How to Fix a Dell Keyboard Not Working

Dell keyboard problems? We've got the fixes here

Keyboard problems aren't uncommon, but on a laptop, they can be frustrating. Luckily, there are workarounds to get you typing again immediately as well as steps you can take to fix your keyboard without spending a dime.

These tips will work on keyboards not made by Dell and older keyboards too, but the primary focus of this guide is on fixing Windows 10 Dell laptop keyboard issues, i.e., about any Dell laptop released since 2015.

Cause of Dell Keyboard Problems

Most of the time, these are software issues caused by drivers or updates or changes to your computer that you can often address through another update or a settings change.

If your keyboard experienced a mechanical failure, or there was a spill, or it somehow fell and cracked or broke to some extent, the tips in this guide likely won't apply.

If there's a hardware problem with your keyboard, likely you will need to contact a technician for repair or replacement unless you have the technical know-how and experience to handle that yourself.

Troubleshooting Tools to Help Fix Keyboard Problems

Without a functioning keyboard, it can be hard to move through the troubleshooting steps. Some steps may only require a mouse or no direct input on your screen at all, but when they do need these things, temporary fixes can be a lifesaver.

  1. Use Windows' On-Screen Keyboard to type temporarily. Part of Microsoft's accessibility suite is a virtual keyboard you can click the keys of using your mouse. While inefficient, this allows you to type without a keyboard.

  2. Connect a USB keyboard to use on your laptop temporarily. Hopefully, you can access a desktop computer somewhere, and borrowing its keyboard will make troubleshooting your problems more manageable.

How to Fix a Dell Keyboard Not Working

Usually, keyboard problems can be traced back to software issues, which you can often fix with an update.

  1. Properly reboot your computer. Giving your entire setup a cold, fresh boot can fix strange, temporary glitches that can, on occasion, leave you unable to use your keyboard. It might sound too simple, but a restart can fix a lot of problems.

  2. Update your keyboard drivers. Sometimes, a driver version can have a bug or an incompatibility issue with other software on your computer. Updating your drivers can easily address this.

  3. Update Windows. Many drivers and compatibility packages and underlying services and features come from Microsoft. If you have keyboard problems, updating Windows itself can help fix those, too.

Avoiding Keyboard Issues Going Forward

Once you get your keyboard back up and running, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to help keep your keyboard in tip-top shape.

First, never install software from a site you don't trust. The same goes for opening email attachments: Don't, unless you know what you're opening. These are good rules of thumb to avoid viruses, but simply installing random applications can often result in unintended side effects, like the occasional keyboard problem.

Second, try not to eat or drink anything other than water nearby your keyboard. Spills can be devastating, but a little water accidentally getting on your board shouldn't be the end of the world by any means.

Lastly, at least once a month, give your keyboard a thorough cleaning with a soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol. It will help to stop keys from getting stuck and connections from coming undone over time.

  • How do you unlock a keyboard on a Dell laptop?

    The easiest way to unlock a Dell keyboard is to try a simple restart of the laptop. Turn it off, wait two minutes, and restart it. If that doesn't work you may have an Fn, Scroll lock, or Number lock issue. In each case, try pressing the relevant key along with the Esc key. For example, press Fn + Esc key to get your function keys unlocked and working again. In the worst case scenario, you may need to seek the assistance of a professional computer repair service.

  • How do I fix a Dell laptop that's not turning on?

    To troubleshoot a Dell laptop that won't turn on, first check the power source and all related cables to see if they're good working order. If that's not the issue, disconnect any external devices like USB drives and printers, and try starting the laptop again. Finally, to eliminate any starting issues due to the battery, remove it and try starting the laptop with it plugged directly into a power outlet.

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