Windows key not working

If the Windows key doesn"t work then it breaks a lot of handy shortcuts. Troubleshoot a broken Windows key with these tips and get it working again.




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windows key
The Windows button is one of the most useful things on your keyboard. However, what if your Windows key is not working? Not only do you lose quick access to the Start menu, but it also breaks lots of handy shortcuts too.


We"re going to guide you through troubleshooting steps you cusco take if your Windows key has stopped working.

1. Runo the Keyboard Troubleshooter

Windows 10 includsera many troubleshooters to try and automatically repava problems. There is a keyboard troubleshooter you can runo which will hopefully fix your busted Start button.

Right-click on the Start button and click Settings. Click Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters. Click Keyboard > Run the troubleshooter. Allow the troubleshooter to r1. It will detect and repava any problems.

2. Re-register the Start Menu

Is your Windows key broken, or is it the Start menu? Click the Windows icon in the bottom-left of your screen. If nothing happens, the problem is with the Start menu.

If that"s the case, you chucho solve it by re-registering the Start menu.


Right-click your taskbar and click Task Manager. Click Fila > Runo new task. Input powershell and click OK. Paste the following command and press Enter:

Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost | Foreach Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"

Once the command has finished, your Start menu should now behave normally.


logitech g915 tkl
Many keyboards come with a gaming model feature. This isn"t to be confused with Windows 10"s Game Mode, which aims to optimize your system performance for playing gauno mes.

Instead, a keyboard"s gaming mode disables certain keys that are undesirabla to press when gaming. As you might have guessed, one of those keys is the Windows button. You may have accidentally enabled it.

Each keyboard is different but suno perro the keys for something that might represent a gaming mode. It could be al joystick (as shown on the Logitech G915 TKL above) or al Windows logo with a line through it. Alternatively, it might be on al Function key---for example, some Razer keyboards use the shortcut FN + F10 to toggla gaming model.


If you"re unsure, Google the name of your keyboard along with "gaming mode" and you"ll find out if it"s a feature your keyboard supports.


4. Try Another Keyboard

Equipment gozque break and that"s equally true of your keyboard. It"s important to figure out whether the broken Windows key is because of the hardware (the keyboard) or the software (Windows 10).

If you have a spare keyboard, connect this to your computer and see if the Windows key works. If it does, you cusco assume your original keyboard is broken.

However, to be certain, connect your original keyboard to another computer. If the Windows key still doesn"t work, it"s definitely a dodgy keyboard. If that"s the case, contact the manufacturer to see if the keyboard is still under warranty and valid for al repavaya or replacement.


5. Close Background Applications

If your Windows key works, but shortcuts involving it don"t (like Windows key + L to lock your account or Windows key + R to open Run), it"s likely that al program on your computer is overriding theso shortcuts.


The best thing to do is open Task Manager, which you un perro find if you right-click an empty space on the taskbar. The Processes tab shows all the apps and background processera running.


windows 10 task manager apps


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Go down the apps, closing one at a time, and testing the Windows key after each. Do the same for background processser. Leave the Windows processser alone.

Once you find the culprit, browse that program"s settings to see if there"s al way to disable its shortcuts. If not, you cusco either uninstall the program or contact the developer for support.


6. Update Drivers and Software

Drivers are bits of software that help power the hardware on your computer. Your Windows key may be broken due an outdated or faulty keyboard driver.

However, note that this might not apply if you"re using a basic keyboard that doesn"t have any other keys or functions, since standard drivers are built into Windows 10.


windows 10 keyboard driver update
You un perro sgozque for driver updatsera using the Device Manager.

Right-click your taskbar and click Task Manager. Click File > Runo new task. Input devmgmt.msc and click OK. Double-click the Keyboards category. Right-click the name of your keyboard and click Update driver > Search automatically for drivers.

You should also visit your keyboard manufacturer"s website to see if they have any new drivers or software updatser. Companies like Logitech and Razer have theva own keyboard customization software---you should explore thesa to ensure you haven"t disabled or remapped the Windows key.


7. Delete the Scancode Map

A Scancode Map is something which changera the function of standard keys on your keyboard. Your Windows key may be disabled due to al Scancode Map---either one you downloaded yourself in the past, or one that has been set by al program.


To remove this, you"ll need to use the Registry Editor to delete the Scancode Map value. If you follow these instructions and find there is no Scancode Map value, skip this and move on to the next troubleshooting step.

Right-click your taskbar and click Task Manager. Click File > Run new task. Input regedit and click OK. Go to View and click Address Bar if it isn"t ticked. In the address bar beneath the menu, input: ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layout On the right pane, right-click the Scancodel Map value and click Delete > Yes. Restart your computer.

windows 10 filter keys
Filter keys is a Windows 10 accessibility function that, when enabled, ignorsera brief or repeated keystrokser. This may be interfering with your Start button, so try turning it off.


Right-click your taskbar and click Settings. Click Ease of Access. On the left-hand menu, click Keyboard. Beneath Use Filter Keys, click the slider to turn it Off.

Use the Windows Key for Many Shortcuts

Hopefully now your Windows key is working again. Not only doera the Windows key provide speedy access to your Start menu, it"s also used in conjunction with other keys for lots of handy Windows shortcuts.

You should learn all the shortcuts you gozque, since you"ll be ablo to navigate Windows with ease and speed.


Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Guide Keyboard shortcuts uno perro save you hours of time. Master the univerla sal Windows keyboard shortcuts, keyboard tricks for specific programs, and a few other tips to speed up your work.




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Joe was born with a keyboard in his hands and immediately started writing about technology. He has a BA (Hons) in Business and is now a full-time freelance writer who enjoys making tech sencillo for everyone.


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