How to Get a Laptop Keyboard Working

By Bonnie Conrad

Fixing  your laptop keyboard can save you money.
i laptop image by Jorge Figueiredo from

While replacing a failed keyboard on a desktop computer is a simple matter, replacing the keyboard on a laptop is a bit more complicated. It also is much more costly, so before you give up and have the entire unit replaced, it is a good idea to attempt a repair. Many common laptop keyboard problems, including sticking keys, non-functioning keys and repeating keys, can be fixed.

Turn off the laptop and remove the power cord. Flip the battery compartment lever to the unlocked position and remove the battery.

Turn over the laptop so the top is facing you. Open the top cover as far as it will go, then turn the laptop upside down and shake it. This will help dislodge any dirt and food particles that could be interfering with the operation of the keyboard.

Hold a can of compressed air at a 45-degree angle to the keyboard and position it about 12 inches away. Spray the compressed air directly at the problem keys and the area surrounding them. If the entire keyboard is having problems, sweep the canned air around the keyboard until the entire thing has been cleaned.

Turn on the laptop and test the keyboard. Turn off the laptop again if the keyboard is still experiencing problems with sticking or unresponsive keys.

Slide a small flat head screwdriver under the problem key and gently lift up. Reach under the key with a pair of tweezers or similar tool to remove any dirt particles or other debris.