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10+ Reasons Why Your Keyboard Arrows Are Not Working (Solved)

Most people cannot do without their laptops or PCs because of the many functions they’re capable of performing. For this reason, if your keyboard arrows stop working, it can be pretty inconvenient.

However, you can efficiently resolve the problem in a few easy steps like those depicted in this article.

Read on to find out the solution that works for you!

modern laptop keyboard with symbols on keys
Photo by Василь Вовк on

Fix #1: Your PC Needs to Restart

Sometimes, restarting any technological device will resolve any issue that it has. For that reason, trying to restart your laptop or PC can fix the keyboard arrows not working problem.

Also, if your computer has a detachable keyboard, restart it too. This method will clear any bugs or excess cache that may distort your software.

Fix #2: Your Keyboard Arrows Have Dirt/Debris Under Them

Sometimes your keyboard problem might result from dirt or debris stuck under the keyboard arrows.

To know if this is the issue, try random keyboard arrows and see if some of them work. If they do, then it means you need to get the keyboard cleaned.

  1. For some keyboards, you can take off the keys mechanically, one by one, or as a whole.
  2. After taking out the keys, clean with a slightly wet cloth and let the device air dry for a few minutes. It’s imperative to note that it’s better to wet the cloth with isopropyl alcohol than water because water may further destroy your device.
  3. Alternatively, try removing any loose dirt/debris lodged in the spaces between and under the keyboard arrow keys by using a can of compressed air.
  4. If you can’t take out the keys, you will need to take the device to a professional to open your keyboard and clean it for you, thus making the work easier.

If you have screwdrivers and some professional knowledge, try opening the device on your own to clean it.

Fix #3: The Laptop Has Hardware Issues

If your keyboard can detach from your laptop, then the hardware that connects the Keyboard and display could have an issue.

On the other hand, if you have connected your Keyboard to your computer via a USB cable, follow the steps below to find a solution.

  1. Confirm whether the hardware that connects the keyboard to the display screen is broken. If so, you need to get it fixed professionally.
  2. If your Keyboard connects to the display via a USB cable, confirm whether it’s as firm as it should be.
  3. If it’s firm, the USB cable may be spoilt and needs to be replaced. Alternatively, it could be that the laptop port you are using is faulty, so trying another one might work.

Fix #4: You Need to Reinstall Keyboard Drivers

Keyboard drivers often start glitching because of too much cache or corrupted data, such as third-party add-ons.

In such a case, you will need to uninstall and then reinstall your app so that all excess cache gets deleted. To rectify the problem, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Start button on your taskbar that’s depicted as a windows icon.
  2. Key in Device manager on your search bar and click on it.
  3. Scroll down the page until you see Keyboard, then double click on it to expand the category
  4. Right-click on the keyboard device option and click on Uninstall driver
  5. A prompt will appear asking if you are sure you want to uninstall the keyboard driver; click Allow
  6. Wait until the process uninstalling process is complete, then restart your computer
  7. Confirm if the Keyboard is working well at that point. If not, try the other troubleshooting methods below.

Fix #5: Update Keyboard Drivers

Technology keeps evolving, and so you need to update your laptop systems constantly to keep up. For that reason, your Keyboard arrows can stop working because their drivers are outdated.

To rectify this problem, follow the steps below:

1. Click Start, which is depicted as the windows icon.

2. Key in Device manager and click on it.

3. Scroll till you see the Keyboard option, then double click on it.

4. Right-click on your device’s Keyboard.

5. Click on the Update driver option.

6. You can either choose to Browse my computer for drivers, and Windows will show you available drivers on the web that you can download, then ask for permission to install

7. Alternatively, click the Search automatically for drivers option. In this case, windows will search for the best available driver that’s already on your device and install it for you.

Fix #6: The Scroll Lock Key on Your Keypad Is Turned On

Often when your keyboard stops working, chances are, you mistakenly enabled the scroll lock key.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s because modern laptops hardly need it, so only a few brands still include it in their keyboards.

Method 1

This method is for laptops with a keypad with more than 104 keys.

  1. Search your keypad for the scroll lock key abbreviated as SCRLK. Most times, it’s close to the Pause key.
  2. If the SCRLK has a small, illuminated light, press it and check whether the problem has been resolved

Method 2

If you didn’t find the Scroll lock key on your windows laptop, you would need to use the on-screen keypad. Here is how:

  1. Click Start or the Windows icon.
  2. Type in On-screen Keyboard, then click on it. A keyboard should appear on your display.
  3. Check the right side of the on-screen Keyboard for SCRLK. If enabled, it should be illuminated with some light. Click on it to disable it, and that action should resolve your problem.
  4. If the SCRLK key isn’t illuminated, try other troubleshooting methods below.

Fix #7: Try and Run the In-built Windows Troubleshooter

All windows laptops have an in-built troubleshooting feature for most of their common glitches, such as faulty keyboard arrows. If your device has this feature, follow the steps below:

  1. On your display, click on the Start key that is depicted as a windows logo
  2. Click on the Settings icon
  3. Select Updates and security
  4. Skim the left panel and click on Troubleshoot, then follow up by selecting Additional Troubleshooters
  5. Scroll down the page until you see Keyboard, then click on it
  6. Click on Run the troubleshooter
  7. Give your computer a few minutes to skim your Keyboard for any issue; if it finds anything, it will give you simple solutions to resolve the problem. Follow the solutions and check if the problem is resolved. If not, continue to the methods listed below.

Fix #8: Check the Keyboard Input Settings

Your Keyboard works according to several settings you could tweak to your liking.

However, sometimes, your chosen settings could cause your Keyboard to start acting up. Here is how to resolve the said issue:

  1. Click Start, which is depicted as a windows icon.
  2. Key in the Control panel and click on it
  3. Select the Keyboard option by double clicking on it
  4. Search for the Speed tab, adjust the Repeat delay setting to your liking, and try the keyboard keys again to see if it works.

Fix #9: Run a Malware Scan

Considering we download plenty of things on our laptops, it could be that your device is infected with a virus causing your keyboard keys not to work as they usually should. In this case, try and run a malware scan using your inbuilt antivirus checker and see if it finds anything worth removing.

Alternatively, you can download a free antivirus checker or a paid one from the internet and run a malware scan.

Fix #10: You Had Disabled Sticky Keys on Windows

The sticky keys are hardly the problem causing your keyboard arrow keys to be faulty. However, many users have reported that enabling sticky keys often solves their problem. For this method, here is how to go about it:

  1. Click on Start, which is depicted as the windows logo
  2. On the search bar, key in the Control panel, then click on it
  3. Skim the page till you see Ease of access, then click on it
  4. On the right panel, Click on Change how the keyboard works or Make the Keyboard easier to use
  5. Enable the check box next to Turn sticky keys
  6. Select Apply to save changes, then wait a few minutes
  7. Disable the check box next to turning on sticky keys
  8. Select the option to Apply to save the configuration

Fix #11: Your Downloaded Faulty Excel Add-inns

Though this is rarely the case, Excel add-ins can cause the whole Keyboard to start glitching as they often have bugs. If this is the case, you can quickly delete all the add-ins and add them back one by one till you find the one with the problem.

To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Start button and key in Excel to launch the site
  2. Select File
  3. Click on Options which is typically found on the left side of the screen
  4. Click on add-ins that are also on the left side of the screen
  5. Confirm on the Manage menu whether the excel add-ins have been selected. If not, then this troubleshooting method won’t work.
  6. If it has been selected, click Go
  7. Deselect all the checkboxes for the Add-inns
  8. Select Ok to save the changes you have just made
  9. Confirm whether the issue has been resolved. If it has, then you can add the add-ons one by one to find the one with the issue

Fix #12: Additional Information if you are Using a Wireless Keyboard

Wireless keyboards are convenient, mainly because they make the laptop more portable. However, they come with their own set of problems.

So, if your wireless Keyboard isn’t working, try these quick fixes:

  1. If yours is a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard, check that Bluetooth is powered on and connected to the display screen
  2. Disconnect the Bluetooth pairing between the Keyboard and the display screen, then reconnect them again
  3. Try a different USB port or a different USB to connect the Keyboard to the display screen
  4. Confirm whether the Keyboard’s battery level is sufficient. If not, connect it to the charge, then try connecting it to the display later.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Can I Remove the Keypad Casing From My Laptop?

Find the seam between the top and bottom of the laptop and then try to separate the two. However, not all laptops can be separated like that because some need to be screwed open.

Why Are Some of the Keys on My Keyboard Working While Others Are Not Functional?

It might be a software issue such as faulty drivers or an enabled scroll lock key, Alternatively, it could be a hardware issue such as a broken connection between the display and the keyboard, or a spoilt USB.

How To Use an Air Compressor to Remove the Debris Under the Keyboard Keys?

  • Confirm that the brand of canned air you have is ideal for laptops because some have too much pressure that may damage your device
  •  Switch off your device
  • Turn your laptop upside down so that any loose debris may fall out
  • Attach the straw that comes with the can of compressed air to its designated spot
  • Blow the compressed air from different angles until you are satisfied that all debris has been removed
  • Clean around the laptop keyboard with a wet swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol and leave the laptop to air dry.

Why My Keyboard Arrow Keys Are Not Working in Excel?

If the keyboard keys work in other sites besides Excel, then the problem lies in your downloaded Excel add-ins. Try uninstalling your add-ins and try the arrow keys again.


Your Keyboard not working on your laptop will likely be inconvenient, especially if you have pending tasks to complete. Lucky for you, the troubleshooting methods above will often solve whatever the issue is without requiring any technical knowledge.

In the unfortunate event that nothing works for your particular case, you will need to take your laptop to a professional to get it checked. Chances are, the issue may lie with the computer’s hardware, and you might have to buy a new one.

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