Procom Computer

13 Tips to Fix Computer Keys Not Working

When computer keys stop working, it can disrupt your work and productivity. This issue can be caused by various factors, including software conflicts, hardware malfunctions, or dirt and debris. Here are some steps to diagnose and fix the problem.

Experiencing non-responsive keys on your computer’s keyboard can be frustrating, especially if you rely heavily on your computer for work or personal use. Whether you’re dealing with a few unresponsive keys or an entire section of your keyboard not working, this guide will walk you through potential fixes to get your keyboard functioning properly again. From simple solutions like cleaning the keys to more technical fixes such as updating drivers, this comprehensive guide aims to cover all bases.

The inconvenience of non-functional keys on a keyboard cannot be overstated. It affects typing speed, accuracy, and overall computing experience. Understanding the root cause is essential for effective troubleshooting. This blog post will provide detailed insights and solutions to help restore keyboard functionality.

Key Takeaways

  • Regular cleaning can prevent many keyboard issues.
  • Updating or reinstalling keyboard drivers can resolve software conflicts.
  • Checking keyboard settings and accessibility features may reveal simple fixes.
  • External keyboards should be tested on another computer to rule out hardware issues.
  • Hardware issues with laptop keyboards may require professional repair or replacement.
  • System restore or resetting the computer can fix issues caused by recent changes.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Check for Physical Obstructions

Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate under the keys, causing them to stick or become unresponsive. A gentle cleaning with compressed air or a soft brush can remove obstructions and potentially fix the issue.

Key Removal and Cleaning

For more thorough cleaning, carefully remove the keycaps (if possible) and clean the underlying area. However, this should be done with caution to avoid damaging the keys or the keyboard mechanism.

Regular Cleaning Schedule

Establishing a routine cleaning schedule for your keyboard can prevent many issues related to dirt and debris buildup.

Software and Driver Updates

Updating Keyboard Drivers

Outdated or corrupt drivers can lead to keyboard malfunctions. Checking for the latest driver updates through the Device Manager on Windows or System Updates on Mac can resolve these issues.

Reinstalling Keyboard Drivers

If updating doesn’t work, reinstalling the keyboard drivers can sometimes fix the problem. This involves uninstalling the current driver and allowing the system to reinstall it upon restart.

Checking for Conflicting Software

Sometimes, recently installed software can interfere with keyboard functionality. Consider whether the issue started after installing new software and, if possible, temporarily disable or uninstall it to test.

Hardware Troubleshooting

Testing with an External Keyboard

Connecting an external keyboard can help determine if the issue is hardware-related. If the external keyboard works fine, the problem likely lies with the laptop’s built-in keyboard.

Inspecting the Connection

For detachable keyboards, ensure that the cable or wireless receiver is properly connected and not damaged.

Professional Repair or Replacement

If the above steps do not resolve the issue, and the keyboard is still under warranty, consider seeking professional repair or replacement.

System Settings and Accessibility Features

Keyboard Settings

Check the keyboard settings in your computer’s control panel or system preferences to ensure no settings have been altered that could affect key functionality.

Accessibility Features

Features like Sticky Keys or Filter Keys are designed to help users but can sometimes cause confusion if enabled accidentally. Ensure these features are turned off if not needed.

Advanced Software Solutions

System Restore

If the issue appeared after a recent system change or update, performing a system restore to a point when the keyboard was working might resolve the issue.

Operating System Update or Reinstall

In some cases, updating or reinstalling the operating system can fix underlying issues affecting keyboard functionality.


Addressing non-responsive keys on a computer keyboard involves a systematic approach to diagnose the issue, whether it’s related to cleanliness, software, hardware, or system settings. Regular maintenance and staying up-to-date with software and drivers can prevent many common keyboard issues. However, persistent problems may require professional assessment, especially for internal hardware issues.


What should I do if only certain keys are not working?

Focus on cleaning those specific keys and check for software settings that might affect them, such as shortcut assignments.

How can I prevent keyboard issues in the future?

Regular cleaning, keeping liquids away from the keyboard, and ensuring your system and drivers are up-to-date can help prevent issues.

Can spilling liquids on my keyboard permanently damage it?

Yes, liquids can cause permanent damage to the keyboard. If a spill occurs, turn off and unplug the keyboard immediately, and allow it to dry completely before use.

Is it possible to fix a keyboard that’s been damaged by liquid?

It depends on the extent of the damage. In some cases, thorough cleaning might restore functionality, but severe cases may require replacement.

What should I do if my keyboard stops working after a software update?

Check for any additional updates or patches. If the issue persists, consider rolling back the update or performing a system restore.


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