How to Troubleshoot Certain Keyboard Keys Not Working

By Bonnie Conrad

No matter what type of computer you use or how you use it, the keyboard is an integral part of the unit. Without the keyboard, the entire computer is useless, so if certain keys are sticking or failing to respond, you need to get the problem resolved as quickly as possible. Unless those non-functional keys are never used, the lack of a single key will have a big impact on your ability to use your computer and do your job.

Things You'll Need

  • Compressed air
  • Small screwdriver
  • Tweezers

Step 1

Open your word processing program and test each of the keys. Make a list of the keys that are sticking or failing to respond.

Step 2

Disconnect the keyboard from the computer if you are working with a desktop computer. Shut the computer down if you are working with a laptop.

Step 3

Spray the area around the sticking keys with compressed air to loosen any dirt and food particles that might be lodged under the keys. Dirt and other debris under the keys is the most common cause of keyboard problems.

Step 4

Turn the keyboard, or the laptop, upside down and shake it gently to remove any debris loosened by the compressed air. You might need to shake the keyboard several times to remove all the dirt.

Step 5

Reconnect the desktop keyboard, or turn the laptop back on. Test each key on the keyboard again. Note any keys that are still not working.

Step 6

Pry up one side of the first non-functioning key with a small flat head screwdriver. Reach under the key with a pair of tweezers to remove any dirt particles that are stopping the key from being depressed.

References & Resources