Left Shift key won’t work on Windows 10/11? Fix it now

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If the left Shift won't work, the first thing you should do is to check your keyboard.
  • Keeping your drivers and system up to date is a great way to prevent issues such as these.
  • Certain software tools can interfere with your keyboard, so be sure to remove them.
shift key not working

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We witnessed a lot of Windows changes from 1995 to these days. Many things evolved but the input peripheral devices stayed the same.

So, a PC without a functioning keyboard or mouse is unusable for most users, so it’s important to fix those types of issues as soon as possible.

Some reported certain problems with specific keyboard keys after the system upgrade, and according to them, the Shift key won’t work. Since this is essential for everyday typing, we prepared some solutions for you.

Is it possible to use a PC without the Shift key?

Yes, it’s possible but your typing speed will be affected. You also won’t be able to use certain shortcuts because of this issue.

One workaround is to use the on-screen keyboard, but since that isn’t a long-term solution, we advise you to find a way to fix the problem.

What are common problems with the Shift key?

Here are some problems that users reported:

  • Shift key not working Windows 10 – This issue can appear on any version of Windows, and older versions aren’t an exception. Even if you’re not using Windows 10, you should be able to apply all solutions to older versions of Windows.
  • Keyboard Shift key not working properly – According to users, sometimes the Shift key won’t work properly on your keyboard. This can sometimes be caused by malware, so be sure to perform a full system scan.
  • Left Shift key not working – Sometimes just one Shift key can be affected by this issue. If that’s the case, check if your Shift key is stuck. You might need to press it to unstuck it, or clear the key socket to fix the problem.
  • HP laptop Shift key not working – If this problem occurs on your laptop, it’s possible that your keyboard isn’t properly connected. To fix it, you need to remove your keyboard and connect the ribbon cable tightly to your motherboard.
  • Shift key won’t capitalize – This is another common problem that can occur on your PC. However, you should be able to fix this issue by using one of our solutions.

How do I fix Shift key malfunctions in Windows 10 and 11?

1. Make sure you have the latest drivers

  1. Press Windows key + X and select Device Manager from the list.
  2. Find Keyboard in the driver’s list. Double-click on your device to open its properties.
  3. Click Details and choose HardwareID from the drop-down list. Copy the first line and paste it into your web browser.
  4. Find the official driver support and download the drivers.
  5. Install and restart PC.

Updating drivers manually can be a tedious task, especially if you don’t know where and how to find the necessary drivers. However, you can make this process fully automated by using specialized tools such as DriverFix.

2. Check for malware

  1. Press Windows key + X and type defender. Select Windows Security.
  2. Select Virus & threat protection and click on Quick scan.
  3. Wait for the scan to finish.

This solution applies to built-in protection in windows, and if you want to learn more, we recommend reading our Windows Defender vs Avast guide for in-depth analysis.

For maximum protection, be sure to check antivirus software that has a free trial and see how well it protects your PC.

3. Check your hardware

  1. Try connecting the keyboard to another PC and see if the Shift key is still the problem.
  2. Also, try switching between various USB ports. If you are using the PS2 keyboard, have in mind to plug it before the system start.
  3. Check if your keys are stuck. To fix the problem, you need to press the stuck key firmly in order to unstick it.
  4. Make sure that media keys aren’t pressed and interfering with your PC.
  5. Check for dust and debris. To solve that, you need to remove the problematic key and clean it with pressurized air.
  6. Optional: Clean the entire keyboard with pressurized air. Keep in mind that this might require some assembly.

4. Uninstall third-party software related to keyboard use

  1. Press Windows key + X and select Apps and features.
  2. Now locate the keyboard software that you have installed.
  3. Select it and click on Uninstall.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to remove it.

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To make sure that the application you’re trying to remove is completely uninstalled, we suggest using uninstaller software since it will remove all files and registry entries associated with the software.

5. Try running the Safe mode

  1. Press Windows key + S and type recovery. Select Recovery options from the menu.
  2. In the Advanced startup section, click on Restart now.
  3. Now select Troubleshoot.
  4. Navigate to Advanced options.
  5. Now choose Startup settings and click on Restart.
  6. Select Safe Mode with Networking by pressing F5 or 5.
  7. Check if the problem is present in Safe Mode.

For more information, you should check our guide on the best ways to start Windows 11 in Safe Mode.

6. Disable Sticky Keys feature

  1. Press Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Ease of Access section.
  3. Select Keyboard from the left pane. In the right pane, set the Sticky keys to Off.

7. Check if the keyboard connector is properly connected

Note icon
This solution applies only to laptops, and it requires you to open your device. If you don’t know how to do that or your device is under warranty, contact the official repair center.

  1. Open your laptop. This will require you to carefully unscrew a couple of screws.
  2. Locate the ribbon cable that connects the moterboard and the keyboard.
  3. Make sure that everything is connected tightly.
  4. If not, carefully connect the ribbon cable and close the laptop.

8. Make sure that your Windows is up to date

  1. Press Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. When Settings app opens, go to Update & Security section.
  3. Now click the Check for updates button.

What can I do if the left Shift key is not working on Windows 11?

Use System Restore

  1. Press Windows key + R and enter rstrui. Press Enter.
  2. When the System Restore window opens, click on Next.
  3. Select the desired restore point and select Next.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.

Why is the Shift key making noise when I press it?

By default, when you press the Shift key a couple of times, you’ll activate a feature called Sticky Keys. This is an accessibility feature, but it can be disabled from the Settings app.

Once you turn it off, your key won’t make any sounds when you press it.

What do you use the Shift key for?

The Shift key is mostly used to enter uppercase letters or symbols when typing. It’s also used heavily in certain applications, most notably video games.

Many applications also use this key to access certain features, most notably video and photo editing apps, so it’s an essential key, depending on what you do on your PC.

These were our solutions for Shift key malfunction in Windows 10 and 11. We hope that at least one of these workarounds helped you to deal with this issue.

In case you’re having more issues, visit our Shift key not working on Windows 10/11 guide for more useful solutions.

If you are having similar issues or additional workarounds, please tell us in the comments.

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