The Windows key, located in the lower left corner of your keyboard, is your gateway to the Windows operating system. It brings up the Start menu, giving you easy access to important applications and files, but it can also be used as part of other keyboard shortcuts to save time and improve productivity.
When your Windows keyboard key breaks, you are left without one of the simplest tools. If you don’t want to unlearn some of the most basic Windows skills, you’ll have to fix your broken keyboard instead. There are several ways to do this, so here are a few steps you can follow.
Check the keyboard for damage
Before doing anything else, you should inspect the keyboard for physical damage. First, take a look at the Windows key itself – does it feel as bouncy as the other keys, or does it seem like there is dirt or debris stuck underneath? If so, try cleaning.
You can delete the key itself to do this, but check your manual first before attempting to do so to make sure you can’t damage the key itself.
You should also look at your keyboard as a whole. For example, a damaged wire on a wired keyboard might be enough to make some or all of the keys stop working. There may also be undetectable problems with the device that cannot be detected by visual inspection.
This will most likely be the case if the other keys on your keyboard no longer work either. If you spill a drink on the keys, that’s enough to break the keyboard. Check your device’s warranty or contact a third party for repair if so.
Try an alternate keyboard
If you are confident that your keyboard is not damaged (or should not) be damaged, then you need to check the theory. A good way to do this is to use an alternative keyboard to test the Windows key on that device.
This test lets you see if the problem is Windows itself. If a software issue causes the Windows key to stop responding (for example, due to corrupted files or malware infection
However, if the alternative keyboard does work, you can probably rule out the software issue as a problem. Before doing this, examine your keyboard model and determine if there are any other issues reported by others that may help you narrow down the issue.
Check the integrity of Windows and files
With Windows in perfect working order, you don’t have to worry about broken keys. However, when it doesn’t work, any number of missing files or missing processes can prevent the most basic functions like the Windows keyboard key from working properly.
A good way to check if this is the case is to check your Windows system and file integrity using Windows PowerShell You can use the System File Checker (sfc) tool to quickly repair corrupted Windows files.
- To do this, right-click the Start menu and select Windows PowerShell (Admin). In a PowerShell terminal window, enter sfc / scannow to start scanning your system.
After the System File Checker has finished scanning, you can run the Disk Checker (chkdsk) to check and fix Windows file system errors.
- With a PowerShell window open, enter chkdsk / r to start scanning. Windows is unable to run this boot scan, so you will need to approve the boot scan to check the system the next time you restart your computer. Enter Y to confirm this, then manually reboot to start scanning.
After restarting your computer, scanning should start. Any problems with your drive that might affect Windows should be fixed automatically.
Disable Windows Filter Keys
One of the most useful accessibility features in Windows 10 is the ability to filter out unnecessary keystrokes for users who might press keys accidentally. Unfortunately, this feature can be accidentally enabled for those who don’t need it, causing Windows to ignore the Windows key press itself.
You can turn off this filter keys feature in the Keyboards area of ??the Windows Settings menu.
- To access the settings, right-click the Start menu and select Settings. From here, click Accessibility> Keyboard to access Windows keyboard settings.
- In the Keyboards menu, find the Use Filter Keys option. Click the toggle for this option to turn it off, making sure the Off label is displayed.
Check battery levels on wireless keyboards
If you are using a wireless keyboard, then you should already have a regular charging schedule. If your keyboard keys stop working on your wireless keyboard, you can check to see if it has enough battery power to register correct keystrokes.
The verification method depends on your device. Some wireless keyboards may have battery indicators on the product itself, or you may need third-party apps from the manufacturer to check if your device is sufficiently charged.
If you can’t verify this, let the device charge for a few hours before using the keyboard again. This should give the keyboard enough time to charge and start working, unless there is a problem with the battery or the product itself that requires additional support from the manufacturer for troubleshooting or repair.
Use third-party software to toggle the Windows Key
If these methods fail to fix a broken keyboard key in Windows, you may need to replace your keyboard. However, before you do that, you can use third-party software to replace your broken Windows key with a different working key.
- After installing SharpKeys, you can map one key to another by clicking the Add button.
- You will need to map the Windows key (Special: Windows Left (E0_5B) or Special: Windows Right (E0_5C)) using the menu on the left to the physical key indicated on the right. Select your keys here, then click OK to save them to the SharpKeys Key Mapping List.
- After remapping the Windows key, click Write to Registry to save your changes. After that, you may need to restart your device.
Fix Windows Keyboard Problems
A broken keyboard key in Windows can be difficult to deal with, but you should be able to fix the problem using one of the methods listed above. First of all, the problem can be solved by checking the battery level and physically examining the keyboard, but remember to unplug and plug it back in to re-register the device.
Once your keyboard is working, you can start using Windows the way it was designed to. Many of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10 use the Windows key, including the ability to quickly take screenshots and save them to a file. Let us know your tips for working with the Windows keyboard in the comments below.