Laptop Keyboard Not Working – Try These 5 Solutions to Fix It

Keyboard is a basic input tool. It works even outside of OS – for example on the boot screen when you are asked to tap the F12 or F2 key to access the BIOS. You will not need drivers for it, but when you start a desktop eg in Windows 10, the OS will install some drivers for it.

The keyboard drivers that Windows 10 installs are generic ie the drivers are not different for different types of keyboards. The only exception to this is if the keyboard is an internal keyboard e.g., the ones found on laptops. External and internal keyboards are separate devices and use different drivers but both are installed automatically by Windows 10.

Laptop keyboard not working

Laptop keyboard not working

If the built-in keyboard on your laptop is not working, you need to run basic tests on it. To perform most of these tests, and apply the corrections, you still need a keyboard.

In a hurry? Jump straight to the corrections.

Editor’s note: You need to connect an external keyboard to the laptop to run some of these solutions and scans.

Start here: basic studies

Run the built-in keyboard through these checks before moving on to the settings.

  • Restart the system.
  • Reboot the system and check if the keyboard allows you to access BIOS.
  • Open the Start menu, click the power button, hold down the Shift key and click Restart. Go to Troubleshoot> Advanced Options >> Startup Options> Restart. Choose Safe Mode. Check if the keyboard works.
  • Close any open dialog boxes and check that the keyboard is working.
  • Check the keyboard in various apps eg Notepad, Wordpad, Chrome etc.
  • Check individual keys of the keyboard to see if the input is detected.

Keyboard not working on laptop, What to try

If your external keyboard is working, but the internal one is not, or if it worked while in Safe Mode, the following solutions should solve the problem.

1. Update keyboard drivers

Updating keyboard drivers is the first thing you should try.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand keyboards.
  3. Right-click on the internal keyboard and select Update drivers.
  4. Search online for driver updates and install the available ones.
  5. Restart the system.

2. Install upcoming updates

If you have upcoming updates, install them. They can solve problems on your system.

  1. Open the Settings app with the keyboard shortcut Win + I.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Select the Windows Update tab.
  4. Click Check for Updates.
  5. Download and install available updates and reboot the system.

3. Run keyboard troubleshooter

Windows 10 has a built-in keyboard unlocker.

  1. Open the Settings app with the keyboard shortcut Win + I.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Select the Troubleshoot button.
  4. Click Additional Troubleshooter.
  5. Select the keyboard unlock tool and run it. Enter any configurations it recommends.

4. Change keyboard layout / input language

You may have entered a different language or created a corrupt keyboard layout. In that case, you need to change the keyboard layout to a working one. Try the Win + Spacebar keyboard shortcut. It will change the format to the next available one.

5. Remove property drivers

Windows 10 can install proprietary drivers on top of the standard keyboard drivers it uses. These proprietary drivers do not do much but can disrupt hardware. Please try to remove them.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand human interface tools.
  3. Look for a Synaptics or Elan device.
  4. Right click on it and select Uninstall.
  5. Restart the system.

Conclusion

If the above fails, and the keyboard has remained unresponsive during the basic checks, you may have a hardware problem in your hands. Bring your laptop in for repairs. The problem may be minor ie, loss of cable / wire. If your system has been damaged (water), you may need to replace the keyboard.

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