Sometimes, even the best keyboards break down, and you have to either buy a new one or replace the broken parts. Keys are made up of various small pieces, and it’s often worth it to find the problem and replace it rather than purchasing an entirely new keyboard. Below, we’ll show you how to replace keyboard keys.
And if you are someone who knows they want a keyboard that lets them change and customize their setup, you can read our guide on the finest hot-swappable keyboards.
There are many different types of keyboards, and each one may require a slightly different method. In this guide, we cover replacing keys on mechanical keyboards. But regardless of the type, the process of replacing keys is relatively similar across the board.
Once you have removed all parts, it’s a good idea to wipe down your keyboard switches with rubbing alcohol.
Before you do this, it’s good to understand things like how to reattach a keyboard key or how to remove a spacebar from a mechanical keyboard. Knowing these basic procedures will make the entire replacement process go smoother.
If you aren’t sure what kind of keyboard you have, check out our various resource articles, such as the one explaining what a butterfly keyboard is. Finally, once you complete your hardware tasks and want to move on to software, read our article on how to reset a keyboard.
Remove the keycap with a flat, firm piece of metal or plastic. This tool can be a flathead screwdriver, credit card, or anything that will work without damaging your device. Slide it underneath the keycap and pry the key upwards until the clips that attach it become undone.
Remove the keyboard retainer pieces. These are the small bracket-like plastic pieces that sit over the key switch. Depending on the laptop model, they are held on by hooks or clips. Again, pay attention to how the retainer pieces line up because you’ll need to replicate this later.
Take the new or cleaned retainer pieces, fit them together, and replace them over the keyboard switch. Make sure the plastic hinges snap or hook back into place.
Different keyboards can have slightly different keyboard layouts and mechanisms, so examine them thoroughly before removing them. Taking extra caution can help avoid additional damage.
Take the laptop key cap and place it over the keyboard base, and press firmly down until it snaps into place. Press the key to make sure it feels right.
Repeat this for the entire keyboard or however many keys you need to replace.
STAT: The average amount of keys on a full-sized keyboard is 104. (source)