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Keyboard Typing Wrong Letters (Characters) on Windows 10? Here’s the Fix

A keyboard is a basic input device. It works even if you’re on the boot screen, or in the BIOS. Drivers for the device are rarely a problem and it doesn’t matter if you’re using a QWERTY or Dvorak keyboard, or if it’s wired or wireless, it will work just fine. 

The keys on a keyboard are fairly standard unless you’ve bought a keyboard for a specific language e.g., a keyboard may have Arabic letters or it may have certain accented English characters. Regardless of what’s printed on  the physical keyboard, a simple change in Windows 10 will allow you to use it as a normal English language keyboard.

Keyboard Typing Wrong Letters

Keyboard Typing Wrong Letters

A keyboard is simple hardware but it comes with lots of input variations depending on location/region e.g., an American keyboard will have the dollar sign on the four key while an English one will have a pound sign. It’s small differences like this that give away where a keyboard was intended to be used. A keyboard’s input behavior can also be modified by changing the input language on Windows 10 or by running scripts that will remap it.

How to fix keyboard typing wrong letters

How to fix keyboard typing wrong letters

If your keyboard is typing the wrong letters or characters than those printed on the physical keys, try the following fixes.

1. Check keyboard layout

The keyboard layout is determined by Windows 10 but it may have detected the wrong layout. You can change it to whatever suits your keyboard. 

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Time & Language.
  3. Select the Language tab.
  4. Select the language you’ve added and click Options.
  5. Check if the correct keyboard layout has been added.
  6. To add a different layout, click the Add button.
  7. Select a different layout from the list.
  8. Remove the incorrect layout.

2. Check language settings

It’s possible that you’ve switched to a different language and the keyboard input is matching it. 

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Time and language.
  3. Select the Language tab.
  4. Check if any languages, other than the ones you normally type in, are listed.
  5. Select a language to remove. 
  6. Click the Remove button.

3. Disable scripts and apps

If you have apps and/or scripts running that modify keyboard keys or remap them, quit them all. They may have been configured incorrectly and may be causing incorrect characters to be entered. AutoHotKey scripts are often used to remap keyboard keys. Quit AHK scripts if you have any running.

On that note, turn off the Num Lock key. Your keyboard may enter different characters if the Num Lock is on.

4. Run keyboard troubleshooter

Run the keyboard troubleshooter. It may be able to detect if something other than a script or language setting is interfering with it. 

  1.  Open the Settings app (Win + I keyboard shortcut). 
  2. Go to Update and Security.
  3. Select the Troubleshoot tab.
  4. Click Additional troubleshooters.
  5. Run the keyboard troubleshooter and apply all fixes that it recommends.

5. Uninstall and reinstall keyboard 

While keyboards are simple plug & play devices, there is a driver responsible for it working correctly. Uninstalling it and reinstalling the device may fix problems with it and reinstall drivers for it at the same time

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Keyboards.
  3. Right-click the keyboard and select Uninstall Device.
  4. Restart the system.
  5. The keyboard and its drivers will be installed again on boot.

6. App specific problems

If the keyboard enters the wrong letter or character in a particular app, it is highly likely that the app is causing the problem. Check each key on the keyboard in a basic app like Notepad. If the letters and characters are entered correctly, your problem may lie in the app that you’re trying to type in.

Check the font settings in the app to make sure you haven’t selected a font like Webdings.

If you’re trying to execute a keyboard shortcut, it is possible the shortcut has been blocked on Windows 10, remapped, or it doesn’t work in a particular app. Check the keyboard in different apps to determine if the problem is specific to an app.

7. Try a different keyboard

If all else fails, try using a different keyboard. Keyboards come in all sorts of price points. You can buy a cheaper one or borrow one to test if the hardware is the problem. 

Conclusion

Keyboard problems are rare and normally, they’re limited to a key no longer responding. Mistyped characters is a problem that should be solved with the above steps. If all else fails, you can use a script to remap the key and have it enter the correct character. 

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