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Has Your PC Keyboard Stopped Working? Here’s How to Fix It

by Rahul Rai
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Has it happened to you when your are typing something, or using a shortcut, but your computer does nothing? And you realize that the keyboard has stopped working suddenly. Typically, you need save your work and restart your computer. But how do you do that when the keyboard doesn’t work? Luckily, you can these troubleshooting methods before you replace your keyboard or resort to costly repairs.

Before We Begin

To use the troubleshooting methods mentioned below, you need first log in to Windows. At this point, we hope that a mouse works with your computer. On the Windows login and lock screen, click the human icon (Accessibility) in the bottom-right corner to open accessibility settings and enable the On-screen Keyboard toggle. That’ll give you an on-screen keyboard to type in your PIN, password to log into your desktop.

If you want to activate the on-screen keyboard inside Windows, you can navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard and enable the On-screen keyboard.

1. Perform Initial Inspections

Here are a few simple solutions you can try first:

  • Restart your computer by long-pressing the power button.
  • Check the keyboard for damages like broken keys or a cable.
  • Ensure that your keyboard is clean since dust and debris can cause individual keys or even the entire keyboard to stop functioning.
  • Try a different USB port on your computer.
  • Try using the keyboard on another computer to check if it works there.
  • If you use wireless keyboards, ensure the battery level is sufficient. Otherwise you can change/recharge them and reconnect.

2. Disable Filter Keys

This solution has helped numerous users when their keyboards stopped working on their Windows computers. For the uninitiated, Filter Keys is a Windows accessibility feature that prevents accidental or repeated key presses by requiring longer key presses. That means if you’ll need to press select keys like Shift, it won’t activate a shortcut. And you will have to hold down that key for long if you want to use it as a shortcut.

Filter Keys feature might make you think that your keyboard is not working properly. To disable Filter Keys on Windows, navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard and then toggle off the button next to Filter keys.

3. Scan for Malware

Your PC may be infected with malware, which might be interfering with the software, and even hardware, including the keyboard. A Microsoft Community forum member could resolve the keyboard issue by removing the virus. I recommend using reliable anti-malware software or Windows’ built-in antivirus for protection – Windows Defender.

1. Press Windows Key + S keyboard shortcut to launch Windows Search and type Windows Security in it.

2. Open Windows Security from the results, move to the Virus & threat protection section, and click Scan options.

3. Select the Full scan option and then click the Scan now button.

4. Update or Reinstall the Keyboard Driver

It’s more likely that the issue may lie with the keyboard driver, after a stream of automatic Windows Updates. That may have caused compability issues between your keyboard and Windows. Therefore, you can manually try to update or dowgrade the keyboard driver to resolve compatibility issues.

To update the keyboard driver, follow the below steps:

1. Right-click on the Start button and then select Device Manager.

2. Expand the Keyboards section and then right-click on the keyboard device that you want to update.

3. Select the Update driver option to check for updates.

If Windows can’t find updates, just choose the Uninstall device option and restart your PC. After your PC restarts, Windows will reinstall the best available keyboard driver.

5. Make Changes to Your Registry File

After trying some simple troubleshooting, you might have get your hands dirty with the Windows Registry. Many forum users claim of solving keyboard problems after tinkering with the Registry files. Microsoft’s official documentation points at the changes to the PS/2 (i8042prt) registry file can resolve the keyboard issue on your Windows PC. That’s a mention about the old PS/2 (i8042prt) port used to connect keyboards and mouse. The entry in the Windows Registry contains details about how those peripherals interact using that port with Windows.

Here’s how things work:

1. Navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard and enable the On-screen keyboard.

2. Press the Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut to launch the Run dialog, then type regedit and click OK.

3. Navigate to the following path and then open the registry key named Start (inside the i8042prt folder).


4. Change the Value data to 1 and click OK. After that, restart your computer to check if your keyboard works again.

6. Run Keyboard Troubleshooter (Windows 10 Only)

Another great way to fix the keyboard issue is by using the keyboard troubleshooting feature on Windows. Unfortunately, it is limited only to Windows 10. In most cases, this troubleshooter resolves common keyboard problems. Here’s how to run the troubleshooter:

1. Navigate to Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooter.

2. Select the Keyboard option and hit the Run the troubleshooter button.

Afterward, it will initiate the troubleshooting process. If Windows can identify any issues with your keyboard, it will fix them for you.

7. Check Your Bluetooth Keyboard Connection

I use the Logitech K380 keyboard, which is paired with three devices. As you might have guessed, it sometimes gets connected to one of the three devices, making me think my keyboard has suddenly stopped working. If you also use a wireless keyboard (with similar features), make sure it’s connected to your Windows laptop or PC.

8. Disable Fast Startup

The Fast Startup feature in Windows helps your PC boot up quickly. However, sometimes during this process, your computer will not supply power to accessories like the keyboard. So you could disable Fast Startup momentarily to see if it makes your keyboard start working.

Note: Disabling Fast Startup will increase boot time on your computer.

1. Open the Control Panel on your computer and click on Hardware and Sound settings.

2. Under Power Options, select the Change what the power buttons do option.

3. Now click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.

4. Finally, uncheck the box next to Turn on fast startup option and then hit Save changes.

Hopefully, this fixes the keyboard not working issue on your Windows 11 or 10 device.

9. Disconnect Other Interfering Peripheral

If you have several wireless devices, like Bluetooth speakers, Wi-Fi routers, or cordless phones, they might interfere with your wireless keyboard. To identify the culprit, try turning off these devices one by one and see if your keyboard begins to function correctly. If the culprit is found, you can take appropriate action.

10. Check the Power Management Profile

In Windows, there’s an option that lets certain hardware devices automatically turn off to save power when they’re not in use. To ensure that this option is not enabled for your keyboard, follow the below steps:

1. Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager.

2. Go to the Keyboards section, right-click on the keyboard device, and choose Properties.

3. Switch to the Power Management tab, uncheck the box next to the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option, and hit OK.

11. Run SFC Scan

If your keyboard isn’t working because of missing or corrupted files in Windows, try running an SFC (System File Checker) scan. You can use the on-screen keyboard for this purpose.

Press Windows key + S keyboard shortcut to open Windows Search, look for Command Prompt, and run it as an administrator. Then, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

Scan will try to find errors with the files on your computer and automatically fix them if any are detected.

12. Reinstall Windows

This is the dreaded last resort. If your keyboard is functioning perfectly on other laptops or computers and none of the above solutions work, you have two options – get a new external keyboard or reinstall Windows. You can refer to this guide on how to reinstall Windows.

Bring the Keyboard Back From Vacation

It can truly become a nuisance when you want to use your computer but can’t since your keyboard decided to go on a long vacation. This not only tampers with your productivity but also leaves you feeling quite frustrated and helpless. I hope the above guide has provided some relief to you and possibly fixed the keyboard not working issue on your computer.

Meanwhile, you can also use your phone as a keyboard for your Windows PC. This can temporarily provide you with some relief and help you perform basic tasks on your computer.

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