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HP Notebook PCs - Notebook Keyboard Troubleshooting (Windows 10, 8)

This document applies to HP and Compaq notebook computers with Windows 10 and 8.
Use this information to troubleshoot common keyboard problems on notebook computers.
Run a Keyboard Test using HP PC Hardware Diagnostics for Windows
The Keyboard test provides a quick interactive functional test of the keys on the keyboard and identifies any problems with the hardware. Use the following steps to open the diagnostics and run the test.
  note:
If the HP PC Hardware Diagnostics for Windows app is not available on your computer, download the latest version from the HP Hardware Diagnostics website.
  1. Select Start, and then select HP Help and Support. Right-click HP PC Hardware Diagnostics for Windows, select More, and then select Run as administrator.
    Figure : Opening HP PC Hardware Diagnostics for Windows
    Opening HP PC Hardware Diagnostics for Windows
  2. The app opens to the main menu. Click Component Tests.
    Figure : Opening the Component Tests menu
    Opening the Component Tests menu
  3. The Component Tests menu displays.
    Your Component Tests menu might be different, depending on the components installed on your computer.
    Figure : Component Tests menu in the HP PC Diagnostics for Windows
    Component tests menu
  4. To run the test, click Input Devices, click Keyboard, and then click Run once.
    Figure : Running the Keyboard Test
    Running the Keyboard Test
    The Keyboard Test time is 3 minutes.
      note:
    Bluetooth devices are not currently supported.
    For more information about using the HP PC Hardware Diagnostics for Windows, see HP PCs - Testing for Hardware Failures
Pressing keys does nothing (keyboard is not working)
If your keyboard is not working:
  1. Turn off the computer and then restart it.
  2. Press the Esc key repeatedly to see if a startup menu opens.
    • If a setup menu does not open, the integrated keyboard hardware is not working. The integrated keyboard in the notebook should be serviced or replaced. To continue using the notebook, connect a USB-wired keyboard to a USB port and restart the computer.
    • If a setup menu opens, use the arrow keys to navigate the menus. If these keys are working in the startup menu, but then fail when Windows loads, the problems might be related to the keyboard software.
  3. Restart the computer.
  4. In Device Manager, uninstall and reinstall the keyboard software:
    1. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.
    2. Click View and select Show Hidden Devices.
      Figure : Show hidden devices
      Show hidden devices in Device Manager
    3. Click the arrow next to Keyboards, right-click the keyboard device name, then select Uninstall to remove the device from Windows.
    4. Continue removing device names in the Keyboards category until all device names have been uninstalled.
  5. Restart the notebook. Right-click Start (), select Shut down or sign out, then select Restart.
  6. Wait for the computer to restart and open Windows.
    The keyboard should now work correctly. To test the keyboard for key or hardware failures, see Testing for Hardware Failures (Windows 10, 8).
Key presses are slow to respond
If there is a short delay from the time a key is pressed to the time the character is displayed on the screen, the Filter Keys function might be activated. The Filter Keys function provides a greater range of key press options to fine-tune key delays and prevent inadvertent key presses. To disable Filter Keys and return to the default keyboard behavior, use the following steps:
  1. In Windows, search for and open Settings.
  2. In the Settings, click Ease of Access.
  3. Under Ease of Access, click Keyboard.
  4. Make sure the Filter Keys switch is set to Off.
    Figure : Filter Keys setting
    Filter Keys set to Off
The keys should now be more responsive.
Pressing a key once types several characters
If two or more characters appear when pressing a key, use the following steps to adjust the key repeat delay:
  1. From Windows, search for open Keyboard.
  2. On the Keyboard Properties screen, drag the Repeat delay slider to Long, and then click OK to save changes.
    Figure : Changing the Character Repeat delay setting
    Keyboard Repeat delay setting
Function keys do not work
If pressing any of the function key does nothing, the function keys are not working. Use the following steps to replace the driver for those keys:
  1. If prompted, type your PC model number.
    For help finding your model number, click the question mark.
    Figure : Enter your HP serial number, product number or product name
    Enter HP model number, showing the field to type in
  2. On the Software and driver results page, download and install the HP Wireless Button driver (consumer notebooks) or HP Hotkey Support driver (business notebooks) for your operating system.
    After installing the new driver, the function keys should work normally.
Computer beeps while typing
If the computer sometimes beeps while you are typing, Toggle Keys or Sticky Keys is active. The Toggle Keys can emit a beep when the Caps Lock keys are pressed. The Sticky Keys function can emit a beep when the Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and Caps Lock keys are pressed. Use the following steps to disable Sticky Keys and Toggle Keys:
  1. In Windows, search for and open Settings.
  2. In Settings, click Ease of Access.
  3. Under Ease of Access, click Keyboard.
  4. Make sure the Sticky Keys switch is set to Off.
    Figure : Sticky Keys setting
    Sticky Keys set to Off
Wrong characters appear when typing, changing keyboard language, or Dvorak
If the wrong characters appear when you are typing, or you are trying to use a different keyboard, use the following steps to synchronize Windows to the type of keyboard you are using:
  1. In Windows, search for and open Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel search box, type keyboard layout.
  3. Under Language, click Change input methods.
    Figure : Change input methods
    Change input methods in keyboard layout window
  4. Next to your primary language, click Options.
    Figure : Change your language preferences
    Options box in Change your language preferences
    The Language options window opens.
  5. Click Add an input method to see a list of keyboard layout options.
    Figure : Add an input method
    Add an input method link
  6. Select the desired keyboard layout from the list, and then click Add.
    Figure : Select a keyboard layout
    Dvorak keyboard layout
    The new keyboard layout is added to the Input method list in Language options.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Switch keyboard layouts by searching for and opening Settings.
  9. Open Time and Language.
  10. Click Region & Language.
  11. Under Related settings, click Additional date, time, & regional settings..
  12. Under Language, click Change input methods.
  13. Under Change your language preferences, double-click the desired language and follow the on-screen instructions.
Stuck notebook key
If a key is physically stuck in the down position, you might not have to replace the entire keyboard. Many keyboards have keys that can be removed by inserting a butter knife under one edge of the key and gently prying up on the top and bottom edge. After the key has been removed, using a swab with alcohol, clean the underside of the key and the key's slot in the keyboard. Replace the key by snapping it back into place.
  caution:
If the notebook is still under warranty and a key is stuck, you should contact HP to see if the notebook can be serviced before removing a key.
  caution:
To avoid damaging the pad under the key, insert the butter knife only 1/8 inch under the edge of the key.
Figure : Butter knife gently prying up on key, cotton swab cleaning key
Image of removing a key and cleaning under it.
Other tips to think about when encountering a stuck key:
  • Turn off the notebook and unplug the AC adapter before working on the keyboard.
  • If your notebook has a removable battery, remove the battery before removing the key.
  • If the key is stuck due to liquid or other substance getting into the keyboard, cleaning might be the only option.
  • Longer keys, such as spacebar and Enter, probably have a small metal rod for support. This rod must be inserted into the key and keyboard before replacing the key into the keyboard.
    Figure : Metal Rod connection point for the space bar
    Metal rod connections under the space bar
If a key cannot be unstuck, or the keyboard does not have keys that can be removed, service the computer.

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