How one can Repair a Damaged Keyboard

You try to enter an email, but nothing happens. Or you can type, but either certain letters won't appear or 15 identical letters will appear on the screen. If you suffer from these or similar problems, yYou may feel like all is lost and your keyboard is toast.

"Broken" is a broad term. Many problems can "damage" a keyboard on both the hardware and software side. We can't solve your keyboard problems if you use it like a baseball bat. However, we can walk you through the options to solve typical problems that affect and even prevent input.

Keyboard types

Before digging in, determine which keyboard you have. Many laptop keyboards come with chiclet keys that press against a rubber dome to make electrical contact. You can also find versions based on an X-based scissor design that still uses the rubber dome but shortens the key stroke distance and offers a faster feel. Modern laptop keyboards are usually based on the latter scissor switch design.

Earlier MacBook keyboards used Apple's butterfly design, which looked more like a V than an X. Apple used this design to create thinner MacBooks. However, it introduced a keyboard that was more prone to gathering dust and debris than scissor-based models. Apple couldn't solve the problems, and returned to scissor-based keys starting with the 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019.

Finally, there are mechanical switches. Keyboards based on these usually have larger, easily removable keycaps. There are no rubber domes. Instead, a closed spring and shaft actuates your button press when it hits a contact. Mechanical keyboards are usually noisy.

Different types of switches may require different repair methods and are usually all resistant to different attempts at cleaning and cleaning. However, what concerns all keyboards is software.

Software corrections

Restart your PC

Restart Windows 10

This should be your first step in solving keyboard problems. Sometimes there are conflicts on the software side that cause the keyboard driver to stop responding, such as: B. a conflict with another driver or another application. A restart can help resolve this conflict or error.

On macOS, you may need to reset the System Management Controller to fix the problem. This means that you have to shut down the device, unplug the power cord and wait 15 seconds before restarting. For MacBooks, hold down Ctrl + Option + Shift at the same time, followed by the Power key for 10 seconds. Then release all the buttons and press the power button.

Update or reinstall drivers

Device Manager remove keyboard

If restarting doesn't work, try updating or reinstalling the driver. When you connect a keyboard, the operating system usually installs a compatible driver. This driver is already installed on laptops unless you connect an external keyboard (gaming keyboards may have their own software that you can download from the official website).

This driver may be damaged and cause communication problems between your PC and the peripheral device.

Here you want to update the driver to replace the possibly damaged version or remove it completely and reinstall a new version.

For Windows:

Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager from the Power Users menu.

Step 2: Expand the Keyboards entry and right-click your device.

Step 3: Select Update Driver from the pop-up menu and follow the instructions. This only updates the driver provided in Windows.

If this method does not resolve this issue, do the following:

Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager from the Power Users menu.

Step 2: Expand the Keyboards entry and right-click your device.

Step 3: From the pop-up menu, choose Uninstall a device.

Step 4: Click Action on the Device Manager toolbar and select Scan for Hardware Changes from the drop-down menu. This should reinstall your keyboard driver.

Note: If you have a keyboard that has drivers that need to be downloaded regardless of manufacturer, visit their website for the latest version and run the executable to reinstall it.

Check your region or language settings

Windows 10 region settings

Have your region and / or language settings changed? Follow these instructions to find out.

For Windows:

Step 1: Click the Start button followed by the gear icon in the Start menu.

Step 2: Select Time & Language.

Step 3: Select the region on the left and check that Windows is set to the correct region.

Step 4: Select the language listed on the left and make sure Windows is set to the correct language. Under Preferred Languages, click the plus sign (+) if you prefer a different language. After installation, click Options to select the keyboard type.

For MacOS:

Step 1: Click the System Preferences gear icon in the Dock.

Step 2: Select Language & Region (flag icon).

Step 3: Check your region or click the blue up / down arrows to change it.

Step 4: Check your preferred language. If it doesn't, click the plus sign (+) to add another language.

Check your input settings

Control Panel Keyboard Properties

Your keyboard may be behaving strangely due to incorrect repeat and delay settings. Here's how you can adjust these settings:

For Windows:

Step 1: Type "control panel" in the search box and select the resulting app.

Step 2: Click Hardware and Sound, followed by Devices and Printers.

Step 3: Right click on your keyboard and choose Keyboard Settings from the pop-up menu.

Step 4: Another pop-up window will appear with the Speed ​​tab loaded by default. Adjust the Retry Delay setting to see if that solves the problem.

If step 4 doesn't work, do the following:

Step 1: Type "control panel" in the search box and select the resulting app.

Step 2: Click Easy Access, followed by Easy Access.

Step 3: Scroll down and choose Keyboard Easier to Use.

Step 4: Uncheck "Enable Sticky Keys" and / or "Enable Filter Keys" if they are currently enabled.

Step 5: Click Apply> OK to save these settings.

For MacOS:

Step 1: Click the Apple logo in the upper left, followed by System Preferences in the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can click on the gear icon in the dock.

Step 2: Click on Keyboard.

Step 3: Adjust the delay and try again to see if that solves the problem.

Uninstall apps and programs

An app or program running in the background can cause problems with your keyboard. If drivers are installed, they can also affect your keyboard. Determine when your keyboard is working strangely and remove any software you installed prior to the malfunction. For example, if you installed desktop software that manages a new keyboard but are still running software for an older keyboard, the two conflicts can arise.

Hardware corrections

Check the connection

With external keyboards, the problem may be a physical connection. Does the cable have a short circuit that leads to incorrect behavior under Windows and MacOS? Is gunk collected in the USB port? Is the plug damaged? Is the USB port on your PC damaged? These factors cause problems.

One method that you can try is to unplug the keyboard from the same port and then reconnect it. If that doesn't solve the problem, try connecting the keyboard to a different port. There may be software or hardware problems with the current USB port that require separate investigation and resolution.

Another way to test the keyboard is to connect it to another PC. If it behaves badly on this device, the problem is on the keyboard side. If not, it is the original parent PC.

Look for active features

Cooler Master MK850Cool master

There are keyboards that you can buy that have special functions that you can toggle with the touch of a button. For example, Cooler Master's MK850 includes Aimpad technology, which adds gamepad-like analog controls to the WASD buttons. If this feature is turned on by mistake, every word you enter will contain extra letters such as Q, E, and Z. Your problems may be due to similar features.

Similarly, some keyboards allow you to temporarily disable useful keys like the Windows key. Make sure these aren't turned off if they're causing you problems.

Check Batteries (Wireless)

Wireless keyboard batteriesKevin Parrish / Digital Trends

If you are using a wireless keyboard, check the batteries to see if they are dead. A low battery will cause connection problems if your keyboard is Bluetooth based. Connect a keyboard with a built-in battery to your PC or to an AC adapter to charge it when it's empty.

Re-pair your keyboard (bluetooth)

Remove Windows 10 Bluetooth device

Bluetooth-based keyboards may have a connection problem. Removing and re-adding the device can resolve issues related to Bluetooth exchanges.

For Windows:

Step 1: Click the Start button and select the gear icon from the Start menu.

Step 2: Choose Devices.

Step 3: The Bluetooth and Other Devices window opens by default. Select your Bluetooth keyboard and click the Remove Device button.

Step 4: Click the plus sign (+) next to Add Bluetooth or other device, and then reconnect the Bluetooth keyboard. Follow the pairing instructions.

Under MacOS:

Step 1: Click the Apple logo in the top left and choose System Preferences from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can click on the gear icon in the dock.

Step 2: Click the bluetooth icon.

Step 3: Select your bluetooth keyboard, then select the X button to remove it.

Step 4: Pair your Bluetooth keyboard again.

Clean your keyboard

Mechanical keyboard No keycapKevin Parrish / Digital Trends

Note: Before any physical cleaning, pull the plug out of the socket and / or remove the batteries.

Dirt and grime are probably your biggest opponents when it comes to keyboard performance. There is no leaking dust, food debris, falling hair, nose projectiles and more that attack our keyboards every day.

Mechanical keyboards are probably easier to clean because you can remove the keycaps. In this scenario, disconnect the keyboard from the PC, take it outside, and use a can of compressed air angled at 75 degrees to clean up the annoying junk. If the residue is stubborn, remove the keycaps and use compressed air again. The aim is to ensure that no foreign bodies prevent the switch shaft from taking action.

Chiclet- and scissor-switch-based keyboards are more difficult to clean, especially on laptops. Again, you'll want to use compressed air to remove debris that could prevent a full bond between the keycap and the top membrane layer. Debris stuck between the keycaps and the keyboard body can also prevent the keys from moving properly.

Other cleaning methods include using a soft toothbrush, microfiber cloth, or a swab moistened with warm water. Do not use detergents and never spray directly on the keyboard, especially not on a laptop.

Test the keyboard without a laptop battery

Laptop battery

The problem may not be your keyboard but the laptop battery. A good test is to completely shut down the device, remove the battery if possible, plug in the external power adapter, and restart. If the keyboard works without any problems, the battery may have trouble supplying constant current and the OEM will need to replace it.

Replace switch (mechanical)

On mechanical keyboards, the switch under the keycap may be defective or simply fail due to constant use. You can replace these switches manually. However, this usually requires a soldering iron, solder remover, possible switch puller, and other tools. There are numerous tutorials on YouTube that will show you how to safely remove mechanical switches without damaging the keyboard. However, this is not an easy process.

There are also mechanical keyboards with snap switches like the Dygma Raise and Logitech G Pro X. With these, you simply pull the keycap followed by the faulty switch. Examine your keyboard to see if you can easily remove the switches.

Use a different keyboard

If all else fails, disconnect the faulty keyboard and try a different model – possibly even on a different port. If your problem persists, then the problem is deeper than the solutions given here. Take a step back and see if there are any other issues outside of your keyboard problems. You may need to perform a system reset to clean up conflicting software lurking deep beneath the operating system or take it to a PC repair shop.

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