How to Fix the Spacebar on a Keyboard

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Updated July 22, 2022

The spacebar is the most used keyboard key, and arguably the most important. That’s why, after putting the work into finding the highest-rated keyboard they can, many users fret when their space key starts acting funny. However, if you know some common tips on how to fix the spacebar on a keyboard, this problem isn’t as big a deal as you might think.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Spacebar issues can arise from a hardware or software issue.
  • Cleaning a spacebar is the most common way to fix a faulty key.
  • To address software issues, start by updating the keyboard driver.

And for Apple users who want to learn how to fix a MacBook keyboard, we have many excellent articles. For example, how to remove the keys from a Mac keyboard.

Insider Tip

Updating your entire OS is another potential way to fix a spacebar malfunction.

How to Fix a Broken Spacebar

There are a handful of common fixes for the spacebar key. Some of them require knowing how to remove the space bar from a mechanical keyboard, like cleaning underneath a MacBook keyboard. But for others, you might not need to remove it at all. These tips apply to any mechanical keyboard, whether it be Windows, Apple, or otherwise.

And one more time for the Apple crowd, a handy tip for performing keyboard maintenance is knowing how to lock your MacBook keyboard.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Time Required: 15-60 Minutes
  • Total Steps: 4-6 (Depending on Method)
  • Tools Needed: Flathead Screwdriver

Clean Your Keyboard

STEP 1

Use a can of compressed air to blow around the edges of the space bar to clear any physical blockage like crumbs or dust.

STEP 2

For an external keyboard or laptop, turn the keyboard on its side and blow from different angles.

STEP 3

If your key is sticky from a liquid spill, you’ll have to remove the keycap. To do this, take a flathead screwdriver and place it underneath the space key.

STEP 4

Then gently pry upwards, so the clips that fasten the key become undone. Be careful not to catch the screwdriver in the metal bar underneath the keys.

STEP 5

Take a brush, cotton swab, or microfiber cloth and apply 99% rubbing alcohol. Wipe the keyboard switches until completely clean. Then rinse the keycap to remove any sticky substance.

STEP 6

After the keycap and switches are completely dry, place it back on and test the key to see if it works.

Warning

As you remove the spacebar keycap, be extra cautious not to damage the keyboard switch housing with the screwdriver. Also, ensure that all key components are completely dry before fixing.

Update Software

STEP 1

Sometimes, the spacebar will stop working because it operates on an outdated keyboard driver.

STEP 2

To update the driver, go into your settings and “Device Manager.”

STEP 3

Open the dropdown next to the keyboard list icon. After opening the list, double-click the name of your built-in laptop keyboard or connected external keyboard.

STEP 4

Press the tab that says “Drivers” and check for any keyboard driver updates. If there are updates, select “Update Driver.” Once installed, restart the computer.

STAT: Full-sized keyboards are those that have either 101, 104, or 105 keys. (source)

How to Fix a Spacebar on a Keyboard FAQs

What key can I use instead of a spacebar?

For most modern Windows computers, you can either use the virtual keyboards or remap the key functions in the settings. For Macs, you can use the virtual keyboard.

Is it possible to modify your spacebar stabilizers?

Many keyboard enthusiasts like to apply lube to their keys for a smoother function.

Do warranties cover spacebar malfunction?

You'll have to call the manufacturer and explain the issue. They can then tell if it's covered under warranty.
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