[Guide] My Keyboard Is Not Responding – What to Do?

[Guide] My Keyboard Is Not Responding – What to Do?

/ Andrew Holdeman

If you’re reading this, you’re probably experiencing the frustration of a keyboard that won’t type. A malfunctioning keyboard can seriously impede your productivity, whether you’re a student trying to complete an assignment or a professional working on an important project. But don’t worry – there are several steps you can take to diagnose and fix the problem. In this article, we’ll guide you through some troubleshooting techniques to get your keyboard back up and running.

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What’s Causing This Issue?

There are several reasons why a keyboard won’t type:

  • Software Issues: This can happen if your computer is experiencing a glitch or if the software drivers for your keyboard have become corrupted.
  • Physical Damage: If the keyboard has been dropped or has had liquid spilled on it, the keys may be damaged, or the connections to the computer may be compromised.
  • Connection Issues: This can occur if the keyboard cable has become unplugged or the wireless connection has been interrupted.

Keyboard Not Responding Fixes

Try these solutions to fix your keyboard issue:

For Wired Keyboard

1. If your wired keyboard won’t type, the first step is to inspect the cable and hardware for any issues. See the steps below:

switch usb port

2. If using a USB keyboard, ensure it is inserted into the correct and functioning USB port.

3. Ensure the wire is in good condition without holes or splinters as the damaged wire can prevent the keyboard from transmitting all strokes to your PC.

keyboard in devices and printer

4. If you’re using a PC and the keyboard isn’t working, try troubleshooting the device from the Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers.

5. The need to update or reinstall the driver for your keyboard may arise.

keyboard driver status

6. If you have not resolved the issue after troubleshooting, check the driver by going to Device Manager and then to Keyboard.

7. If you see a yellow exclamation point, that signals an issue. Resolve this by right-clicking on the Keyboard and selecting Update Driver Software. Follow the instructions that appear.

8. Restart your computer to check if the keyboard works.

For Wireless Keyboard

Wireless keyboards function either through a USB wireless chip or Bluetooth. To start troubleshooting, follow these:

  1. Check your wireless keyboard’s battery or charge status, and replace or charge if necessary.

2. If the keyboard is still not responding, try reinstalling the correct driver and restarting your computer.

3. If using Bluetooth, open the Bluetooth receiver on your computer and try to pair your device. Restart your computer and power the keyboard on and off before connecting again if it fails.

update keyboard driver

4. Check that your computer’s Bluetooth receiver is functioning properly by connecting to another Bluetooth device.

enable bluetooth

5. If your wireless keyboard still isn’t working, try reinstalling the driver software as mentioned above.

For Laptop Keyboard

If you’re using a laptop, here are the things you can do to fix your keyboard:

1. If your laptop keyboard isn’t working, the first step is to restart your computer.

2. Remove the Keyboard Delay setting if your laptop’s keyboard isn’t working. To do this on Windows 10, go to Settings, System Control, Keyboard Operations, and deactivate Keyboard Delay.

3. If step 2 does not resolve the issue, try reinstalling the driver for the keyboard.

uninstall keyboard driver

4. If step 3 fails, consider having the laptop checked by a technician, as there may be an issue with the components connecting the keyboard to the motherboard.

5. If your keyboard won’t type in certain programs, such as Excel, close the program and restart your computer.

If the issue persists, try reinstalling the keyboard driver.

For Macbook or Macbook Pro Keyboard

If keyboard issues on your MacBook or MacBook Pro arise, check out these steps:

1. Try resetting the SMC (System Management Controller), which can sometimes solve the problem.

2. If your Mac has a non-removable battery, start by shutting down your laptop from the Apple menu and then holding down the Shift, Control, Option, and Power keys for 10 seconds. Release the keyboard keys, turn your MacBook back on, and check to see if the keyboard is working again.

shift control option and power key in mac

3 . If you have an older MacBook with a removable battery, start by shutting down your laptop from the Apple menu and removing the battery. Press and hold the Power button for 5 seconds, then replace the battery and turn the computer back on.

remove battery on mac

4. If the keyboard is still not functioning correctly, it could be a hardware-related issue. In this case, it is best to visit a certified repair shop to have it fixed.

If the Keyboard Doesn’t Type Specific Numbers or Letters

A startup issue is possible if the keyboard doesn’t respond to certain key presses. Try restarting your computer and see if this resolves the problem. Removing the battery and/or charger and holding the power button for 60 seconds before reconnecting them can also help.

If you’re having trouble with your keyboard typing numbers instead of symbols, double-check that you are pressing the Shift key simultaneously, as different keyboards may have different requirements.

Using the On-Screen Keyboard

If you cannot get your keyboard to work and need to type urgently, you can use an On-Screen Keyboard, which is available for both Mac and PC users.

For PC users with Windows 10,

  1. First, go to Start > Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard

2. From there, activate the On-Screen Keyboard.

open on screen keyboard

How to activate the On-Screen Keyboard on Mac

  1. Open System Preferences, go to Keyboard
  2. Tick the box next to “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers”
  3. In the main Apple navigation bar, click the Keyboard icon and select “Show keyboard Viewer” from the dropdown menu that opens.

Disable Filter Keys

If your keyboard is completely locked, it may be due to the accidental activation of the Filter Keys feature. This can happen when you hold down the right SHIFT key for 8 seconds, and you’ll hear a tone and see the “Filter Keys” icon in the system tray. This can prevent you from typing anything on the keyboard.

To unlock the keyboard, you can either hold down the right SHIFT key for 8 seconds again to turn off Filter Keys or disable the Filter Keys feature from the Control Panel, which steps you can find on the next one.

hold down the shift key

Adjust Keyboard Settings

Windows 10 offers several accessibility features, such as Sticky Keys, to help control your keyboard. However, when these features are enabled, it can prevent your keyboard from typing. To resolve this issue, you need to disable these features by following the steps below:

  1. Click on the Start button in Windows 10, select Ease of Access, or type the search bar Ease of Access Keyboard Settings.
ease of access keyboard settings

2. Scroll down to the Keyboard page and ensure that the options for Use Sticky Keys, Use Toggle Keys, and Use Filter Keys are turned off.

disable sticky keys

Troubleshooting Tips to Fix an Unresponsive Keyboard

Experiencing issues with your keyboard can hinder your productivity. There are various methods to resolve the issue and get your keyboard functioning properly again. It’s important to take the necessary steps to troubleshoot and identify the root cause of the problem before seeking professional help. By doing so, you can save time and money and get back to using your device as normal.

Andrew Holdeman
Meet the author

Andrew has extensive experience with a wide range of writing platforms and automation systems. He has spent over 6 years creating content and troubleshooting for various companies. He also enjoys spending time with his family and his fiancé, while staying active and healthy.