What to do if the keyboard stops working on a laptop

What to do when the keyboard is not working on a laptop? This is not a desktop computer in which it is easy to disconnect a faulty device and test it on another machine. Do not panic, in most cases, failure is solved in a couple of minutes. To do this, read the information in the article.

Klava on the laptop


Why keys do not work on a laptop

Determine how serious the problem is, perhaps only some keys are faulty, not the whole block. It happens that bread crumbs and small debris fell under the button mechanism and because of this the contact was lost or it was not fully pressed. It happens that the numeric keypad on the right side of the laptop does not work – turn it on by pressing Num Lock or the Num Lock + Fn key combination. Check that the computer is plugged in. Make sure the problem is not caused by such trivial factors. Next, be sure to restart the computer and if nothing has changed, then after that take more active steps.

Possible reasons for the failure of the laptop keyboard

The keyboard may stop working for two basic reasons:

  1. Hardware. Mechanical damage, clogging, spillage are included. Such problems are easier to diagnose, but the complexity of their elimination varies from case to case. For example, if a part of USB ports ceased to work with the keyboard, then the motherboard is to blame, and its repair can be expensive.
  2. Software. This covers the consequences of malware, driver failures, incorrect settings. The specific cause of such faults is sometimes difficult to detect, but they are eliminated relatively simply, including by universal means.

Viruses and driver failure

There are special viruses – keyloggers that monitor everything that is entered using the keyboard. However, they rarely become culprits for problems. What is the point in a faulty device, because a person will not be able to enter the CVV-code of a bank card from it Therefore, during antivirus check, do not focus attention on specialized viruses. If some kind of malware has caused a breakdown, then most likely it was a common virus whose effect is aimed at disabling the computer.

Regarding drivers, this is a relatively uncomplicated program code, thanks to which the laptop “understands” what data comes from the keyboard. Software crashes are quite common. For example, a Windows update can compromise the integrity of the driver, which makes it stop working. To verify this, follow these steps:

  • Hold down the key combination Win + R, enter the command mmc devmgmt.msc., Start it by clicking on “OK”. The Device Manager opens.
  • Expand the “Keyboard” line. The keyboard name is displayed. Place the cursor on it, click the right mouse button, select “Delete device” in the drop-down list.
  • Reboot the device. You can forcibly turn off the laptop by pressing the appropriate button.
  • After starting the system will install the driver itself.

An important point regarding this action is that if a yellow exclamation point or a red cross is displayed in the Device Manager next to the line with the name of the keyboard, this clearly indicates that the driver is not working or has failed. This situation can occur with significant mechanical damage.

Liquid spilled on the keyboard of the laptop

Keyboard and fluid

Pouring a laptop computer with cola or tea is a trifling matter. There are 2 hazards:

  1. The keyboard is always installed above the main hardware of the computer. Rarely what laptop has protection against moisture penetration through the keyboard inside the case. Bottom line: a high risk of serious damage to the motherboard and other system components.
  2. Sugar and other impurities present in the liquid. When it evaporates, a thin sticky layer forms on which dust will accumulate, and the key mechanism will not work well. Bottom line: wash off potentially sticky marks from the entire keyboard after evaporation of the liquid.

Keyboard recovery

The keyboard does not work on a laptop, what to do after spilling liquid?

Turn off the computer first. Next, remove the keyboard unit (discussed in this section of the article), carry out its full cleaning. If you are not afraid, then disassemble the rest of the laptop – on the Internet there is an instruction for any model. The main thing is that nothing should oxidize from the liquid and no sticky traces remain. Having shown persistence and accuracy, you can not contact the service center.

How to clean and replace the keys yourself

Almost all inexpensive laptops and most expensive ones make it easy to remove the buttons from the keyboard yourself. This will allow to clean it qualitatively, and the mechanisms will not be affected. If one key sinks, use a pair of tweezers or a small screwdriver to pry it. It does not take much effort to get the hat out of its latches. As a result, get access to the “insides” of a small part of the keyboard unit. The easiest way to vacuum this area, and with significant pollution wipe all with a cotton swab dipped in soapy water.

Key cleaning

Remove all the keys for complete cleaning of the block is not a difficult task, you need to repeat the previously given algorithm. To avoid collecting the wrong set of keys after cleaning, pre-print a sheet with the correct layout or take a picture of the keyboard. Regarding the replacement of buttons, everything is limited only by the budget. As a rule, in the markets and disassembly one key can cost as much as the entire keyboard unit. If several buttons are physically out of order, then it is more rational to immediately buy a new keyboard.

An alternative to the previously mentioned method is the removal of the entire keyboard unit, which will be discussed in this part of the article. After mini disassembly, do the following:

  • type warm water in a basin and add a little detergent there;
  • put the keyboard unit in the water;
  • press all keys for 4-5 minutes, due to this water will penetrate into the mechanisms;
  • leave the block in water for 10 minutes;
  • repeat the cycle of pressing all the keys;
  • flush the unit with strong clean water;
  • wipe the internal surfaces, then blow the unit with a hairdryer in cold air mode for 15-20 minutes;
  • leave the keyboard for 4-5 hours in a draft, for example, on a windowsill with a window open.

An important nuance in relation to this method is maximum accuracy with a train!

Loop Contact Problems

With the help of a special adapter (loop), the keyboard unit is connected to the motherboard. This is not a USB connector used in desktop computers for connecting peripherals. The loop has a unique connector that differs from model to model. Often the failure of this component is preceded by insignificant failures in the keyboard. For example, if it has a backlight, then its brightness may decrease.

Plume on the clave

Follow these steps to check the loop:

  • Carefully inspect the sides of the keyboard unit. There should be small latches or hollows. Just press the latch (insert something small into the hollow), while at the same time prying up the keyboard with something thin (with a plastic card) – the design will be lifted. By sequentially performing the same actions for all latches (hollows), you pull the entire unit from its place. Be careful not to overdo it. Pre-read online instructions for disassembling your laptop.
  • Examine the connector connector and cable. The loop should not be twisted, have breaks. The connector is usually fixed on top of a small plastic latch, it must be pulled to the left or right so that the cable can be pulled out. On its contact metal paths there should be no oxides, no part of the track along the entire length should be interrupted. Wipe the contacts and reconnect the unit to the connector. At home, it is impossible to diagnose or repair the cable, but it is not difficult to visually verify its serviceability.

Microcontroller failure

Keyboard microcontroller

If none of the above helps, then the microcontroller is likely to burn. This damage will be fixed only in the service center. Do not embellish the situation for professionals. For example, if water is really spilled on the computer, then immediately talk about it – this will speed up the repair, but you still cannot hide the true reason when disassembling the laptop. You can find a spare keyboard unit on almost any laptop, so it’s not worth it to go get a new computer right from the start. You may need to order a spare part abroad, but in this situation everything will be cheaper for a new laptop.

How to enter characters when the device is not working

It is best of all to find an external USB keyboard and connect it to a computer. If not, then enable the on-screen keyboard. This is a special Windows utility that was developed to solve two problems:

  • for permanent use on touchscreen computers;
  • for the possibility of entering characters in case of a physical keyboard breakdown.

You can run this program in the following ways:

  1. Through the notification area. Click the right mouse button in the lower right corner of the desktop. A context menu appears in which you need to click on the line “Show touch button …”. After that, a new icon will appear in the same area. When you click on it, a full-fledged electronic keyboard will open, which is used with the mouse or touchpad.
  2. Through the menu “Options”. This method is suitable for Windows 7 and later. Follow the path: “Start” => “Options” => “Accessibility” => “Keyboard (in Windows 7 it will be” Electronic Keyboard “)”. Next, in the settings window, set the slider in the “Enable the on-screen keyboard” line to “On.”

A good alternative to a separate Microsoft application is the on-screen keyboard in the Google Chrome browser. It is always on the open page of the Google search engine. Look carefully at the line where the request is entered, then you will notice an icon on the right that the virtual keyboard is clicking on.


  1. Elimination of banal causes saves in most cases.
  2. Regarding software reasons, reinstalling the driver and anti-virus checking helps.
  3. It is better to fix hardware breakdowns in the service center, but often you can do everything yourself, although this may take a lot of time.
  4. At the time of the inoperability of the keyboard, connect a third-party external, or activate the “On-Screen Keyboard” function in Windows.
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