Computing

How to Unlock a Locked Keyboard

Having a locked keyboard can be useful to prevent accidental keystrokes or unauthorized changes to your computer. However, if you find yourself unable to unlock it, don’t worry. There are several solutions you can try to get your keyboard working again.

Check USB Dongles and Cables

Wireless keyboards often come with their own USB dongles. Sometimes, these dongles can become loose or faulty. Start by removing the USB dongle from its port and reinserting it. If that doesn’t solve the issue, consider the possibility that the dongle may need to be replaced.

If you’re using a wired keyboard, try unplugging it and plugging it back in.

Switch the On/Off Button

Many wireless keyboards have an on/off button to preserve battery life. Make sure the switch is turned on. If you’re not sure whether the battery is the problem, try replacing it before assuming your keyboard is locked.

Update Drivers

Outdated drivers or system glitches can cause the keyboard to stop working. Updating the keyboard drivers may unlock your locked keyboard.

For Windows 10 users:

  1. Go to your Device Manager (Start menu > Windows system > Control panel > Device manager).
  2. Find the keyboard driver under the Keyboards section.
  3. Right-click on “Standard PS/2 keyboard” and select “Update driver.” You may need to restart your system after the update is completed.

For Windows 7 and older versions:

  1. Open the Device Manager.
  2. Locate your keyboard in the list.
  3. Right-click on it and click “Update driver.”

Please note that if you have a wireless keyboard, it may not be listed as a “Standard PS/2 keyboard.”

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Uninstall and Reinstall Drivers

If updating your drivers doesn’t unlock your keyboard, try uninstalling and reinstalling them as an alternative solution. Please note that this method should be used at your own risk.

Step 1:

  1. Go to the Device Manager on Windows.
  2. Right-click on the keyboard entry and select “Uninstall device.”

Step 2:
Restart your PC. It should automatically install the keyboard driver for you. If not, visit the manufacturer’s website for the locked keyboard and download the necessary drivers. You can also perform this procedure on another machine, save it to a USB drive, and install it on the affected system using a mouse.

Disable Sticky and Filter Key Functions on Windows

Accidentally enabling the sticky and filter key functions can cause your keyboard to lock. To disable these functions:

For Windows 10 users:

  1. Open Settings and select “Ease of Access.”
  2. Scroll down to the “Interaction” section on the sidebar and select “Keyboard.”
  3. Turn off “Filter keys” and “Sticky keys” by toggling the corresponding switches.

For Windows 7 users:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Ease of Access > Ease of Access Center > Make the keyboard easier to use.
  2. Under the “Make it easier to type” section, uncheck “Turn on filter keys” and “Turn on sticky keys.”
  3. Click “OK.”

Other General Solutions

Sometimes, the simplest solutions can work wonders. Try restarting your computer as it can often unlock the keyboard. If that doesn’t work, you can temporarily use the on-screen keyboard feature available in Windows 10. Additionally, if your keyboard has been physically damaged, such as through a drop or spillage, it may be irreparable, and you may need to purchase a new one.

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If you’ve exhausted all these options and you still can’t unlock your keyboard, it’s advisable to consult a trusted PC repair outlet for further assistance.

For more helpful tech-related articles, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Images:

A USB dongle for a Logitech wireless keyboard.

The on and off switch for a Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400.

The option to update drivers within the Device Manager on Windows 10.

The option to uninstall the keyboard drivers within the Device Manager on Windows 10.

The Sticky and Filter Keys on/off button in Windows 10.

The Sticky and Filter Keys on/off button in Windows 7.

The button to restart Windows 10 via the Start menu.

The option to enable an on-screen keyboard feature in Windows 10.

An example of a broken keyboard.

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