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Laptop Keyboard Not Working – Try These 5 Solutions to Fix It

A keyboard is a basic input device. It works even outside an OS — for example on the boot screen when you’re prompted to tap the F12 or F2 key to get to the BIOS. You don’t need drivers for it but when you boot to a desktop e.g. in Windows 10, the OS will install some drivers for it.

The keyboard drivers that Windows 10 installs are generic i.e. the drivers aren’t different for different types of keyboards. The one exception to this is if the keyboard is an internal keyboard e.g., those found on laptops. External keyboards and internal keyboards are separate devices and use different drivers but both are installed automatically by Windows 10.

Laptop Keyboard Not Working

Laptop Keyboard Not Working

If the internal keyboard on your laptop is not working, you need to run basic tests on it. To do most of these tests, and to execute the fixes, you still need a keyboard.

In a rush? Jump straight to the fixes.

Editor’s Note: You’ll need to connect an external keyboard to the laptop to run some of these fixes and checks.

Start here: basic checks

Run the internal keyboard through these checks before you move on to the fixes.

  • Restart the system.
  • Restart the system and check if the keyboard allows you to boot to BIOS.
  • Open the Start menu, click the power button, hold down the Shift key and click Restart. Go to Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>>Startup settings>Restart. Select Safe Mode. Check if the keyboard works.
  • Close any and all open dialog boxes and check if the keyboard works.
  • Check the keyboard in different apps e.g. Notepad, Wordpad, Chrome etc.
  • Check individual keys of the keyboard to see if the input is detected. 

Keyboard Not Working on Laptop, What to Try

If your external keyboard is working, but the internal one isn’t, or if it works when you’re in Safe Mode, the following fixes should resolve the problem. 

1. Update keyboard drivers

Updating keyboard drivers is the first thing you should try.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Keyboards.
  3. Right-click the internal keyboard and select Update drivers.
  4. Search online for driver updates and install the ones that are available.
  5. Restart the system.

2. Install pending updates

If you have pending updates, install them. They can resolve problems on your system.

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Select the Windows Update tab.
  4. Click Check for updates.
  5. Download and install available updates and restart the system.

3. Run keyboard troubleshooter

Windows 10 has a built-in troubleshooter for keyboards.

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Select the Troubleshoot tab.
  4. Click Additional troubleshooters.
  5. Select the Keyboard troubleshooter and run it. Apply any fixes that it recommends.

4. Change keyboard layout/input language

You may have installed a different language or set up a keyboard layout that is corrupt. In that case, you need to change the keyboard layout to one that works. Try executing the Win+Spacebar keyboard shortcut. It will change the layout to the next one that’s available.

5. Remove proprietary drivers 

Windows 10 may install proprietary drivers on top of the generic keyboard drivers that it uses. These proprietary drivers don’t do much but they can interfere with hardware. Try removing them.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Human Interface Devices.
  3. Look for a Synaptics or Elan device.
  4. Right-click it and select Uninstall.
  5. Restart the system.

Conclusion

If the above fails, and the keyboard has remained unresponsive during the basic checks, you may have a hardware problem on your hands. Take your laptop in for repairs. The problem may be minor i.e., a lose cable/wire. If your system has been damaged by moisture (water), you may need to replace the keyboard. 

1 Comment

  1. summary: it is never the aforementioned. it is always physical damage.

    dont lost your time. buy new portable keyboard (or new notebook)

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