- Apr 03, 2019
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How to Fix Malfunctioning Laptop Keyboard.
Without a working keyboard, your computer is useless. For laptop computers, this is a big problem as you can’t simply swap the keyboard like you can with a desktop PC. Computer maintenance should be a habit. But problems can still rear their ugly head. If your laptop keyboard has stopped working, here’s what you need to know on how to fix it.
There are typically four reasons why your laptop keyboard has stopped working. However, each reason has its own fix.
- Bad hardware driver:This can be reinstalled or updated.
- Dirt and dust: Cleaning up your laptop keyboard can help.
- Bad connection:In some cases, your laptop can be opened and the keyboard reconnected. There is a chance that the keyboard is defective, so a replacement will need to be sourced.
- Wrong regional settings:Some characters don’t work because the keyboard settings are set to use the wrong region or language.
You might have noticed that two of these problems are easily resolved, whereas the other two require a bit more work. To complicate matters further, any repair action that requires you to open your laptop will differ depending on the manufacturer. It may even differ between models from the same manufacturer.
HOW TO FIX YOUR LAPTOP THAT IS NOT WORKING
We will treat this with regards to the four reasons for the malfunctioning. So we will fix each problem.
PROBLEM 1: Bad hardware driver
How To Fix: Update or Rollback Laptop Keyboard Drivers.
The easiest way to deal with a laptop keyboard that won’t work is to update the driver.
Do this by clicking Start and entering the device manager. The Device Manager icon will appear in the results, so click this. Browse the list of devices until you see Keyboards, then expand the list. Right-click the keyboard device (usually Standard PS/2 Keyboard) and select Properties > Driver.
Here, click Update Driver and wait while Windows finds a new driver and installs it. Test the keyboard with a word processor, or perhaps the Windows Notepad app—with any luck, it should now work.
Still no better?
This time, select Uninstall Device and wait for the driver to be removed. Once done, you should reboot Windows, and wait while the driver is reinstalled. However, you can also use Action > Scan for hardware changes to prompt Windows to install the driver.
Note that there is also a Rollback Driver option. This will be grayed out at most times, unless a new driver has been installed, possibly as part of a Windows Update. If this option is available, and your keyboard has only recently stopped working, click Rollback Driver and wait for the new driver.
PROBLEM 2: Dirt and dust:
How To Fix: Clean It
Cleaning a standard keyboard is not easy; cleaning a laptop keyboard is even tougher. Keyboards require a certain amount of physical interaction to loosen dirt, and while this is generally simple to achieve with a USB or wireless keyboard, things are different on a laptop.
Basically, you cannot easily shake and tap the back of a laptop without risking damage to the entire unit.
However, you can dislodge dust and debris from a laptop keyboard by first shutting the device down, then turning it upside down and gently tapping on the base. You should then run your fingers across all the keys while the device is upside down, to remove any remaining dirt.
Be sure to clean up any fallen dirt from the table when you’re done! If there is dirt you cannot remove, a can of compressed air can be used at this point, or you might rely on some keyboard cleaning putty instead.
Note that cleaning cannot repair any deep-seated faults, but it will help if dirt is preventing one or more keys from working properly.
- Also Read: How To Care For Your Laptop.
PROBLEM 3: Bad connection
How To Fix: Replace Faulty Laptop Keyboard.
Note: If you can’t do this, seek the service of a computer engineer.
If the keyboard is physically damaged or has become disconnected from the motherboard (perhaps due to a shock), then you’ll need to put some time aside to remove the component from your laptop and either reseat the connection or replace the keyboard altogether.
Different manufacturers build their laptops in a variety of ways, which means it’s difficult to specify a single fix.
However, opening different laptops from the same manufacturer is generally the same. This makes swapping the keyboard (or simply reseating the cable connection) a lot easier.
Note that laptop keyboards are typically sealed units, so while it might be possible to give the keyboards a better clean when it’s removed from the laptop, you won’t be able to easily check the internal workings.
Once a keyboard is removed, you’ll be able to check its serial number. Enter this into the search box on Jumia or Konga to see if it’s available to buy. They usually are, but buying a replacement laptop keyboard can be expensive.
PROBLEM 4: A Key is not working
How To Fix: Check Regional Setting.
Having trouble with the “@” key? Can’t get Shift to work?
If you’re having difficulty with a specific keyboard keys not working, it could be due to your language settings. After you’ve established that the problem isn’t hardware, this is the first thing to check.
To check, open a text editor and press the key in question. Is there any output? If it’s the wrong symbol, then the problem is almost certainly related to language settings. Different regions use different keyboard layouts, based on how characters are used.
You’ll need to reconfigure your regional settings to match your keyboard. In Windows 10 do this by pressing Windows + I and selecting Time & language > Region & language. Here, click Add a language and choose the correct option for your keyboard.
Click Next then Install and wait a moment while the language is installed. In the Region & language screen, use the Languages drop down menu to select the new language.
Check your keyboard input again; the correct characters should now be outputting to the display. Similar keyboard language settings can be found in macOS and Linux.
A malfunctioning keyboard is a frustrating tool. If you are faced in such a situation, simply follow the fixes provided in this tutorial.