How to Fix Windows Key Not Working

How to Fix Windows Key Not Working

/ Shayne Sherman

On Windows computers, the keyboard has a dedicated Windows key, which opens up the Start Menu. Having this key on the keyboard saves time when you want to access the Start Menu.

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Aside from that, the Windows key is also used for most keyboard shortcuts that open certain programs on Windows.

If the Windows key on your keyboard is not working, it is can get in the way of your work especially if you rely on keyboard shortcuts all the time.

Why Is Windows Key Not Working?

This problem is most common on users that own a gaming keyboard. Gaming keyboards have a dedicated game mode that disables certain keys on your keyboard that could gen in the way of your gameplay.

However, it is also possible that the problem is caused by faulty drivers, improper configurations, or changes in your registry.

Fix #1: Reinstall Keyboard Drivers

Your hardware needs the proper drivers for it to work normally on Windows. Possibly, your keyboard drivers are corrupted.

To fix this, try to reinstall your keyboard drivers.

Step # 1

Click the Start Menu and search for Device Manager. Now, open it.

Device Manager

Step # 2

On Device Manager, click on Keyboards to expand it.

Step # 3

Right-click on your keyboard driver and select Uninstall Device.

Uninstall device

Step # 4

Restart Windows and it should automatically install the latest driver for your keyboard automatically.

Fix #2: Use the PowerShell

Based on what we’ve found out, running a few commands on PowerShell should be able to fix the Windows key on your computer. PowerShell is a powerful command-line tool that enables you to run commands to modify Windows components.

Step # 1

Press on CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys on your keyboard to open the Task Manager.

Step # 2

Click on the File tab and select Run New Task.

Run new task

Step # 3

Type PoweShell and hit Enter to launch it.

Step # 4

Copy the command below and paste it on the PowerShell.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation) AppXManifest.xml”}

Step # 5

Hit Enter to run the command.

Fix #3: Change Your Registry

It is possible that the problem you are experiencing is related to an error that may have occurred on your registry.

To fix this, follow the steps below.

Step # 1

Press on CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys on your keyboard to open Task Manager.

Step # 2

Click on File and select Run New Task.

Run new task

Step # 3

Type regedit and hit Enter on your keyboard to open the Registry Editor.


Step # 4

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > Keyboard Layout.

Navigate Registry Editor

Step # 5

Locate Scancode Map registry and delete it. Restart your system afterward and try using the Windows key.

Fix #4: Disable Gaming Mode/Win Lock

Gaming keyboards and even some ordinary keyboards have a dedicated gaming mode that disables certain keys that could interrupt your gameplay. While gaming, it is possible for you to hit the Windows key accidentally, which would take you out of your game.

To prevent this, keyboard manufacturers incorporate a dedicated gaming mode on their keyboards. Check your keyboard’s manual to know how you can disable gaming mode.

On the other hand, you can also look for the Win Lock button on your keyboard to unlock the Windows key or try pressing the FN + Windows key.

Fix #5: Scan for Errors

Corrupted or missing installation files could also be the cause of the Windows key not working on your system. To fix this, try to run the System File Checker to scan your system for potential errors or problems.

Step # 1

Click on the Start Menu on your computer and open Command Prompt

Step # 2

On CMD, type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.

sfc /scannow

Step # 3

After the scan, a system message will appear on Command Prompt. See the guide below on what these system messages mean.

⦁ Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations – This means your operating system doesn’t have any corrupted or missing files.
⦁ Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation – The repair tool detected a problem during the scan and an offline scan is needed
⦁ Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them – This message will appear when the SFC was able to fix the problem it detected
⦁ Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. – If this error occurs, you will need to repair the corrupted files manually. See the guide below.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.