How to Type Spanish Accents on Desktop or Mobile

Typing Spanish accents correctly (á, é, í, ó, ú and ñ) is essential if you’re serious about learning Spanish at a high level. Here we show you how on any device.

Typing Spanish accents correctly (á, é, í, ó, ú and ñ) is essential if you’re serious about learning Spanish at a high level. For example, a verb ending in -o has a completely different meaning from one ending in -ó, and it’s easy to mispronounce a word or verb due to ignorance or unfamiliarity with the placement of an accent, leading to your stressing the wrong syllable.

So here’s how you get those characters on any keyboard, both as quick fixes, and more permanent moves.

On mobile

Both Apple iOS and Android keyboards have accented characters hidden beneath the parent letters. Just hold the letter and a series of accented alternatives will appear. Be careful, the first option is not a Spanish accent. It’s a French “grave” accent. You want the one to the left, the “acute” in French, or simply “the accent” in Spanish.

It’s this easy to get an accented letter when using your mobile.

Temporarily

To quickly type Spanish accents if you’re on-the-go and don’t have time to configure your device, (or it’s not yours, a work PC for example) you can still get an accented letter.

On Windows PCs

Hold ALT and then type: 

  • 160 – á
  • 130 – é
  • 161 – í
  • 162 – ó
  • 163 – ú
  • 164 – ñ
  • 129 – ü

On Apple

Hold the option and E keys, followed by the letter involved.

Permanently

On Windows PCs

If you’re really serious, then you need to add a Spanish keyboard to your PC. 

Got to Settings > TIme and Language > Language

Select the variant of Spanish you want, then you can toggle between them by pressing Windows + SPACE.

When your keyboard is in Spanish mode, an accented character can be type by pressing ' (apostrophe) then the letter, while the ñ is now where the semicolon is on an English keyboard. The exception is the ü of, vergüenza, where you hold SHIFT + ' then u.

On Apple

On Apple, you can add a language from Apple > System Preferences > General > Language and Region. Read the full guide here.

Final Word

If you make these changes, be aware that the special characters are also placed differently on a Spanish keyboard, which takes some getting used to. If you really want to live or work in a Spanish speaking nation, it’s something worth doing. However, as we have found out to our collective, screaming frustration here at LinguaBuddy Towers, you should always check which language your keyboard is in before typing a password!

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