Few things can be more frustrating than having your keyboard acting up when you need to do something very important on your laptop. If care is not taken, you might be tempted to throw down your machine on the ground in anger. But that is sure to be a case of double whammy. There are actually some things you can attempt to resolve keyboard issues on your laptop before calling in a professional. We have listed here some of the steps that may be helpful and keep you from damaging anything out of anger.
Pinpoint the problem
Before you can do anything to fix your laptop keyboard problem, it is important to isolate or determine the nature of the issue. Find out if it is all or just some of the keys that are not functional. Press the Caps Lock key to see if its indicator light comes on – this helps to eliminate the possibility of the keyboard not being powered on. You may be having a mechanical challenge if a portion of the keys do not work.
Reboot your laptop
Many laptop issues can be easily fixed by simply restarting a machine. Rebooting may especially be helpful in instances where indicator lights on your keyboard do not come on when you press the associated keys. Simply shut down using the option in the Start Menu or press and hold down the Power button for some seconds, if the other option does not work.
Clear debris and particles
It is possible that your keyboard issues may not be resolved after rebooting your laptop. If that is the case, you now need to make sure there are no particles or debris stuck under the keys. You might think these should not be enough to cause any problem to your keyboard. But debris and particles can be problematic especially if you have had your machine for some time. You should try to eliminate these by turning your laptop until its keyboard faces downward and giving a gentle shake. It may suffice to tilt your laptop to about 75 degrees and then try to shake off particles trapped under the keys. It is best to turn off your notebook before doing this.
Do a more thorough cleaning
Do not despair yet if your laptop keyboard problem hasn’t yet been resolved. You may now need to do a more meticulous cleaning. Get a can of compressed air or vacuum and try to blow out particles that might be proving stubborn to get rid of. It may also be needed to clean under the keys if your keyboard had been subjected to soda or coffee spillage at one time or the other. Remove the caps of affected keys and use a piece of cloth soaked in warm soapy water or rubbing alcohol to clean the switch.
Check on drivers
Sometimes, the problem may not be with the hardware, but with the drivers on your machine. The keyboard on your laptop becomes more vulnerable to having issues if you often force shut down the machine using the Power button. They could also occur if you are the type that installs third-party programs frequently. Check your keyboard drivers in Device Manager (accessible via the Control Panel or Windows search) on your Windows laptop. If you notice any yellow or red icon under keyboard drivers, they are either corrupt or out-of-date. You will need to download and install the latest working version from the website of your laptop’s manufacturer.
You may be able to resolve your keyboard problems by simply performing a system restore operation on your Windows laptop. This is likely to be most beneficial if you started having issues after installing a new program. The backup and restore feature accessible from the Control Panel or via Windows search (probably using On-screen Keyboard) will restore your laptop to an earlier state. The issue should be gone after a reboot.
If these suggestions fail to help solve your laptop keyboard problems, you may consider using a USB-connected alternative for the meantime. You should contact the support team of your laptop manufacturer if your notebook still falls within the warranty period. But if you are no longer covered by any warranty, you will have to pay out of pocket to have your laptop keyboard replaced. The replacement procedure is somewhat complicated so you may want to get a professional to avoid messing up your machine.