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No keys on my keyboard work

Note: This document is for troubleshooting a keyboard that has no working keys at all and not keyboards with only some that don't.

Verify hardware functionality

Check your connection

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best option. Verify that your keyboard is plugged in securely by disconnecting the keyboard from the computer and then reconnecting the keyboard into the same port. If you have a USB keyboard, you may want to try a different USB port.

Checking wireless keyboard batteries and wireless adapters

If you are using a wireless keyboard make sure the batteries in the keyboard are still good and that the wireless receiver that is connected to the computer and is close and is not being blocked.

Keyboards with PS/2 ports

If this is a PS/2 keyboard and you have another one laying around, try the other keyboard. If you connect a known working keyboard to the computer PS/2 port and it doesn't work, the PS/2 port is bad. Because this port is part of the motherboard, the motherboard needs to be replaced to resolve the issue.

Alternative solution: Replacing the motherboard can be challenging and costly. If USB ports are available on your computer, consider buying a USB keyboard.

Check the USB port

If your keyboard utilizes a USB connection, try a different USB port. If it still doesn't work or you don't have another USB port, try a different device. If either of the devices work, the other one is bad. If neither work, you may have a bad USB port.

USB hub

If you are using a USB keyboard and the keyboard is connected to a USB hub, try connecting the keyboard to the back of the computer. If the keyboard works after doing so, the USB hub is likely defective and needs to be replaced.

Test the keyboard outside Windows

Computer keyboardIn some situations, a keyboard may not work in Windows because of a software issue or accessibility feature such as ToggleKeys. To help verify this is not the cause of the issue, reboot the computer and see if the keyboard Num Lock, Caps Lock, or Scroll Lock can be turned on and off. When these keys are pressed LED indicators should turn on to indicate the key is enabled or disabled. Another option is to try entering CMOS setup.

If the keyboard is working as the computer is booting up, something in Windows is preventing the keyboard from working. Try booting the computer into Safe Mode and see if it works. If your keyboard works in Safe Mode, try uninstalling or reinstalling any recently added software.

If the Num Lock and Caps Lock do not work, and you are unable to enter CMOS setup, something is physically wrong with the keyboard or the computer motherboard needs to be replaced.

Update your drivers

Note: You need a working keyboard to follow these steps. If you cannot get any keyboard to work on your computer, skip this section.

Windows update

Sometimes devices stop functioning because their software is out of date. If you're running the Microsoft Windows operating system, Windows update usually finds device drivers and keeps them up to date. To force a Windows update, follow the steps below.

  1. Press the Windows key, type Windows Update, and then press Enter.
  2. Follow the instructions in the window that appears.

Manually installing drivers

If you suspect that Windows update was not able to find your keyboard drivers, visit the manufacturer's website to download them; this process is almost always free.

Check for the keyboard in Device Manager

Windows has a built-in Device Manager that can help you to identify and resolve issues with hardware devices, including keyboards.

Additional information

  • See our keyboard and keys definitions for further information and related links on these terms.