In the digital world, Dell laptops are renowned for their robust and user-friendly features. However, like all technology, users may occasionally encounter hurdles. One such challenge that Dell laptop users often grapple with is a locked keyboard. This issue can disrupt your workflow or gaming session, making it essential to know how to unlock keyboard on Dell laptop. This feature, designed to prevent unintentional key presses, can be toggled on or off using specific key combinations.
However, various factors, such as switching the device to tablet mode, driver issues, or third-party keyboard software, may inadvertently lock your Dell laptop’s keyboard. This comprehensive guide will navigate you through the process of unlocking your Dell laptop’s keyboard, ensuring you can restore its functionality and continue your digital journey seamlessly.
Best Ways to Unlock Keyboard On Dell Laptop
1. Check for Fn Key Lock
- Identify if only the Function row isn’t working.
- If so, the Fn key lock might be the culprit. The Fn key, when combined with another key, can cause the Function row to become locked.
- To resolve this, press the (Fn + Esc) keys to disable the Fn key lock. The unlocking combination may differ depending on your device model.
2. Run Dell SupportAssist
- Open the Dell SupportAssist application.
- Click on the Troubleshooting tab.
- Select “I want to check a specific piece of hardware”.
- Scroll down and select the Keyboard from the list.
- On the new window, perform the tasks as displayed on the screen.
- If you find an issue, you can try and address it manually or contact Dell for further assistance.
3. Change Device to Laptop Mode
- If you use your Dell laptop in tablet mode, that may cause the keyboard to stop responding or become locked.
- To fix this, you will need to switch your device back to laptop mode from tablet mode.
- For devices running Windows 10, click on the Action Centre from the taskbar, then click on Tablet mode to disable the function.
- For devices running Windows 11, you can restore the keyboard functionality by simply reposing the device back to laptop mode.
4. Unlock Using Num Lock
- If only the number pad isn’t working, check if the Num lock key is disabled.
- If that is the case, the keys will perform their alternate function instead of typing numbers.
- To fix this, press the key and see if the Num Lock light turns on.
5. Disable Filter Keys
- Your Dell laptop’s keyboard might respond slowly or not register any keys pressed if you have enabled the Filter keys setting.
- Disabling this function can restore the responsiveness of the keyboard.
- From the lock screen, click on the Accessibility option.
- Toggle Filter keys to Off from the menu.
6. Reinstall Drivers
- The issue may also arise if drivers are corrupt or malfunctioning.
- To fix this, you will need to reinstall the keyboard drivers.
- Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
- Type devmgmt.msc to open the Device Manager.
- Expand the Keyboard label by double-clicking on it.
- Right-click on the affected device and select Uninstall device.
- On the confirmation window, select Uninstall again to begin the uninstallation.
- After uninstalling, restart your device normally. The generic keyboard drivers will be installed automatically during the booting process. After the device boots successfully, check and see if the keyboard works properly.
7. Uninstall Third Party Applications
- If you have third-party programs installed on your device, they may cause issues like keys freezing, keys being bound to nothing, or problems with the device drivers.
- Uninstalling such applications can help solve the issue.
- Open the Settings app.
- On the Apps tab, click on Installed Apps.
- From the list, select the application.
- Click on the dotted button and select Uninstall.
- Again, click on Uninstall to begin the process.
8. Enable Keyboard from Command Prompt
- If you have recently used the command prompt to disable your laptop’s keyboard, this can cause it to stop functioning.
- To re-enable the keyboard, first, log into your device using the on-screen keyboard.
- Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
- Type cmd and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open command prompt with elevated access.
- On the command console, type “sc config i8042prt start= auto“.
- Reboot your device and check if the keyboard functions normally.
9. Load BIOS Defaults
- Another way to restore the keyboard function is to load the BIOS to the default configuration. Sometimes due to the BIOS settings, the keyboard can malfunction or stop working altogether.
- Restart your device and repeatedly press the BIOS key.
- From the BIOS menu, search for labels like ‘Load optimized defaults’, ‘Reset settings’ or ‘Load defaults’.
- Confirm the selection by pressing the appropriate key and exiting the BIOS.
- Boot your device normally and check if the keyboard is working.
Remember, the best solution for you will depend on your specific needs and the features you value most. By understanding the unique features and benefits of each solution, you can make an informed decision and keep your keyboard running smoothly.