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How to Fix it When a Mechanical Keyboard Key is Not Working?

Aaron Abbott
How to Fix it When a Mechanical Keyboard Key is Not Working?

Why Do Mechanical Keyboard Keys Fail to Operate?

Many factors can cause mechanical keyboard keys to stop functioning. If only one key stops working, such as your A key not working while the rest operate fine, it's more likely to be a switch issue. If the keyboard doesn't work at all, it's probably a connection or driver issue.

Here are a few causes for mechanical keyboard keys to quit functioning:

  • The computer's connection is unreliable.
  • Internally, there is a broken switch.
  • The switch is jammed.
  • Under the keycap, there is debris.
  • electrical connections with defects.

How Can I Restore the Keyboard Response?

Try each of the following repairs in turn if your mechanical keyboard's keyboard keys aren't responding properly. You can skip a solution if it doesn't work for your particular keyboard.

A mechanical keyboard should not be repaired, nor should individual switches unless the device has been unplugged or the batteries have been removed.

Here's how to fix keyboard keys that aren't responding:

Plug the keyboard back in after unplugging it. This is a quick remedy that virtually never takes any time, but it typically doesn't work when only one key is broken. Once you plug the keyboard in, if your keys begin to function, you're done.

Change your cable. If your keyboard is connected to your computer by a physical cable, consider using a different cable and USB port on your computer. Try connecting with a cord if you're using Bluetooth to see if that resolves the issue. You might have a Bluetooth driver issue if it does.

Put fresh batteries in. If you're using a Bluetooth-connected wireless mechanical keyboard, you can experience sporadic connection drops because of battery issues. See if it helps to try installing a new set of batteries.

Sanitize the keyboard. The unresponsive keys' keycaps can be getting caught in debris. Start by using bottled air to blow in between the keycaps. Remove the keycaps and use bottled air to blow the keyboard clean if that doesn't work.

Blow the non-working switch out. Pry the keycap off the switch that isn't working, hold the keyboard upside-down, and blow canned air into the switch to make it work. If that works, you might wish to clean the keyboard now to prevent similar issues with additional switches in the future.

Clean your contact lenses. Take your keyboard to a well-ventilated area after unplugging it and removing the batteries. The contact cleaner nozzle or straw should be inserted into the key switch stem once the keycap has been removed. Work the switch stem in all directions after applying one or two squirts of contact cleaner. Once the contact cleaner has completely dried, replace the keycap and test the key's functionality.

The keycaps on your other keycaps could be harmed depending on the contact cleaner you use. If so, you might wish to take off every keycap before doing this operation. Use only a contact cleaner made specifically for this.

Examine the solder connections. If your mechanical keyboard has soldered switches, one of them may have broken solder joints. You can solve the issue by mending the solder joints if the solder has come away from the circuit board or the switch contacts appear to be loose.

Change the switch. The switch should usually be changed if all else fails to resolve the issue. Switches that have been soldered need to be desoldered, removed, and replaced with solder. With the right tool, you can remove hot-swappable switches and then insert a replacement without soldering.

Change out the keyboard. If changing the switch doesn't solve the issue, there may be a bigger problem with the keyboard itself. You can either take it to a professional who might or might not be able to replace it or fix it at that time.

What Should I Do If My A Key Doesn't Work?

If only one key—say, the A key—is malfunctioning, the problem is probably with the switch or a trapped keycap. When one key isn't working, concentrating on that key is the best course of action. Remove the keycap, then scan the area for trash. Use canned air to clear it out if you see anything. Try cleaning the key with canned air or contact a cleaner if that doesn't work, and if all else fails, replace the switch.

How Can a Dead Key Be Fixed on a Mechanical Keyboard?

A mechanical keyboard that has a dead key can be fixed by changing the switch. Under each of them is a mechanical switch that may be changed independently. If your keyboard is hot-swappable, you can use the proper tool to take the switch out and then snap a new one in.

After changing a hot-swappable switch, if the key still doesn't work, the socket can be damaged. Hot-swappable switch sockets can deteriorate, albeit it is uncommon.

Although it's more difficult than swapping out a switch on a hot-swappable keyboard, you can replace a dead key on a soldered mechanical keyboard. To replace the switch and solder in the new switch, you must first unsolder the solder joints connecting the switch to the keyboard. It is best to leave this repair to the experts if you are not confident with the solder.

Aaron Abbott
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