HTTA is reader supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Keyboard Typing Symbols Instead of Letters (Problem fixed)

Are your keyboard typing symbols instead of letters? Or maybe it’s typing different characters and not the intended ones.

Typing is an exhausting task in itself, especially when working as a writer. Now imagine typing with a faulty keyboard. Surprisingly, this is a common issue faced by many people who use computer keyboards.

Most of us have probably experienced frustration with our computer keyboard typing the wrong letters or symbols. For example, you might type an “a” and instead get a “q” or a different symbol.

This can be incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to write an email or document. You don’t want to see different characters when typing.

The reason behind this problem can also be different. Consequently, if you have a Windows, Macbook, or any other computer operating system and are facing this issue, then don’t worry. In this article, we will diagnose and solve the problem soon.

Let’s take a closer look at the problem and how to solve it.

close up shot of hands on a laptop
Photo by VAZHNIK on

The Keyboard Structure

The keyboard structure is the foundation of a computer’s usability. As the primary computer input device, it determines how easily users can interact with their applications.

The keyboard structure is a set of keys arranged on a computer keyboard. The arrangement of the keys is called a key layout, allowing people to type text easily.

A standard keyboard has a QWERTY layout, named after the first six letters on its top row (qwertyuiop). This layout was originally designed to slow down typists so they would not jam the mechanical typewriters of their time.

Today’s keyboards are not limited by this constraint and can be designed with any layout. The most common keyboard layouts are QWERTY, DVORAK, and AZERTY.

close up photo of black typewriter keys
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Thus, before you can use any of these keyboard types, you’ll need to set it right on your computer settings. If you set the wrong keyboard layout, your keyboard will most likely type symbols or different characters instead of the right letters. This is among many reasons why your keyboard is misbehaving.

What Causes the Keyboard to Type Symbols Instead of Letters?

If you have trouble typing letters, it’s possible that something is wrong with the keyboard. Here are some things to check:

  1. One of the CTRL keys is stuck: Check the CTRL keys that seem to be sticking down and push them up again. If it doesn’t seem to help, try restarting your computer.
  2. One of the ALT keys is stuck. Check ALT keys that seem to be sticking down and push them up again. If it doesn’t seem to help, try restarting your computer.
  3. The Keyboard language is Wrong: This problem can also arise if the input language does not match that of the keyboard. You can change this by going to Settings > Time & Language > Typing > Advanced Keyboard Settings. On some computers, you can toggle between keyboard input languages by holding the Ctrl key and clicking on the shift key.
  4. The keyboard layout is wrong: You can change this in Settings > Devices > Typing > Set Up Keyboard Layouts > Add New Keyboard Layout.
  5. Num Lock is off: In the same place as above, you should see “Use Numeric Keypad.” Toggle this on or off, depending on whether or not you want to use the number pad when typing numbers or symbols!

Troubleshooting Common Keyboard Problems

If your keyboard is typing symbols instead of letters, there are a few quick things you can try to fix the problem.

Fix #1: Ensure that the left and right SHIFT keys aren’t stuck. Hold them down for 5 seconds if they are stuck, and then release them.

Fix #2: Ensure that the left and right ALT keys aren’t stuck. Hold them down for 5 seconds if they are stuck, and then release them.

Fix #3: You may also want to check if sticky keys functionality is active by pressing the Shift key five times in a row. If this happens, press Shift five more times to disable this feature.

Fix #4: If none of these solutions work for you, ensure that you have the correct keyboard layout set (for example, if your keyboard is used in a different language). You can change this setting by going into Settings > Time & Language > Typing > Advanced Keyboard Settings.

If none of these solutions have worked for you either, try completely unplugging your keyboard from its USB port.

Keyboard typing symbols instead of letters (A closer look)

The keyboard typing different characters instead of the intended letters can occur in certain applications. For example, if you hit the “t” key on your keyboard (or any other key you use frequently), it may type a dollar sign ($) instead of a “t” character. This can affect just one application or multiple applications running at the same time on your computer.

Suppose this happens with a single application with no special functions assigned to its keys (like Microsoft Word, it can be fixed with software methods that do not require replacing hardware parts on your keyboard or computer.

If this happens with every program running at once or when using only one particular app like Microsoft Word, where there are special shortcuts assigned to each key (like CTRL+C for a copy), then it is more likely that there is a hardware problem. Then it will require some sort of repair work done by someone else, such as an authorized technician from the manufacturer itself.

More Ways to Fix Keyboard Typing Symbols Instead Of Letters

If you’re having issues with your keyboard typing symbols instead of letters and the above fixes doesn’t work for you, here are some other things you can try:

Check if Num Lock is on or off.

If you can’t type letters on your keyboard but instead see symbols like this: “=+,” Then you’re probably experiencing a problem with your keyboard’s Num Lock function.

Num Lock is a keyboard feature that allows you to use the number keys on your keyboard for entering numbers and symbols rather than just letters.

It’s pretty simple – just press and release the Num Lock key. In some cases, the Num Lock will light up after pressing on it.

You don’t need to turn on Num Lock if you’re doing something like writing an essay or sending a text message. However, you need to have it turned on if you’re typing numbers or symbols into a spreadsheet or an email program.

To fix this problem:

  1. Check whether Num Lock is on or off.
  2. If Num Lock is on, turn it off and try typing again.
  3. If that doesn’t work, try turning Num Lock back on and then try typing again.

If Num Lock is off and you still can’t type letters, there may be something wrong with the physical keys on your keyboard. If this is the case, you might want to take it in for repairs or replacement.

Confirm if it is a Hardware Issue

Sometimes there can be some hardware issue that makes this feature not work properly if it hasn’t been used in a while. This may indicate that the problem lies in the hardware rather than the software when it comes to keys not working right away after being pressed down (or not working at all).

If you’re seeing your keyboard typing symbols instead of letters, it’s likely a hardware issue. To troubleshoot this problem, please try the following steps:

  • Check to see if any keys are stuck or broken. If some keys are not working, this could be the cause of your issue. You can try pressing each key individually to see if it works. If a key does not work, then it may need to be replaced by a certified technician.
  • If you have recently spilled liquid on your computer or dropped it in water, then this could have damaged your keyboard and caused the problem you are having now. In this case, you will need to replace your keyboard before using your computer again.

Try rebooting your computer.

This will reset all keyboard drivers and allow you to use your keyboard again. If not, you might want to check if there’s any software conflict with other devices on your system (like keyboards or mice).

You could also try unplugging them from the USB port and then plugging them back in again or restarting your computer altogether for good measure.

Take the system apart.

Suppose none of these steps have fixed it yet. In that case, it might be time to take apart the device entirely and clean out all those keycaps one by one. Doing so will most likely solve each symptom individually without requiring too much effort from yourself!

You’ll need some extra tools like pliers or screwdrivers for this process. However – we don’t recommend trying this without knowing exactly what you’re doing because otherwise, things could get messy quickly!’

Updating your keyboard driver.

This is a very important step in ensuring your keyboard is working correctly. The keyboard driver is the software that allows you to use your keyboard with your computer. If you are experiencing issues with your keyboard, it may be because of an outdated or corrupted driver.

To update your keyboard driver:

1. Click Start, then Control Panel.

2. Double-click System and Maintenance, then click Device Manager.

3. Expand Keyboards, then right-click on the keyboard that you want to update and select Update Driver Software.

Updating your operating system (OS).

Sometimes your operating system might be outdated. You might need to update it to the current one just to be sure that it is not the cause of the problem.

If updating the OS doesn’t work, try downloading a different OS that works with the same hardware as yours and install that instead of updating it directly from Microsoft’s website.

For example, if you have an Intel Core i3 CPU but want more RAM than 4GB, then go ahead and download something like Ubuntu Linux 17 LTS 64bit rather than Windows 7 32bit Home Premium x86 because it has support for up 16GB of RAM, whereas W7 might not even recognize 8GB.

Keyboard typing symbols instead of letters on Windows.

Most of the solutions mentioned above will fix this problem on a windows system, as we have mentioned above. To reiterate, ensure that the number lock is off. If the issue persists, it’s likely a hardware issue. You can try to replace the keyboard if you have an extra one lying around or buy a new one from Amazon.

Suppose your keyboard is still having trouble after replacing it. In that case, there is a problem with either Windows 10 or the driver itself. Reinstalling both these things should fix this issue for good!

Keyboard typing symbols instead of letters on Mac

The problem is that your keyboard is not responding when you type a letter, but the symbols on the keyboard are still displayed. A few different reasons can cause this.

First, make sure that your keyboard is in working order; if it isn’t, you will need to get a new one. If your keyboard is working fine, you can try other things to fix this problem.

It would be best if you first tried turning off your computer and then turning it back on again. If this does not work, then you may need to reset your entire system.

To do this, go into the Apple Menu and open up About This Mac. From there, select More Info from the drop-down menu at the top right corner of your screen next to where it says Version where it says Resetting System Management Controller (SMC) or Resetting NVRAM & PRAM, followed by clicking on the Continue button followed by restarting computer once again after doing so.


We hope this article will help you resolve the keyboard problem. It would help if you tried some of these steps to fix this problem and have a better experience while using your laptop.

However, if you have tried all the above steps and it still doesn’t work, let us know in the comments below.

Also, if any of these methods worked for you, let us know which one.

And if none of the above methods works, and you found a fix that worked, please kindly share it with us here in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *