So you’ve been pressing away on your keyboard, expecting to see writing on the screen, but all you’ve gotten so far are random letters. Worse, your laptop’s keyboard may be completely broken. Your computer is worthless if it does not have a functional keyboard. This is particularly problematic with laptops since you can’t just switch out the keyboard like you can with a desktop PC.
If your laptop keyboard has stopped functioning, here are a few tips to get it operating again.
8 Hacks to Try if Your Laptop Keyboard Has Stopped Working
A laptop keyboard may cease operating for a number of reasons. Whatever the reason, we’ve got your back. Follow one of the hacks listed below to get your keyboard operating again in no time.
1. Reboot Your Computer
When you have a problem with your computer, the most typical piece of advise is to do a system reboot. There are no surprises here, since a reboot restores your computer to a clean condition devoid of problems. So go ahead and restart your computer—a short reboot should restore normalcy.
2. Verify if the Problem Is Caused by Hardware or Software
There are two possibilities for why your keyboard is stuck: either your hardware has failed or there are faults in your software.
First, reboot your computer and enter the BIOS or UEFI. In older Windows systems, you enter into BIOS by pressing F1, F2, Esc, Del, or otherwise. However, on the newer machines, i.e., systems manufactured in the last few years, you’ll have to use a different method as the booting speed is too fast, making entering BIOS difficult—especially if you have Windows 10 fast boot enabled.
When dealing with newer machines:
- Go to the Start menu search box, type’settings,’ and then choose the best batch.
- Select Update & Security > Recovery from the Settings menu.
- Now, under the Advanced starting menu, choose Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware Settings (if you don’t see this option, click Startup Settings).
If you’re using Windows 11, the process of restarting as laid above will be only slightly different. Instead of ‘Update & Security,’ select System > Recovery. From there, click on Restart now.
When the PC restarts, press F1 (or F2) to access the BIOS. Click Restart when you are ready. Your system will open in BIOS or UEFI. Whichever method you followed, if your system successfully opened the BIOS or UEFI settings, your computer’s hardware is probably fine.
3. Update or Uninstall the Laptop Keyboard Driver
Another way to deal with a laptop keyboard that won’t work is to update the driver. Here’s how.
- Enter ‘device management’ in the Start menu search field and choose the best result.
- Look through the list of devices until you find Keyboards. Once you’ve located it, click on it to expand the menu.
- Select Properties > Driver from the right-click menu of the keyboard device.
Click Update Driver and wait for Windows to discover and install a new driver. With any hope, the keyboard should now operate with a word processor or the Windows Notepad program.
If it doesn’t work, try uninstalling the drivers. Once in Device Manager, look for the keyboard driver. If you notice a yellow exclamation mark, you have a driver issue. Even if you don’t, a reinstallation is still a smart idea.
- Select Properties by right-clicking on the keyboard driver.
- Select Uninstall device from the Driver tab.
Now restart your computer, and Windows will automatically download and install the updated driver for you. If driver corruption was the root cause of the keyboard crash, reinstalling the drivers should resolve the issue.
4. Laptop Keyboard Not Working? Clean It!
Cleaning a normal keyboard is difficult; cleaning a laptop keyboard is significantly more difficult. To dislodge dirt off keyboards, some physical engagement is required. While this is normally straightforward with a USB or wireless keyboard, the situation is different with a laptop.
Essentially, you cannot shake or touch the back of a laptop without causing harm to the whole item.
However, dust and dirt may be removed from a laptop keyboard by first shutting it down, then flipping it upside down and lightly pressing on the base. Then, while the iPhone is upside down, rub your fingertips over all of the keys.
When you’re finished, be sure to pick up any fallen dirt off the table. If there is filth that cannot be removed, you may use a can of compressed air or keyboard cleaning putty at this stage.
Cleaning cannot fix deep-seated problems, but it may assist if dirt is preventing one or more keys from operating correctly. See our entire guide on cleaning your keyboard for a more extensive method.
5. Replace a Faulty Laptop Keyboard
If the keyboard is physically broken or has been separated from the motherboard—possibly as a result of a shock—you’ll need to set aside some time to remove the component from your laptop and either reset the connection or replace the keyboard entirely.
Because various manufacturers create their computers in different ways, it’s impossible to prescribe a single solution.
Opening several computers from the same brand, on the other hand, is typically the same. This greatly simplifies keyboard changing (or just reseating the cable connection).
Note that laptop keyboards are normally sealed pieces, so although you may be able to clean them better when they’re removed from the laptop, you won’t be able to readily inspect the inside workings.
You may verify the serial number of a keyboard after it has been removed. Enter this into the eBay search box to discover whether it’s for sale. They normally are, but purchasing a new laptop keyboard might be costly.
6. What if a Specific Keyboard Key Doesn’t Work?
Having trouble with the “@” key? Can’t get Shift to work?
If you’re experiencing trouble with just a few keyboard keys, it might be because of your language settings. This is the first item to examine once you’ve determined that the issue isn’t hardware.
Open a text editor and hit the relevant key. Is there any result? If it’s the incorrect symbol, the issue is very probably due to language settings. Depending on how characters are utilized, various areas employ different keyboard layouts.
You must change your regional settings to match your keyboard.
- In Windows 10, tap Windows Key + I and then pick Time & Language > Language.
- Select Add a language and choose the appropriate keyboard choice.
- Click Next > Install and wait for the language to be installed. Select the new language from the Language dropdown option in the Region & language screen.
Recheck your keyboard input; the right characters should now appear on the screen.
7. Check the Keyboard Settings
You may simply notice a slowness in your keyboard. This may happen for a variety of reasons, but it most often occurs after installing a new software on your PC.
- In the Start menu search box, type ease of access, and then choose Ease of Access keyboard settings.
- Check to see whether the Use Filter keys are enabled. Whether it is, turn it off and check if the issue still exists.
8. Run an SFC Scan
SFC is a free utility that may assist you in repairing corruption problems in Windows system files. To see whether this is causing the keyboard slowness (and if so, how to solve it):
- Enter ‘cmd’ in the Start menu search box and choose Run as administrator.
- Once on the Command Prompt, type’sfc /scannow’ and press Enter.
SFC will check all of your system files for corruption in a matter of seconds. It will then attempt to address any errors found in your files. After the scan is finished, you must restart the computer for the adjustments to take effect.
Can You Fix a Defective Laptop Keyboard?
Hopefully, one of these options will work to repair your laptop keyboard. But don’t give up if they don’t. If your laptop is still under warranty or you know of a good repair shop, you should be able to have it fixed quickly.
Meanwhile, a Bluetooth or USB keyboard may be used as a temporary replacement, or you can utilize the Windows 10 on-screen keyboard.
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