How to Fix Keyboard Keys Not Working

A malfunctioning keyboard can be a major hindrance to your productivity and can cause frustration while using your computer. When certain keys stop responding or behave erratically, it can disrupt your work or leisure activities. In this article, we will explore some common reasons why keyboard keys may not be working and provide step-by-step solutions to fix the issue.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding the Issue
  2. Checking for Hardware Connection Issues
  3. Cleaning the Keyboard
  4. Updating Keyboard Drivers
  5. Using External Keyboard Software
  6. Disabling Filter Keys (Windows)
  7. Resetting Keyboard Settings (Mac)
  8. Booting in Safe Mode
  9. Testing with a Live CD/USB
  10. Checking for Software Conflicts
  11. Adjusting Keyboard Settings (Windows)
  12. Running Keyboard Diagnostics
  13. Seeking Professional Assistance
  14. Conclusion

Understanding the Issue

Before delving into troubleshooting, it’s essential to identify the extent of the problem. Determine whether the entire keyboard is unresponsive or if specific keys are affected. This information will help in narrowing down the possible causes and finding an appropriate solution.

Checking for Hardware Connection Issues

First, ensure that your keyboard is correctly connected to the computer. If you are using a wired keyboard, check the USB or PS/2 connection for any loose or damaged cables. For wireless keyboards, make sure the batteries are not depleted, and the wireless receiver is connected properly.

Cleaning the Keyboard

Dust and debris can accumulate underneath the keys, leading to unresponsiveness. Turn off the computer and gently clean the keyboard using compressed air or a soft brush. Avoid using liquids to clean the keys, as they may damage the electronics.

Updating Keyboard Drivers

Outdated or corrupted keyboard drivers can cause key malfunctions. To update the drivers, go to the manufacturer’s website or use the Device Manager on Windows to check for driver updates. On Mac, system updates often include driver updates as well.

Using External Keyboard Software

Some keyboards come with software that allows you to customize and control their functionality. Check if there is any dedicated software for your keyboard model and use it to diagnose and fix any key-related issues.

Disabling Filter Keys (Windows)

Filter Keys can sometimes cause certain keys to be unresponsive. To disable it on Windows, go to the Control Panel > Ease of Access > Ease of Access Center > Make the keyboard easier to use, and uncheck the “Turn on Filter Keys” option.

Resetting Keyboard Settings (Mac)

On Mac, resetting the keyboard settings can help resolve issues. Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Restore Defaults, and confirm the action.

Booting in Safe Mode

Booting your computer in Safe Mode allows you to check if any third-party software or drivers are interfering with your keyboard’s functionality. If the keys work fine in Safe Mode, the issue is likely caused by software conflicts.

Testing with a Live CD/USB

Creating a Live CD/USB with a different operating system and testing the keyboard there can help determine if the issue is software-related or a hardware problem.

Checking for Software Conflicts

Certain software applications or utilities might interfere with your keyboard’s proper functioning. Temporarily disable third-party software or startup items to see if that resolves the issue.

Adjusting Keyboard Settings (Windows)

On Windows, you can adjust keyboard settings such as key repeat rate and delay. Go to Control Panel > Keyboard, and customize the settings according to your preference.

Running Keyboard Diagnostics

Some computers come with built-in diagnostics tools that can test the keyboard for hardware issues. Refer to your computer’s user manual or manufacturer’s website for instructions on how to run diagnostics.

Seeking Professional Assistance

If none of the above solutions work, it’s best to seek help from a professional technician or the keyboard manufacturer’s support team. They can diagnose and repair any hardware-related problems.


A malfunctioning keyboard can be a frustrating experience, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can often fix the issue and restore normal functionality. Start by checking the hardware connections and cleaning the keyboard. Update the keyboard drivers and adjust settings as necessary. If software-related issues are suspected, try booting in Safe Mode or testing with a Live CD/USB. When all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance to get your keyboard back in working condition.


  1. Q: Why are some of my keyboard keys not working? A: Keyboard keys may stop working due to hardware connection issues, software conflicts, outdated drivers, or accumulated dust and debris.
  2. Q: How can I fix unresponsive keys on my keyboard? A: Start by checking the hardware connections and cleaning the keyboard. Update the keyboard drivers and try adjusting the settings. If the issue persists, consider testing with a Live CD/USB or seeking professional assistance.
  3. Q: Should I use liquids to clean my keyboard keys? A: No, it’s best to avoid using liquids to clean the keyboard keys, as they can damage the electronics. Instead, use compressed air or a soft brush to remove dust and debris.
  4. Q: How do I update keyboard drivers on Windows? A: You can update keyboard drivers on Windows by going to the Device Manager, locating the keyboard entry, right-clicking, and selecting “Update driver.”
  5. Q: What should I do if my keyboard works fine in Safe Mode but not in normal mode? A: If your keyboard functions correctly in Safe Mode but not in normal mode, there might be software conflicts causing the issue. Try disabling third-party software or startup items to identify the culprit.

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