How to Fix a Dell Keyboard Not Working

How to Fix a Dell Keyboard Not Working

A non-responsive or malfunctioning keyboard can significantly impede productivity and be frustrating to deal with, especially if you rely heavily on your Dell computer for work or personal use. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the potential causes of a Dell keyboard not working and offer step-by-step solutions to help you diagnose and resolve the issue.

II. Possible Causes of a Dell Keyboard Not Working

A. Hardware Issues

Loose or damaged connections

Faulty keyboard

Laptop keyboard affected by liquid damage

B. Software Issues

Outdated or corrupted keyboard drivers

Incorrect keyboard settings

Conflicting software or malware

III. Troubleshooting Hardware Issues

A. Check for Loose or Damaged Connections

For External Keyboards:

a. Ensure that the keyboard is securely connected to the computer’s USB or PS/2 port.

b. Try connecting the keyboard to a different port to rule out any issues with the port itself.

c. Test the keyboard on another computer to determine if the issue is with the keyboard or the computer.

For Laptop Keyboards:

a. Turn off the laptop and disconnect it from any power source.

b. Remove the laptop battery if it is easily accessible.

c. Carefully open the laptop according to the manufacturer’s guidelines to access the keyboard connector.

d. Ensure that the keyboard connector is securely connected to the motherboard.

e. If you are not comfortable with disassembling your laptop, consider seeking professional assistance.

B. Inspect the Keyboard for Physical Damage

Check for any visible signs of damage, such as broken or stuck keys.

For laptop keyboards, look for any signs of liquid damage, which could cause the keyboard to malfunction.

C. Replace a Faulty Keyboard

If the keyboard is determined to be faulty, consider purchasing a replacement keyboard.

For external keyboards, simply disconnect the old keyboard and connect the new one.

For laptop keyboards, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for replacing the keyboard or seek professional assistance if you are not comfortable with disassembling your laptop.

IV. Troubleshooting Software Issues

A. Update or Reinstall Keyboard Drivers

Press the Windows key + X and select “Device Manager” from the menu.

Locate and expand the “Keyboards” category.

Right-click on your Dell keyboard and select “Update driver.”

Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” and follow the on-screen instructions.

If updating the driver does not resolve the issue, try uninstalling the keyboard driver by right-clicking on it and selecting “Uninstall device.”

Restart your computer, and Windows will automatically reinstall the keyboard driver.

B. Check Keyboard Settings

Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.

Click on “Time & language.”

Select “Keyboard” from the left panel.

Ensure that the correct keyboard layout is selected for your Dell keyboard.

If you are experiencing issues with specific keys, check if any keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys are interfering with their functionality.

C. Boot into Safe Mode

Booting your computer into Safe Mode can help determine if conflicting software or malware is causing your keyboard to malfunction.

Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.

Type “msconfig” and hit Enter to open the System Configuration utility.

Click on the “Boot” tab and check the “Safe boot” box.

Choose “Minimal” and click “Apply” followed by “OK.”

Restart your computer to boot into Safe Mode.

Test your keyboard in Safe


If your keyboard works correctly in Safe Mode, the issue may be related to conflicting software or malware.

To identify and resolve the conflict, disable non-essential startup programs and services one by one and restart your computer in normal mode each time to see if the keyboard issue persists.

To disable startup programs and services, press the Windows key + R, type “msconfig” and hit Enter to open the System Configuration utility.

Click on the “Services” tab, check the “Hide all Microsoft services” box, and click “Disable all.”

Next, click on the “Startup” tab and click “Open Task Manager.”

In the Task Manager, disable non-essential startup programs one by one by right-clicking on them and selecting “Disable.”

Restart your computer in normal mode and test your keyboard after disabling each program or service until the issue is resolved.

If you identify the conflicting software, either remove it or update it to a compatible version.

V. Additional Troubleshooting Tips

A. Check for Windows Updates

Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.

Click on “Update & Security.”

Select “Windows Update” from the left pane.

Click “Check for updates” and install any available updates.

Restart your computer and test your keyboard.

B. Perform a System Restore

If the keyboard issue began after a recent system change, performing a System Restore to an earlier point in time may resolve the problem.
Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.

Type “rstrui” and hit Enter to open the System Restore utility.

Follow the on-screen instructions to choose a restore point and complete the System Restore process.

Restart your computer and test your keyboard.

C. Reset Your PC

If all other troubleshooting steps have failed, you may need to reset your PC to resolve the keyboard issue.

Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.

Click on “Update & Security.”

Select “Recovery” from the left pane.

Under “Reset this PC,” click “Get started” and follow the on-screen instructions to reset your PC.

Keep in mind that resetting your PC will remove your personal files, settings, and applications, so ensure you have a backup of your important data before proceeding.

VI. Conclusion

A non-functional Dell keyboard can be frustrating, but by following this comprehensive troubleshooting guide, you can identify and resolve the issue. Whether the problem lies in hardware connections, driver issues, or conflicting software, these step-by-step solutions can help restore your keyboard’s functionality and get you back to being productive. If you have exhausted all troubleshooting steps and your keyboard is still not working, consider contacting Dell support or seeking professional assistance.