In this post, we will show you what you can do if the Character Map is not working in Windows 11/10. Character Map is a Windows built-in tool that allows users of the Windows OS to see all the special characters available in each font installed on the computer. It also displays the Unicode of the selected character and the keyboard input required to type the character.
Character Map is most commonly used to insert special characters, foreign language characters, accented letters, and symbols such as arrows, checkmarks, dollar signs, etc., in Windows-based applications such as text editors and word processing software. However, according to some users, it does not work properly at times and causes trouble. If Character Map is not working on your Windows PC, then you’ve come to the right place. We will tell you what causes this issue and how to fix the problem.
Fix Character Map not working in Windows 11/10
Character Map issues may arise due to various reasons. Sometimes it may not work due to a conflict with third-party software and sometimes a specific key in the Windows registry may not allow the insertion of a special character via the Alt key. The issue can also occur due to corrupt system files.
If you’re in a hurry and planning to troubleshoot later, you may use third-party tools to insert special characters in Windows 11/10. Else, you can start troubleshooting by restarting your PC. A simple reboot is the easiest way to fix most Windows OS errors.
If restarting the PC doesn’t change anything, use the following solutions to fix the issue where the Character Map is not working in Windows 11/10:
- Enable entry of all Unicode characters through the Registry Editor
- Install the latest Windows Update
- Troubleshoot in the Clean Boot state
- Repair corrupt system files
- Try with a new User Profile
Let us see these in detail.
1] Enable entry of all Unicode characters through the Registry Editor
If you’re trying to use the Alt codes (holding the Alt key and then typing the + symbol followed by the hexadecimal code while keeping the NumLock On) for entering the special characters, and you notice that the keyboard is not working, troubleshoot your keyboard first. Then enable entry of the Unicode characters through the Windows Registry.
- Press Win+R to open the Run dialogue box.
- Type regedit and press the Enter key.
- Click on the Yes option in the UAC prompt that appears.
- In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following path:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method
- Right-click on the Input Method folder and select New > String Value.
- Name the key as EnableHexNumpad
- Double-click on it and set the Value data to 1.
- Restart your PC to apply the changes.
The above process will enable hexadecimal Unicode inputs in Windows 11/10.
2] Install the latest Windows Update
If the above solution didn’t work, check the Windows Update section in your system to see if it has any pending updates that need to be installed. Install all the updates and then try using the Character Map.
Microsoft often releases updates to install bug fixes and security patches that are required to troubleshoot issues with apps and software and for the smooth functioning of the Windows OS.
3] Troubleshoot in the Clean Boot state
If Character Map is not working due to a conflicting third-party app, troubleshoot in the clean boot state to uninstall the interfering application. Clean boot requires you to disable all third-party applications that you’ve installed and run your PC with just the basic set of drivers and startup programs. Then you can re-enable the apps one at a time to identify which app is causing the conflict. Once you find the app, consider uninstalling it from your PC.
4] Repair corrupt system files
Run the SFC (System File Checker) tool. It will scan your system to identify and restore corrupt system files. After the scan is finished, reboot your system and try running the Character Map.
5] Try with a new User Profile
Create a new user profile and use it to access the Character Map. If it works well in this profile, there may be some issues with your old profile. You may consider transferring your account data to the new profile if you want to continue using this new profile. Do not forget to create a system restore point to avoid losing data while troubleshooting issues with user accounts in Windows 11/10.
Hope this helps!
How do I access Character Map in Windows 11?
Type the Win key (Key with the Windows logo symbol) on your keyboard and type ‘char‘. Character Map will show up as the ‘Best Match’. On the right side of the search results, click on the Open link just below the Character Map app. The Character Map will show up on your Windows 11 desktop screen.