If you have stuck keys on your laptop, your first instinct is to get a new keyboard installed. You don't have to replace the entire keyboard because some keys are stuck. Stuck laptop keys occur from factory lubrication wearing out, internal hardware problems, spilled liquids, or dirt buildup. Here are some tips to repair stuck keys on a laptop keyboard.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need:
- cotton swabs
- fingernail clippers
- toothpick or tweezers
- rubbing alcohol
- compressed air
Unplug your laptop and remove the battery. Turn the laptop upside down, and shake it gently to remove some of the trapped debris. Try the keys again to see if they work.
Clean with Alcohol or Compressed Air
Moisten a cotton swab with alcohol, and dab the swab on the alcohol bottle opening to remove excess liquid. Clean the top and around edges, picking dirt under the keys with toothpicks or tweezers.
In some cases, you may need to remove stuck keys to get under them. If you have to remove several keys, take a picture of the keyboard to help you recall where they go. If your laptop is still under warranty, check with you manufacturer before removing keys. Use a screwdriver to gently pry the keys from the keyboard.
Carefully clean under the keys and their attachments, but be careful not to pry them up too far, or you could break them. Repeat the process until all the stickiness has been removed; changing cotton swabs. Let the alcohol dry, reinstall the keys, and try the keys again.
Apply Compressed Air
You can also clean the keyboard with compressed air, which is available from office supply stores. Spray compressed air around the edges of the keys. Avoid tilting the can, since liquid could spill from it.
Stuck keys may be a result of the collapsible spring being off-center. Use the hook end of the fingernail clipper extension, and insert it below the left corner of the key. Press the spring side to side with the hook part of the clipper until the spring pops back in place, then test the keys again.
Six-pin PS/2 keyboards often cause stuck keys, if you connect them while the laptop is on. Connect the PS/2 keyboard with the laptop off, and try the keys again.
Stuck keys on your laptop is commonly an easy fix. If you tried everything and they still don't work, or you don't trust your skill, take the laptop to a computer repair service.