How to Fix It When a Windows 10 Keyboard Is Not Working

Windows 10 Keyboard won't type? Try these 18 quick solutions

A wired or wireless keyboard not working correctly can be incredibly frustrating for Windows 10 users. Sometimes the keyboard won’t type, while at other times, the keyboard might not even connect to the Windows 10 computer or tablet at all.

Such problems can also affect Microsoft Surface users with the Surface Type and Touch Cover keyboards. Laptop owners might find themselves using their Windows 10 laptop one day and then have their laptop keyboard not working the next.

Cause of Windows 10 Keyboard Errors

When using a wired, built-in, or wireless keyboard with a Windows 10 device, various issues ranging from connectivity errors and out-of-date drivers to damaged hardware and Bluetooth conflicts can cause problems.

How to Fix a Broken Windows 10 Keyboard

Here are some of the best solutions for fixing a glitchy keyboard on a Windows 10 computer, laptop, tablet, or two-in-one device such as a Microsoft Surface.

  1. Check the keyboard cable. The cable that connects the keyboard to your Windows 10 computer may have become disconnected. Inspect both ends to make sure that it’s plugged in properly.

  2. Restart your Windows 10 computer. An oldie but a goodie. Restarting a computer can fix a host of tech problems, including a laptop keyboard not working correctly or when a keyboard won’t type.

  3. Perform the initial setup process. If you have a brand new wireless keyboard, you may need to set it up first before you can use it. Instructions will typically come with the keyboard though you can also connect it via Windows 10’s native Bluetooth connection setup within the Settings app.

  4. Turn on Bluetooth. A wireless keyboard not working can often be caused by the Bluetooth and other wireless signals being turned off on your Windows 10 device.

  5. Turn off Airplane mode. Windows 10’s Flight mode works like Airplane mode on smartphones and tablets and disables all wireless signals, including Bluetooth. Turn it off to connect to your wireless keyboard.

  6. Check the wireless keyboard batteries. It’s easy to forget that batteries power wireless keyboards as they can usually last for well over a year until they need a recharge or a battery replacement. If your keyboard has rechargeable batteries, plug it into a power source to charge it. Otherwise, you should be able to replace the batteries as you would in a computer mouse and other similar devices.

  7. Install the latest Windows 10 updates. Windows 10 operating system updates download important security updates, but they can also fix many device connectivity issues that users are experiencing.

  8. Turn off Bluetooth on other devices. It’s possible that the Bluetooth signal on other smart devices could be causing a conflict. Experiment with turning their Bluetooth off to see if this fixes your problem.

  9. Update your Windows 10 drivers. You may need a new device driver to connect to the Windows 10 keyboard properly. 

  10. Switch USB ports. If your keyboard doesn’t type and uses a cable connection, try connecting it to a different USB port on your Windows 10 device.

  11. Check the cable for damage. Carefully inspect the keyboard’s USB cable for wear and tear.

  12. Detach and reattach the Surface keyboard. If you have a Microsoft Surface device and use a Surface Type Cover or Touch Cover, remove it from your Windows 10 two-in-one device, wait a few seconds, and then connect it again.

  13. Clean the bottom of your Microsoft Surface. Almost the entire bottom of Microsoft’s Surface devices are dedicated to connecting to Type and Touch Cover keyboards. Any grime or dirt in this area can affect the connectivity of the keyboards, so it’s essential to keep them clean. Using a clean cloth or earbud is usually all you need.

     Don’t wet this connective area on your Surface or use any cleaning liquids.

  14. Try the keyboard on another Windows 10 device. A wired or wireless keyboard not working can cause concern, but before you replace it, try seeing if it works on another device. If your keyboard functions on a different Windows 10 computer, tablet, or laptop, the problem may be with your original device, not the keyboard.

  15. Clean your keyboard. If you’ve spilled something on your keyboard, you may still be able to get it working again by doing some thorough and careful cleaning.

  16. Connect a wireless keyboard to your laptop. A laptop keyboard not working is incredibly inconvenient, especially if it’s broken beyond repair. All is not lost, though, as you may still be able to connect a wireless keyboard to your laptop via Bluetooth. It's a much cheaper alternative than replacing the entire laptop.

  17. Activate the Windows 10 on-screen keyboard. The Windows 10 operating system has a software keyboard built directly into the operating system. You can make it appear on the screen and use either touch controls if your device has a touchscreen or your mouse. The onscreen keyboard is a good short-term solution when you need to get work done ASAP and you haven't fixed or replaced your keyboard yet.

    You should see an icon for the touch keyboard in your Windows 10 taskbar. If you don't, right-click on it with your mouse and select Show touch keyboard button.

  18. Replace your keyboard. If you’ve tried all of these solutions and your wired or wireless keyboard still won’t work, you may need to buy a new one.

    Don’t forget to check your warranty and insurance as you may be entitled to a free replacement or at least a partial refund.

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