How to Unstick Keyboard Keys

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Updated July 22, 2022

Even if you have one of the best keyboards available, you might have to learn how to unstick keyboard keys at some point. Fortunately, this is a common problem many people face, and it’s a fairly easy issue to solve if you have the right tools.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • You first want to ensure you have removed the keyboard from its power source. For laptops, this might mean letting the computer’s battery run down completely. From there, gather your supplies, including compressed air.
  • Use the compressed air to gently loosen and remove debris from underneath the keys. Then, turn the keyboard upside down and gently shake it.
  • The final step is to take cotton swabs and wet them with a minimal amount of rubbing alcohol. Use these to gently clean the keys.

Unsticking a Standard Keyboard Key

Different keyboard issues will require different solutions. For example, if you’re wondering how to fix a keyboard on a laptop, there are specific articles aimed at that problem. There are also articles on how to clean a mechanical keyboard if you have one of those.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Required: 5 minutes
  • Total Steps: 6
  • Tools Needed: None

Insider Tip

You can avoid getting sticky keys by not eating at your desk or over your computer.

STEP 1

First, ensure your keyboard is completely turned off. You can’t clean a sticky keyboard that has power running to it.

STEP 2

Gather your supplies, including a can of compressed air. Learning how to clean a keyboard with compressed air is the best way to keep your entire keyboard functioning as it should.

STEP 3

Next, use your compressed air to blow debris out of the keyboard using short, quick bursts gently. This should loosen up food crumbs and other debris that have gotten stuck under your computer or laptop key.

STEP 4

Now, gently turn your keyboard upside down. This should be done with caution if you have a built-in keyboard. External keyboards are easier. Shake the keyboard gently so that debris falls out.

STEP 5

Take some cotton swabs and minimally wet them with rubbing alcohol. You’ll wipe them over your keyboard to clean it more thoroughly.

Warning

Ensure that power is completely cut off before you begin working on your keyboard or you could damage it or harm yourself.

Step 6 – You should have solved your issue at this point. If your keyboard is beyond salvageable, you might want to learn how to replace a Macbook Air keyboard if you’re running iOS.

STAT: In 2021, the computer hardware market in the United States generated a total revenue of over 48.2 billion U.S. dollars, sporting a growth rate of 1.2 percent. (Source)

How to Unstick Keyboard Keys FAQs

What if my sticky keys are because of a software issue?

Sometimes electronic devices can get the best of us. If you believe the key is sticking because of a problem with the software, try uninstalling and reinstalling the keyboard drivers to see if that solves your problem.

Is a mechanical keyboard worth purchasing?

There are a lot of people who rave about mechanical keyboards. However, it really comes down to personal preference. Some people don’t like the feeling of using a mechanical keyboard.

How do I fix a jammed keyboard key?

That depends on the reason that your keyboard key is jammed. Sometimes simply cleaning your laptop or desktop keyboard can solve the problem. Other times, you might have to take off the key physically.

What type of keyboard is the best option?

You’ll want to look at your daily habits and why you need a specialized keyboard. Most people will do well with base models, especially when it’s a laptop keyboard.
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