PC Accessories

How To Fix a Sticky Keyboard

Keyboard

The keys on your keyboard can get stuck due to dust accumulation, food crumbs, and even drinks. Whether it is the keyboard of your laptop or an external keyboard, they are not immune to getting sticky. If the keys on your keyboard are sticky, you should free them up. But the question now is, how do you fix a sticky keyboard? 

Quick Answer

Shaking your keyboard or trying to blow air through the keyboard can help fix sticky keys on the keyboard. You can also try cleaning the keyboard from the outside with isopropyl alcohol. For a more intense clean-up, remove the keys and clean them with isopropyl alcohol. 

Before cleaning the keyboard, you should disconnect it from your computer if it is an external keyboard. And if you are using an in-built keyboard, ensure your computer is turned off before you start cleaning the keyboard.

Continue reading to learn how to fix a sticky keyboard. 

Different Ways To Fix a Sticky Keyboard 

Experiencing a sticky keyboard is a common problem with computers and laptops. While in some cases, it may get stuck and would require you to fix it. Sometimes, the keys on the keyboard may get stuck and then free themselves without you doing anything. 

If your laptop key is stuck, try fixing it before you think about buying a new keyboard. Let’s talk about the different ways you can try to fix a sticky keyboard.  

Method #1: Shaking Out the Keyboard 

When any of the keys on your keyboard feels sticky, shaking the keyboard could free up the stuck key. If the reason your keyboard is stuck is nothing too serious, lightly shaking the keyboard should free it up. 

This method is most effective when your keyboard is stuck due to things like food crumbs hiding underneath it. This method of fixing a sticky keyboard is easy and doesn’t require any special tool. What matters when using this method is to know how much shaking is appropriate

Here’s how to fix a sticky keyboard by shaking it.

  1. Turn off your laptop or unplug the keyboard from the computer. 
  2. Turn the keyboard and hold it at an angle, or turn it completely upside down with the key pointing downwards or the keys of the keyboard towards the floor. 
  3. Shake the keyboard gently to cause the crumbs to shake to the table or floor. 
  4. Use a brush to remove any extra crumbs hanging onto the keys. 
  5. Recheck the keys to see if any are stuck or if all is working accordingly. 

Method #2: Blowing Out the Keyboard 

Another way to free up a sticky keyboard is by blowing a force of air on the stuck key. With some luck, you should be able to dislodge whatever particle is causing the key to be stuck. For this method, you will need a can of compressed air. A can of compressed air doesn’t cost much and is available online and in local stores. 

Here’s how to fix a sticky keyboard by blowing it out.

  1. Turn off the laptop or unplug the keyboard from the computer. 
  2. Get the can of compressed air and gently spray it around the sticky keys. 
  3. You can spritz the air around the keys to prevent a case of the keys from sticking in the future. 
  4. Use a brush to blow out debris or crumbs away from the keyboard. 
  5. Recheck the keys if any are stuck or if all is working accordingly. 
Important

When using the can of compressed air, don’t tilt the can as it can pour out liquids.

Method #3: Cleaning the Keyboard 

If all the above methods fail, then whatever is causing your keyboard to be stuck is tightly lodged in and would require a more technical method to fix it. Or if your key feels sticky because you spilled a liquid on it. In such a case, what you need to do is to clean the keyboard. 

Here’s how to fix a sticky keyboard by cleaning it.

  1. Get a clean cloth and use it to wipe the keyboard’s surface to remove sticky residue or gunk on the keyboard. 
  2. Damp the cleaning cloth with isopropyl alcohol to clean it properly, or use warm water if you can’t use isopropyl alcohol on your keyboard. 
  3. Use a cotton swab damped in isopropyl alcohol or warm water to clean in-between the keys. 
  4. Rub the top of the keys to ensure it is free from stickiness. 
  5. Recheck the keys if any are still stuck or if all is working accordingly. 
Keep in Mind

If your computer is covered with UV coating, don’t use isopropyl alcohol to clean it; instead, use warm water.

Method #4: Removing Keys To Clean the Keyboard 

As a last resort, you can take apart your keyboard to clean it when all other measures fail. We don’t recommend you do this if you feel it is too complicated.

For this method, you will need a prying tool, isopropyl alcohol, a cotton swab, and a cleaning cloth. Remember to clear up your working space when taking apart your keyboard so you can pick up every tiny bit of the keyboard that falls out when you disassemble it. 

Here’s how to fix a sticky keyboard by removing the keys.

  1. Take a picture of the keyboard so you can know where each key goes and how to assemble it back after taking it apart. 
  2. The key on your keyboard is held in place by a plastic clip, so you can use a prying tool like a firm paper clip to pull it up slightly, but if you are unsure, refer back to your laptop’s manual on how to remove the keys. 
  3. Carefully wipe the slot, and the inside of the button with the cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol.  
  4. Clear out any obstructions that are jammed in the hinge or key underneath. 
  5. Allow the key and keyboard to dry completely before assembling them back together. 
  6. Check the keys if any are still stuck or if all is working accordingly. 

Conclusion 

Fixing a sticky keyboard is easier than you may have thought. By simply cleaning your keyboard, you can fix any sticky key problem. But ensure that when cleaning it, you don’t use cotton materials; instead, use microfiber. And also, ensure that when you use water or isopropyl to clean the keyboard, you allow it to dry properly before coupling it. 

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