In situations where you do not intend to use the keyboard keys and are afraid of accidentally pressing them, or if there are children around, it is useful to lock the keyboard. You can use certain key combinations or third-party tools for this, and then you can unlock the keyboard again when you’re ready to use it. But what if it won’t unlock?
In this guide, we will show you the method to unlock the keyboard and we will also discuss the troubleshooting methods you can try if you can’t unlock it.
1. Try the correct key combination
Depending on the manufacturer, different keyboards require different keys for unlocking and locking.
You can check if you are using the correct combination by going to the manufacturer’s official website and looking for the keyboard combinations there. Another solution that worked for users was to enable the on-screen keyboard and then press Win + L.
Here’s how to enable the on-screen keyboard on Windows 10:
- Launch Settings and go to Easy access section.
- click on Keyboard and then turn the switch on for Use the on-screen keyboard.
If you are a Windows 11 user, follow these steps:
- Launch the Settings app and select from the left pane Personalization.
- Scroll down in the right pane to find Task line option and select it.
- You can now activate Press the keyboard toggle in the taskbar corner icons. When you’re done, you should see a touch keyboard icon on the taskbar that can be launched by clicking on it.
When the on-screen keyboard is launched, press Win + L the keys together and see if that makes a difference.
If using the correct key combination did not work for you, the problem may be related to both the keyboard and the system.
Before we move on to the system related troubleshooting methods, we suggest that you make sure that the problem is not hardware related.
It is common for such problems to occur if the keys you are trying to use are broken, or if there is something physically wrong with the keyboard. In some cases, the problem occurred simply because the keyboard was too dirty to work!
The best way to test if this is the problem is to first clean the keyboard and then replace the batteries.
If changing the batteries doesn’t work either, try connecting the keyboard to another computer. If it works on another computer, it’s a software problem; if it doesn’t, then the problem is with the keyboard itself.
An experienced keyboard technician may be able to tell what is causing the problem better and suggest an appropriate solution in this latter scenario.
3. Update your keyboard drivers
If the problem is in the system, the first thing you should do is to update the keyboard drivers. You might be facing the problem if the drivers are outdated or corrupt and updating them can solve the problem once and for all.
You must use the on-screen keyboard for this method and those discussed later in this guide. That is why, before proceeding, make sure you activate it by following the steps we discussed above.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Windows Search, type “Device Manager” and click Open on the search result.
- In the following window, expand Keyboard section.
- Right click on the keyboard driver and select Update the driver.
- Now, click on Automatically search for drivers and wait until the system finds the updated version. When it finds it, the driver will be installed without much input on your part.
But if this doesn’t work, you can completely uninstall the driver and install a new version from the manufacturer’s website. Hopefully that will help you resolve the issue.
4. Disable Sticky and Filter Keys
In some cases, users were unable to unlock the keyboard because the sticky keys and filter keys were enabled. If you have enabled these features, we suggest you disable them and check if it works.
Here’s how to do it if you’re using Windows 10:
- Head over to the Settings app and get started Easy access settings.
- Select Keyboard from the left pane.
- Move to the right side of the window and turn off the switch for Sticky keys and Filter keys.
If you are a Windows 11 user, proceed here:
- Launch the Settings app and select availability from the left pane.
- Scroll down in the following window and click on Keyboard.
- Now turn off the switch for Sticky keys and Filter keys.
Once done, close the Settings app and try to unlock the keyboard now.
5. Run keyboard debugger
Keyboard-related issues can also be resolved using the built-in Windows troubleshooting tools. The most appropriate one to use in this case would be the Keyboard Troubleshooter which you can run using the Settings app.
To run the keyboard debugger:
- Launch the Settings app and select System from the left pane.
- click on Troubleshooting on the right side of the window and then navigate to Other debuggers.
- In the following screen, find the keyboard troubleshooter and click on Run the button for it.
Now wait for the troubleshooter to complete the process. If it finds any problems, click Apply this solution to implement the recommended fixes. If not, you can click the Close Debug option.
Unlock the keyboard easily
If you are not actively typing, locking the keyboard is a great trick to prevent any typing accidents. Should you have trouble unlocking the keyboard on your Windows system, hopefully the above methods will help you. If the problem persists, you may be able to solve it permanently by replacing the keyboard.