Windows 11 not detecting the keyboard? 7 easy fixes

A comprehensive guide to fixing your keyboard

by Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim Ali Alvi
Author
Kazim has always been fond of technology, be it scrolling through the settings on his iPhone, Android device, or Windows. And at times, unscrewing the device to take... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Though not very often, users have reported that Windows 11 is not detecting the keyboard, and we will tell you how to fix it in this article.
  • To resolve the problem, run the dedicated built-in troubleshooter, disable fast startup, or update the keyboard driver.
  • Also, find out how to enable the touch (virtual) keyboard in Windows 11.
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The keyboard doesn’t just help you input alphabets, numbers, and special characters but also streamlines our basic use of the PC. But, what would you do if Windows 11 is not detecting the keyboard?

The problem has been reported by several users, most after resetting the OS to its factory settings. With the keyboard inaccessible, you are left with pretty much nothing to do.

In this guide, we list out the reasons behind the issue, the most effective fixes if Windows 11 doesn’t detect the keyboard, and the steps to enable the touch keyboard to use for the time being.

Why is Windows 11 not detecting the connected keyboard?

This could be due to a bunch of reasons, depending on whether you have a wired or wireless keyboard. But, one of the issues common to both is problematic drivers or if they are missing.

Apart from that, improper connections, misconfigured settings, or even Fast Startup can cause the problem. If you are by any chance able to identify the underlying issue, just head to the relevant fix and execute it.

In case you are unable to, fret not! Follow the steps in the next section in the same sequence as they are listed to quickly and effectively troubleshoot the error.

What can I do if Windows 11 is not detecting the keyboard?

1. Perform some basic checks

First, disconnect the keyboard, clean both the USB and the port, and check for any damage to cables (for wired keyboards).

If there are none, reconnect the keyboard and see if it works. Also, try connecting it to another port on the system, just to make sure that the ports are not disabled.

keyboard usb fix
Check keyboard connections

If the keyboard is not working, your approach should now be to identify whether the problem lies with the keyboard or the system (OS). To do that, connect it to another device, and check if it makes any difference.

In case it does, the problem is with the computer itself and not the keyboard. In which case, head to the other fixes listed next.

If Windows 11 doesn’t detect the keyboard at all on both systems, replace it. Do not hesitate to take a look at our curated list of the best keyboards available in the market.

2. Check if the USB ports are disabled (for wired keyboards)

In many cases, it was the disabled USB ports that lead to Windows 11 not detecting the keyboard problem. Here, you will have to check whether the USB ports are disabled from the BIOS.

In order to enter the BIOS, you will have to press either F2 or F12 as soon as the screen lights up when you turn on the system. To be on the safe side, hit the key multiple times.

Once in the BIOS, look for the USB Configuration Setting which is usually listed under the Advanced tab, and enable the ports. To find out the exact steps, we recommend you head to the official manufacturer’s website, and look up their FAQ or support section.

3. Update the keyboard driver

Drivers play a critical in the functioning of every device since these relay commands between the OS and the hardware. If there are problems with the driver, you are likely to encounter issues. Therefore, updating the keyboard driver is likely to solve the problem.

1. Right-click on the Start icon in the Taskbar or press Windows + X to launch the Quick Access/Power user menu.

2. Select Device Manager from the list of options that appear.

Launch Device Manager

3. Double-click on the Keyboards entry to view the various devices listed under it.

Keyboards

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4. Now, locate the problematic keyboard.

5. Right click on it and select Update driver from the context menu.

Update driver to fix windows 11 not detecting keyboard

6. Next, choose Search automatically for drivers from the two options that appear in the Update Drivers window.

Search automatically for drivers to fix windows 11 not detecting keyboard

It’s recommended that you always have the latest driver installed for all your devices.

The Device Manager method listed above only scans for newer versions on the system and not the other available sources. So if you haven’t downloaded one previously, Windows wouldn’t be able to find the latest version this way.

In which case, we recommend you look for the latest driver version in Windows Update or manually download the driver setup from the manufacturer’s website and install it.

If that sounds like too much trouble, you can also go with reliable third-party software. We recommend using DriverFix, a dedicated tool that scans all available sources for the latest version, and keeps the installed drivers up-to-date.

DriverFix

Just a few clicks to update all your drivers and optimize the system.

4. Run the keyboard troubleshooter

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, and click on Troubleshoot on the right in the System tab.Troubleshoot to fix windows 11 not detecting keyboard
  2. Next, click on Other troubleshooters.Other troubleshooters
  3. Locate the Keyboard troubleshooter, and click on the Run button next to it.Run keyboard troubleshooter to fix windows 11 not detecting keyboard
  4. Choose the appropriate response when prompted, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting.

Whenever facing an error with anything on Windows, you should look for a dedicated built-in troubleshooter. Microsoft offers a few of these to help users diagnose and fix problems with the system.

5. Disable fast startup

  1. Press Windows + E to launch the File Explorer, click on the carat icon near the top-left, and select Control Panel from the list of options in the dropdown menu.Launch control panel
  2. Click on System and Security from the options that appear here.System and Security
  3. Next, click on Change what the power buttons do under the Power Options entry.Change what the power buttons do to fix windows 11 not detecting keyboard
  4. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable to disable fast startup.Change settings that are currently unavailable to fix windows 11 not detecting keyboard
  5. Finally, untick the checkbox for Turn on fast startup (Recommended), and click on Save changes at the bottom.Disable Fast Startup

6. Remove the battery (for laptops)

Oftentimes, it’s the laptop battery that’s known to cause problems with the keyboard, since it’s placed right under it. When the battery overheats, it can affect the functioning of the keyboard and the latter might not be detected at times in Windows 11.

In this case, turn off the system, remove the battery, plug the laptop into a power source and turn it on. If the keyboard now starts working, the problem, in all likelihood, lies with the battery.

It’s best that you replace the malfunctioning battery with an original one that’s meant for your laptop. Never use batteries from a local manufacturer or ones that are not specifically for your device.

7. Reset Windows 11

If the above fixes haven’t resolved the keyboard detection problem in Windows 11, you should reinstall the OS. If you started encountering the error right after resetting it previously, doing it all over again can just as well fix it.

reset windows 11 pc
Reset Windows 11

You can easily reset Windows 11 to its factory settings, both from within the system and using a bootable USB drive. After resetting Windows 11, the keyboard would now be detected and you shouldn’t face any more problems with it.

How do I enable the touch (virtual) keyboard in Windows 11?

If Windows 11 is not detecting the keyboard, it would certainly be challenging. Even you would face trouble executing the fixes listed above. In this case, we recommend enabling the touch keyboard.

virtual keyboard windows 11 enable
Touch (virtual) keyboard in Windows 11

Though it’s promoted for touch-enabled devices, the keyboard will work just as fine on any other device. Instead of using the touch feature, you will have to click on the relevant key.

Also, you have the option to customize the key size and background, apart from the size and theme of the virtual keyboard.

These are all the ways you can get the system to detect the keyboard. Once the problem is eliminated, learn how to use Windows 11’s keyboard shortcuts.

In case Windows 11 is not detecting the keyboard and the mouse, check our guide that lists out the most effective fixes.

Do not hesitate to tell us which method worked for you in the comments section below.

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