How to Fix a Keyboard Key

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Updated February 10, 2023
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Difficulty Easy
Steps 0
Time Required 5 minutes
Things to Know

If you are new to the world of personal computing, you may wonder how to fix a keyboard key. Even the best keyboards, after all, can have keys malfunction, break, or even completely fall off. So what are the common issues that plague keyboard keys, and how can you alleviate them? Keep reading to find out.


  • Keyboards are susceptible to multiple issues, including loose keys and damaged keys, so learn to be a keyboard troubleshooter.
  • To fix a loose key on an external keyboard or desktop keyboard, simply press down on the key firmly until you hear a click indicating that it is reattached fully.
  • To replace a keyboard key, purchase a replacement kit, insert the key retainer, and finally, the key itself.

Keyboard Key Repair

With all keyboards, even if you are testing the highest-rated mechanical keyboards, the primary repair issues are loose keys and keys that fall off. This common obstacle even impacts DIY builds if you just learned how to build a keyboard of your own.

Insider Tip

Keep a can of compressed air on hand for quickly cleaning out debris from your keyboards.

With that in mind, here are the steps on how to fix a keyboard with a loose key and one with a broken key.

Repairing a Loose Key

This is an extremely simple fix, akin to learning how to clean a laptop keyboard. All you have to do is press firmly on the key, but not too firmly, and it should snap back into place. This holds true even when you are learning how to fix a Chromebook keyboard. Keeping your keyboard properly maintained helps stave off loose keys, so also learn how to clean a mechanical keyboard.

Repairing a Broken Key

If your key has actually fallen off, you’ll need to replace it. Luckily, this is a fairly simple process that should only take several minutes.

STEP 1 Gather Your Materials

  1. You can purchase replacement key kits online for a reasonable price, which is worth considering if your key is cracked or broken in ways beyond becoming removed from the rest of the keyboard.
  2. These kits often include something called a key retainer, which is a necessary tool for reattachment.

STEP 2 Insert the Retainer

  1. Locate the key retainer and place it onto the keyboard, affixing it to where the missing key will reside.
  2. It should lay completely flat and offer a fair amount of flexibility. Reinsert until you get it right.

STEP 3 Attach the Key

  1. Hover the key over the retainer in the proper orientation.
  2. Press down firmly to attach the key to the keyboard.
  3. It should snap on tightly without too much force. If not, push down on each corner until it flattens out.


How to fix a dead key on your keyboard?

If you have a dead key or one that is coming back with the wrong character, remove it and insert a new key by following the above instructions.

What causes keys not to work?

There are many reasons why keys don’t work, both hardware and software related. Pull up the on-screen keyboard and perform some troubleshooting, checking on keyboard settings and keyboard drivers.

How to unstick keyboard keys?

Cleaning the entire keyboard is the first step, be it a laptop keyboard, external keyboard, or other keyboard types. If that doesn’t work, remove the keys and clean the undercarriage with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol.

STAT: Your computer’s keyboard is an essential component that allows you to enter commands, write texts, and basically use your PC. (source)

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