How to Reset a Keyboard

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Updated August 6, 2022

If your keyboard seems on the fritz, you may need to revert to default settings with a soft reset. Sometimes, even the best keyboards can act up, which doesn’t mean the device is failing. Below, we’ll show you how to reset a keyboard for both Windows and Apple.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Resetting to default keyboard settings is a common way to rid your computer of any keyboard glitches it may be suffering.
  • Regardless of keyboard device or computer manufacturer, the resetting process is easy for Mac and Windows users.
  • Overall, it only takes a few minutes, and everything is accomplished right in the computer’s general keyboard settings menu.

We also have a few guides on device upkeep, such as our article on how to replace keyboard keys. And we also have one on how to remove a spacebar on a mechanical keyboard.

Insider Tip

If some keys aren’t working even after resetting your keyboard, you can go into the settings and remap the keyboard layouts.

How Do You Reset Your Keyboard?

Whether you need to know how to reset a Mac keyboard or one for Windows, rest easy knowing that this is a straightforward process. It’s just a simple matter of entering your settings, and voila! You’ll be set to go in no time.

However, suppose your laptop keyboard is entirely unresponsive. In that case, you might have to get an external keyboard to work on in the meantime. If you do this and need help setting it up, you can check out our article on how to connect a wireless keyboard. And for the adventurous souls, we offer a guide explaining the process of making a wireless keyboard out of a wired device.

Resetting for Windows

STEP 1 Open the Run Box

First, you’ll have to enter the device manager. To do this, press “Windows Key + R” This key combo will bring up the Run box.

STEP 2 Open Device Manager

In the search field, type “devmgmt.msc” and press the OK button.

STEP 3 Find the Keyboard Section

Find the keyboard icon and click it to enter into the dropdown menu.

STEP 4 Uninstall the Your Keyboard

Select the keyboard you want to reset. Then, on the upper row of icons, press the red “X.” Pressing this uninstalls the keyboard.

STEP 5 Scan for Hardware Changes

Press the button that has the computer with the magnifying glass over it. Pressing these scans for hardware changes will bring back the uninstalled device.

STEP 6 Reinstall the Keyboard Drivers

After selecting the keyboard on the drop-down, return to the top menu and press the icon with the monitor and green up arrow. This installs the latest keyboard driver and should fully reset your device.

Resetting for iOS

STEP 1 Press the Apple Symbol

Press the Apple symbol in the upper left corner.

STEP 2 Open System Preferences

Press “System Preferences.”

STEP 3 Open the Keyboard Menu

Select the keyboard icon.

STEP 4 Open Modifier Keys

Press the button in the bottom right corner that says “Modifier Keys.”

STEP 5 Reset the Keyboard

Press “Restore Defaults” then “OK.” Once done, the device should be fully reset.

Warning

If you do a soft reset, you will lose the custom setting you have in place. You’ll have to reenter them after the process is complete.

STAT: While keyboards come in all price ranges, the average cost of a computer keyboard is $107. (source)

How to Reset a Keyboard FAQs

Are there any alternatives to resetting your keyboard?

If you don't want a full reset, you can try going to the advanced keyboard settings and resetting the keyboard language.

Why are my keys typing different letters?

If you have a full-sized keyboard, make sure the number lock isn't on. Then go to your keyboard language settings and see if it was changed. If it still doesn't work, try running some troubleshooting programs.

What should I do if a soft reset isn't working?

You can attempt a hard reset, which requires a specific key combination. Each brand is different, so contact the manufacturer or consult the manual to figure this out.
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