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Keyboard Usage and Troubleshooting Guide

Summary: When your Dell keyboard is not working as it should see the information in this article to help resolve your issue.

This article may have been automatically translated. If you have any feedback regarding its quality, please let us know using the form at the bottom of this page.

Article Content


Symptoms

Suggested Quick Fixes for External Keyboards:

  1. Reseat the USB cable or wireless USB receiver.
  2. When you have a wireless USB or Bluetooth mouse, install new batteries.
  3. Save any data, close any open programs, and restart the computer.

Cause

Perform a SupportAssist diagnostic on the keyboard

Duration: 00:58
Closed captions: English only

Select the tab below that matches the type of keyboard you have. Follow the steps on how to connect your keyboard to your computer.

 

  1. Locate the wireless USB receiver that came with your keyboard.
    NOTE:

    When buying a keyboard or mouse with a computer:

    • Look in every compartment of the box that the device came in. The wireless USB receiver is small and can be easily overlooked. The receiver has an informational tag that is attached to help you locate the receiver. See Figure 1 to see the size and shape of the receiver.

    When buying a keyboard or mouse separately from a computer:

    • The wireless USB receiver is under the keyboard when buying a keyboard or keyboard, mouse combination, and under the mouse when purchased separately. The receiver has an informational tag that is attached to help you locate the receiver. See Figure 2 for the typical location, size, and shape of the receiver.
    Keybord_Mouse_Receiver_Size_Shape
    Figure 1: Wireless Receive
      Keyboard_Packaging_Receiver
    Figure 2: Wireless Receiver Location in Packaging

     

    When you cannot locate your wireless receiver after you have unpacked the devices, some mice and keyboards have a place to store the wireless receiver. Look under the mouse buttons where the batteries are or in the battery compartment on the keyboard.

     
  2. Ensure that the keyboard is turned on.
    NOTE: The power switch can be in one of several locations. See the Knowledge Base article Manuals and Documentation for your Dell Product for information about how to locate, and download, or view the manual for your Dell device to locate the power switch.

  3. Insert the wireless USB receiver, as shown in Figure 3.

    Laptop ireless USB Receiver Placement
    Figure 3: Wireless USB Receiver Insertion
    Notes:
    • The receiver only goes in one way. When the connector does not seem to fit, adjust the angle, or flip it over.
    • When using the receiver that came with the keyboard, no driver or configuration is needed for the keyboard to work.
    • Your receiver and keyboard may have a connect button; if so, press the connect button on the receiver and on the bottom of the keyboard. See the example in Figure 4.
      Wireless Keyboard Connect Location
      Figure 4: Wireless Keyboard Connect Button Location

 

  1. Look at the connector on the end of the USB keyboard cable.
     
  2. Look for a matching port and USB symbol on the laptop. For more information, see Figure 1.

    Laptop_USB_Port
    Figure 1: USB Port Locations
    Notes:
    • The connector only goes in one way. When the connector does not seem to fit, adjust the angle, or flip it over.
    • No drivers or configuration is needed for the keyboard to work.

 

For information about how to connect to your Bluetooth keyboard, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Fix, Connect to and Learn About Bluetooth.

 

Select the tab below that matches the Operating System that is installed on your computer. Follow the steps to ensure that the settings are correct to prevent the cursor from moving around erratically while typing.

 

NOTE: For more information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Touch and Keyboard. SLN305029_en_US__12iC_External_Link
  1. In the Search box, type main.cpl.
     
  2. Touch or click main.cpl in the list of programs.
     
  3. Touch or click the Dell Touchpad tab.
    Notes:

    When the Dell Touchpad tab is not listed, it means one of two things:

    • The utility is not installed. In that case, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Drivers and Downloads FAQs for more information about downloading drivers. The Dell Touchpad Driver or Utility is listed under Mouse, Keyboard & Input Devices.
    • That your newer computer has a Precision Touchpad, to determine whether your computer has the Precision Touchpad, see the Dell Knowledge Base article How to Use the Precision Touchpad Features in Windows 8(8.1) and 10 , and then see the "The Cursor Moves Around Erratically While Typing on the Laptop Keyboard" section for instructions on how to change the settings, when necessary.

  4. Touch or click the image of the touchpad.
     
  5. Touch or click Sensitivity.
     
  6. Ensure that there is a checkmark in the Turn On box to the right of Touch Guard.
     
  7. Move the circle under Touch Guard all the way to the right (this can always be adjusted back if the setting is too high).
     
  8. Touch or click Save.
     
  9. Touch or click the X in the upper-right corner to close the Dell Touchpad Utility.
     
  10. Touch or click OK on the Mouse Properties window.

 

  1. Press and hold the Windows (Windows) key, and then press the q key.
     
  2. In the Search box type main.cpl.
     
  3. Click or touch main.cpl in the list of programs.
     
  4. Click or touch the Dell Touchpad or Cypress Trackpad tab.
    Notes:

    When the Dell Touchpad or Cypress Trackpad tab is not listed, it means one of two things:

     
  5. Touch or click the image of the touchpad.
     
  6. Touch or click Sensitivity.
     
  7. Ensure that there is a checkmark in the Turn On box to the right of Touch Guard.
     
  8. Move the circle under Touch Guard all the way to the right (this can always be adjusted back if the setting is too high).
     
  9. Touch or click Save.
     
  10. Touch or click the X in the upper-right corner to close the Dell Touchpad or Cypress Trackpad Utility.
     
  11. Touch or click OK on the Mouse Properties window.

 

  1. Press the Windows (Windows_Key) key.
     
  2. In the Search box type main.cpl.
     
  3. Touch or click main.cpl in the list of programs.
     
  4. Touch or click the Dell Touchpad tab.
    NOTE: When the Dell Touchpad tab is not listed, it means that the utility is not installed. See the Dell Knowledge Base article Drivers and Downloads FAQs for more information about downloading drivers. The Dell Touchpad Driver or Utility is listed under Mouse, Keyboard & Input Devices.
     
  5. Touch or click the image of the touchpad.
     
  6. Touch or click Sensitivity or Touchpad Settings.
     
  7. Ensure that there is a checkmark in the Turn On or Enable box next to Touch Guard, Palm Check, or TouchCheck.
     
  8. Move the Touch Guard, Palm Check, or TouchCheck slider all the way to the right (this can always be adjusted back if the setting is too high).
     
  9. Touch or click Save or OK.
     
  10. Close the Dell Touchpad Utility.
     
  11. Touch or click OK on the Mouse Properties window.
NOTE: When you are receiving a keyboard error, or your keyboard is nonfunctional, you may have several options:
  • When your computer has a touch screen, the On-Screen Keyboard can be used until issues on your keyboard are resolved.
    • When at the login-in screen, touch the Ease of Access icon Ease_of_Access_Icon, and then touch On-Screen Keyboard.
    • From within Windows touch or click the On-Screen Keyboard icon On_Screen_Keyboard_Icon (located in the lower right corner).

      For more information, see the Microsoft Base article Use the On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) to type. External Link


  • Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter in Windows 11 or Windows 10.
    1. Press and hold the Windows (Windows) key, and then press the i key.
       
    2. Select Update and Security.
       
    3. Select Troubleshoot from the left panel.
       
    4. Look for Keyboard in the Find and fix other problems section, and run the Troubleshooter.
       

  • Connect an external keyboard from another computer, when available and browse to the Online Keyboard Diagnostics page.
    Notes:
    • The test starts automatically.
    • You may be prompted to install or update the SupportAssist program, if so, follow the prompts.
    • The keyboard test is an interactive test, and you must press every key to test your keyboard thoroughly.
    • Ensure to perform the test on the keyboard that is having the issue.

  • Connect an external keyboard from another computer when available and run the integrated diagnostics. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Resolve Hardware Issues With Built-in and Online Diagnostics (SupportAssist ePSA, ePSA or PSA Error Codes) .
    Notes:
    • The test determines if the keyboard is detected at a hardware level below the Operating System. When it is detected, it means that the operating system or installed software is preventing the keyboard from working. You can use a restore point to return the operating system to a previous state when the keyboard worked (in Windows 11 or Windows 10, it is called refreshing the operating system). If that does not work, you may need to reinstall your operating system. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge Base article How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell Computer .
    • When an error is reported during the test, write down the error and the validation code as seen. Then on another Internet device, browse to the SupportAssist Pre-Boot System Performance Check page to submit the issue.
    • Ensure to perform the test on the keyboard that is having the issue.

 

  1. Ensure that the Number Lock Key is set correctly.
    Notes:
    • For laptops that have a numeric keypad on the right side, it is normally turned on. When it is off, no numbers appear when the keys are pressed. Press the Number Lock Key to switch the numeric keypad on and off.
    • Some laptops simulate a numeric keypad by using dual-purpose keys. When the Number Lock Key is active, numbers appear instead of letters when pressed. Press the num lock key to switch the numeric keypad on and off.


      See the Dell Knowledge Base article How to Obtain Manuals and Documentation for your Dell Product, for more information about where the Number Lock Key is.

     
  2. Turn off the computer.
     
  3. Unplug everything except the power cable, including the following:
    • Speakers.
    • Printers.
    • Scanners.
    • USB devices.
    • USB flash drive or other external storage devices.
    • External monitor.
    • External keyboard.
    • External mouse.

      When your computer is attached to a docking station, undock it.

     
  4. Turn the computer back on and retest the keyboard. When the keyboard does work correctly, attach one device at a time, and test the keyboard to see which one may have caused the issue.
     
  5. Ensure that the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.
     
  6. When the keyboard still only works intermittently, see the instructions below that best match the issue you are having:
    1. When a specific key is not working or sticks, turn off the computer and use a can of compressed air to clean around the problem key and then retest the keyboard. For more information, see the How to Clean Your Keyboard section.
    2. When the issue only occurs in a specific application program, test the keyboard in another application program, such as Notepad. If the problem only occurs in a specific program, you need to troubleshoot that specific program.
    3. When you have software that may change how the keyboard operates, uninstall or disable it, including:
      • Keyboard macro programs.
      • External gaming keyboard software or drivers.
      • KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch software.
     
  7. Try an external wired USB, wireless USB, or Bluetooth keyboard when available, to test if it responds correctly.
     
  8. When your computer has a touch screen, the On-Screen Keyboard can be used until issues on your keyboard are resolved.
    • When at the login-in screen, touch the Ease of Access icon Windows_Ease_of_Access_Icon, and then touch On-Screen Keyboard.
    • From within Windows, touch or click the On-Screen Keyboard icon On_Screen_Keyboard_Icon (located in the lower right corner).

      For more information, see the Microsoft Base article Use the On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) to type. SLN305029_en_US__12iC_External_Link


  9. Run diagnostics on your keyboard, and you have the option to run online or integrated diagnostics (you need an external keyboard that is attached to start the diagnostics).
    • Online diagnostics.
      1. Browse to the Online Keyboard Diagnostics page.
        Notes:
        • The test starts automatically.
        • You may be prompted to install or update the SupportAssist program, if so, follow the prompts.
        • The keyboard test is an interactive test, and you must press every key to test your keyboard thoroughly.
        • Ensure to perform the test on the keyboard that is having the issue.

    • Integrated diagnostics.

      See the Dell Knowledge Base article Resolve Hardware Issues With Built-in and Online Diagnostics (SupportAssist ePSA, ePSA or PSA Error Codes) .

      Notes:
      • The test determines if the keyboard is detected at a hardware level below the Operating System. When it is detected, it means that the operating system or installed software is preventing the keyboard from working. You can use a restore point to return the operating system to a previous state when the keyboard worked (in Windows 11 or Windows 10, it is called refreshing the operating system). If that does not work, you may need to reinstall your operating system. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge Base article How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell Computer .
      • When an error is reported during the test, write down the error and the validation code as seen. Then on another Internet device, browse to the SupportAssist Pre-Boot System Performance Check page to submit the issue.
      • Ensure to perform the test on the keyboard that is having the issue.

       

 

  1. Reseat the USB cable into the computer.
     
  2. Ensure that the Number Lock Key is set correctly.
    NOTE: The numeric keypad on a desktop keyboard is normally turned on. When it is off, no numbers appear when the keys are pressed. Press the Number Lock Key to switch the numeric keypad on and off.

    For more information about where the Number Lock Key is, see the documentation that came with the keyboard or browse to the Keyboard and Mouse Manual page for the manual.

     
  3. Turn off the computer.
     
  4. Unplug any nonessential devices, including the following:
    • Speakers.
    • Printers.
    • Scanners.
    • USB devices.
    • USB flash drive or other external storage devices.
     
  5. Ensure that the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, See the Dell Knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.
     
  6. Turn the computer back on and retest the keyboard. When the keyboard does work correctly, attach one device at a time, and test the keyboard to see which one may have caused the issue.
     
  7. When the keyboard still only works intermittently, see the instructions below that best match the issue you are having:
    1. When a specific key is not working or sticks, turn off the computer and use a can of compressed air to clean around the problem key and then retest the keyboard. For more information, see the How to Clean Your Keyboard section.
    2. When the issue only occurs in a specific application program, test the keyboard in another application program, such as Notepad. If the problem only occurs in a specific program, you need to troubleshoot that specific program.
    3. When you have software that may change how the keyboard operates, uninstall or disable it, including:
      • Keyboard macro programs.
      • External gaming keyboard software or drivers.
      • KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch software.
     
  8. Try another wired USB, wireless USB, or Bluetooth keyboard when available, to test if it responds correctly.
     
  9. Run diagnostics on your keyboard. You have the option to run online or integrated diagnostics (you need a known good keyboard that is attached to start the diagnostics).
    • Online diagnostics.
      1. Browse to the Online Keyboard Diagnostics page.
        Notes:
        • The test starts automatically.
        • You may be prompted to install or update the SupportAssist program, if so, follow the prompts.
        • The keyboard test is an interactive test, and you must press every key to test your keyboard thoroughly.
        • Ensure to perform the test on the keyboard that is having the issue.

    • Integrated diagnostics.

      See the Dell Knowledge Base article Resolve Hardware Issues With Built-in and Online Diagnostics (SupportAssist ePSA, ePSA or PSA Error Codes) .

      Notes:
      • The test determines if the keyboard is detected at a hardware level below the Operating System. When it is detected, it means that the operating system or installed software is preventing the keyboard from working. You can use a restore point to return the operating system to a previous state when the keyboard worked (in Windows 11 or Windows 10, it is called refreshing the operating system). If that does not work, you may need to reinstall your operating system. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge Base article How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell Computer .
      • When an error is reported during the test, write down the error and the validation code as seen. Then on another Internet device, browse to the SupportAssist Pre-Boot System Performance Check page to submit the issue.
      • Ensure to perform the test on the keyboard that is having the issue.

       

 

  1. Ensure to use the wireless USB receiver that came with your wireless keyboard. Using another receiver may mean it uses another technology, and it will not be compatible with the mouse. For more information about the latest technology offered by Dell, see the Dell Knowledge Base article How to use the Dell Universal Pairing For products that are labeled Logitech SLN305029_en_US__33iC_Logitech_icon_BD_v2, browse to the Logitech Downloads Site for drivers and software.
    NOTE:

    When buying a keyboard or mouse with a computer:

    • Look in every compartment of the box that the devices came in. The wireless USB receiver is small and can be easily overlooked. The receiver has an informational tag that is attached to help you locate the receiver. See Figure 1 to see the size and shape of the receiver.

    When buying a keyboard or mouse separately from a computer:

    • The wireless USB receiver is under the keyboard when buying a keyboard or keyboard, mouse combination, and under the mouse when purchased separately. The receiver has an informational tag that is attached to help you locate the receiver. See Figure 2 for the typical location, size, and shape of the receiver.
    Keybord_Mouse_Receiver_Size_Shape
    Figure 1: Wireless Receive
      Keyboard_Packaging_Receiver
    Figure 2: Wireless Receiver Location in Packaging

     

    When you cannot locate your wireless receiver after you have unpacked the devices, some mice and keyboards have a place to store the wireless receiver. Look under the mouse buttons where the batteries are or in the battery compartment on a keyboard, but they are not shipped in those locations.

     
  2. Reinsert the batteries or install fresh batteries. For more information about how to install the batteries, see the document that came with the wireless keyboard or browse to the Keyboard and Mouse Manual page for the manual.
     
  3. Ensure that the keyboard is within 10 feet (3 meters) of the computer.
     
  4. Reseat the wireless USB receiver into the USB port.
     
  5. Ensure that the keyboard is turned on. See Figure 3 for an example of what the power button may look like. For more information about where the power switch is, see the document that came with the wireless keyboard or browse to the Keyboard and Mouse Manual page for the manual.
    Wireless_Keyboard_On_Switch_Location
    Figure 3: Power Button Example
     
  6. Ensure that the Number Lock Key is set correctly.
    NOTE: The numeric keypad on a desktop keyboard is normally turned on, when it is off, no numbers appear when the keys are pressed. Press the Number Lock Key to switch the numeric keypad on and off.

    For more information about where the Number Lock Key is, see the documentation that came with the wireless keyboard or browse to the Keyboard and Mouse Manual page for the manual.

     
  7. Save any data, close any open programs, and restart the computer.
     
  8. Your receiver and keyboard may have a connect button. If so, press the connect button on the receiver and on the bottom of the keyboard. See Figure 4 for an example.
    Wireless_Keyboard_Connect_Location
    Figure 4: Wireless Keyboard Connect Button Location
     
  9. Ensure that the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, See the Dell Knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.
     
  10. When the keyboard still only works intermittently, see the instructions below that best match the issue you are having:
    1. When a specific key is not working or sticks, turn off the computer and use a can of compressed air to clean around the problem key and then retest the keyboard. For more information, see the How to Clean Your Keyboard section.
    2. When the issue only occurs in a specific application program, test the keyboard in another application program, such as Notepad. If the problem only occurs in a specific program, you need to troubleshoot that specific program.
    3. When you have software that may change how the keyboard operates, uninstall or disable it, including:
      • Keyboard macro programs.
      • External gaming keyboard software or drivers.
      • KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch software.
     
  11. Try the wireless USB receiver in another USB port on the computer. A notice that drivers are being installed may appear; if so, wait until a message that the drivers were installed before using the keyboard.
    NOTE: When using a wireless USB keyboard with a connect button, ensure to press the connect button on the receiver and on the bottom of the keyboard again.
     
  12. Try another external wired USB or wireless USB keyboard and receiver when available. A notice that drivers are being installed may appear; if so, wait until a message that the drivers were installed before using the keyboard.
    NOTE: When using a wireless USB keyboard with a connect button, ensure to press the connect button on the receiver and on the bottom of the keyboard again.
     
  13. Run diagnostics on your keyboard, and you have the option to run online or integrated diagnostics (you need a known good keyboard that is attached to start the diagnostics).
    • Online diagnostics.
      1. Browse to the Online Keyboard Diagnostics page.
        Notes:
        • The test starts automatically.
        • You may be prompted to install or update the SupportAssist program, if so, follow the prompts.
        • The keyboard test is an interactive test, and you must press every key to test your keyboard thoroughly.
        • Ensure to perform the test on the keyboard that is having the issue.

    • Integrated diagnostics.

      See the Dell Knowledge Base article Resolve Hardware Issues With Built-in and Online Diagnostics (SupportAssist ePSA, ePSA or PSA Error Codes) .

      Notes::
      • The test determines if the keyboard is detected at a hardware level below the Operating System. When it is detected, it means that the operating system or installed software is preventing the keyboard from working. You can use a restore point to return the operating system to a previous state when the keyboard worked (in Windows 11 or Windows 10, it is called refreshing the operating system). If that does not work, you may need to reinstall your operating system. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge Base article How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell Computer .
      • When an error is reported during the test, write down the error and the validation code as seen. Then on another Internet device, browse to the SupportAssist Pre-Boot System Performance Check page to submit the issue.
      • Ensure to perform the test on the keyboard that is having the issue.

       

 

  1. Reinsert the batteries or install fresh batteries. For more information about how to install the batteries, see the documentation that came with the Bluetooth keyboard or browse to the Keyboard and Mouse Manual page for the manual.
     
  2. Ensure that the keyboard is within 10 feet (3 meters) of the computer.
     
  3. Ensure that the keyboard is turned on; see Figure 1 for an example of what the power button may look like. For more information about where the power switch is, see the documentation that came with the wireless keyboard or browse to the Keyboard and Mouse Manual page for the manual.
    Wireless_Keyboard_On_Switch_Location
    Figure 1: Power Button Example
     
  4. Ensure that the Number Lock Key is set correctly.
    NOTE: The numeric keypad on a desktop keyboard is normally turned on, when it is off, no numbers appear when the keys are pressed. Press the Number Lock Key to switch the numeric keypad on and off.

    For more information about where the Number Lock Key is, see the documentation that came with the Bluetooth keyboard or browse to the Keyboard and Mouse Manual page for the manual.

     
  5. Save any data, close any open programs, and restart the computer.
     
  6. Ensure that the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.
     
  7. When the keyboard still only works intermittently, see the instructions below that best match the issue you are having:
    1. When a specific key is not working or sticks, turn off the computer and use a can of compressed air to clean around the problem key and then retest the keyboard. For more information, see the How to Clean Your Keyboard section.
    2. When the issue only occurs in a specific application program, test the keyboard in another application program, such as Notepad. If the problem only occurs in a specific program, you need to troubleshoot that specific program.
    3. When you have software that may change how the keyboard operates, uninstall or disable it, including:
      • Keyboard macro programs.
      • External gaming keyboard software or drivers.
      • KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch software.
     
  8. Install the latest Bluetooth drivers for your computer. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge base article How to Download and Install Dell Drivers
    Notes:
    • The driver is located in the Network category.
    • For additional drivers and software on products that are labeled Logitech Logitech_icon, browse to the Logitech Downloads Site.
     
  9. Re-pair the mouse to the computer. For this information and more on Bluetooth mice and keyboards, see the Dell Knowledge base article Fix, Connect to and Learn About Bluetooth.

 

  1. Ensure that the Number Lock Key is set correctly.
    Notes:
    • The numeric keypad on a desktop keyboard is normally turned on. When it is off, no numbers appear when pressed. Press the Number Lock Key to switch the numeric keypad on and off.
    • For laptops that have a numeric keypad on the right side, it is normally turned on. When it is off, no numbers appear when the keys are pressed. Press the Number Lock Key to switch the numeric keypad on and off.
    • Some laptops simulate a numeric keypad by using dual-purpose keys. When the Number Lock Key is active, numbers appear instead of letters when pressed. Press the Number Lock Key to switch the numeric keypad on and off.


      See the Dell Knowledge Base article How to Obtain Manuals and Documentation for your Dell Product, for more information about where the Number Lock Key is.

  2. Ensure that the keyboard language setting in Windows is correct (select the tab below that matches the Operating System that is installed on your computer for more information).

 

See the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Manage the input and display language settings in Windows, for information about how to add and display additional languages. External Link

Notes:
  • Ensure that the BIOS for your computer is up to date. For information about how to download the BIOS, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Dell BIOS Updates.
  • Using the SupportAssist application provides automatic computer updates and detects issues that will be resolved for you. Let us take the effort out of maintaining your Dell Computer or Tablet. For more information about SupportAssist, browse to the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page.

 

See the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article, Change your keyboard layout, and then select your Operating System and follow the instructions. External Link
Notes:
  • Ensure that the BIOS for your computer is up to date. For information about how to download the BIOS, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Dell BIOS Updates.
  • Using the SupportAssist application provides automatic computer updates and detects issues that will be resolved for you. Let us take the effort out of maintaining your Dell Computer or Tablet. For more information about SupportAssist, browse to the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page.

 

See the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article, Change your keyboard layout, and then select your Operating System and follow the instructions. External Link
Notes:
  • Ensure that the BIOS for your computer is up to date. For information about how to download the BIOS, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Dell BIOS Updates.
  • Using the SupportAssist application provides automatic computer updates and detects issues that will be resolved for you. Let us take the effort out of maintaining your Dell Computer or Tablet. For more information about SupportAssist, browse to the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page.

There are four options to switch between the F1-F12 function and special keys that are on the top row of your Laptop keyboard.

  • Single keystroke:
    1. Press and hold the Fn key (Keyboard_Function_Key) and then press the wanted function key to activate the special key that is associated with that function key.

  • Function Key Lock Toggle:
    1. Press and hold the Fn key (Keyboard_Function_Key), and then press the Escape key ( SLN305029_en_US__60I_Laptop_Escape_Key).

      Pressing the function key will now activate the special key that is associated with that function key without having to press the Fn key first.

      NOTE: Repeating the keystrokes returns the function keys to their normal state.

       


  • Change the Function key behavior in the BIOS:
    1. Restart or turn on the computer.
    2. When you see the Dell logo during POST, press the F2 key once a second to enter the System Setup.
      NOTE: When the computer boots into Windows. Restart the computer and try again.

    Depending on the type of BIOS (System Setup) your Dell computer has, the screen looks one of two ways.

    Select the image that matches the one on your computer for information about how to set the Function keys default.

    1. On the BIOS (System Setup) screen, click Post Behavior.
    2. Click Fn Lock Options.
    3. Read the information as to what the options are, and make the wanted selection.
    4. Click Exit.
    5. Confirm saving the changes.

    Your computer restarts now.

    1. On the BIOS screen, press the Right Arrow key until the Advanced menu is highlighted.
    2. Press the Down Arrow key until Function Key Behavior.
    3. Using the Up or Down arrows, select the wanted Function Key Behavior default, and press the Enter key.
    4. Press the Right Arrow key until the Exit menu is highlighted.
    5. Press the Down Arrow key until Exit Saving Changes or Save Changes (or similar wording) is highlighted, and then press the Enter key.
    6. Press the Enter key on Yes to Save Configuration (or similar wording).

    Your computer restarts now.


  • Windows Mobility Center:
    1. Press and hold the Windows (Windows_Key) key, and then press the q key.
    2. In the Search box, type mobility center.
    3. Click Mobility Center in the search results.
    4. On the Windows Mobility Center screen, find the Function Key Row option. Using the drop-down menu, select the wanted option.
      NOTE: There may not be a Function Key Row option depending on the version of your Operating System.

 


Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows

See the Microsoft Keyboard shortcuts in Windows page for a comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts.

NOTE: Many laptops do not have a Pause/Break key. You can substitute the Pause/Break key with the following key combinations. You may have to try both to find out which one is appropriate for your computer.
  • Press and hold the Fn key, and then press the b key.
  • Press and hold the Ctrl key, then press and hold the Fn key, and then press the b key.

Internet Keys
For information about a button's action, locate it in Table 1.
(Not all keyboards have every button that is shown.)
 
Button Action
Laptop_Return_Home Go to the Home Internet page
Keyboard_Launch_e_Mail_Key Launch Email
Keyboard_Go_to_Key Go to a Web page or Web menu (configured by software).
Start_Web_Search_Key Start Web Search
Table 1: Internet Keys
 
Multimedia Keys
For information about a button's action, locate it in Table 2.
(Not all keyboards have every button that is shown.)
 
Button Action
Laptop_Mute_Key or SLN305029_en_US__72I_Laptop_Mute_Sound_Key Mute Sound
Laptop_Volume_Down or SLN305029_en_US__74I_Laptop_Volume_Down_Key Volume Down
Laptop_Volume_Up or SLN305029_en_US__76I_Laptop_Volume_Up_Key Volume Up
Laptop_Play_Pause_key or SLN305029_en_US__78I_Laptop_Play_Pause_Key_2 Play/Pause
Laptop_Stop_Key or SLN305029_en_US__80I_Laptop_Stop_Play_Key Media Stop
Laptop_Previous_Button_Key or SLN305029_en_US__82I_Laptop_Previous_Key Previous
Laptop_Next_Button or SLN305029_en_US__84I_Laptop_Next_Key Next
Music Key Audio Key (starts Windows Media Player)
Disc_Eject CD/DVD Ejection Key - Quickset may need to be installed before this key works.
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
Table 2: Multimedia Keys
 

Laptop Keys
For information about a button's action, locate it in Table 3.
(Not all keyboards have every button that is shown.)
 
Button Action
Num_Lock Number Lock
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
Scroll_Lock Scroll Lock
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
Brighten_Button Brighten Display - Tap it to brighten the display.
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
Dim_Button Dim Display - Tap it to dim the display.
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
External_Display_Button External Display - Pressing this key toggles between an external or internal monitor or both.
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
Disc_Eject CD/DVD Ejection - This key only works if Quickset is installed.
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
Standby_Button Standby - This key only works if Quickset or Dell ContolPoint is installed, depending on your model.
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
Battery_Status Battery Status - This key only works if Quickset or Dell ContolPoint is installed, depending on your model.
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
Battery_On_Off Battery Charging - Allows you to disable battery charging until the next reboot. It does not affect battery usage and only works if Dell ContolPoint is installed.
(You may have to press and hold the Fn key first, for it to work.)
Laptop_Fn_key_only Fn Key - Fn stands for function. Pressing and holding this key allows you to access the alternative function of a key. It is typically located between the CTRL and the Windows key on the lower left of the keyboard.
(The alternative function of the key may be in blue or red letters under the primary function. For more information, see the image above for descriptions of what the key does.)
Latitude ON Button Latitude ON:
  • Boots to the Latitude ON module or Reader if installed when the computer is off.
  • Reboots from Windows to the Latitude ON module or Reader if installed (Dell ContolPoint has to be installed).
Keyboard_Disable_Touchpad_F3_Button Disables or Enables the Touchpad on some computers.
Press and hold the Fn key then press the F3 key to switch the Touchpad off or on.
Keyboard_Disable_Touchpad_F6_Key_White Disables or Enables the Touchpad on some computers.
Press just the F6 key to switch the Touchpad off or on.
Keyboard_Generic_Touchpad_Disable_Key Disables or Enables the Touchpad on some computers.
Press just the Touchpad Disable or Enable key (the key is located to the right of the F12 key) to switch the Touchpad off or on.
Table 3: Laptop Keys
 

Audio Cluster
When the buttons and knob on your keyboard do not look like Figure 1, see the Audio Cluster or Sound Volume Wheel section.

Audio center
Figure 1: Audio Controls
 
Numbers reference image above:
Caption1 Mute On or Off
Caption2 Media Stop
Caption3 Previous Track
Caption4 Volume Knob - Volume Up or Volume Down (turns right to left, not a push-button).
Caption5 Next Track
Caption6 Play or Pause
Caption7 Audio Key (starts Windows Media Player)
 

Audio Controls
When the buttons and knob on your keyboard do not look like Figure 2, see the Audio Controls or Sound Volume Wheel section.

Audio Controls
Figure 2: Audio Cluster
 
Numbers reference image above:
Caption1 Volume Knob - Volume Up or Volume Down (turns right to left, not a push-button).
Caption2 Audio Key (starts Windows Media Player)
Caption3 Media Stop
Caption4 Previous Track
Caption5 Play or Pause
Caption6 Next Track
Caption7 Mute On or Off
 

Sound Volume Wheel
When the buttons and knob on your keyboard do not look like Figure 3, see the Audio Cluster or Audio Controls section.

Sound Wheel
Figure 3: Sound Volume Wheel - Volume Up or Volume Down (turns right to left, not a push-button).
 
  1. Press and hold the Fn key (Keyboard_Function_Key), and then press the Backlit key ( SLN305029_en_US__119I_Keyboard_Backlit_Key) to switch the keyboard light off and on.
    Notes::
    • Look for the Backlit key first on the Function key row across the top of the keyboard. Otherwise, it may be in the lower-left side of the keyboard.
    • When your computer does not have the Backlit key, your computer does not have this feature.
    • For more information, see Dell Knowledge Base article How to Troubleshoot the Backlit Keyboard on Your Dell Laptop Computer .
  1. Ensure that the computer is turned off.
  2. When using a wired, wireless, or Bluetooth keyboard, turn the keyboard upside down and shake it gently to remove any loose material.
     
  3. Use a vacuum cleaner specifically designed for computers, when available.
     
  4. Use a can of compressed air to remove any additional loose material when available.
    CAUTION: Do not turn the can on its side or upside down. This causes a freezing liquid to spray out and can damage your keyboard and skin.
     
  5. Using a Microfiber or terry cloth, wipe the keys and frame around the keys.
    NOTE: When there is a build-up, take a cotton swab, microfiber towel or terry cloth and dip it in isopropyl alcohol. It should be damp but not wet. Wipe away the build-up and let the isopropyl alcohol evaporate away before using the keyboard again.
    NOTE: When a single key or a set of keys does not work there is no way to replace the keys individually, a replacement keyboard is the only option, Contact Technical Support for assistance.

For Windows 11 or Windows 10, perform the following steps:

  1. Press and hold the Windows (Windows) key, and then press the x key.
     
  2. Select Settings.
     
  3. Select Time & Language.
     
  4. Select Keyboard.
     
  5. Select Language bar options.
     
  6. Select the Advanced Key Settings tab.
     
  7. Ensure that Press the CAPS LOCK key is selected.
     
  8. Select Apply, and then OK.
     
  9. Restart your computer.
     

For Windows 11, perform the following steps:

  1. Press and hold the Windows (Windows) key, and then press the x key.
     
  2. Select Settings.
     
  3. Select Time & language.
     
  4. Select Typing.
     
  5. Select Advanced Keyboard Settings.
     
  6. Select Language bar options.
     
  7. Select the Advanced Key Settings tab.
     
  8. Ensure that Press the CAPS LOCK key is selected.
     
  9. Select Apply, and then OK.
     
  10. Restart your computer.
     

 

When a keycap comes off, perform the following steps to try to put the keycap back on the laptop:

  1. Ensure the area that was under the keycap is clean. Using a can of compressed air is best.
    CAUTION: Do not turn the can on its side or upside down. This causes a freezing liquid to spray out and can damage your keyboard and skin.
     
  2. Examine the plastic scissor spring that was under the keycap for any damage, as indicated by the red circles in Figure 1.
    Keyboard_Scissors_Structure
    Figure 1: Scissor Spring Mechanism on a Laptop Internal Keyboard
    • When the plastic scissor spring looks intact, align the keycap, and gently press down to try to reseat the keycap. You need to wiggle your finger back and forth so that the keycap is buckled down on the shear spring. There are two snaps, one at the top of the key and one at the lower part of the key.
      CAUTION: Do not try to force the keycap back on, as you may damage other parts of the computer.
    • When there is damage to the plastic scissor spring, the keycap cannot go back onto the keyboard.
    NOTE: When you have purchased Accidental Damage coverage, or when a single key or a set of keys does not work there is no way to replace the keys individually, a replacement keyboard is the only option. Contact Technical Support for assistance.

 

When a keycap comes off, perform the following steps to try to put the keycap back on the keyboard:

  1. Ensure the area that was under the keycap is clean, a can of compressed air is best.
    CAUTION: Do not turn the can on its side or upside down. This causes a freezing liquid to spray out and can damage your keyboard and skin.
     
  2. Examine the mechanism that was under the keycap for any damage.
    • When the mechanism looks undamaged, align the keycap and gently press down to try to reseat the keycap.
      CAUTION: Do not try to force the keycap back on, as you may damage other parts of the keyboard.
    • When there is damage to the mechanism, the keycap cannot go back onto the keyboard.
    NOTE: When you have purchased Accidental Damage coverage, or when a single key or a set of keys does not work there is no way to replace the keys individually, a replacement keyboard is the only option. Contact Technical Support for assistance.

 

  1. In the Search box, type settings.
     
  2. In the list of programs, touch or click Settings.
     
  3. Touch or click Ease of Access.
     
  4. Touch or click Keyboard.
     
  5. Ensure Turn on Filter Keys is set to off.
     
  6. Close the Settings window.

 

  1. Press and hold the Windows (Windows_Key) key, and then press the q key.
     
  2. In the Search box, type settings.
     
  3. In the list of programs, touch or click PC settings.
     
  4. Touch or click Ease of Access.
     
  5. Touch or click Keyboard.
     
  6. Ensure that Filter Keys is set to off.
     
  7. Press the Windows (Windows_Key) key to close the Settings window.

 

  1. Press the Windows (Windows_Key) key.
     
  2. In the Search box type, ease of access.
     
  3. Touch or click Ease of Access Center in the list of programs.
     
  4. Touch or click Make the keyboard easier to use.
     
  5. Ensure the checkbox to the left of Turn on Filter Keys is not checked.
     
  6. Touch or click Apply, and then OK.

 

  1. In the Search box, type settings.
     
  2. In the list of programs, touch or click Settings.
     
  3. Touch or click Ease of Access.
     
  4. Touch or click Keyboard.
     
  5. Ensure Turn on Sticky Keys is set to off.
     
  6. Ensure Turn on Toggle Keys is set to off.
     
  7. Close the Settings window.

 

  1. Press and hold the Windows (Windows_Key) key, and then press the q key.
     
  2. In the Search box, type settings.
     
  3. In the list of programs, touch or click PC settings.
     
  4. Touch or click Ease of Access.
     
  5. Touch or click Keyboard.
     
  6. Ensure that Sticky Keys is set to off.
     
  7. Ensure that Toggle Keys is set to off.
     
  8. Press the Windows (Windows_Key) key to close the Settings window.

 

  1. Press the Windows (Windows_Key) key.
     
  2. In the Search box type, ease of access.
     
  3. Touch or click Ease of Access Center in the list of programs.
     
  4. Touch or click Make the keyboard easier to use.
     
  5. Ensure the checkbox to the left of Turn on Sticky Keys is not checked.
     
  6. Ensure the checkbox to the left of Turn on Toggle Keys is not checked.
     
  7. Touch or click Apply, and then OK.

 

  1. Save any data, close any open programs, and restart the computer. When the mouse and keyboard do not respond at all, you may have to press and hold the power button down for at least 15 seconds to turn the computer off, and you lose any data that is not saved.
     
  2. Ensure that the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.
     
  3. Ensure that Windows has the latest updates. For more information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Windows Update: FAQ.

 

  1. Reseat the USB cable into the computer.
     
  2. Save any data, close any open programs, and restart the computer. When the mouse and keyboard do not respond at all, you may have to press and hold the power button down for at least 15 seconds to turn the computer off, and you lose any data that is not saved.
     
  3. Ensure that the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.
     
  4. Ensure that Windows has the latest updates. For more information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Windows Update: FAQ.

 

  1. Reseat the wireless USB receiver into the computer.
     
  2. Save any data, close any open programs, and restart the computer. When the mouse and keyboard do not respond at all, you may have to press and hold the power button down for at least 15 seconds to turn the computer off, and you lose any data that is not saved.
     
  3. Ensure that the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.
     
  4. Ensure that Windows has the latest updates. For more information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Windows Update: FAQ.

 

  1. Save any data, close any open programs, and restart the computer. When the mouse and keyboard do not respond at all, you may have to press and hold the power button down for at least 15 seconds to turn the computer off, and you lose any data that is not saved.
     
  2. Ensure that the BIOS is updated to the latest version. For more information, see the Dell Knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.
     
  3. Ensure that Windows has the latest updates. For more information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Windows Update: FAQ.

 

To disable the On-Screen Keyboard, perform the following steps.

NOTE: To enable the On-Screen Keyboard, perform the following steps, but instead check the box to the left of Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard in Step 5.

 

  1. Press and hold the Windows (Windows_Key) key, and then press the q key.
     
  2. In the Search box, type ease of access center.
     
  3. Touch or click Ease of Access Center (Control Panel) from the list.
     
  4. Touch or click Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard.
     
  5. Ensure the box to the left of Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard is cleared.
     
  6. Touch or click Apply (when you have made changes).
     
  7. Touch or click OK.
     
  8. Close the Settings window.

 

To disable the On-Screen Keyboard, perform the following steps.

NOTE: To enable the On-Screen Keyboard, perform the following steps, but instead check the box to the left of Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard in Step 5.

 

  1. Press and hold the Windows (Windows_Key) key, and then press the q key.
     
  2. In the Search box, type ease of access center.
     
  3. Touch or click Ease of Access Center (Control Panel) from the list.
     
  4. Touch or click Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard.
     
  5. Ensure the box to the left of Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard is cleared.
     
  6. Touch or click Apply (when you have made changes).
     
  7. Touch or click OK.
     
  8. Close the Settings window.

 

To disable the On-Screen Keyboard, perform the following steps.

NOTE: To enable the On-Screen Keyboard, perform the following steps, but instead check the box to the left of Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard in Step 5.

 

  1. Press the Windows (Windows_Key) key.
     
  2. In the Search box, type ease of access center.
     
  3. Touch or click Ease of Access Center from the list.
     
  4. Touch or click Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard.
     
  5. Ensure the box to the left of Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard is cleared.
     
  6. Touch or click Apply (when you have made changes).
     
  7. Touch or click OK.
     
  8. Close the Settings window.

Using the SupportAssist application provides automatic computer updates and detects issues that will be resolved for you. Let us take the effort out of maintaining your Dell Computer or Tablet. For more information about SupportAssist, browse to the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page.


How to Change Keyboard Settings on Windows 11 or Windows 10
Closed captions: English Only

How to Fix Dell Keyboard Not Working
Closed captions: Available in multiple languages.

USB Devices Not Working Windows 11 or Windows 10
Closed captions: English Only

Resolution

SLN305029_en_US__146Keyboard(1)   Browse to our Keyboard knowledge base for additional resources and information.

SLN305029_en_US__147Mouse Additional articles and information can also be found on our Mouse support page.

SLN305029_en_US__148Touchpad  For additional articles and information browse to our Touchpad support page.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Alienware Advanced Gaming Keyboard – AW568, Alienware Advanced Gaming Mouse – AW558, Alienware Aurora R8, Alienware Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | AW310K, Alienware Low-Profile RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | AW510K, Alienware Palm Rest – AW168Alienware Advanced Gaming Keyboard – AW568, Alienware Advanced Gaming Mouse – AW558, Alienware Aurora R8, Alienware Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | AW310K, Alienware Low-Profile RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | AW510K, Alienware Palm Rest – AW168, Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard – AW768, Desktops & All-in-Ones, Chromebox, Alienware, Inspiron, Retired Models, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, G Series, Laptops, Chromebook, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models, Thin Clients, Fixed Workstations, Dell Bluetooth Keyboard Folio WK415, Dell Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Bundle KM632, Dell Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo KM7120W, Dell Premier Wireless Keyboard and Mouse KM717, Dell Premier Wireless Keyboard WK717, Dell Wireless Keyboard and Mouse - KM117, Dell Wireless Keyboard and Mouse- KM636 (black), Dell Wireless Keyboard & Mouse KM714See more

Last Published Date

01 Sep 2022

Version

24

Article Type

Solution