Laptops are useful portable tools, but their all-in-one design may pose problems when something goes wrong. This is especially true if your keyboard isn’t working properly. There are a few things you may do to get it back up and running; some are simple, while others are a little more involved.
In any event, you can usually cure your laptop keyboard problems; it’s only a matter of how soon and whether you’ll have to pay to get the job done. It might be a hardware issue, however, we have some suggestions to determine if it is anything less serious.
What to do if your laptop keyboard isn’t working
If your laptop keyboard is not working, you’re not completely out of luck. Before taking your Windows laptop or Apple MacBook to a repair shop or contacting customer service, run through this troubleshooting checklist to see if you can solve the problem on your own. Quite often, yes.
- If your laptop keyboard is not working properly, there are several things you can check to troubleshoot.
- See if restarting your laptop solves the problem, and thoroughly clean the keyboard.
- You can also check to see if your keyboard driver and layout settings need to be changed.
Because there are so many possible reasons, many computer or laptop problems are difficult to diagnose. It’s not always clear if an issue is caused by hardware or software. Such is the situation with a faulty laptop keyboard – a variety of hardware and software faults can cause a laptop keyboard to operate intermittently or not at all.
What to do if your laptop keyboard isn’t working
You’re not entirely out of luck if your laptop keyboard is not working. Before you take your Windows laptop or Apple MacBook to a repair shop or contact customer care, go through this checklist of troubleshooting steps to see if you can solve the problem on your own. Quite often, you can.
Restart the laptop
When you have a computer problem that is substantial enough to prohibit you from functioning, the first thing you should do is to restart the computer – turn it off and then back on again. This clears the computer’s memory and restarts all of your software, drivers, and utilities, which may be sufficient to get your laptop operating again.
So, before proceeding, restart your Windows or Mac computer. This doesn’t even require the use of a keyboard.
Clean the keyboard
Sometimes, what at first seems like a serious hardware error is a fairly mundane problem. If only some of your keys aren’t working properly, for example, there could be dirt and debris under the keys, keeping them from working properly.
To check if it’s simply a matter of dirt under the keys, start with a small brush or microfiber cloth and wipe the keys, trying to extract any debris that might have gotten caught under or between the keycaps. You should also dab a cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently but thoroughly wipe away any dried liquids or stuck-on dirt. For the most thorough cleaning, blast a can of compressed air into the gaps between keys. See our guide on cleaning keyboards for further information.
Check for malware or viruses
Malware and viruses may have a variety of effects on your computer or laptop, one of which is reducing your keyboard’s performance. It’s difficult to remove spyware or viruses on your own, but there are lots of wonderful tools available to assist you.
Popular apps to handle malware and viruses
Alternatively, you can use Windows Security, Microsoft’s native antivirus tool.
Check your keyboard layout settings
Is your keyboard not working properly? Let’s go through the settings once more. If your keyboard works but you’re typing different characters, you could be using a different keyboard layout. Let us return to English (or whichever language layout your keyboard uses.)
How to Change the Language Layout on Your Keyboard
- Select the Windows option.
- Locate and launch the Settings app.
- Enter Time & Language
- Locate your language under Preferred languages. Click the three-dot menu button to the right of it.
- Choose Language choices.
Go to the Keyboards section and make sure you’ve installed the native language layout for your keyboard.
Reseat Bad Connections
When the keyboard loses contact with the laptop’s motherboard, you’re left with a keyboard that functions infrequently or not at all. Removing the outer shell and reconnecting the ribbon wire on the bottom of the keyboard should be simple if you’re an IT specialist.
If not, go to the website of your laptop maker to find out how to disassemble it so you can rejoin that ribbon cable. If you don’t feel comfortable dismantling your laptop, take it to a service center where an expert can examine it.
See if it’s a hardware issue
If the problem persists after you’ve tried the most basic fixes, you should look into whether it’s a hardware issue with the keyboard or a software issue with Windows. The simplest way to find out is to test the keyboard in a pre-boot environment. If the keyboard works properly before Windows starts, you may concentrate on software solutions. Otherwise, you should get the laptop serviced as soon as possible.
1. Click Start and then Settings.
2. In the Settings search box, type “Recovery,” and then choose Recovery options in the search results.
3. In the Advanced startup section, choose Restart now.
Reboot your laptop using Advanced startup settings and then boot to a command prompt to see if the laptop works without Windows.
4. After the computer reboots, on the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.
5. On the Troubleshoot screen, choose Advanced options.
6. Finally, on the Advanced options screen, choose Command Prompt.
7. When the command prompt opens, test your keyboard.
There’s no equivalent pre-boot environment for the Mac, so you should keep troubleshooting.
If it appears that your keyboard’s problems are the result of a software problem, the next easy Check your keyboard drivers and settings
The troubleshooting step is to upgrade your keyboard driver.
If you have a Windows laptop, you should:
1. Type “Device manager” into the Start search box and click it when it appears in the search results.
2. Expand the section by clicking the arrow to the left of the Keyboard.
3. In the device list, right-click your keyboard and select Uninstall device.
4. Reboot your laptop, and Windows will immediately detect the keyboard and install the most recent driver for it.
Do the following on a MacBook:
1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu at the upper left of the screen.
2. Select the Accessibility tab.
3. Scroll down and click Keyboard in the left menu window.
4. Uncheck the box next to Enable Slow Keys if it is checked.
6. Ensure that the keyboard is compatible with your sort of keyboard, such as US – QWERTY.
If you own a Mac:
1. Select System Preferences from the menu bar at the top of the screen.
2. Select Keyboard.
3. Select Input Sources from the top-level tabs.
4. Verify that the right keyboard type is displayed in the window on the left (such as the U.S.). If not, check the Show input menu in the menu bar box, then click the + symbol and select a language.
Plug in an external keyboard
If your keyboard still does not operate correctly, connect an external USB keyboard to your laptop. In most circumstances, regardless of whether your built-in keyboard has software or hardware difficulties, this keyboard will operate perfectly. You can use this keyboard while troubleshooting the laptop or waiting for it to be serviced.
Uninstall keyboard drivers
If updating your drivers isn’t helping, you can go all out and uninstall them. Don’t worry. The operating system will recognize your keyboard and reinstall the drivers on their own.
How to uninstall your keyboard drivers
- Click on the Search button in your Windows taskbar.
- Look for Device Manager and select it.
- Expand the Keyboards option.
- Find your keyboard and right-click on it.
- Hit Uninstall the device.
- Confirm by selecting Uninstall.
- Restart your computer again and check if the keyboard is working.
Go to the BIOS.
We’ve gone through all of the fundamental software and setting options. It’s time to delve further into the computer’s more serious capabilities. Let’s go inside the BIOS to see if the system recognizes the keyboard at all.
Here’s how you do it. Reboot your machine and enter BIOS mode. This may be accomplished by continually hitting a certain key while the computer is loading. The key you press will vary depending on your laptop, but it is usually F2 or Deletes. While your computer is being configured, the specific key to hit will usually be displayed at the bottom of the screen. This, however, is not always the case. A quick Google search should help you figure out how to access the BIOS on your laptop.
If you can access the BIOS, your keyboard problem is due to a software issue. However, if you are unable to access BIOS, you are most likely dealing with a hardware issue.
If you’re not sure about opening your laptop, take it to a professional for an assessment. If you want to try troubleshooting on your own, you can elevate the keyboard and investigate the connection beneath it using a tool (at your own risk). Once you’ve found the tap that connects the keyboard to the motherboard, double-check that it’s not loose (or worse, broken) and that it’s properly positioned in the slot.
If the ribbon or connection is broken, you must get your laptop repaired. If it had merely been loose, you could have easily solved your problem!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I temporarily disable my laptop keyboard?
Head into your Start Menu, and type in Device Manager.
Open up the Device Manager and find your way to Keyboards and hit the arrow to the left of it.
Here you will be able to find your laptop’s keyboard. Right-click on it and hit ‘Uninstall’.
Q. How do I temporarily disable my laptop keyboard Windows 10?
If your laptop keyboard isn’t working, the first step is to update the driver. Look at the list of devices until you see Keyboards, and expand the list. Select Properties > Driver. Click “Update Driver” and wait for Windows to scan for a new or updated driver.
Q. How do you lock the keyboard on a laptop?
Q. How do you fix an unresponsive keyboard on a laptop?
Press the Windows key and search for “Device manager”.
Click the arrow next to Keyboards, then right-click on a keyboard listed and select Update Driver.
Select Search automatically for updated driver software.
Click on Update Driver.
Q . How do I fix unresponsive keyboard keys?
Unplug the keyboard and plug it back in.
Try a different cable.
Replace the batteries.
Clean the keyboard.
Blow out the unresponsive switch.
Use contact cleaner.
Inspect the solder joints.
Replace the switch.
Q. What do you do when your HP laptop keyboard stops working?
Restart your computer.
Unlock your keyboard. …
Remove and turn off any external keyboards connected to your laptop.
Turn off Cortana.
Clean your keyboard.
Run Windows Troubleshooter.
Update your drivers.
Check your keyboard language settings.