When I Press a Key on My Keyboard, It Types Different Letters

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Updated July 22, 2022

Sometimes, even the best keyboards malfunction, or the user accidentally changes the controls without realizing it. So, if you’re here searching for an answer to “Why, when I press a key on my keyboard, it types different letters,” continue reading. We’re about to show you how to rid yourself of this extremely annoying problem.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • There are a few things to check when a keyboard starts typing the wrong letter or with strange symbols.
  • Check the Number Lock key, and then go into your keyboard settings and make sure the default language or layout hasn’t been changed.
  • You can also try running a troubleshooter to find out if any specific keys have malfunctioned.

And for a more general guide on keyboard issues, you can check out our article that answers some common problems of why your keyboard isn’t working.

Insider Tip

If you have changed your keyboard setting and want to change them back, you can go to settings and find the “Restore Keybaord Defaults” option.

How to Fix a Keyboard That Types Wrong Characters

It can be good to understand what a mechanical keyboard is to help figure out your issue. Then, you can begin to diagnose problems with greater ease. So if your keyboard outputs wrong letters as you type, there are two main areas to check and another technical solution that can come in handy.

For those who prefer Apple, we also have an article that explains the process of replacing a Mackbook Air keyboard.

Check the Number Lock

A common mistake that computer users often make is accidentally pressing the number lock button and not realizing it. To fix this, check to see if your computer has a number lock key. If so, either press the Num Lock key. If that doesn’t work, try the Shift key + Num Lock.

Switch Keyboard Layouts

Because most American and European languages use a form of the English alphabet, the keyboard language layouts vary by country. If you wish to use a specific layout or have found that your keyboard settings are programmed to a different default language, you can quickly fix this.

First, go into the control panel and access the “Time and Language” settings. Then go into the language settings, conduct a search and install a new default input language. Once the language is installed, you can click into the options for that language and set it as the laptop keyboard.

If you want to make a completely unique layout, we have a hand-wired keyboard guide for anyone passionate about creating their own gadgets.

Run a Keyboard Troubleshooter

If your keyboard is typing a bunch of random letters and you think it’s glitching, you can try running a troubleshooter. To do this test (for Windows users), you can go into your settings and then into the “System” and then into “Troubleshooting.” Finally, find the options for the keyboard and press “Run.” After running this, it will tell you if you have any corrupted keyboard drivers.

Warning

Typing too much can cause damage to the tendons in your wrist. Be sure to take an adequate break if you have a job that requires a lot of typing.

For Mac users, go to your Apple menu and then into software updates to check if there’s a new OS to solve keyboard glitches. If there is, install it immediately.

STAT: In Europe, there are three main keyboard layouts: QWERTY, AZERTY, and QWERTZ. (source)

When I Press a Key on My Keyboard, It Types Different Letters FAQs

How do I type é on an HP keyboard?

Hold the CTRL + ` " buttons when using Microsoft Word. As you hold them, press "e."

Why are some keys on my keyboard not working?

A common reason for the specific key's not working is that dirt, grime, or hair caught underneath the key and blocked the key switches.

What are the most frequent keyboard key-related issues?

Always check the number keypad lock buttons. If you, sometimes software updates can change the default layout to something other than what you're used to.
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