How to remove and replace a laptop key or keycap

Updated: 07/13/2023 by Computer Hope

Removing your laptop keys is possible but should be done as infrequently as possible to prevent the keys from malfunctioning. However, if something is spilled on the laptop, removing some or all keys to clean underneath them will be necessary. To safely remove your laptop keys, and reattach them, follow the steps below.


This page is also meant for general reference and may not apply to your laptop. If you have a desktop computer, see: How to remove the keys on a keyboard.


Before removing any of the keyboard's keys, make sure the computer is turned off, or at the very least locked, so nothing is mistakenly typed.

Laptop keyboard key retainerRemoving keycap

  1. To remove the keycap from a keyboard, place your finger nail, small flat-head screwdriver, or knife under a corner of the key and gently pry it up. For a longer key, such as the spacebar key, try to pry as close to the center of the key as possible.
  2. In many situations, the key only snaps out partially. If the keycap is still attached to the laptop, use your fingers to remove the keycap completely.
  3. Once removed, you'll see the key retainer (scissor-switch) still attached to the laptop with the pad in the middle. If needed, this too can be removed from the laptop. To do so, place the flat head of a screwdriver or a knife's edge under a corner and gently twist until it pops off.

Replacing the keycap


If your key is broken and you need a new keyboard key for your laptop, has a great selection.

  1. With the key removed, carefully observe the metal hooks on the keyboard where the old key used to be.
  2. Orient the plastic hinge (new or old) so that the holes line up with the metal hooks.
  3. Insert the smaller plastic piece, usually called a cup, evenly into the center of the retainer.
  4. Replace the keycap and press evenly on all four sides to attach it firmly to the key retainer. You may hear a light snap sound when the keycap is reattached properly.