Keyboard Stops Working Randomly

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Updated July 29, 2022

The keyboard is a computer’s mouthpiece, and the entire device becomes useless if it stops working. Because of its importance, you should know what to look for in the best keyboards and how to troubleshoot if things go awry. So, if your keyboard stops working randomly, we’ll explore some of the causes and what you can do to get it back to normal below.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • When a keyboard stops working randomly, it’s usually a connection or software issue.
  • Check all physical connections for any dirt or broken parts. Also, test the wireless connection to ensure it’s not cutting out.
  • Updating the keyboard driver is a common and easy software fix to a glitching keyboard.

For any concerned Mac typist out there, we have a similar article explaining what to do if the keyboard on your Mac isn’t working.

Insider Tip

You can download apps, like Driver Easy, that automatically download any keyboard driver updates.

Why Does My Keyboard Randomly Stop Working?

Keyboards might stop working for many reasons. However, some are more common than others. The most likely culprit of a spotty keyboard is a connection, settings, or software issue. Of course, hardware issues are never out of the question.

If you need more troubleshooting help, we have a bunch of helpful articles covering everything from what to do if your keyboard beeps when typing to how to fix a keyboard that’s typing backward. And if you think your keyboard is beyond repair, check out some of our reviews, such as this one that compares the Anne Pro 2 vs the Ducky One 2 Mini.

Check Connections

The first thing to look for is connection issues for those using an external keyboard. An external keyboard relies on a solid connection, whether a USB cable or wireless model. If there is a weak wireless signal or loose keyboard input, you’ll experience random outages. For wireless keyboards, you can also try replacing the batteries and ensuring the dongle is securely in its port.

Update/Reinstall Keyboard Driver

The keyboard driver communicates commands from hardware to software. It needs to be updated to maintain the best software features and keep your computer free of bugs. For PCs running on Windows OS, the process is simple:

  1. Press the key combo “Windows + R.”
  2. In the search bar, type “devmgmt.msc” and press OK.
  3. Find the keyboard icon and open the dropdown menu. Then click on the keyboard option that you use.
  4. At the top of the screen that pops up, there will be a tab that says “Drivers.” Click on that.
  5. You can check for and install any updates or uninstall and reinstall it to its default settings.

For more solutions to common software and settings issues, check out our article explaining how to turn on a keyboard light.

Clean Keyboard Switches

A common but fixable hardware issue is dirty keyboard switches. To fix this, take a can of compressed air and spray down your keyboard from multiple angles.

Warning

Be gentle when removing keycaps. The underlying keyboard switch has some delicate parts that can be damaged by rough handling.

If you had a liquid spill, remove the keycaps and wipe down the switches with rubbing alcohol. Then let everything dry before replacing the keys.

STAT: Wireless keyboards batteries last for 3-6 months, on average. (source)

Keyboard Stops Working Randomly FAQs

How often should I clean my keyboard?

It's best to clean your keyboard with compressed air at least once every two months. But, of course, if you eat over your keyboard, it should be cleaned more often.

Can viruses cause my keyboard to stop working?

Computer viruses have been known to lock up a computer's software. To fix this, you'll have to eliminate the virus and restart your computer.

What should I do if I have a loose USB connection?

First, try another port, if available. You'll likely have to replace the loose port or take it to a professional for repair.
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