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Laptop keyboard not working? Here’s how to fix it in no time

Keyboards issues can be hard to diagnose, but the process of elimination is your friend.
October 9, 2021
picture of the keyboard of a dell laptop

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You can do a few things if your laptop keyboard is not working — some are relatively easy, others are a bit more complicated. In any case, you can definitely fix your keyboard-related problems; it’s just a matter of how quickly, and whether or not you’ll have to pay to get the job done.

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Restart your computer

Whenever you’re having PC problems, this is the first thing to try before troubleshooting any further. Restarting the computer is fast, easy, and might just solve the issues you’re experiencing with your keyboard.

The good news is you don’t need a functioning keyboard to restart your laptop. All you have to do is open the Start menu on Windows 10, click Power, and then select the Restart option. In case you’re experiencing problems with your mouse and touchpad as well, press and hold the power button on your PC for a few seconds, after which the device will turn off. Then turn it back on with the press of a button and see if that solved the problem.

Is it a hardware or software issue?

picture of keyboard of a laptop

This step will narrow down your problem, revealing if your laptop keyboard is not working because of a hardware or software issue.

Here’s how to do it: Restart your computer and enter the BIOS. You can do that by pressing a specific key repeatedly while the computer is booting up. Which key to press depends on the laptop you own — it’s usually F2 or Delete. The exact key to use will be displayed at the bottom of the screen while your PC is booting up.

If you can enter the BIOS, a software issue is to blame for your keyboard-related problem. But if you can’t enter BIOS, you’re most likely dealing with a hardware problem.

Also readThe best laptops you can buy

What to do if it’s a hardware issue

laptop keyboard hardware issue

In case of a hardware issue, the first thing to do is to try and clean the keyboard. Before you get started, make sure to turn off the laptop and unplug it for safety reasons. Once you’ve done that, turn the laptop upside down and then gently shake it and tap it on the bottom. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get rid of some dust and other dirt that found its way under the keyboard. You can also blow into the keyboard, or better yet, use a can of compressed air.

Also readHow to keep your laptop keyboard clean

If that doesn’t do the trick, you can also remove the battery from your laptop and then plug in the device to power it on. Sometimes the battery can cause keyboard-related problems, especially if it overheats.

There’s also a chance the keyboard has been damaged or disconnected from the motherboard. In these two cases, you’ll have to open up the laptop and connect the keyboard or replace it if it’s faulty. If the laptop is still under warranty, just send it in to get it repaired. If it isn’t, we strongly advise you to pay a professional to fix the problem instead of doing it yourself, unless you really know what you’re doing.

What to do if it’s a software issue

Windows 10

If your laptop keyboard is not working due to a software issue, you’ll likely be able to get it back up and running in no time at all. There are a few things you should try out.

The first one is to update your keyboard driver. Open Device Manager on your Windows laptop, find the Keyboards option, expand the list, and right-click Standard PS/2 Keyboard, followed by Update driver. After the update is finished, test to see if your keyboard works. If it’s not, the next step is to delete and reinstall the driver.

Right-click on the Standard PS/2 Keyboard again and then select the Uninstall device option. Once the driver has been deleted, reboot your device, and the driver should reinstall automatically. Test out the keyboard again to see if the problem is solved.

If all things fail, the last option is to run a malware scan with a tool like Malwarebytes. Your laptop keyboard may not be working because of some sort of a virus. A malware scan should hopefully get rid of it, in case that’s the root cause.

Read next: How to install Android on PC: These are your options

There you have it — these are a few things you can try out if your laptop keyboard is not working. Did any of them fix your problem? Let us know which one in the comments below.