Did your laptop’s keyboard stop working? You may, at times, face this problem. The trackpad or the external devices might still be working, but there could be an issue with the built-in keyboard. This post aims to provide you with some useful tips to get that Desktop or Laptop keyboard back and running. These tips could or could not be the exact solution to your problem, but they can help. This post applies to most manufacturers, including HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and other Windows 11 and Windows 10 laptops as well as desktops.
Keyboard not typing, not working or Unresponsive on Windows 11/10
If your Keyboard is not working or in unresponsive on your Windows 11/10 Laptop or Desktop, here are a few things you could try:
- Check the keys physically
- Clean the keyboard using a brush
- Check if the keyboard works in BIOS
- Reinstall the keyboard drivers
- Reset keyboard settings back to default
- Troubleshoot in Clean Boot State
- Run Keyboard Troubleshooter
- Run the Hardware Troubleshooter
- Disable Filter Keys and see
- Disable NVIDIA In-game Overlay
- Check the Desktop keyboard on another PC
Let us see them in detail.
NOTE: If you have a touchscreen monitor or laptop, you can keep using your Windows PC without a mouse or keyboard, and it also makes troubleshooting easier. If you do not have a touchscreen monitor or Windows PC, and your mouse and your keyboard have stopped working, it makes things a bit difficult.
You may need to use the on-screen keyboard. Also, read our post on how to use a Windows computer without a keyboard or mouse.
1] Check the keys physically
The first thing you can do is, try to find if some keys or keyboard has broken physically somewhere. If there is a physical impact, there is nothing much you can do. You need to carry this laptop to the service center.
2] Clean the keyboard using a brush
Dust can accumulate inside electronic devices. This accumulated dust can cause some parts of the electronic devices to fail. The keyboard is one of the parts of your laptop. If you do not clean your laptop regularly, it is possible that the problem might be occurring due to dust accumulation. The accumulated dust prevents laptop keyboard keys from making proper contact with the laptop circuit due to which the laptop does not receive any input from the keyboard. If the problem is occurring due to this reason, it will be fixed after cleaning the keyboard.
Take a brush and start cleaning the keyboard. Make sure you remove all the dust, and the keyboard is crisp and clean. You can use a laptop cleaning kit, or you may use an old toothbrush. Keep your brush dry and gently clean off your keyboard.
Read: Function keys not working.
3] Check if the keyboard works in BIOS
Another thing you can do to make sure the keyboard works when you have accessed the BIOS menu. Restart the computer and while it is booting up, hit the keys (usually Esc or Del) to open the BIOS menu. If you were able to open the BIOS menu and use the arrow keys to navigate, then we can assume the problem is with the software part and not the hardware part.
Read: Caps Lock key not working.
4] Reinstall the keyboard drivers
Now to update the driver, open Device Manager from the WinX Menu. Now under ‘Keyboards’, you will find your laptop’s keyboard. Right-click on it and select ‘Uninstall’. If you are not sure about your laptop’s keyboard, you can uninstall all the keyboards.
Restart your computer and check if you see its driver installing automatically. If not, again open Devices Manager, right-click on Keyboards and select Scan for hardware changes to install it.
After the driver is installed, check if the keyboard starts working.
5] Reset keyboard settings back to default
If you believe that some external software or you might have changed the keyboard settings and made it unusable. You can reset keyboard settings back to default.
Read: Shift key not working.
6] Troubleshoot in Clean Boot State
If the keyboard is working but not taking the inputs properly, you can perform a Clean Boot and check. To start your laptop in a Clean Boot state, you have to disable all third-party startup apps and services in MSConfig. Once there, you can check whether the keyboard is working fine or not. If it is fine, then probably there is some third-party software or service hindering the keyboard in the normal state, which you will have to identify.
Now, enable some of the disabled startup apps and restart your computer in a normal state. Now, check if the problem persists. If your keyboard stops working in the normal state, one of the programs that you have just enabled is the culprit. You can identify that problematic program by disabling the startup apps one by one. Once you find it, consider uninstalling it.
Read: Windows key not working.
7] Run Keyboard Troubleshooter
Keyboard Troubleshooter is an automated tool that helps users fix keyboard-related issues. If there is no physical damage to your keyboard, the Keyboard Troubleshooter can fix the problem. Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter and see if that helps you.
8] Run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter
Run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter and see if it helps you.
9] Disable Filter Keys and see
If you notice a short lag from the time you press a key and a character is displayed on the screen, then you need to disable Filter Keys. What Filter keys do is basically ignore repeated keystrokes to make typing easier for people with hand tremors. But it can sometimes cause problems for normal or fast typing speed. To disable filter keys, go to Settings and then Ease of Access. Select the keyboard from the left menu and find an option to disable filter keys. This might solve your problem.
Read: Keyboard not working in Recovery Mode of Windows
10] Disable NVIDIA In-game Overlay
If your keyboard shortcuts are not working, NVIDIA In-game Overlay might be the cause of this issue. According to some users, NVIDIA In-game Overlay shortcuts clash with the Windows keyboard shortcuts due to which Windows keyboard shortcuts do not respond. You can check this by disabling NVIDIA In-game Overlay. If this fixes the issue, change NVIDIA In-game Overlay keyboard shortcuts in order to stop the issue from occurring again.
11] Check the Desktop keyboard on another PC
You can check if the USB keyboard works on another computer. That way, you will at least know where the problem lies. Update the drivers of your external keyboard.
These were a few tips that can get your keyboard working. Other than these you can try the hardware diagnostics tool that may have been installed on your laptop by your manufacturer itself. If nothing helps, then the best option is to carry the laptop to a certified repair center.
Can you accidentally lock your keyboard?
It can happen when you have enabled the Filter keys, which ignore brief or repeated keystrokes and slows down the keyboard repeat rate. It means if you type too quickly, you won’t see anything getting typed. Filter keys are an accessibility feature that ignores any keypress because of shaky hand movements.
Read: Esc key not working.
How do you unlock the Fn key on a keyboard?
Some OEMs offer a lock key for the Fn key to avoid accidental usage. If your Fn key is not working, check for the lock key that you need to use with the Fn key. Once enabled, you can use a combination of the Fn keys with predefined keys, and it will work as expected.
Related: @ or # key is not working.
Is there a keyboard lock button?
Usually no. Windows also offer nothing that can lock your keyboard unless you press a special combo. Some OEMs provide keyboard lock features, but it is still rare. Apart from these, there are desktop apps that provide such features and only let you use the keyboard when you enter or press the access keys.
Related: Keyboard not working when playing games on PC