How to Fix the Backspace Key

By David Montoya

Most of the keys on your keyboard serve an important function, including the backspace key. When this key starts to work incorrectly, you lose much of your keyboard's efficiency. Correcting words and web addresses now requires careful placement of the cursor or use of the arrow keys, both of which may take longer. Fix your backspace key by going through a series of troubleshooting procedures to determine the problem and take the appropriate remedial measures.

Things You'll Need

  • Compressed air canister

Fixing a Stuck or Sticky Backspace Key

Step 1

Turn the keyboard upside down and shake lightly to loosen any debris or dirt caught underneath the keyboard. Complete this step only for wired keyboards.

Step 2

Place the keyboard on a flat surface and use a compressed air canister to remove any remaining debris. Attach the straw applicator and place directly beneath the backspace key. Spray while constantly moving the applicator along the key's outer edges. This should be your first step for laptop keyboards.

Step 3

Clean any debris with a dry towel. Test the backspace key to make sure it works again.

Wired Keyboard Troubleshooting

Step 1

Check the keyboard's connection to the computer if the backspace key and several other keys malfunction. Unplug and replug the keyboard into the computer to make sure you have a proper connection.

Step 2

Restart the computer to allow the system to reboot. This restarts the computer's systems and may fix the problem if the backspace issues are caused by a software problem.

Step 3

Plug the keyboard into another computer if problems persist. If the backspace key works on the new computer, you may have a connectivity problem with the keyboard port on your computer that requires professional assistance.

Fix a Detached Backspace Key

Step 1

Flip the detached backspace key upside down and remove the plastic retainer underneath. This plastic piece is square in shape and light in color. It simply snaps off the key.

Step 2

Insert the retainer into the backspace key's location on the keyboard. Slide the retainer underneath the four metal points located in the backspace location. This holds the retainer in place.

Step 3

Push the backspace key back over the fastened retainer. Use moderate force until the key snaps into place.