- Next to your mouse, your keyboard is probably the most important peripheral that you can attach to a Windows PC.
- Unfortunately, various software and hardware issues can cause it to become unresponsive. If that happens, simply follow the troubleshooting steps written below.
- This article is among many other included in our dedicated hub for troubleshooting System Errors. As such, make sure you visit it and maybe even bookmark it because you never know when new PC issues appear.
- If your hardware is giving you a hard time, take a closer look at our Laptop and PC Fix page.
Windows 10 is a great operating system with many amazing features, but it seems that some users are having problems with it. Users reported that the keyboard on their laptop doesn’t work on Windows 10, and since this is a major problem, today we’re going to show you how to fix it.
How can I fix my laptop keyboard if it doesn’t work?
1. Uninstall Synaptics driver
- Right-click the Start Button and choose Device Manager from the menu.
- When Device Manager opens you need to locate Synaptics driver, right-click it and choose Uninstall from the menu.
- If available, check the Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.
- After you uninstall the driver restart your PC.
Windows 10 has some issues with older drivers, and it seems that one of those drivers is Synaptics driver. Windows 10 isn’t fully compatible with this driver, and that can cause your laptop keyboard to stop working after installing Windows 10.
When your PC restarts, the default driver will be installed and your laptop keyboard should start working normally.
Some users are also suggesting to uninstall all HID keyboard, touchpad and mouse drivers from your laptop, so you might want to try that as well.
Keep in mind that you need to restart your laptop after you delete all the aforementioned drivers from your PC.
A virtual keyboard has been of great help for users as a temporary solution. It’s easy to use and allows you to perform all sorts of actions simply by clicking the dedicated button on your screen.
We recommend the universal and fully accesible virtual keyboard from Comfort Software. It has additional advantages compared to the regular keyboard and you can customize the on-screen keyboard look and behavior.
2. Update your keyboard / trackpad drivers
If your laptop keyboard isn’t working, you might have to update your drivers. To install the drivers, you need to use the CD that you got with your laptop and install the necessary drivers from it.
If those drivers don’t work, you need to go to your laptop manufacturer’s website and download the necessary keyboard and trackpad drivers for your laptop.
To do this, you can attach a USB keyboard to your laptop, or you can use the onscreen keyboard. You can also download the necessary drivers on a different PC and then transfer them to your laptop.
Downloading drivers manually can be a long and tedious process that might affect your PC in case you download wrong versions. Therefore you might want to use a Driver Update software that automatically downloads and installs the necessary drivers.
This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution.
Below you can find a quick guide how to do it.
- Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
- Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically.
- Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates.
- All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
- Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC.
- Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once.
Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the Update button several times until all of its components are installed.
Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.
3. Turn off Filter Keys
- Go to Control Panel and open Ease of Access Center.
- Scroll down and select Make the keyboard easier to use option.
- Scroll down and locate Filter Keys option.
- Make sure that Turn on Filter Keys option is not checked.
- After turning off this option, click Apply and OK to save changes.
Filter Keys is a feature that is designed to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes, and according to users, this feature is turned on by default on their laptops, and that’s what’s causing the keyboard issue.
If Control Panel doesn’t open in Windows 10, we’ve got a complete guide that will help you get past this issue.
4. Use the Windows Key + Space shortcut
According to users, they had problems only with specific keys on their laptop, but they were able to fix this problem easily. According to them, you can fix this problem simply by pressing Windows Key + Space on your keyboard and all keys should start working.
Few users reported that this solution worked for them, so you might want to give it a try. There’s also one more keyboard shortcut that supposedly fixes this problem. On your keyboard you should see a key with a lock icon and Fn letters inside it.
Usually this key is the Esc key, but it can be a different one depending on your laptop. To fix this problem simply hold the Shift key and press the key that has a lock icon on it and your laptop keyboard should start working again.
5. Install the latest updates
Microsoft is constantly improving Windows 10 with new updates, and if you want to fix this problem, we advise you to use Windows Update and download the latest updates.
This sounds like a major problem, therefore it’s most likely fixed in one of the Windows updates, so be sure to keep your Windows 10 up to date with latest updates.
Windows Update can be fiddly at times. If you encounter any problems or the update process gets stuck, take a look on this article to find out what you can do.
6. Use a USB keyboard
This is just a workaround, but if you didn’t manage to fix this problem on your laptop, you might want to consider using a USB keyboard. This isn’t the best solution, but at least it will allow you to use your laptop normally until you manage to fix this problem.
FAQ: Learn more about laptop keyboards
- How do I know if my keyboard issue is software or hardware related?
Perform a system reboot. If you can use the keyboard to navigate to the BIOS settings, then you know that your issues are software and not hardware in natre. For more information check out this article on how to access the BIOS.
- How do I lock my keyboard?
Type in Ctrl+Alt+L to lock your keyboard. Additionally, you can also use dedicated keyboard lockers for some extra added features.
- How do I know if my laptop keyboard is broken or just locked?
If you write the word keyboard and the keyboard doesn’t unlock, then it does indeed have an issue.
Speaking about keyboards, you might be interested in buying a new one to solve some problems or simply to change the old one. In this case, we recommend you to check our list of keyboards for Windows 10 users.
If your laptop keyboard isn’t working on Windows 10, be sure to turn off Filter Keys and keep all your drivers up to date. If these solutions don’t work, feel free to use any other solution from this article.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.