How To Put a Key Back on a Laptop

Chris Campbell15 Feb 2022

You're clicking away on your keyboard, anticipating to see letters on the screen but instead, you’re seeing random letters. Worst, perhaps one of your laptop's keys isn't responding at all. Your laptop is pointless if it does not have a functional keyboard. This is a significant issue with laptops since you cannot just switch the keyboard as you would a desktop computer.

How To Fix a Laptop Key

You're typing on your laptop when the "o" key suddenly stops functioning. Perhaps an entire area of keys is taking a long time to respond. Worse, the keyboard completely stops working. While this might be inconvenient, especially if you have a pending deadline, there are a few ways you can try to fix the problem.

Here are some hacks to try:

  • Restart your laptop. A short reboot should restore your system to the state it was in when everything was working properly.
  • Update or remove the keyboard driver. After updating your driver, use a word processor to test the keyboard. If it doesn't work, try uninstalling the driver. If driver corruption was the root cause of the keyboard malfunction, reinstalling the driver should resolve the issue.
  • Clean the keys on your laptop. Cleaning a normal keyboard is challenging; cleaning a laptop keyboard is significantly more difficult. To dislodge dirt off keyboards, some physical contact is required. While this is usually straightforward with a USB or wireless keyboard, it's a little more complicated with a laptop. Simply said, you can't shake or bang the back of a laptop without threatening to harm it. Nevertheless, dust and dirt may be removed from a laptop keyboard first by turning it off and flipping it upside down, and lightly pressing on the base. Then, rub your fingertips across all of the keys. Although cleaning isn't a sure fix for more serious issues, it can surely help if dirt is blocking one or more keys from functioning effectively.
  • Remove and replace your laptop keyboard. If the keyboard is physically broken or has gotten detached from the motherboard, you must detach it from your laptop and then either reinsert the component or completely replace the keyboard with a new one.

How To Fix a Broken Key on a Laptop

Laptop keys might break or become less sensitive over time. This also applies to keys that become stuck, aren't responsive, or do nothing when pressed. A key on a laptop keyboard could also become loosened or fall off. Try each of the following solutions to repair the key and pop it back into position on the keyboard.

Loose Keycap

Each key on a laptop keyboard, unlike a desktop key, has three components: the keycap, keypad, and key retainer. If the keycap is loosened but still connected to the laptop, pushing down on the keycap generally fixes the problem. When the keycap is reattached, a pop is audible when pushing the key down. If this does not resolve the problem, you can detach and reattach the key.

Broken Keycap

A key, keycap, keypad, button, or retainer that is physically damaged or absent must be replaced.

  • To begin, put the key retainer into the laptop. To make things easier, we recommend placing a keypad after the retainer is in place. After inserting the retainer, it should rest flat and be able to bend.
  • Place the keypad in the retainer.
  • After completing the preceding two steps, place the keycap over the retainer in the right orientation and softly push down. The key should be able to grip onto the retainer. If the key does not appear to be in place, try pushing down on all four corners of the key to ensure that all snaps are locked into place. Once the key has been snapped in, test it to see whether the key is now working.

Loose or Broken Spacebar Keycap

The spacebar, unlike some of the other keys on the keyboard, needs additional actions to be correctly reinstalled. Before reinstalling the spacebar keycap, a bar should be lifted by placing a flathead screwdriver underneath it and gently lifting upward. Place the new spacebar on the laptop once this bar has been removed. Make sure it's properly positioned over the retainers before pushing down to lock it back into place.

If the key however does not work after reattaching it or changing the keycap, keypad, or key retainer, the keyboard's circuit board could be broken. If the circuit board fails, you must replace the complete keyboard to resolve the issue.

To replace the complete keyboard, call the laptop manufacturer to see if you can get one from them directly. If the manufacturer refuses to sell you a replacement keyboard, bring your laptop to a repair shop.

How To Remove a Key From a Laptop

Because laptops have a built-in keyboard, a single key that becomes loose or jammed might cause serious problems. Whenever a laptop key ceases to press effectively, you may have to detach it from the keyboard to reboot the key and troubleshoot the issue.

Before attempting to remove any of the keys from the keyboard, ensure that your laptop is turned off:

  • Insert the head of the flathead screwdriver below the keycap you wish to remove. This is most effective when positioned at the keycap's top or upper right.
  • Set the screwdriver at the center of the key before lifting larger keys. This will make it much easier to remove the longer keys.
  • Slowly pull and pull the key off.  Removing a key should be done gently.
  • After removing the keycap, blast out any debris, hair, or filth from behind the keyboard using a can of compressed air.
  • Using a cotton swab gently coated in rubbing alcohol, wipe the keycap.
  • Allow the key to completely dry before putting it back on the keyboard.
  • When you're through cleaning, carefully press the keycap back into place.

It's that simple to remove a laptop key. Because laptop keyboards are much more difficult to maneuver than desktop keyboards, take extra care while extracting and putting back your laptop key.

If a key on your keyboard stops working, you don't have to throw away your laptop. Our solutions should handle the majority of potential concerns, but if you still can't get it to function, use an external keyboard for now and take your laptop to a repair shop.

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Thanks for reading! I'm Chris, an avid tech fanatic that enjoys keeping up with the latest laptop models. Hopefully my tips & tricks can help you out!

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