (at) symbol has become an essential keyboard character. We use it primarily to communicate via social media and email, but some people also need it for accounting jobs (as an abbreviation for “at a rate of”).
Whether you’re in the United States using a UK keyboard or using a UK keyboard input on an American keyboard, typing the @ (at) symbol is pretty straightforward. Hope this helps!