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 properly 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 and even laptop owners who can find themselves using their Windows 10 laptop as usual one day and then have their laptop keyboard not working at all the next.

Cause of Windows 10 Keyboard Errors

Problems when using a wired, built-in, or wireless keyboard with a Windows 10 device can be caused by a variety of issues ranging from connectivity errors and out-of-date drivers to damaged hardware and Bluetooth conflicts.

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. It’s possible that 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 correctly.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Turn off Flight 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.

  5. Check the wireless keyboard batteries. It’s easy to forget that wireless keyboards are powered by batteries 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.

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

  7. Install the latest Windows 10 updates. Windows 10 operating system updates download important security updates but they can also fix a number of 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. A new device driver may be needed to connect to the Windows 10 keyboard properly. 

  10. Switch USB ports. If your keyboard won’t type and it 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, simply 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 important to keep it 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 be cause for concern but before you replace it, try seeing if it works on another device. If your keyboard functions properly 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 incredible 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. This is a much cheaper alternative than replacing the entire laptop.

  17. Activate the Windows 10 on-screen keyboard. The Windows 10 operating system actually has a software keyboard built directly into the operating system which you can make appear on screen and use either with touch controls, if your device has a touchscreen, or your mouse. This is a good short-term solution when you need to get work done ASAP and your keyboard hasn’t been repaired or replaced 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 warrantee and insurance as you may be entitled to a free replacement or at least a partial refund.

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