How to Fix Windows Keyboard not Working

windows key keyboard

When we’re using our computers, keyboards are an essential part of it. Thanks to them, we can type out information, combine keys to execute commands, and perform multiple general actions – such as selecting, copying, cutting, or pasting files. 

A keyboard is a useful tool that allows us to interact with our computers. However, sometimes it may not work as you expect it, and when it fails, you must acknowledge the problem quickly and try to solve it. Although you can perform multiple actions with the mouse, a keyboard will grant you more comfort.

If you’re using Windows and experiencing problems with your keyboard, you’ve come to the right place!

Many Windows 10 users have experienced problems related to the keyboard. Sometimes, it may not work on the initial screen or in the Windows Store apps. If you’re using an external keyboard, you should first make sure it isn’t a hardware problem by testing it on a different device. If your computer has multiple USB ports, try changing them and seeing how it turns out.

If none of that has solved your problem, it’s time to start investigating and find possible solutions.

What to do if your keyboard is not working

We’re going to tell you different methods to identify and solve the problem. For starters, let’s confirm that your keyboard is not the issue by checking it through the BIOS.

Check if your keyboard is working via the BIOS.

As we recommended above, you should first discard that it’s a hardware problem. Unless it is a laptop, it may be time to replace your old keyword with a new one.

However, if you refuse to change your current keyboard and want to keep using your current one, first we’re going to check whether it is working or if there’s a problem with it. For this step, you should connect your keyboard to your computer via a USB port or a PS/2.

Once it is connected, please start your computer and access the BIOS. You’ll need a particular key or a specific combination of keys to access the BIOS whenever your computer’s brand shows up on your screen upon turning it on. If you could access the BIOS screen, the problem is not your keyboard but the operating system. Still, do not forget to discard all the possibilities and always inspect whether it functions correctly via the BIOS/UEFI.

Change your keyboard to a different USB port.

As we mentioned above, the current USB port you’re using may be dead. If that’s the case, switching ports may be the answer to your problems, but if that does not solve the problem, you can also try to restart your device. 

If it’s still not working, keep exploring different options. Nevertheless, please try to use it on another computer to confirm it’s not a hardware problem. If it works, keep pushing one of the solutions provided on this list.

Use the On-Screen Keyboard.

Assuming your mouse is working fine and you have no problems going around with it, you can also use the On-Screen Keyboard while looking for a fix to the keyboard problem. To do this, you can go to the easy access button that’s on the right corner of the lock screen. There, you must select the “On-Screen Keyboard” option, and a keyboard will pop up. You’ll be able to do everything you could with your keyboard, except that you’ll use your mouse for that purpose.

If you were having trouble accessing your Windows account, you could now type your password. However, we know that this can be hugely frustrating and that the On-Screen Keyboard can be extremely uncomfortable. Therefore, think of this as a temporary solution.

What to do if your keyboard does not function only in the initial screen and Windows Store 

If you’re using the Edge browser, for instance, your keyboard may be malfunctioning. However, if you’re using it in other apps such as notepad or even Word and it seems to be working without any problems, it is likely because the ctfmon.exe process is not working. You can check whether it is working on the task manager!

If the process is not working, don’t panic. Your computer is not broken; there is a quick solution to that problem.

First, you must press Win + R. In that Window, please write ctfmon.exe and press enter. Please check whether the keyboard is working in such apps. If everything is okay, the next step is to add the ctfmon.exe process to Window’s start-up. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Register Editor or Regedit. 
  2. There, please check the following section: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.
  3. In that same section, you must create a new REG_SZ parameter by the name ctfmon and with the value C:\Windows\System32\ctfmon.exe.
  4. Restart your computer, and verify the state of your keyboard.

That should have solved the problem. However, if your question is different or still not solved, you can try out another solution.

Update the keyboard drivers

Let’s assume obsolete keyboard drivers cause the problem. If that’s the case, updating them should solve the problem quickly. Go to the device manager by making right-click on the Start button. There, go to the “Keyboards” section and find your device. Make right-click on the correct option, and choose the “update drivers” option.

There, you’ll go to an option where you will be able to update your drivers automatically. If not, you can go to the next section and see how you can do it manually.

Try reinstalling the keyboard drivers.

Sometimes, obsolete drivers can cause keyboard problems due to faulty or outdated drivers. If that’s the case, you must reinstall the keyboard drivers manually. For that, you must go to the Device Manager. You can access the device manager quickly by making right-click on the Start button. There, it would help if you chose the Device Manager option.

Once you’re there, please check the “Keyboard” or the “HID” tab. Find your keyboard, and then make right-click on it and select “uninstall.”

The system will proceed to uninstall the device, and you will be required to restart your computer. 

Once you’ve started your computer and access your account, Windows will detect your keyboard as a new device. Therefore, the system will start looking for the appropriate drivers, and it will install them automatically. However, if it doesn’t start automatically, you can download the drivers from the manufacturer’s webpage.

Are you sure your keyboard is not dirty?

If it’s not the whole keyboard that’s not working but only a few keys, maybe it is dirty. Some people may find this obvious, and that’s why we’re mentioning it lastly. If this is your problem, cleaning your keyboard should solve most of your questions; if not, maybe it’s time to replace it.

What if it’s a hardware problem?

You’ve done everything you could, and your keyboard is still not functioning. What should you do?

If you’re in a particular situation and you cannot acquire a new keyboard – or if you’re using a laptop, maybe you can try to open it and see what’s happening. Of course, it would be hard to explain all the steps carefully here, mainly because most computers have different keyboards implemented.

However, if you think there is a hardware problem after trying all the solutions mentioned here, you can start by watching videos on YouTube. Start with our recommendations:

Both of the above videos show excellent solutions for when your keyboard is malfunctioning.

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