Laptop keyboard not working in Windows 10 & 11 [HP, Dell, Lenovo]

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If your laptop keyboard is not working in Windows 10, there might be a problem with its drivers, or you are entitled to suspect a hardware issue.
  • Try to test the keys one by one first and see if some of them are still functioning properly.
  • An external or the On-Screen Keyboard will help you go through the troubleshooting process.
What to do if the laptop keyboard not working Windows 10

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Windows 10 is a great operating system with many amazing features, but it seems that some users are having problems with it.

They 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.

Why is my laptop keyboard not working?

There may be a lot of reasons why the keyboard on your laptop stopped working but we will outline the most important of those:

  • Driver issues – The most common issue why the keyboard is not working is a problem with drivers, especially the Synaptics and HID ones but we have a solution below to fix that
  • Damaged key mechanisms – If only some of the keys are not responding, try verifying the integrity of their mechanisms because they might be damaged
  • Software conflicts – Some program you installed lately is bypassing and locking the keyboard somehow but uninstalling it will fix the issue
  • Filter keys – This option is there to protect your system from repetitive or brief keyboard strokes but some of our readers suggested that after disabling the feature, the keyboard worked again

Before going into the software troubleshooting, let’s go through some initial inspections of the keyboard.

Preliminary measures and inspection

First, we need to establish if none of the keys are working or just some of them. For that, try to open a word processor app like Notepad and go through the keys to see which ones are working.

If none of the keys are working, you can go right ahead with the solutions on our guide, hoping that you will not reach the last one, where we recommend fixing your laptop or connecting an external keyboard.

In the event that only some of the keys are not working, look carefully if their mechanism is working and try to clean your keyboard with a small brush or a dry cloth.

Also, if you spilled some liquids on it, that may have caused problems and you’re lucky that only the keyboard was affected. In this case, we recommend professional help to handle the problem.

How can I fix my laptop keyboard if it doesn’t work?

1. Run the keyboard troubleshooter

  1. Click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Choose Update & Security.
  3. Now, click on Troubleshoot from the left and select Additional troubleshooters from the right.
  4. Scroll down, click the Keyboard to expand it, then click the Run the troubleshooter button below.
  5. Follow the steps to fix the keyboard problem.

Usually, the keyboard troubleshooter will be effective, and it will fix the problem on your laptop and even if you’re using an external keyboard so this should be the first thing to do.

2. Uninstall and reinstall the keyboard driver

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Device Manager from the menu.Open device manager
  2. When Device Manager opens you need to locate Keyboard driver, right-click it and choose Uninstall device from the menu. If there are more keyboard drivers, uninstall all of them.
  3. If available, check the Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.
  4. After you uninstall the driver, click on Scan for hardware changes, then restart your PC.

Windows 10 has some issues with older drivers, and it seems that one of those drivers is Synaptics driver. The OS 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 of our readers also suggest uninstalling 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.

If your laptop keyboard still isn’t working, you might have to update your drivers from your laptop manufacturer’s website.

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 the wrong versions.

Therefore, you might want to use software that automatically downloads and installs the necessary drivers.

3. Turn on the On-Screen Keyboard and run DISM and SFC scans

  1. Because the keyboard is not working, you will need to turn on the On-Screen Keyboard so click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Now, select the Ease of Access option.
  3. Scroll down on the left, click on Keyboard, then flip the switch to enable the On-Screen Keyboard.
  4. The On-Screen Keyboard will show up on the screen, and you can make it as big as you want to by dragging its corners and sides but for now, click on the Minimize button.
  5. Click the Start button, type cmd using the virtual keyboard you just opened, and select the Run as administrator option.
  6. Now, use the On-Screen Keyboard to type the following command and click the Enter button from the virtual keyboard to run it: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  7. Wait for the scan to finish, then type the following command the same way: sfc /scannow

Turning on the On-Screen Keyboard is a temporary solution but at least it will allow you to perform a lot of troubleshooting tasks like running the DISM and SFC scans and checking for system and disk errors.

4. Turn off Filter Keys

  1. Click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Go to Ease of Access.
  3. Scroll down and locate Keyboard on the left pane, then, from the right turn off the Filter Keys option.

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.

5. Use shortcuts (if your keyboard is only partially working)

According to some of our readers, they had problems only with specific keys on their laptops, but they were able to fix this problem easily.

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Apparently, you can fix this problem simply by pressing the Windows key + Space on your keyboard and all keys should start working.

They 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, that 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.

6. Install the latest updates

  1. Click on the Windows icon and select the Settings option.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Now, hit the Check for updates button and install any new ones that may be found.
  4. Alternatively, you can click on View optional updates.
  5. Next, look at the Driver updates section and install any drivers related to the keyboard or input devices.

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.

Windows Update can be fiddly at times. If you encounter any problems, check our article on what to do if the update checking gets stuck in Windows 10.

7. Boot in Safe Mode

  1. Click the Start button and pick the Settings option.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. Now, click on Recovery from the left pane and click the Restart now button from the Advanced startup section.
  4. The PC should restart and show you a pannel where you need to click on Troubleshoot.
  5. Select Advanced options.
  6. Next, click on Startup settings.
  7. Click on the Restart button.
  8. On the last menu, press F4 to boot the PC in Safe Mode.
  9. After the reboot, check if the keyboard is working.

If the keyboard is working in Safe Mode, that means that there is either a driver problem or a software tool you installed lately is somehow interfering with your keyboard.

Since we tackled the driver issue in a solution above, you only need to locate and uninstall the problematic software.

To do that, enter the Settings menu and go to the Apps section, then locate the program on the right pane, click on it and select Uninstall.

If you don’t succeed, we have a comprehensive guide on how to uninstall Windows 10 apps that will help you all the way.

To return to the normal mode in Windows 10, just restart your PC from the Start menu.

8. Use a USB keyboard

If none of the solutions above worked, there’s a chance that there is a hardware problem with your keyboard that is causing it to malfunction.

In this case, the only solution is to connect a USB or a Bluetooth keyboard. This is only a workaround until you can contact the seller or a repair shop to diagnose and fix the issue.

As a temporary solution, if you don’t have one laying around, you might be interested in getting a new keyboard so you can be able to use your laptop in between.

For those who want something more permanent, you can see a lot of good mechanical gaming keyboards and backlit keyboards to choose from.

How can I fix my laptop keyboard on Windows 11?

Luckily or not, besides some new functions and an improved design, the new OS is very much like Windows 10.

That’s why you will discover that all the solutions we outline for the old OS above will work seamlessly for Windows 11.

There are a few differences in the menus. For instance, in Windows 11, you will find the Troubleshoot section right after you open the Settings menu, in the System tab.

We hope that our solutions helped you fix the keyboard problem and now your laptop works fine.

If you didn’t manage to solve it, you might be interested in our article on how to fix the keyboard if it works in BIOS but not in Windows because it offers additional solutions.

For any other suggestions or questions, leave us a line in the comments section below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.

  • Type in Ctrl+Alt+L to lock your keyboard. Additionally, you can also use dedicated keyboard lockers for some extra added features.

  • If you write the word keyboard and the keyboard doesn’t unlock, then it does indeed have an issue.

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