How to Fix a Keyboard on a Laptop

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Updated August 16, 2022

If you are new to the world of portable computing, you may wonder how to fix a keyboard on a laptop. Some of the best keyboards, after all, are integrated into laptops, and these particular keyboards experience unique repair and maintenance issues. So what happens to laptop keyboards, and how can you troubleshoot and repair them? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Laptop keyboards play host to all kinds of repair and maintenance issues, each requiring unique fixes.
  • Start troubleshooting by resetting the laptop via the power button, as this often does the trick, and downloading new keyboard drivers via the device manager or control panel.
  • Clean the keyboard thoroughly with a brush, microfiber cloths, compressed air, and rubbing alcohol, no matter the keyboard layout.

How to Fix Your Laptop Keyboard

Each keyboard and laptop are susceptible to unique issues if you are wondering how to fix the keyboard. In other words, there is no universal fix, such as when learning how to disable a laptop keyboard. Rather, there are multiple troubleshooting steps depending on the issue, similar to when learning how to unstick keyboard keys.

Insider Tip

Be especially careful when using rubbing alcohol to clean a keyboard. Use a tiny amount and apply it to the rag first.

Give some of these tips a shot, even if you are nervous about learning how to lube keyboard switches. With any luck, your keyboard will be back to normal in no time, whether you know the definition of a scissor-switch keyboard or not.

Restart the Laptop

This sounds ridiculously simple, but it does the trick in some instances. Resetting the computer allows the drivers and related software to also reset, clearing up any keyboard issue in the process. At the very least, it is worth a shot.

Clean the Keyboard

Give the keyboard a good and thorough cleaning to fix any lingering maintenance issues. Gently work a small brush along the keys or use a microfiber cloth to wipe them, trying to extract debris caught under or between the keycaps. Next, dab a cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently wipe away dried liquids and stuck-on grime. Finally, blast a can of compressed air into the gaps between the keys. As a note, you should be cleaning the keyboard every few months, even if it is working just fine.

Install Drivers and Check Settings

Software issues can interrupt the efficiency of a laptop keyboard, so download and install any available keyboard drivers. While you are at it, head into the settings to ensure that the keyboard is enabled and that all of the adjustments suit your desired preferences.

Use an External Keyboard

Not all issues can be resolved without contacting a professional. In these cases, simply plug in an external keyboard to one of the USB ports and use that instead. Luckily, all laptops will work just fine with a third-party keyboard.

STAT: The ribbon or connector between your keyboard and your laptop’s motherboard may have become loose, damaged, or broken, causing your keyboard to be unresponsive. (source)

Fix a Laptop Keyboard FAQs

Is anything inside unplugged?

Hardware issues are common here, as is physical damage. Ribbon cables disconnect easily, leaving the keyboard non-functional.

Can you fix a defective laptop keyboard?

If the keyboard is defective right out of the box, it is going to be tough to fix, even with resetting the laptop via the power button. Check your keyboard settings and language settings, but prepare to contact the manufacturer for a replacement keyboard.

Can I use an external keyboard?

Sure, as any standard USB keyboard should work once you have installed the required driver software and set your preferred language. It beats a trip to the repair shop.
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