FIX: Ctrl Alt Del Not Working on Windows 10

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • Several users reported that using Ctrl Alt Del shortcut causes their PC to freeze. This can be a big problem, but you should be able to fix it using one of our solutions.
  • One of the causes that might generate issues with this key combination can be related to malicious software. This is why to fix this problem, it’s highly advised to scan your PC for malware.
  • Ctr+Alt+Del can help users to open the Task Manager app in Windows and with the help of Task Manager, you can also fix any Ctr+Alt+Del issues.
  • For more Windows error fixes, you can take a look at our dedicated Windows 10 Errors Hub.
ctrl alt del not working

If you want to open Task Manager on your Windows , or Windows device then you will have to use a combination of three keyboard buttons: ctrl+alt+del. Unfortunately, there are situations in which the ctrl alt del sequence is not working on our Windows 10 device. Why is that happening?

Well, ctrl+alt+del might not work after installing third-party apps, or after updating the system with an unofficial firmware.

These third-party apps are making changes on the Registry and by modifying the default values the ctrl+alt+del feature will stop working.

Therefore, for fixing this Windows problem you will have to access Registry and modify the values by yourselves. But, for further details on this matter, don’t hesitate and check the guidelines from below.

Ctrl Alt Del is one of the most-used keyboard shortcuts, and not being able to use it can be a big problem for many users. Since this is a big problem, in this article we’re going to cover the following issues:

  • Ctrl Alt Del not working – PC frozen – Several users reported that using Ctrl Alt Del shortcut causes their PC to freeze. This can be a big problem, but you should be able to fix it using one of our solutions.
  • Ctrl Alt Del not working on login screen – According to users, this keyboard shortcut isn’t working for them on the login screen. This is usually related to third-party applications and it can be fixed by finding and removing the problematic application.
  • Ctrl Alt Del not working to lock PC, to unlock – Many users use this shortcut to lock or to unlock their PC. However, if the keyboard shortcut isn’t working, you won’t be able to lock or unlock your PC with it.
  • Ctrl Alt Del not working on laptop keyboard – This issue can affect laptop keyboards as well, and if you have this problem, be sure to try using a USB keyboard and check if that solves the problem.
  • Ctrl Alt Del not working due to a virus – Sometimes malware infection can cause Ctrl Alt Del shortcut to stop working. If you have this problem, we strongly advise that you scan your PC with your antivirus tool.

How do I fix Ctrl+Alt+Del not working

1. Use Registry Editor

  1. Launch the Run window on your Windows 8 device – do this by holding Windows + R buttons at the same time.
  2. Then, in the input field enter Regedit. Press Enter or click OK to start Registry Editor.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working on login screen
  3. In the left pane navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem.
  4. If the mentioned key doesn’t exist, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPolicies. Right-click Policies and choose New > Key. Enter the System as the name of the new key. Once you create a System key, navigate to it.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working to unlock
  5. Now from the right panel of Registry find DisableTaskMgr and double click it to open its properties. If this DWORD isn’t available, right-click the right pane and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value to create it. Enter DisableTaskMgr as the name of the DWORD.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working on laptop keyboard
  6. At this point you should know that value 1 means enable this key, thus disable Task Manager, while value 0 means disable this key therefore enable Task Manager. Set the desired value data and click on OK to save changes.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working virus
  7. So, set the value you want and then close Registry Editor and reboot your Windows 10.

Once your PC restarts, try using Ctrl Alt Del shortcut and check if the problem is resolved.

Can’t access Registry Editor? Things aren’t as scary as they seem. Check out this guide and solve the issue quickly.

2. Install the latest updates

If Ctrl Alt Del shortcut isn’t working on your PC, the problem might be the missing updates. Certain bugs can appear in Windows and cause this and many other problems to appear.

However, you can fix this problem by installing the missing updates. To check for updates manually, do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that simply by pressing Windows Key + I on your keyboard.
  2. When the Settings app opens, navigate to the Update & security section.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working frozen
  3. Now click on Check for updates button. Windows will now check for available updates and download updates in the background.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working frozen

After downloading the latest updates, the problem should be resolved and the keyboard shortcut should start working again.

PC stuck on CTRL ALT DELETE screen? Don’t panic! We have the right solutions for that!

3. Scan your PC for malware

Several users reported that Ctrl Alt Del isn’t working on their PC due to malware infection. To fix this problem, it’s highly advised to scan your PC for malware.

Users reported that they were able to solve this problem by using Malwarebytes or SUPERAntiSpyware.

If you want to prevent malware infections in the future, we strongly suggest that you try Bitdefender (World’s No. 1) or Bullguard. Both are great antivirus solutions and they will protect you from all malware infections.

4. Check your keyboard

If Ctrl Alt Del shortcut doesn’t work, the problem might be your keyboard. To check if your keyboard is the problem, we advise you to connect it to a different PC. Also, you can try using a different keyboard on your PC and check if it works.

Several users reported that they fixed the problem by using a different keyboard. According to them, after using a different keyboard Ctrl Alt Del command started working on their keyboard as well.

This is an unusual solution, but users reported that it works, so be sure to try it out.

5. Remove Microsoft HPC Pack

Several users reported problems with Ctrl Alt Del and LogonUI.exe. According to them, the problem was related to Microsoft HPC Pack, and to fix it, you need to remove Microsoft HPC Pack from your PC.

Once you remove Microsoft HPC Pack from your computer, the problem should be completely resolved and Ctrl Alt Del shortcut should start working again.

Keep in mind that you might have to use an uninstaller to remove all files associated with Microsoft HPC Pack.

If you want to completely remove this application along with all files associated with it, be sure to try IOBit Uninstaller or Revo Uninstaller.

6. Perform a Clean boot

Sometimes third-party applications and services can interfere with your PC and cause this and many other errors to appear. To find out which application is causing this problem, you need to perform a Clean boot.

This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter MSConfig. Press Enter or click OK.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working on login screen
  2. Navigate to Services tab, check the Hide all Microsoft services box and click on Disable all button.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working to lock PC
  3. Now navigate to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working on laptop keyboard
  4. A list of all startup applications will now appear. Right-click the first entry on the list and choose Disable from the menu. Repeat this step until you disable all startup apps.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working virus
  5. Now go back to System Configuration window and click on Apply and OK.
    Ctrl Alt Del not working frozen
  6. When asked to restart your PC, choose the option to restart now.

Windows 10 won’t boot? Solve the issue quickly by following this comprehensive guide!

Once your PC restarts, check if the problem reappears. If not, you need to enable services and applications one by one until you find the problematic application.

Keep in mind that you need to restart your PC after enabling each application or service to apply the changes.

Once you find the problematic application, you can remove it from your PC, update it or just keep it disabled.

FAQ:  Learn more tips about Ctrl+Alt+Del keyboard combination

  • What happened to Ctrl Alt Del?

On a Windows PC, Ctrl-Alt-Delete is the combination of keyboard keys that the computer user can press at the same time to terminate an application task or to reboot the operating system (have it shut down and restart itself).

  • How to can I disable Ctrl+Alt+Del

Press Win key + R to open the Run box. Type netplwiz and press Enter. In the User Accounts applet, click on the Advanced tab. Uncheck the Require users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete checkbox and click OK. The next time you start the computer it will boot directly to the login credential dialog box, without prompting your to press Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and it has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2018 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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  • Hi, I am an IT engineer, Suddenly we got an issue with the laptop which control+alt+delete is not working to login, We have tried by connecting external USB keyboard. At first we thought the issue is with one of the keys from ctrl alt delete not working , But, individually all keys are working fine. SO we thought issue is with operating system(win 10). tried updating, reinstalling keyboard driver, still on go.
    but its working as ALT+CTRL+DELETE.
    But we just removed and replaced the harddrive. The issue got resolved.
    Please try above step, Will fix the issue.