The Windows key on the keyboard does loads of important jobs for you, and when it becomes not responding to your commands, you are bound to face a difficult time executing most of the essential shortcuts. This article isn’t about the uses of Windows key as most of you know what it does for you. Let’s talk about some remedies you can try when the Windows key not working. Don’t panic; these troubleshooting methods don’t demand any expert knowledge, and they don’t take much time as well. Let’s dive in and see
Reasons for Windows key not working
Before we discuss the fixes, let’s go through some common issues that lead to Windows key to malfunction. So, it will become helpful for you to avoid the same thing happening in the future.
- If your workstation is untidy and dusty, there is a possibility of debris creeping inside the keyboard and causing issues.
- Perhaps you have disabled the Windows key
- Physical damages on the keyboard
- Outdated drivers (Keyboard drivers)
- Software conflictions
Fixes for Windows key not working
Let’s start with the easiest troubleshooting methods and move on.
Clean the debris
The first thing you have to try is cleaning the keyboard using compressed air. This is a highly efficient way to remove debris and won’t cause any damages to the keyboard. Of course, first, disconnect the keyboard from your PC before you use compressed air on the keyboard.
Try another keyboard
This will tell you whether the issue is on the keyboard or a software-related malfunction. Make sure the keyboard that you try is working fine before you plug it into the computer.
Use keyboard troubleshooter feature
Windows 10 has troubleshooting options for most errors, and there is one for keyboard-related flaws as well. Running the keyboard troubleshooter often fixes these types of issues, and here is how you do it.
How to open Windows 10 keyboard troubleshooter
Click the Windows icon and then Settings. Start typing fix keyboard in the search, and you will notice “find and fix keyboard problems” underneath the search bar. Click on it and hit next to run the Windows 10 keyboard troubleshooter.
Now it will detect the issues and fix them automatically.
Deactivate game mode
Nowadays, some keyboards come with a game mode feature. However, we are not talking about the gaming mode of Windows 10, which is there to optimize the system when you play games on it. The primary objective of a keyboard gaming mode is to disable some keys on the keyboard to help you play games uninterruptedly. The Windows key also is a button that disconnects when you activate the game mode on the keyboard.
Gamers, it might be you are the culprit here; so, disable the gaming mode and try using the Windows key.
Quit the running apps in the background
You might be searching for solutions because the Windows key not working in tandem with another key as a shortcut. Generally, this happens due to a running program on your computer restricting the use of a particular shortcut by overriding it via the app’s inbuilt shortcuts.
To find the faulty app, you have to visit the Windows task manager by right-clicking on the taskbar. Now investigate the apps that are currently running on your computer and quit one by one to identify the problematic app. Once you find the offending app, go to its settings and see whether there is an option to disable the in-built shortcuts. If not, you will have to uninstall that particular app to work with the usual Windows keyboard shortcuts.
Check the start menu
When you press the Windows key button, you should see the start menu opening at the left corner of the desktop. If it doesn’t, you have an option to enable the function using the Windows registry.
How to enable start menu from Windows registry
Click start menu > run > type “regedit” and hit enter. From the opened window, click on HKEY_CURRENT_USER and expand the menu to click Software. Then click on Microsoft > Windows > Current Version > Explorer and click Advanced.
Next, right-click on the empty place on the right-side pane and click New. Now, select “DWORD (32-bit) Value” from the menu. Rename the file as “EnableXamlStartMenu” and reboot the computer. Check the issue is sorted or not.
Click here to read for troubleshooting methods for Internet Explorer not responding.
Update keyboard drivers
As we mentioned at the start of the article, outdated keyboard drivers also can contribute to Windows key not working issue. In fact, outdated drivers can cause loads of software-related issues on computers. Perhaps there is no errors in the physical Windows key, and the keyboard driver is not compatible to connect the hardware with the computer.
How to update keyboard drivers on Windows 10
Go to Device Manager of your Windows 10 computer and select the “keyboards” on the menu of the right-hand side pane. After you expand it, right-click and press update driver. Here you will see two options asking to select either automatic driver updates or browse for the related driver.
The easiest method is to press the automatic driver updates, and Windows will find the appropriate driver updates and install the latest available version. If not, you can opt for searching manually on the internet for drivers, but it would be best to stick with the automatic updates for the drivers.
We hope you had answers for the Windows key not working issue. Usually, one of the above troubleshooting steps should help you overcome the situation. If nothing works for you, you might have to consider resetting Windows as well as replacing the keyboard. However, that is the final option you have, and generally, this issue won’t drag to that level. If you have anything to add to this article or have questions, please let us know via a comment. Have a great day!