How to Reattach a Keyboard Key

Nathan Rizzuti Profile image

Written by:

Updated February 10, 2023

Some keys are used more than others, but no key should be left behind. Many of the best keyboards come with detachable keys, and sometimes, they can come undone. That’s why, if this misfortune ever befalls you, it’s essential to be aware of how to reattach a keyboard key. But don’t sweat, because below we’ll show you how.


  • Knowing how to reattach keys is helpful for those looking to clean underneath their keyboard or replace any damaged keycaps.
  • For laptop and flat mechanical keys, the cap is placed so that the plastic or metal hooks fit into the latch on the key retainer.
  • Desktop keyboard keys are reattached by placing them over the base and pressing the key in like a puzzle piece.

We also have a bunch of other helpful guides, such as our article on how to remove a MacBook’s keyboard keys. This article is important because removal is essential in performing tasks like cleaning underneath your keyboard keys.

How to Reattach a Key to a Keyboard

Attaching a keyboard key is a simple but useful skill for any computer owner. Whether you are in the process of figuring out how to replace keyboard keys or you are planning on doing a deep cleaning, reattachment is a necessary step. And if you anticipate a cleaning, we have a great resource explaining how to lock your keyboard; locking your keyboard is always a good idea before you clean, so you don’t accidentally type or change any settings. But, remember to unlock your keyboard before you start typing again.

And finally, for anyone with a wired keyboard irritated by their USB cord, we have a manual explaining the process of making a wireless keyboard out of a wired one.

Laptop Keyboard and Flat Mechanical Keyboard Keys


Examine the key for any damages. Check the small clips and metal hooks on the back of the keycap to ensure they aren’t chipped or cracked.


Look at the key retainer on top of the switch for any damages. If the cap or the key retainer is damaged, you’ll have to purchase replacements or take the computer to a repair shop.

Insider Tip

Some online retailers sell key replacements. Most of the time, buying online and doing your own replacement is cheaper than taking it to a repair shop.


For larger keys, like the spacebar and the shift key, you’ll likely find metal stabilizer bars on the keycap or over the retainer. Make sure that they are in place and not bent.


Find the latch on the laptop key retainer. Then position the keycap so that the metal or plastic hooks enter the latch.


Once you’ve fit the key into the latch, push the key downwards until you hear the clips click into place.


Sometimes, damage to keys isn’t visible to the naked eye. Examine with a magnifying glass or the zoom function on your phone to check for damage.

Desktop Keyboard


A desktop keyboard typically has raised keys. If one of the caps continues to fall off, check for damage on both the cap and the base plunger.


If there’s no damage, place the key over the base and press down firmly.


Test the key to make sure that it works properly.

STAT: The most commonly used keys on the keyboard are–in order–the spacebar, E, and backspace. (source)


What are the best ways to maintain a keyboard?

Perform regular cleanings with compressed air and by wiping the switches with rubbing alcohol.

How do I know if a key is broken?

If the key continuously falls off, that’s one indicator. But you also might have to examine the key with a magnifying glass to find cracks or chips.

What are scissor keys?

The scissor mechanism is another design for a keyboard switch that makes typing faster and reduces the loud typing sound.

Nathan Rizzuti Profile image