Dell Laptop Keyboard Not Working – 11 Solutions You Can Try

Dell keyboards are reliable, but every hardware fails sometimes, and we often throw away perfectly good hardware. Troubleshooting any hardware is a three-step process: Test, Identify, and Repair. If this doesn’t fix the problem, we move on to the next step and iterate until the problem is identified and fixed. Well, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to fix if your Dell keyboard (it should work for other Windows keyboards too) is not working.

Before you start, check if your keyboard has Disable keyboard button. Not all but some keyboards come with a dedicated keyboard disable button (like the WiFi or mute toggle button) that temporarily disables your keyboard when pressed. Sometimes you don’t even realize it is accidentally pressed like my grandmother has a laptop that has a disable button and it is accidentally pressed when cleaning the keyboard. With that out of the way, let’s see how to fix keyboard problems on a Windows laptop.

Dell laptop keyboard does not work

Step 1

Research: If the keys are stuck and not working properly, check for dust and dirt particles under the keys. Keyboards are slimmer to fit the compact styling of a laptop and generally have minimal clearance between the head of the key and the components below it. The keys would inevitably collect dust, lint, and other atmospheric debris. As it gets underneath the keys, it can hamper functionality and ultimately render the key useless.

Solution: Take a brush or a can of pressurized air to blow the dust under the keys and check if the keys have returned to their normal state.

Step 2

Research: If the keys work, but some print different characters when pressed, check your keyboard settings. Almost all keyboards we see on laptops have the Qwerty layout. What this means is that the position of letters and other characters is standardized, but the US, UK, and Europe all have their own standard key positions and differ slightly around the world.

Solution: You can go to settings and change the layout that is standard in your country.

To change the layout to QWERTY in Windows 10, go to Start> Settings> Time and Language> Region and Language> Click Language> Options> Change QWERTY (US).

Dell keyboard not working - AZERTY setup

Step 3

Research: If most of the keys print different letters than the ones on the keyboard, you should check the keyboard layout. QWERTY is not the only keyboard layout out there, and AZERTY and Dvorak are less popular keyboard input layouts than is available for Windows. The difference is the location of the keys on the keyboard. On the AZERTY keyboard, the Q and W keys are replaced by A and Z respectively. DVORAK has a completely different design. The point is, if your keys are printing something else when you press G, the layout is probably different and you need to check and fix it.

Solution: Home> settings> input methods> options> select QWERTY (US)

Dell keyboard not working - DVORAK window setup

Stage 4

Research: If the keyboard doesn’t print anything, check the keyboard drivers. Before concluding that your keyboard is dead, we need to identify if it is not just a driver issue. Sometimes the drivers are corrupted and your keyboard stops working. It is quite possible that the driver is at fault.

Solution: Update the drivers by updating Windows or Device Manager. To update your Windows, go to Start> find ‘Windows Update’> Click update. To do it from Device Manager, right click on My Computer> Properties> Device Manager> Internal Keyboard> Right Click> Properties> Drivers Tab> Update Driver.

Dell Keyboard Not Working - Device Manager Window Update Driver

Step 5

Research: If updating the drivers did not work, check for conflicting drivers such as Windows and Dell drivers. If you ever reinstall Windows and try to install the drivers that came with the laptop, it may cause a conflict between your Windows driver and the driver that came with the Dell laptop.

Solution: try uninstalling all drivers in device manager and reboot. To uninstall the drivers Right click on Computer> Properties> Device Manager> Internal Keyboard> Right Click> Properties> Drivers tab> Uninstall Driver.


Dell keyboard not working - uninstall

Step 6

Research: Check the keyboard in safe mode. Most of the time, there is some software that changes the keyboard input while using the software. If you write in multiple languages ​​and have special software, you may want to start your computer in safe mode, it would disable all third-party software and drivers. If it works in safe mode, your software could cause the problem.

Solution: If it works in safe mode, try uninstalling software that modifies keyboard input for special purposes.

Step 7

Research: Check if the BIOS settings are correct. We are not saying that your computer has a virus, but it is mandatory to have up-to-date antivirus software. There are some viruses that affect BIOS settings and can potentially render your computer unusable. Now if you don’t disable your computer, the virus can certainly disable your keyboard from the BIOS. you can enable legacy USB keyboard support.

Solution: Go into BIOS setup by restarting your computer and at the boot boot screen, press F12 (or whatever key your laptop supports)> Advanced> Integrated Peripherals> USB Drivers> Legacy Keyboard> Toggle to Enabled.

Step 8

Research: Check if an external keyboard works? If you’ve tried all the steps above and nothing has worked so far, try connecting an external keyboard to your computer and see if it fixes the problem. If yes, then your keyboard has a hardware problem.

Solution: Try removing the keyboard and plugging it in again, the tape could be loose.

Step 9

Research: If some keys do not work (not in a series), check the dead keys. While there may be other reasons if you have dead keys, there is no sure way to know without further testing. We can verify this using a keyboard test tool. You can also use the on-screen keyboard, but I used Passed to identify dead keys. It is a very intuitive tool that identifies which keys are being pressed and then released, which would give you an idea if any key is being pressed continuously or dead.

Solution: Try to disarm the key and check whether the dome is intact or not. If it is broken, you will have to go to the service center to have it repaired or your keyboard replaced.

pass keyboard test

Step 10

Research: If the keys are not working (a series, a row of keys, or even a patch), check for a loose connection. The keys work by sending a signal to the microcontroller which processes the signal that is essentially generated through a matrix network below the keyboard. In simple terms, consider the keyboard as a grid and each key is a combination of a specific signal. If a connection is loose, that can cause this problem.

Solution: Try to remove the keyboard from the USB if it is a desktop computer and insert it into another socket or if it is a laptop, you can remove the keyboard and check if the ribbon connector is fixed properly.

Step 11

Research: If you’ve tried everything and it still doesn’t work, you should probably take it to a service center for professional repair, or if it’s too steep, you can have it replaced yourself.

Solution– Find the make and model of your Dell laptop and search for the keyboard online. Look for a keyboard replacement tutorial, believe me, it sounds difficult but it is not that difficult. If you are afraid of ruining everything, seek professional help.

Read: How to use PC and Mac keyboard on Android

Did you fix your Dell keyboard?

We show you how to troubleshoot if your Dell keyboard gives you trouble or even stops working. The methods work only if the keyboard has a software problem or loose connections. If your keyboard is dead, it is unlikely that you will find an article on how to fix it. Or on the other note, you could and if you tell us in the comments.

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