How to Unlock Keyboard in Windows 10/11? Follow the Guide! [MiniTool Tips]

Windows 11/Windows 10 Keyboard Locked

If you have a small child or pet, you may encounter this situation – an unguarded keyboard causes a disaster or more likely spell “dsfgdhkjwrjgsfs”. To avoid this case, you may choose to lock your keyboard on your Windows 10/11.

But sometimes you forget that you have locked the keyboard and couldn’t recall how you did that thing. When you need to use the computer, you find you can’t type anything. Sometimes, you lock the keyboard suddenly.

What should you do to unlock the keyboard? It is easy as long as you follow these instructions below.

How to Unlock Keyboard Windows 10/11

Run a Check Before Troubleshooting

Before you start the fix, you should check if certain keys or the entire keyboard is broken physically.

If you are using an external USB/PS2 keyboard, you can connect it to another computer for a check. If the keyboard is still locked and you can’t type anything, perhaps the keyboard is physically damaged. If the issue disappears on a different computer, it should be a software problem and you can try the following methods to fix it.

Method 1: Turn Off Filter Keys

If the entire keyboard is locked, perhaps you have turned on the Filter Keys feature suddenly. If you hold down the right Shift key for 8 seconds, a tone will appear and the FilterKeys icon can be seen in the system tray. At this time, you find the keyboard is locked and you can’t type anything.

Step 2: Scroll down to Keyboard and then turn off Sticky Keys and Filter Keys.

Method 2: Disable the NumLock Key

If you press the NumLock key on the keyboard, pressing the right-side number keys cannot work since they are locked. To unlock the key characters on the keyboard, turn off the NumLock Key by pressing it again.

Method 3: Update or Reinstall the Keyboard Driver

The keyboard may get locked because of an outdated or faulty driver. How to unlock keyboard in this case? Updating or reinstalling the keyboard driver is a good solution to let your keyboard back to work.

Step 1: In Windows 10/11, right-click the Start button to choose Device Manager.

Step 2: Expand Keyboards, right-click your keyboard and choose Update driver or Uninstall device.

To update the driver, you can let Windows search for and install the latest driver or browse your computer to choose the downloaded driver to install.

To reinstall the keyboard driver, you can go to the website from your manufacturer to get a new driver and install it on the PC.

After that, your keyboard should be unlocked and you can type anything.

Another situation: how to unlock keyboard on laptop Windows 10/11

If you are using a laptop like HP, there is a touchpad and you can see a small LED next to it. The light is the sensor of the touchpad. You may disable the touchpad by double tap. To unlock keyboard on HP laptop, double tap the light again.

Final Words

Is your keyboard locked? How to unlock keyboard in Windows 10/11? Try these solutions mentioned above and you can easily solve this issue.

— Update: 26-02-2023 — found an additional article Keyboard is locked; How to unlock a Locked Keyboard from the website for the keyword keyboard is locked how to unlock a locked keyboard.

If you are planning to take your PC for a repair because your keyboard has stopped working suddenly, wait – your keyboard might have got locked accidentally. Yes, the keyboard gets locked if you use Win+Ctrl+L, there are a few other reasons like an outdated driver, dirt, physical damage, or lose connection, if you are using a wired keyboard. Let’s see how can we fix this.

Keyboard is locked on Windows computer

How to unlock a Locked Keyboard on PC

Try the following suggestions to resolve the issue on your Windows computer:

  1. Filter keys
  2. Restart your computer
  3. Check batteries
  4. Check for physical damage or dirt
  5. Check for the connections
  6. Update your drivers.

1] Filter Keys

This is the first reason why your computer keyboard gets locked accidentally. Filter Keys turn on if you press the right shift key for 8 seconds, which of course can happen accidentally. When your Filter Keys are on, your keyboard won’t work at all. All the keys including the function keys, and num lock key, everything will stop working.

To turn off the Filter Keys–

  • Go to Settings > Accesibility > Keyboard and turn them off.
  • If your keyboard is still not working, check the other fixes below.

2] Restart your computer

Restarting your computer can fix most of the temporary bugs and that includes your locked keyboard too. Simply close the applications running on your system, save your work and restart your computer. If your keyboard is stuck due to any temporary bug or issue, this will most definitely solve your problem. If it didn’t, check the next Fix.

3] Check batteries

If you are using a wireless keyboard on your PC or laptop, make sure the batteries aren’t drained out. Change the batteries and check again if it is working or not.

4] Check for physical damage or dirt

Check if your keyboard is physically damaged or broken. Check if there is dust or dirt under the keys blocking them. Clean your keyboard and check again. If you can’t see any damage, try using another keyboard with your PC and see if that works. If it does, it means the problem is with your keyboard and not the computer.

Read: Tips to physically clean your PC, mouse, and keyboard

5] Check the connections

If you are using a wired keyboard with your system, check that it is properly connected and if you are using a Bluetooth keyboard, check if the Bluetooth connection is working fine or not. A bad/damaged USB cable or port can also be the reason why your keyboard is not working. Plugin your keyboard into another USB port and check.  Again, you can check this by using another keyboard on your machine. Fir Bluetooth keyboards, unpair your keyboard, restart the Bluetooth and pair it again. It should work if there was an issue with your Bluetooth connection.

Read: Bluetooth keyboard or mouse keeps going to Sleep

6] Update your drivers

If none of the above-mentioned fixes is working for you, the issue might be with the keyboard drivers on your PC.  A faulty or outdated driver can certainly be the reason why your keyboard has stopped working. Follow one of the methods below to update your device drivers:

  1. You may check for Driver & Optional Updates via Windows Update to update your drivers
  2. You may visit the manufacturer’s site to download the drivers.
  3. Use a free driver update software
  4. If you have the INF driver file already on your computer then:
    • Open Device Manager.
    • Click the driver category to expand the menu.
    • Then choose the relevant driver and right-click on it.
    • Select Update Driver.
    • Follow the on-screen wizard to finish updating your audio drivers.

Why my keyboard has stopped working?

There can be many different reasons like Filter keys turned on, outdated keyboard drivers, dirt clogging your keyboard, etc. Check for the fixes above to unlock your keyboard.

How to open the On-Screen Keyboard?

— Update: 18-03-2023 — found an additional article How to Unlock a Locked Keyboard in Windows from the website for the keyword keyboard is locked how to unlock a locked keyboard.

There is perhaps no glitch more frustrating than a locked-up keyboard. It’s one thing to have the whole PC freeze up, and quite another to just have your keyboard become unresponsive.

It’s even worse on a laptop since the keyboard isn’t just a cheap wired peripheral you can replace easily. Still, there is no need to panic.

A locked keyboard can result from a variety of factors other than a hardware fault, and most of these are quite easy to fix. Here are all the methods for getting a locked keyboard working again in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Why Does a Keyboard Get Locked?

There are a variety of reasons why your keyboard may not be responsive. The Filter Keys may have been activated, the device might be running on outdated drivers, or the keyboard just might not be connected properly.

Then there are hardware issues to consider, from a dead battery in a wireless keyboard to physically stuck keys. And of course, it’s always possible that the keyboard is simply done for and you need a replacement.

You can get by for a while with the on-screen keyboard, which lets you click buttons on a virtual keyboard. Ultimately, however, you need to find the root of the problem and fix it.

Fix 1: Ensure the Keyboard Is Actually Locked

Before you rush into trying out methods to unlock a locked keyboard, take a few minutes to determine if that’s really the issue. You might be confusing a hung computer with a locked keyboard.

Try using your mouse (or the touchpad on a laptop), and see if the pointer moves or not. If there is stuttering in its movement, you are dealing with an unresponsive computer. It’s only if the mouse works properly that you know it’s your keyboard that has locked up.

You may also see other keyboard issues rather than a locked keyboard. Repeating keys, for example, can make typing very difficult, even though the keyboard is technically working.

Fix 2: Restart the Computer

You have probably done this already, but it bears repeating. Restarting the PC usually fixes most temporary issues, such as unresponsive peripherals or memory errors.

And keep in mind that using the Shutdown option might not be enough. Most modern computers simply save their memory states and reload them after a shut down to improve booting speed.

You have to expressly use the Restart option from the Power options to ensure the computer actually turns itself off.

Fix 3: Turn Off Filter Keys

The number one reason for a locked keyboard is the Filter Keys function. This is an accessibility feature meant to make typing easier for those with hand tremors, Filter Keys frequently trips up unsuspecting users by triggering when they least suspect it.

The way it works is simple: holding the Shift key for more than 8 seconds brings up a dialog box for enabling Filter Keys. If you accidentally hit the Spacebar or select Yes, it goes into effect.

While Filter Keys is active, all short keypresses are ignored. Only keys held down for a few seconds are registered as input. This makes it seem as if the computer keyboard has been locked up.

Fixing it is simple. Unless you plan on making use of this feature, you can just turn off Filter Keys on your computer. This is found under Ease of Access settings, alongside other accessibility features like Sticky keys.

  1. To disable Filter Keys, open Settings from the Start Menu by clicking on the gear icon.
  1. Select the Accessibility tab.
  1. Scroll down and click on Keyboard to open all options related to it. The Filter Keys option is right there at the top, along with Sticky Keys. Disable the toggle to turn it off.

Fix 4: Reconnect the Keyboard

Reconnecting the keyboard with the computer is obviously not an option for a laptop keyboard, but it can do the trick for external keyboards. It’s common for keyboard input not to register due to an improper connection.

For a wired keyboard, this means unplugging the USB cable and inserting it again. In a wireless keyboard, you need to do the same with the receiver dongle.

Try using a different USB port as well, since the port used heavily might have gotten loose or could be malfunctioning. Especially if you are using a USB hub of some sort – the problem might lie in the hub rather than the keyboard.

Fix 5: Replace the Batteries

This one is not applicable to wired keyboards, as they draw power from the PC itself. But a wireless keyboard runs on cells, and might not be working simply because a battery has died.

Such keyboards also have an on/off switch which you can toggle to check if it starts working – a flagging battery usually gives you some more juice when powered on like that again. That’s a sign that you need to change the batteries.


Fix 6: Check for Stuck Keys

It’s more common to have a few malfunctioning keys than a completely dead keyboard. What usually happens is that a particular key gets stuck in the depressed position, preventing any other keys from registering.

Carefully go over your keyboard, checking each key to see if it is physically working. A key might be broken, or simply stuck due to dirt or debris. Cleaning out the dirt to free the key is all that you need to do in this situation.

If you have accidentally spilled a liquid on your keyboard, cleaning it is going to take more work. You’ll have to take it apart and clean the inner membrane, using an alcohol swab to wipe away any sticky residue.

Fix 7: Reinstall Device Drivers

Drivers for basic input devices like keyboards come installed on your computer by default, making it unnecessary to update them. But sometimes these drivers get corrupted or messed up by accident, leading to a locked keyboard.

Reinstalling the keyboard drivers is the fix for such cases. You don’t even need to search for the appropriate drivers online – simply uninstall the keyboard and restart the computer. Microsoft Windows will automatically install the appropriate drivers for you.

  1. To reinstall the keyboard drivers, open the Device Manager from the Control Panel. You can also search for it from the Start Menu.
  1. Here you will see a list of all hardware devices connected to your computer. Expand the Keyboards section.
  1. Right-click on the problematic keyboard and select Uninstall device.
  1. A dialog box will appear, confirming your choice. Select the Uninstall button to continue.
  1. Restart the computer. The Windows operating system will reinstall the keyboard driver by itself.

There is also an Update Driver option in the Device Manager that you can use if you don’t wish to uninstall the device.

What Is the Best Way to Unlock a Locked Keyboard?

A keyboard can be locked due to a multitude of reasons. As such, there is no one method to unlock all locked keyboards – what works on one system might not be the right solution for another. So you have to go for a scattershot approach.

Start by disabling Filter Keys, and properly restarting the computer. If that doesn’t do the trick, move on to the keyboard itself. Replace its batteries (for a wireless keyboard), check for stuck keys, and plug it into a different USB port.

At this stage, you have ruled out all common factors of an unresponsive keyboard. You can try reinstalling the driver, though that’s rarely the issue. If your keyboard still isn’t working, it’s time to replace it.

— Update: 19-03-2023 — found an additional article How to unlock a keyboard that’s locked from the website for the keyword keyboard is locked how to unlock a locked keyboard.

A locked keyboard is great if you don’t want to accidentally hit the keys or to prevent kids and pets from making changes to your computer without your knowledge, but if you can’t unlock it, that’s a real problem that needs fixing. Fortunately, if your keyboard is unresponsive, there are a few things you can do to get it working again.

Here’s how to unlock a keyboard that’s locked.

Check USB dongles and USB cables

As is the case with wireless mice, wireless keyboards also come with their own USB dongles. You may have inadvertently moved the PC around or the dongle may have come loose over time. Remove the USB dongle from its port and reinsert it. If that doesn’t do the trick, consider that maybe the dongle has become faulty.

If you’re using a wired keyboard, try unplugging it and replugging it again, too.

Switch the on/off button

Sometimes the solution to the issue of a locked keyboard can be as simple as flipping a switch. In the case of wireless keyboards, the majority of them have an on/off button in order to preserve the battery. Check if the button is switched on.

Consider replacing the battery, as that may have run out of juice. It might be that you’re out of battery rather than dealing with a locked keyboard.

Updating drivers

The keyboard may have stopped working because the driver is outdated or a system glitch may have corrupted it. Whatever the case may be, updating the keyboard drivers may unlock your locked keyboard.

Furthermore, if you select the Properties option from that same drop-down list, Windows will tell you if it finds any problems with the driver itself.

Via @:

It’s more or less the same process for older versions of Windows such as Windows 7. Simply open the Device manager, navigate toward wherever your keyboard is listed, right-click on it, and finally click the Update driver button.

Please note that if you have a wireless keyboard, it may not show up as what’s listed for a standard laptop keyboard (Standard PS/2 keyboard).

Uninstalling and reinstalling drivers

If updating your driver fails to unlock your keyboard, try this method instead (use at your own risk).

Step 1: Go to Device manager on Windows. Right-click the keyboard entry and select the Uninstall device tab.

Step 2: Restart your PC. When it reboots, it should install the keyboard driver for you.

If it doesn’t, attach another keyboard to your system if you can, go to the manufacturer’s website for the locked keyboard, and download the necessary drivers.

Alternatively, follow this procedure on another machine entirely, save it to a USB/external hard drive, and use your mouse to install it on the affected system.

Disabling sticky and filter key functions on Windows 10/7

You may have accidentally locked your keyboard due to the sticky and filter key functions being enabled.

Step 1: On Windows 10, open Settings, and then select the Ease of access tab. Scroll down to the Interaction section on the sidebar and select Keyboard. Turn off Filter keys and Sticky keys with their corresponding switches with your mouse.

Other general solutions

Step 1: Restart your computer: Yes, it might seem like an obvious solution, but you’d be surprised at how many people have unlocked the keyboard after just restarting their machine. Try it.

Step 2: On-screen keyboard: This is more of a temporary solution, but it’s still effective nevertheless. On Windows 10, open the Keyboard section within Ease of access and switch on the Use the on-screen keyboard button.

This could at the very least allow you to type on your system, albeit via a much longer procedure. For example, you could type in the necessary search term for drivers that you can download for your keyboard (be sure to make sure it’s from the manufacture’s official website).

Step 3: Mechanical damage: Your keyboard may not be working anymore due to certain mechanical damage the product has been affected with. For example, you may have dropped it on the floor and that could have broken some of the modules inside the keyboard itself. Similarly, you may have spilled some water or coffee on it.

To this end, connect the keyboard to another system and see if it works. If it doesn’t, it’s likely you’ll simply need to buy a new keyboard. Here are our favorite keyboards.

If you have a laptop and none of the aforementioned fixes have unlocked your keyboard, then it may be time to get it examined at a trusted PC repair outlet.

Johanna Parkin/Getty Images

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— Update: 20-03-2023 — found an additional article How to Unlock a Keyboard That's Locked from the website for the keyword keyboard is locked how to unlock a locked keyboard.

What happens when your computer or laptop keyboard locks up? It could be caused by a few different things, and there are several ways to get it working again. Here's how to unlock a keyboard that's acting up.

What Causes a Keyboard to Lock Up?

Any number of problems can cause your keyboard to lock or freeze up. You may have inadvertently pressed a key combination that causes your keyboard to hibernate (this is especially true on a laptop), of your keyboard, may not be properly connected to your system. If using a wireless keyboard, it's possible that there's a connection problem. Regardless of the issue, a keyboard that's locked isn't very useful, so you need to get it going again as quickly as possible.

How to Fix a Keyboard That's Locked

The method you'll use to fix your keyboard if it's locked or frozen will depend on the cause of the problem, but these troubleshooting steps should work. These solutions are listed from the easiest and most likely to work to harder, but could possibly work. So, try each step in order until you find the solution that gets your keyboard active again.

  1. Restart your computer. It seems like a simple fix, but for some reason, restarting a computer can clear up all kinds of issues. At the very least, if your keyboard is locked up because of some issue with a program or application you’re using, restarting the computer can close out that program and release your keyboard from its death grip.

    Restarting may also fix the problem if what's actually going on is that your computer is frozen, and not just the keyboard. If that's the case, the issue is probably not with the keyboard at all.

  2. Turn off Filter Keys. Filter Keys is a feature in Windows that lets you ignore repeated keys or slows down the keyboard repeat rate. You enable or disable it by depressing the right Shift key for 8 seconds. You should hear a beep and a brief message will flash on the screen.

    If you've accidentally enabled Filter Keys, it could be the cause of your keyboard not working. Try disabling to get functionality back.

  3. Try your keyboard with a different computer. If you’re using an external keyboard, try connecting it to another computer. You can even install a wireless keyboard on another computer to see if the issue is with the keyboard or the computer.

    If the keyboard works with the other computer, then the problem you’re facing is with the machine and you may need to open the Device Manager to see if your keyboard is being recognized by your computer, especially if it seems a USB-connected keyboard isn’t being recognized.

  4. If using a wireless keyboard, replace the batteries. Even brand new batteries can fail, so even if you've recently changed the batteries in your wireless keyboard, try replacing them with fresh batteries.

    It's also possible that the USB dongle that the keyboard connects through could be loose or not well seated in the USB port. Try unplugging it and then reconnecting it.

  5. Clean your keyboard. A dirty keyboard may result in keys that don’t work or get stuck, and a key that is stuck in the depressed position could be preventing any other keys from responding.

  6. Check your keyboard for physical damage. Frayed cords, broken keys, and cracks in the housing could cause a computer keyboard to experience mechanical failure. If this is the issue, you'll need to replace the keyboard completely.

  7. Check your keyboard connection. If you're using a wired keyboard, make sure the plug is properly seated in the USB port and that the end connecting to the keyboard is intact and undamaged. The best way to do this is to completely disconnect the keyboard and then reconnect it.

    If you're using a wireless keyboard, the USB dongle that the keyboard connects through should also be properly seated in the USB port. Try completely disconnecting it and then re-pairing the keyboard to the computer to get a clean, fresh start.

  8. Update or reinstall the device drivers. A corrupted or out-of-date device driver could cause connection issues between your keyboard and your computer whether it’s wired or wireless. Try updating the device driver.

    If that doesn’t work, then you can completely uninstall and reinstall the device driver. You may need to download drivers from the manufacturers’ website.

When to Replace Your Keyboard

If none of these troubleshooting steps get your keyboard working again, then it might be time to replace your keyboard. There are plenty of wireless keyboards, ergonomic keyboards, and keyboards that are designed for specific purposes, like wireless gaming keyboards, to choose from. So, maybe a keyboard that’s locked and can’t be unlocked is a good opportunity to upgrade to something better.


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