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HP Notebook PCs - Incorrect characters are displayed when using the keyboard

There are two common keyboard issues that can occur during the normal operation of your computer.

The first issue occurs when the num lock key is accidentally pressed, turning a portion of the keyboard into a number pad. The other issue occurs when the keyboard language is switched inadvertently from its original language to another, resulting in some letters and numbers appearing different on the screen than what was typed.

If you experience persistent keyboard errors, such as the keyboard frequently switching modes, try updating the notebook BIOS and device drivers.

Check the num lock key

Occasionally, when typing on the keyboard, numbers and symbols replace the letters. Typically, this issue occurs when the num lock key is pressed, enabling a mode in which the keyboard doubles as a number pad.

You can manually test which mode the keyboard is set to and change its configuration by using the following procedure.

  1. Open a word-processing program and type the word jump on the keyboard.

    If the word is displayed as jump, the keyboard is set to its default mode. If the word is displayed as 140*, the keyboard has been set to a number pad configuration.

  2. To switch modes, press the num lock key . On some models, you might have to press fn + num lock.

  3. Type jump again to confirm that the keyboard configuration has been reset.

The configuration of the keyboard has been successfully reset.

Set the keyboard language

By default, the keyboard language corresponds to the operating system language for the country/region where the computer was purchased. If it was purchased in an English-speaking country, it has a keyboard configured for an English operating system. Similarly, a computer purchased in Japan has a keyboard configured for a Japanese operating system. The keyboard language is controlled by the operating system, and can be changed to any language that the operating system supports, even if the physical keyboard layout does not match the selected language.

If the keyboard inadvertently is switched to another language, anything typed on it might not produce the expected results.

For example, if a German keyboard is mistakenly set to English, the keystrokes produce English-style text instead of German-style text. Typing the German word "Katze" (cat) instead displays "Katye" (a nonsense word).

German and US keyboard layouts

You can resolve this issue by setting the keyboard to the correct language using the following procedure.

  1. Search for and open Language settings.

    Windows Language Settings
  2. Make sure that the Windows display language is set to your language.

    Windows display language
  3. Under Preferred languages, select your language, and then use the up arrow icon to move your language to the first position in the list.

    Preferred languages priority list
  4. Select any language that you do not want on the list, and then click Remove.

    Remove unwanted language
  5. Make sure that your keyboard is selected.

    • In Windows 11, select Language options, and then either select your keyboard or Add a keyboard.

      Select or add keyboard
    • In Windows 10, select Keyboard, and then select Use language list (recommended) under Override for default input method.

      Select or add keyboard Override Default Imput Method

The keyboard is now set to the selected language.

Update the PC with HP Support Assistant

Use HP Support Assistant to find and install updates, including BIOS updates, for your computer with Windows.


HP Support Assistant is not available for Windows 10 in S mode. If your computer is running Windows 10 in S mode, use Windows Update to check for updated software and drivers. For more information, see HP PCs - Frequently Asked Questions about Windows in S Mode (Windows 11, Windows 10).

  1. In Windows, search for and open HP Support Assistant, or click the app icon in the taskbar.


    Make sure that you are using HP Support Assistant version 8 or later. If this version of the app is not installed on your computer, download the latest version from the HP Support Assistant website.

  2. On the My Dashboard tab, find your computer, and then click Updates.

  3. Wait while HP Support Assistant analyzes the system.

  4. After the analysis completes, select the listed updates, download and install the updates, and then follow any on-screen instructions.

  5. If prompted, restart the computer, and then close the tool.