Enable Windows Ink Workspace Without a Stylus in Windows 10

Don’t let lack of a touchscreen deter you from using Windows 10’s inking features. Check out this tip!

In Windows 10, Microsoft introduced many inking capabilities throughout the operating system.  These tools have a home in the Windows Ink Workspace, a centralized location for settings, apps, and features that take advantage of stylus peripherals included with tablet devices such as the Microsoft Surface Pro.

Of course, if you’re a Windows 10 user who doesn’t have a stylus (or even a touchscreen), you might feel a little left out. But now, you don’t have to.

Enable Windows Ink Workspace in Windows 10 without a Stylus or Touchscreen

If Windows 10 doesn’t detect touch support, you won’t see the Windows Ink Tools in the notification area. Not to worry, all you need to do is right-click the taskbar, select “Show Windows Ink Workspace button,” then click it. That’s it.

The Windows Ink Workspace button will appear in the notification area, where you can access features such as Sticky Notes, Sketchpad, and Screen Sketch.

Okay, great, now what?

I must admit, using a mouse pointer instead of a pen is unsurprisingly awkward. There is just little control, especially if you are a novice. That being said, I have seen friends create works of art in Microsoft Paint, so I am sure there are many of you out there who could do just the same with tools available in Ink Workspace.

The Windows 10 Creators Update offers even more exciting features for users interested in inking. Be sure to check out our previous articles covering some of these features, including the new Ink Replay in Photos. Microsoft Paint 3D is also big on inking; our Paint 3D get started guide provides tips for learning the new features. The universal OneNote app also includes some excellent inking features you should check out too.

Let us know what you think in the comments. Do you find the Windows Ink Workspace useful without a stylus?



  1. Dean

    June 10, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Always Great Tips. Thanks again Andre!

    • Andre Da Costa

      June 10, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      You are welcome Dean!

  2. Coop

    June 10, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I have a tv for my Windows 10 desktop monitor, no touchscreen here. Is there a way to hookup my Android tablet to the desktop and then draw or write on it in Windows 10? Any other suggestions?? Thanks!

  3. Bill

    June 14, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Do you know of a way to pull up sticky notes from the keyboard?

  4. Charlene

    March 29, 2018 at 11:08 am

    To use Windows ink with ease, by a $15 mouse pen that works on a 2.4 ghz usb receiver. More expensive mouse pens will also have right/left click and scroll.

    • Judy E. Winslow

      March 22, 2021 at 1:24 am

      Thank you for saying this so simply & point blank. I’ve been searching to see just that but all the info I found was so involved & convoluted, going into software options & device choices, etc etc. It just confused me more. I’m gonna try buying a digital pen as my first try for text entry that’s quicker than my typing & more accurate than speech to text apps.

  5. Emmanuel

    July 20, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    When I activate the Windows Ink Workspace button all I have are “Whiteboard” and “Fullscreen Screen Snip”. What am I doing wrong. All I want is to draw simple shapes on the sticky notes.

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