4 reasons your laptop keyboard stopped working

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

There are four main reasons why your laptop keyboard stops working

ONE | Bad hardware driver

TWO | Dirt and dust or physical damage

THREE | Bad connection

FOUR | Wrong regional settings


If your laptop keyboard isn’t working, the first step it to update the driver.

  1. Click Start and look for the Device Manager

  2. Look at the list of devices until you see Keyboards, and expand the list.

  3. Right-click your keyboard device, which is probably Standard PS2 Keyboard

  4. Select Properties > Driver.

  5. Click "Update Driver" and wait for Windows to scan for a new or updated driver.

If Windows finds a suitable driver for your hardware it will install it.

Now, test the keyboard with a word processor, hopefully, it should now work!

If it is not working still then choose Uninstall Device and Windows will remove the driver.

Once done, you should reboot Windows, and wait while the driver is reinstalled.

If that doesn't work, you can also use Action > Scan for hardware changes to force Windows to install the driver.

You may also see a Rollback Driver setting, which is usually greyed out. If your keyboard has only just stopped working and this setting is available, click Rollback Driver and let Windows roll back to the older driver.

Then reboot and see if that fixes your driver issue.


This is difficult to do on a laptop, the keyboards are more easily broken than a stand-alone keyboard. Also, if you try to loosen or remove dirt by physically shaking or tapping the machine you can do more damage than you fix. You risk damaging the entire laptop if you try to shake and tap the laptop to remove any trapped dirt.

One simple way to try cleaning a keyboard is this

  1. Shut the machine down

  2. Turn the device upside down with the screen open

  3. Run your hands over the keys, whilst gently shaking your device.

  4. Don't use more pressure than you would when typing.

If there is trapped dirt you can't remove, but a can of compressed air or keyboard cleaning putty to help, but you do risk blowing or pushing the dirt or debris deeper into the machine.

Cleaning cannot repair physical keyboard faults or damage, but it can help if a few keys have got stuck due to debris falling in between the keys.


If your keyboard is damaged and shows signs of being broken with missing keys or loose or rattling components then it is time to call in the professionals. We can order replacement keyboards for most makes and models and fix any physical damage to the laptop.

You can try to remove the keyboard yourself, there are many tutorials for popular models but without the right tools and a delicate touch, you risk doing more damage than you fix. This is one of those times where calling a professional in will save you more than you spend on having your keyboard fixed.

Laptop keyboards are usually sealed units, removing the keyboard may allow you to give it a more thorough clean but you won’t be able to check, fix or replace the individual internal components. If your keyboard is toast then you will need to replace it.


You can't type a hashtag if your hash key has stopped working. Emails become impossible if the '@' key has failed and if your caps lock gets stuck on everyone thinks YOU'RE SHOUTING AT THEM!

If you have a problem with a specific keyboard key not working, it could actually be due to your language settings.

This is more common than you might think and if you have checked that the issue is not a physical problem with the keyboard this is the most likely issue.

To check for which key it is, open a word processor or text editor and press the key or keys you are having difficulty with.

When you type, if it’s the wrong symbol, the problem is almost certainly related to language settings.

Different countries use different keyboard layouts, so your keyboard may produce the wrong characters or no characters at all if the keyboard is set to use the wrong region or language settings.

How to re-configure the regional or keyboard settings in Windows 10

  1. Press Windows + I

  2. Select Time & language > Region & language.

  3. Click Add a language

  4. Choose the correct option for your keyboard.

  5. If a keyboard key isn't working, try changing language settings

  6. Click Next then Install

  7. Wait for the language to be installed.

  8. In the Region & language screen, use the Languages drop-down and select your new language.

Now go back to your notepad or word processor and check your keyboard input again; the correct characters should now be outputting to the display.

Keyboard and language settings are also available in macOS and Linux.

If you check your keyboard and have none of the above issues then call us and book a call out to have us look and diagnose the problem.

In the meantime to continue to use your machine buy a USB or Bluetooth keyboard, plug into the USB port or sync to your machine via Bluetooth and restart your laptop, this may help you continue to use your laptop whilst you wait for our technicians to come out.