If the keyboard Tab key is not working on your Windows PC, this guide is for you. We will look at different ways to fix the issue and return the Tab key back to normal functioning. The Tab key is generally used as a shortcut to move from one field to another on websites, forms, documents, etc. It is also used to create different indents in the left margin in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, etc.
It’s frustrating when you always use the TAB, and all of a sudden it’s not working. If you rely on this key, then it can make you less productive or weary of there might be something bigger happening on your computer other than the Tab key not working. Luckily, we have the best solutions to fix this problem.
Why is my Tab button not working on my keyboard?
The KeyBoard Tab key may not work properly if it has physical damage, dust, or other forms of debris. Other reasons are if the keyboard driver is corrupted or outdated, temporary technical faults, or interference with apps like TeamViewer. In rare cases, the issue can be caused by corrupted system files or malware attacks. Whichever the cause, all you want is to see the key work as it used to before. Let us now look at how you can fix these causes.
Fix Keyboard Tab Key not working on Windows PC
If the keyboard Tab key is not working when you press it to move from one side of a document website, editor, etc, try the following solutions to fix the issue:
- Restart your PC
- Run relevant Windows troubleshooters
- Update, reinstall, or rollback keyboard driver
- Check for damages or dust
- End TeamViewer process (If applicable)
Let us now delve into these solutions in detail.
1] Restart your PC
Restarting your Windows computer is a preliminary step that can fix temporary technical issues that cause the Tab key not to work. Save and close everything you need to and restart your computer. This will trigger the automatic repair that happens when Windows is booting.
2] Run relevant Windows troubleshooter
There could be keyboard or hardware issues that prevent the Tab key from working properly. Therefore, you need to run two major troubleshooters; Hardware and Devices troubleshooter and Keyboard troubleshooter.
To run the Keyboard troubleshooter, open your settings app and go to Update & Security. On the left side, select Troubleshoot and then Additional troubleshooters. Under Find and fix other problems, locate Keyboard, and then click Run the troubleshooter. Follow the on-screen directions thereafter and wait for the tool to complete the process.
If the first troubleshooter didn’t fix the error, you can now run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter using the elevated Command Prompt. Press the Windows button + R and type cmd in the Run box. Next, press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt as an admin. Type the following command line and hit Enter:
msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
A new small window will appear; click Next and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.
Restart your computer after every troubleshooting process is complete.
3] Update, reinstall, or rollback keyboard driver
If the keyboard driver has issues like being outdated, bugs, incompatibilities, corrupted, etc., it can trigger some buttons not to work properly including the Tab key. To fix this, update, reinstall, or roll back the keyboard driver on your Windows PC. If the driver is outdated, update it; if it’s updated but has issues, roll back or reinstall it. After that, test and see if you have fixed the problem.
4] Check for damages or dust
Keyboard buttons may fail to work if there is dust or other debris underlying them. Also, if it is broken, it will not work properly. In this step, you need to have some items like tweezers, toothpicks, Q-tips, and spudgers. Use the spudger to gently remove the key cap, and use tweezers to remove the component under it. Q-tip is used to clean all the parts, and you can also use a toothpick to clear any debris. Return the components and see if the issue is fixed.
WARNING: If you don’t have the technical know-how, you need to take your computer to a technician to perform this solution.
5] End TeamViewer process
TeamView can interfere with the keyboard button including the Tab key. To fix this you need to end the TeamViewer process in the Windows Task Manager. Follow the steps if you have TeamViewer installed on your PC:
- Open Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc/Delete and select Task Manager.
- Once Task Manager is open, go to the Processes tab, locate and right-click TeamViewer.
- Click End task from the list menu to end the TeamViewer process.
- Finally, test and press the Tab button and see it now working.
That’s all. We hope something here works for you.
Why are some buttons on my keyboard not working?
Computer keyboard keys can fail to work if there is debris between them. Other reasons for some buttons not working on your keyboard are if you are using a keyboard manager apps that interfere with how keys function, or keyboard driver issues. Use the solutions we highlighted in this article to fix the issue.