It can be quite frustrating to find your laptop keyboard malfunctioning while in middle of an important work. You may have no idea of what happened, it could be a software problem or a hardware problem. What are you going to do next? Well, we are here to answer this question.


In this tutorial, we are going to show you simple software and hardware solutions to fix your unresponsive keyboard. However, there can be be many reasons why your keyboard is not working, but we are going to list down most common ones, along with ways to solve the problem.

Clean Any Debris

If some of your keyboard keys are not working while and others are fine, then there is a chance that some kind of debris is getting in the way. It can happen when you eat while working and bread crumbs, etc… fall on your laptop keyboard.

To get rid of debris, the most basic thing you can do is to tilt your laptop at a ~75-degree angle and shake it to get rid of any debris. You can also hold the laptop upside down at 90-degree angle if required, but don’t go all “hulk” over it, and be gentle while shaking to prevent any hardware damage. If you have a mechanical hard drive, it’s best to turn the laptop OFF to avoid any disk head crash failure.

After that, check all the keys and see if they are working or not. If not, then get a can of compressed air and use it to blow any potential debris below the troubling keys.

Restart the Laptop

If the whole Keyboard is not responding, then it may be a software/driver issue and restarting your laptop may fix it. You can just shutdown the laptop normally from the start menu if everything is working fine. Otherwise, hold the power button for 5 seconds (maximum 15 seconds) and force shutdown PC and then start it again.

This might be able to solve the issue, if not, then move on to the next steps.

Restore your Windows

If your keyboard stopped working after installation of any new app or changing any settings, then restoring your PC to a previous image may solve the problem. To restore your system, click on “Start menu” and from there, click on “Control Panel”.

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Now, click on “Back up your computer” under the heading “System and Security”.

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On the next page, click on “Recover system settings or your computer” and then, click on “Open System Restore”. Here, just follow the simple wizard to restore your PC. Once your PC will restore and reboot. If it was a system issue, your keyboard should start working.

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Fix the Keyboard driver

If your keyboard driver is not up-to-date or some app has corrupted the driver, it can lead to unresponsive keyboard. You can check if your keyboard driver is working fine or not from the “Device manager”.

You can easily access Device manager from Windows search or Run dialog, but that will require you to enter appropriate commands using your keyboard, which is not working right now. So we are going to provide manual instructions to access it.

Click on Start menu and from there, click on the Control Panel.

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In the Control Panel, click on “System and Security” and then, click on “Device manager” located under the heading “System”.

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In the “Device manager”, you will find drivers for all hardware inside your Laptop. Here, just click on “Keyboard” option and you will find its driver under it. If it has a yellow triangle on it with an exclamation mark inside it, then it means there is a problem. You can go to your laptop manufacturer’s website and look for the latest driver to download and install.

Get it to a Professional

If all the above methods didn’t work, then check if your laptop is still in warranty or not. If yes, then call your manufacturer’s help line to ask if they could help, you should be able to get it fixed/replaced from one of their service centers.

If it is not in warranty, then get your laptop to a local PC hardware repair shop and get it checked. There is a chance it might be a tiny wire problem, such as disconnected ribbon cable that could be easily fixed. The repair shop will hopefully charge a small fee for this job and you will be good to go.

If there is a bigger issue, it may be a bit expensive to fix. In that scenario, you can either pay for the fix or depend on an alternative, keep reading…

Use an Alternative

If you didn’t get to fix it and you are not ready to pay a fortune to get your laptop keyboard replaced, then you can also try a temporary replacement. You can use an external USB keyboard with your laptop to do all the typing stuff. It might not be convenient, but it will get the job done. You can get one for as low as $5.

If you urgently need to type something really short, like your username and password to access something, then on-screen keyboard (similar to the one in touch-based smartphones) will also be able to help you. To get an on-screen keyboard, click on Start menu and from there, click on “All Programs”.

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Now, click on “Accessories” and in there, click on “Ease of Access”. You will find the “on-Screen Keyboard” option there, just click on it to start using it.

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The above methods should be able to solve your unresponsive laptop keyboard problem or at least help you complete your current task. If there are any questions or you know any other tricks to fix an unresponsive keyboard, let us know in the comments below.

Filed in Computers. Read more about Keyboards and Laptops.

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