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5 Best fixes for Shift Key Not Working On Keyboard (Windows & Mac)

Keyboards typically have two shift keys, but occasionally one or both may malfunction. This can happen if dirt or dust builds up under the keys, if the language settings are wrong, or if the system just needs a reboot.

If your shift key is not working on your Windows or Mac, you have come to the right place. You can apply various solutions to fix the issue. Read on to understand some of the solutions you can implement.

Fix #1: Try The Second Shift Key On Your Keyboard

the two shift keys on a windows keyboard

Most keyboards have at least two shift keys. You can find one shift key under the Caps Lock key and another under the Enter Key. Press one of the shift keys and see if it works. If the key doesn’t respond, press the second shift key and see if it works. If either of them responds, it is probably a hardware issue in the unresponsive shift key causing the problem. For example, the shift key may refuse to work if it is stuck.

Fix #2: Use Another Keyboard To Check The Shift Key

You can counter-check if the shift key will work on another keyboard. If it does, you may have a software issue. You may also have remapped your shift key to function as another key. This is quite common, especially in gaming keyboards. Therefore, you should check the mapping of the shift key to ensure it works as intended.

If the shift key refuses to work on another keyboard, it may be a hardware issue. You can also get another keyboard, connect it to your PC, and check if the shift key works. Swapping your keyboard and fixing it on another computer or fixing another keyboard to your computer will help you determine if it is a hardware or software issue.

Fix #3: Change The Keyboard Layout

The keyboard language settings may also affect the functionality of the shift key. The function key may have another function assigned to it in another language. Therefore, you need to set your keyboard to English settings so the function key can work as intended.

Follow these steps to change your language settings if you are using a Windows PC.

  1. Press the Windows and I key on your keyboard. The shortcut keys open settings.
  2. Look for Time and Language from the menu.
  3. Click on “Languages” and set it to English.
Change The Keyboard Layout to fix Shift Key Not Working On the Keyboard

Follow these steps if you are a Mac user:

  1. Choose the Apple menu on your Mac
  2. Click on System Settings
  3. Click on General which you will find on the sidebar
  4. Press Language & Region on the right
  5. Under Preferred Languages, select English and press Add.

Check if changing the language settings will fix the issue of your shift key not working. If the solution does not work. Try more solutions as highlighted below.

Fix #4: Shut Your Computer Down And Restart It Again

The issue of the shift key not working might indicate something wrong with your keyboard. You should try to shut down and restart your machine to see if doing so will fix the issue. , it is possible to either restart or shut down your machine using your mouse if you press the windows keys at the bottom left side of your device. You can also press the key on your keyboard.

Follow these steps to shut down your machine:

  1. Select the Windows key. You can do so by clicking the Windows icon with your mouse or by pressing the windows key on your keyboard.
  2. Click on the Power Button below the presented options
  3. Depending on your preference, you can select either Restart or Shut Down.

Remember to allow for some time before you switch back on your computer.

Try the following method if your Shift keys does not work after switching your machine on and off.

Fix #5: Clean Your Keyboard

You may be tempted to think that the failure of your shift key is due to a complex software or hardware issue. Sometimes, dirt and debris under the shift key may be the culprit. The accumulation of dirt or debris underneath the shift key may hinder the key from functioning well. Some habits may cause the accumulation of dirt on your keyboard. Some of these habits include eating while using your keyboard. If you do so often, cramps and food particles may find their way underneath the shift key. Fortunately, getting rid of debris and food crumbs is relatively easy.

Below are some ways that you can clean your keyboard of any debris:

  • You can use a small brush to get rid of the dirt
  • Use a soft cloth to get rid of any food crumbs
  • Use compressed air to blow on your keyboard and specifically on the shift key. But be careful not to use too much pressure since doing so can damage your keyboard.
  • You can also use rubbing alcohol to clean off any liquid or dirt accumulated on your keyboard.

It is critical to have a proper maintenance routine to ensure your keyboard stays in good working condition. Maintaining your keyboard will ensure it stays in proper condition and serve you for a long time. Schedule regular keyboard maintenance dates throughout the year. You could schedule your keyboard cleaning time to once every three months.

However, your schedule will depend on the accumulation of dirt and other debris. You can clean your keyboard If dirt and debris become too much before your scheduled clean-up date. Also, avoid eating or drinking in your work area so that food particles, drinks, and other debris do not fall or spill on your keyboard.

How Should You Clean Your Keyboard?

It is important to clean your keyboard in the right manner. You should be careful not to use too much cleaning agent so that you do not soak your keyboard. Follow these steps to clean your keyboard:

  1. First, switch off your machine and disconnect it from the power source.
  2. Flip your keyboard or laptop upside down so that any debris falls off.
  3. Use a compressed air blower to blow out any debris or dirt
  4. Rub through the entire keyboard using a soft cloth that you have dubbed into alcohol. Be careful not to soak the keyboard, which might cause more damage.
  5. Leave the keyboard for some time for it to dry.

 Cleaning your keyboard while targeting the shift key should resolve the problem if debris and dirt are the issues. However, if the issue is not resolved, consult a trustworthy technician.

Wrapping Up

It is frustrating to press your keyboard only to find it is not working. The above post guides you on possible solutions to the problem. The problem could be as simple as the accumulation of dirt or debris. You can try to fix the problem by cleaning your keyboard or restarting your computer.

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