How do I troubleshoot my laptop keyboard?
Before you attempt any fixes in this guide, it is a good idea to narrow down your keyboard problem. There can be a software glitch that prevents the Windows from recognizing the keyboard, or it can be a hardware fault. But how to figure it out? Let’s try a simple way.
Reboot your laptop and press Esc, Delete, or F keys before the Windows logo appears. Your computer will tell you which keys to press to enter the setup.
Now, if you can’t press the keys to enter the BIOS and navigate through its settings, it can be a hardware issue with the keyboard. However, if the keys operate in the BIOS menu, there is a good chance that your problem lies with the system’s software.
Why I can’t type on my laptop keyboard?
Finding it difficult to type on your laptop keyboard? Check out the following reasons to diagnose your issue.
- The Keyboard driver is malfunctioning.
- You have accidentally altered the laptop keyboard layout.
- The laptop battery is interfering with the keyboard functions.
- Crumbs or debris particles are stuck under the keyboard keys.
- You have locked the keyboard by mistake.
How do you fix an unresponsive keyboard on a laptop?
To fix an unresponsive keyboard on your laptop, hook a USB keyboard and try the following troubleshooting step.
Reinstall keyboard driver
Sometimes, the keyboard driver can run into problems, especially when you turn off your laptop using the power off button rather than the software Shut Down command. To fix this cause:
- Open the Start menu and type Device Manager.
- Now expand the keyboards option. At this point, you may or may not see a yellow exclamation point next to the keyboard driver. In both cases, proceed and right-click on your keyboard.
- Next, choose the Uninstall option and restart your laptop.
- Now Windows will install the latest keyboard driver automatically.
If that does not resolve your keyboard problem, move on to the following fixes.
Change keyboard layout
Does your laptop keyboard show different letters than the keys symbolize? If this is the case, your keyboard or language layout might have got altered accidentally. To fix this:
- On the Start menu, type “Language” and hit Enter.
- Go to your list of languages and click English (United States).
- Next, click on the Options button and ensure that US QWERTY shows under your keyboard layout.
- Finally, remove all other keyboard layouts.
Check your laptop battery
In most laptop models, the battery sits right under the keyboard and can interfere with keyboard operations. A quick way to confirm this suspicion is to remove your battery and plug in the power cable. Now boot your laptop and see if the keyboard works fine. If it does, change your battery for a permanent fix.
Look for debris
If you suspect that your laptop keyboard problem is hardware-related, you can do a few things before sending it out for a repair. Sometimes, crumbs and minute debris particles can get stuck under the keyboard keys and cause a few of them to malfunction.
To clean the debris and crumbs, pop off the non-working keyboard keys (If your laptop has that option) and clean them off with a cotton swab. However, if your keyboard is stuck due to liquid damage, we recommend that you replace the whole keyboard assembly.
How to unlock a laptop keyboard?
If you have locked your laptop keyboard by mistake and couldn’t recall what you have done wrong, try the following steps to restore the keyboard’s normal typing functions.
Check filter keys
If you can not use any keys on the keyboard, you or someone else using your laptop may have accidentally enabled the “Filter keys” option. If this is the case, only your right Shift key will work. However, you can use this specific key to turn off the Filter keys feature. To do this:
- Press and hold the right Shift key for 8 seconds until you hear a beep.
- Now, a pop-up message will appear that will give you an option to turn off Filter keys.
- Click on “Yes” and verify that the keys are working fine.
If your laptop keyboard does not display the correct letters on the keys, you may have enabled the NumLock feature. Different laptop models have various keyboard keys to enable or disable NumLock. Therefore, we’ll show you another easy way to disable the feature on Windows.
- Type in on-screen keyboard in the Start menu search box.
- Click on the on-screen keyboard feature.
- After you see a virtual keyboard on your screen, click on the “Options” button located in the bottom right section of the keyboard.
- Finally, unselect the “Turn on numeric key-pad” box and hit OK to save the new changes.