HHKB Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for:

  • HHKB Professional Classic
  • HHKB Professional Hybrid
  • HHKB Professional Hybrid Type-S

General HHKB Pro FAQ

What makes HHKB keyboards different than other keyboards?

The HHKB was designed for programmers by programmers to provide a unique keying experience and to reduce hand and finger fatigue. Unique characteristics include:

  • Electrostatic Capacitive Switches – High-quality switches provide silky smooth key press and appealing sound, with a lifespan of up to 50 million presses
  • Compact Size – 60 keys. 40% smaller than standard keyboards. Perfect for a mobile workforce and minimalist style
  • Intelligent Key Layout – Designed by programmers for programmers to improve speed, accuracy and to reduce hand and finger fatigue - hands never need to leave the home row.
  • High-Quality Frame and Keys – Keys are made of top quality PBT texturized to stay dry and resist shine. Permanent sublimation dye symbols won’t fade.
    • Charcoal model: frame (ABS), key (PBT)
    • White model: frame (AES), key (PBT)
  • Customizable – DIP Switch for customized user experience, adjustable feet in three different heights, options of printed or blank keycaps

What’s different about the new HHKB Professional models versus the HHKB Professional 2 models?

The new HHKB models include new features and enhancements that provide a modern keying experience.

  • HHKB Professional Classic models now have the space bar made of high quality PBT and maintains all of the standard HHKB features fans know and love.
  • HHKB Professional HYBRID and HYBRID Type-S models include:
    • Pairing with Fn keys
    • Full keymap customization software
    • 2 ways to connect; USB Type-C and Bluetooth
    • Connect up to 4 devices via Bluetooth; PC, tablet, smartphone

How can I find out all of the functions of the HHKB?

Please refer to the User Manual to learn all of the DIP Switch settings, functions and ways you can personalize your keyboard. You can also learn more in the User Manual.

What Operating Systems are supported?

  • HHKB Professional Classic

Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.12 or later

  • HHKB Professional Hybrid

USB connection: Windows 7/8.1 or later, macOS 10.12 or later

Bluetooth connection: Windows 8.1 or later, macOS 10.14 or later, Android 4.4 or later, iOS 11.4 or later, iPadOS 13.0 or later

  • HHKB Professional Hybrid Type-S

USB connection: Windows 7/8.1 or later, macOS 10.12 or later

Bluetooth connection: Windows 8.1 or later, macOS 10.14 or later, Android 4.4 or later, iOS 11.4 or later, iPadOS 13.0 or later

Why does the new HHKB use AA batteries instead of a rechargeable battery?

We decided not to use the built-in rechargeable battery but to use AA batteries due to the convenience and availability of AA batteries in the U.S. market. If the batteries burn out, users can continue to use their keyboard through the USB connector without disruption.

What is the approximate operating time based on battery life?

The following is NOT a guaranteed value but as reference value:

  1. When DIP SW6 = OFF
    1. Size AA alkaline dry battery: 3 months
    2. Size AA nickel hydride secondary battery: 2.6 months
  2. When DIP SW6 = ON
    1. Size AA alkaline dry battery: 1.7 months
    2. Size AA nickel hydride secondary battery: 1.3 months

Compared to the Bluetooth models, by reducing the power consumption during typing, even for heavy users, you can maintain a relatively longer battery life.

How can I save power when using the HHKB keyboards?

Users can choose to save power through the DIP Switch settings.

  • DIP SW6 is off and is also the default
  • When DIP SW6 is OFF (power saving enabled), and the keyboard has not been used for 30 minutes, it will turn off automatically
  • When DIP SW6 is ON (power saving disabled), the power will remain on

What is the difference between Bluetooth 3.0 and Bluetooth 4.2LE?

The 4.2LE communicates differently with the device and also uses less energy.

What type of USB cable is required?

USB 2.0 (Type-C) or higher.

Do the new HHKB keyboards support USB-HUB?

No, neither HYBRID models nor classic models accept USB Hub.

Can users switch from Bluetooth back to USB?

Yes, the USB connection is the default connection. However, if a user is connected through Bluetooth but wants to switch to USB instead, they can press Fn + Ctrl + 0 at the same time. This will switch to the USB connection.

How many devices can new HHKB HYBRID keyboards connect to?

Multi-pairing settings with a Bluetooth connection can be available with a simple key operation in the HYBRID and HYBRID Type-S models. Up to four devices can be assigned and registered. Users can easily switch devices with a single operation.

How do users switch between devices?

Users can switch to different devices by using key functions. Please refer to the User Manual.

How can users update the firmware?

  • For the HYBRID and HYBRID Type-S models, the firmware is updated through the HHKB Keymap Tool.
  • For classic models, users will need to download the HHKB Keyboard Tool and click “Update the Firmware”

How long does it take to update the firmware?

Updating the firmware takes about 3-5 minutes.

Is the HHKB Keymap Tool available for the Classic models?

No. The tool is only available for the HYBRID Type-S and HYBRID models.

Can the Keymap Tool be used while connected through Bluetooth?

No, the Keymap Tool can only be used while using USB connection.

HHKB Pro Support FAQ

What happens if something goes wrong with my HHKB?

If you’re having trouble with your HHKB, please contact our Technical Support at (800) 626-4686, Mon - Fri, 5am - 5pm (PST).

What kind of warranty does the HHKB come with?

The HHKB comes with a 2-year certified U.S. manufacturer’s warranty. You can register your keyboard here.

Who manufactures the HHKB?

HHKB is a PFU Limited brand manufactured by Topre, Inc. PFU Limited the parent company of PFU America, Inc. (PAI). PAI is the sole authorized seller of the HHKB in the U.S.

What do I do if I need a replacement part?

If you need to replace a part for your HHKB, such as a key cap or USB cord, please contact our Technical Support at (800) 626-4686, Mon - Fri, 5am - 5pm (PST).

HHKB Pro Troubleshooting FAQs

Does pressing Fn + Q disconnect me from my connected device?

No, Fn + Q enters the keyboard into pairing mode. In this state, if users press Fn + X, the pairing to a new device will be cancelled and connection returns to the last device.

What power supply is being used when the keyboard is plugged into the USB cord but also Bluetooth?

If a keyboard is connected with both the USB cord and Bluetooth, the default power supply will come from the USB connection.

Why does Bluetooth not work when the USB cable is plugged in and being used as the power supply (low battery)?

When the battery is low and the USB cable is utilized for power supply, the Bluetooth connection is temporarily disconnected due to switching of the internal circuit. However, after some time, once the USB connection has supplied sufficient charge for Bluetooth connection, Bluetooth will be reconnected.

Why am I not able to log in to macOS while using Bluetooth?

This can happen when FileVault is ON in the Security & Privacy settings under System Preferences of the Apple menu. In this case, log in with your Mac keyboard or connect the HHKB using the USB connection. Please note, you will need to restart and log in to your computer before being able to use HHKB in Bluetooth mode.

Why are my short cut keys invalid?

Please press the keys in the order: Fn -> Ctrl -> Number, etc. to use the combination of short cut keys.

How can users differentiate between the external DIP Switch located on the back of the HHKB and Happy Hacking Keyboard Keymap Tool software?

The keymap layout will be changed based on the DIP Switch settings method that was used to set it up; either external switches or using the software. If you change an external DIP Switch after you change the mapping using the Happy Hacking Keyboard Keymap Tool software, the keymap layout will be invalid, and will return to the original setting.

The HHKB does not work since the PC turns off while updating the firmware.

Please update the firmware and then restart.