How to Fix Unresponsive Keyboard Keys | All the Quick Fixes

by Perfect Tech Reviewers

Unresponsive keys are not something new, but it definitely disturbs your day-to-day tasks, and it is pretty annoying. There can be multiple reasons why the keys are not responding to any action, including driver’s interruption, function lock, crumbs, defective keys, and third-party software.

But the good news is that all these reasons are possible to solve and don’t take much technical expertise. All you need to do is figure out the reason and solve it with the right method.

So, if it is the first time for you, don’t worry and hope that it is not something big like circuit damage or a defective keyboard. And to figure out what is wrong with the switches and how to fix unresponsive keyboard keys, follow this complete guide. It has some useful tips and tricks.

When the Function Keys are Not Working

This can happen when your Function key is locked. And all you need to do is reactivate it. For this, all you need to do is press F-Lock. Do consider that some keyboards have this key labeled as Fn, and both are the same thing. This key is used to activate or deactivate the F keys (from 1 to 12).

When One or More Keys are Not Working

If random keys on your board are not responding to any movement, this can be a result of the settled dirt and crumbs under the keycaps. And all you need to do is clean the area under and around these keys. For this, using the key vacuum is definitely wiser as it sucks everything from the sticky residue to dirt under the keycaps.

If it still doesn’t get the keys to respond to any movement, try removing one key and replacing it with another. It may be that your keycap is not working fine. Also, don’t rule out the fact that it can be a result of a damaged circuit board. And for this, you will need to consult the manufacturer’s support system. So, do consult professional help if all the previous steps fail.

When Number Pad Keys are Not Working

If you find the number pad unresponsive on your keypad, the solution is pretty simple. For this, press the Num Lock key, and it will do the job. This key is used to switch between the primary and secondary functions of the num key, and changing this will probably make the keys respond to movement. If your keyboard has LED indicators, check whether the light is on while you press it.

Other Common Fixes

Reboot the Computer

The first potential solution to unresponsive keys is the reboot. In simple words, turning off and on your computer can pretty much solve any software-related issue. And if you don’t find a trackpad or mouse to reboot the system, just hold down the power button for at least 15 to 20 seconds. This will do the job. If it doesn’t solve the issue, opt for a safe mode reboot.

● Please note that a hard reboot can delete all the hard drive data. So, make sure to recover it beforehand.

Clean the Keys

How to Fix Unresponsive Keyboard Keys | All the Quick Fixes

Another common reason why keyboard keys become unresponsive is the dirt that is set under the keycaps. Hence, your first instinct should always be to check for settled dust and crumbs. And the simplest solution to this problem is to clean the keyboard. Before this, keep your laptop in an upside-down position and give it a quick shake. This will get rid of the crumbs, if any.

If you own a keyboard vacuum, there is nothing better than this. It uses compressed air to suck out any settled dirt and dust under the keycaps. You can also use some rubbing alcohol to get rid of the sticky residue over the keys. And when it is all clean, check whether the keys are working fine. If not, there must be some technical software-related issue.

Replace Defective Keyboard

Sometimes it happens that you end up with a keyboard that has defective keys, and it is a manufacturing fault. The good news is that you can consult the tech support line if you are still in the warranty period. After this, they will replace the keys with you in their service station.

Note: Kindly back up your hard drive before you send the laptop for repair work. You can even remove it entirely, as replacing the keys has nothing to do with it.

Reinstall the Drivers

Unresponsive keys can also be a result of faulty drivers. You should specifically consider this if you have third-party software installed on the computer. Some people also turn on the computer without using the Shutdown button and this can also result in unresponsive keyboard keys.

The good thing about this is that it is pretty easy to solve. For this, go to the Start Menu and type Device Manager in the Control Panel > Keyboard section. If you see any item with a yellow mark on the front of it, this means there is something wrong with it. Next, right-click this item and press Uninstall the Driver.

After this, reboot your PC and restart the computer. The Windows will automatically install the drivers working fine to replace this one. If you still don’t get the keys to respond or don’t see the keyboard icon in the Device Manager icon, turn to the support page of your manufacturer and find the right solution to your problem.

Modify the Keyboard Settings

Using some software can result in unresponsive keys and other key-related issues. It can also interfere with things like actuation speed, Repeat delay settings, and the key’s response. Hence, it is always ideal to go back to the board settings and check whether everything is working fine.

To solve this, open your keyboard settings through the control panel. Type Keyboard in the search finder and open the settings. First of all, check whether you notice too low repeat delay settings. If it is the case, adjust the Filter settings and press a character to check how much time it takes to recognize movement.

Moreover, if the Use Filter Key is turned on, you might need to turn it off and check whether the keys are responsive. You can also turn off the Sticky keys for better response.

Try Changing the Layout

● If still, the keys are not responding, it is time to change the layout of the board. This is specifically a solution if you press one key and it produces a different operation. Here is how you can do it.

● Go to the Start menu and track the search finder. Type Language and select Language Setting Panel.

● Open this option and go to Language > English > Layout (option).

● Make sure to remove any layout you are not using in this section.

The keyboard is Still Not Responding

If you have tried everything and the keyboard still doesn’t respond to any movement, it is defective, and you need to get it replaced. Before that, try your luck one last time and check whether the board circuit is intact. If they advise you to get a new keyboard, sadly, you will have to invest in money for a replacement.


Wondering what is wrong with your keyboard keys and why are they not responding? Well, it can be anything like the wrong keyboard settings to dirt settled under the keys, incorrect layout, or driver’s interruption. I hope this guide has helped you in figuring out the cause and solution for unresponsive keys.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make my mechanical keyboard quieter?

Most people prefer mechanical keyboards because they produce a clicky sound. However, if you are not fond of it, you can place a foam or pad on the desk under the laptop. Or, you can use a lubricant under the switches. If they still feel clicky, you can replace them with linear mechanical switches.

Why are my keyboard Function keys not responding?

Function keys often don’t respond because they get locked. This can be solved by pressing F-Lock or Fn key. This key is used to turn on and off all the function keys (from 1 to 12) on your keyboard.

What to do if random keys on my keyboard are unresponsive?

Well, there can be multiple reasons why the keys are not responding. The foremost possible reason among these is the dirt and crumbs stuck under the keycaps. For this, you need to clean the area under and around the keys. You can also use compressed air vacuums to clean this. If it still doesn’t respond, try replacing those particular keys.

Can drivers make the keyboard keys unresponsive?

Faulty drivers installed in your PC can hinder the key’s recognition ability. This is specifically the case for people who have third-party softwares installed in the system or those who switch off their laptops without pressing the shutdown button. Whatever the reason, you can solve this by uninstalling the faulty drivers from the device manager view.

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