What to Do if Your Laptop Keyboard is Not Working Properly

When your keyboard has malfunctioned, it may start keying in commands on its own, have some keys that do not respond at all, or whenever you press a button on your computer, it responds by executing a different command. Finding the cause might be a challenge that requires a little effort for you to get the keyboard to work again.

Below are some of the options that you can consider trying if you experience keyboard malfunctions. If you run into any other issues, you will find the solution on our Laptop Verge blog.

Steps to Troubleshoot the Keyboard

1. Search the keyboard Troubleshooter

All Windows operating systems have a built-in capability to troubleshoot issues with hardware components, including the keyboard.

When your keyboard malfunctions, the first attempt at resolving the problem would be to run the automatic keyboard troubleshooter.

You might be required to turn on the on-screen keyboard for more straightforward navigation by clicking the Windows ‘Start’ button, navigating to ‘Settings’, and going to ‘Ease of Access.’

When you navigate to the ‘Keyboard’ section, you will find the option to turn the on-screen keyboard on. When you have the on-screen keyboard activated, click on the Windows ‘Start’ button and search for ‘Find and fix keyboard problems.’

When you click on it, the troubleshooter will give you an option to proceed with the automatic check by clicking ‘Next.’ Windows will run diagnostics and give you results whether it was able to find the problem or not. The troubleshooter may also offer a solution to your problem if it finds the issue.

2. Update your keyboard driver

A keyboard driver is the software communication link between the keyboard and the kernel of your computer’s operating system.

When the keyboard driver is not up to date, the kernel may not receive proper commands from the keyboard or may not receive them at all.

Therefore, you would want to ascertain that the keyboard drivers are up to date. This process requires you to connect your laptop to the internet.

Next, click on the Windows ‘Start’ button and search for ‘Device Manager.’ Once the results show, click it to launch the manager.

Alternatively, click on the Windows ‘Start’ button and navigate to the ‘Settings’ section. Once you click it, go to ‘System’ and scroll to the ‘About’ section, where you will find a link to the device manager.

When the device manager launches, scroll to the ‘Keyboards’ drop-down menu section and click on it. The keyboard driver available should appear. Right-click on it and choose ‘Update driver.’

3. Turn fast startup off

Fast Startup is a Windows operating system feature that allows your laptop to take less time to start after being shut down.

The disadvantage that this has is that sometimes it causes compatibility issues whose implications may include keyboard malfunctions. Therefore, the keyboard problem that you have might be solved when you disable fast startup.

To do so, click on the Windows Home button and search for ‘Power and sleep options’ using the on-screen keyboard.

Next, click on ‘Power and sleep options’ and choose ‘Additional power settings.’ Next, locate the link to ‘Choose what the power button does,’ which should give you a list of buttons that include one to ‘Turn on fast startup.’ Finally, save the changes and retry working with your keyboard.

4. Check BIOS

You might also need to check if the problem is a hardware or software problem by checking the BIOS. You may need to google the key commands that your laptop model uses to access the BIOS. To access the BIOS, shut down your laptop and press the power button after it is completely shut.

As it powers back on, enter the BIOS by pressing Escape, F1, or the combination that goes together with your laptop.

If your laptop loads the BIOS after you press the related keys, the chances might be that your keyboard is working correctly and that the problem is on the software side. On the other hand, if the BIOS does not load up, what you are experiencing may be a hardware problem.

5. Make sure it’s dry

One of the significant challenges that cause keyboards to malfunction is liquid spillage. Liquids like water can short the keyboard circuit and cause it to malfunction or cause complete failure of the keyboard. Therefore, if the keyboard is malfunctioning, check whether there are signs of any liquid on the keyboard.

The best way to handle this is to switch off your laptop completely, turn it upside down and gently tap the backside. You can also use compressed air or a blow dryer to force any liquid out.

If you use a blow dryer, ensure that the power is set to the lowest level to reduce the risk of more damage to the keyboard.

If there are signs of liquid, use a dry cloth or dry wipes to dry it off and let the laptop remain upside down for some time. If the problem persists after this step, you may have to consider replacing your keyboard.

6. Clean any dust or debris

Another major cause of keyboard challenges is the dirt and debris that builds up over time in your keyboard. The particles may make it hard for the keys to press down completely or wear off the keyboard.

To handle this, switch off your laptop and disconnect it from the power supply. Next, turn it upside down and gently tap its backside to force the loose particles out.

After this process, take a soft-bristled brush and brush off the keyboard from end to end. You may also consider using compressed air to blow away the dirt as you brush it off. Subsequently, take a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol and ensure it is damp and not dripping.

Finally, wipe off the remaining dirt from the laptop keyboard and give it some time to dry. Your keyboard should now function normally if the problem were caused by dirt.

In conclusion, you might experience a challenge with your laptop keyboard that doesn’t demand extra expenses of visiting a professional.

The above fixes are common and easy ways that do not require additional skills and might also save your laptop from further damage, especially when there is liquid or dust. However, it is wise to consult with an experienced person for additional guidance if this does not work.

Written By Eric Smith

My name is Eric Smith and I've been working within the tech space for over 10 years, both at one of the largest computer manufacturers (for which I have no affiliation with anymore) but also in the retail sector where I gained a lot of experience in helping people finding suitable tech products.