How to Fix Stuck Keyboard Buttons

Let's say you're typing the last words of your quarterly report and suddenly your computer keyboard gets stuck. Luckily, we have some simple solutions to clean your keyboard. Sticky buttons are caused by dirt and debris trapped in the keyboard, and can sometimes be caused by spilled drinks or other sticky substances. The article below offers solutions for all of these causes.

Shake the keyboard

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Unplug the keyboard cable. If it is a laptop, you need to turn it off first.

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Turn the keyboard face down. Hold the keyboard (or laptop) at a certain angle so that the keyboard is facing the floor.

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Gently shake the keyboard to let the debris fall to the table or floor.

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Scan dirt on the keyboard. If there is still debris on the keyboard, you can wipe it clean.

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Check the buttons to see if they are working normally.

Blow the keyboard clean

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Buy a compressed air sprayer. You can find compressed air sprayers at most electronics stores.

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Turn off the computer. If you are using a desktop computer, unplug the keyboard cord from the computer.

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Use a can of air to gently blow around and under stuck keys. Do not tilt the jar as the liquid may spill out.

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Sweep away dirt. If dust or food is blown out, wipe it off the keyboard.

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Try pressing the keys. Check to see if the button is unstuck.

Clean sticky keys

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Clean up spilled liquid on the keyboard. If you spill water on the keyboard, disconnect the device and wipe off the liquid.

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Use alcohol to wipe if the liquid has dried up. You need to make sure you unplug the keyboard or power off the computer first. If the liquid has mostly dried on the key surface, you can use a cotton swab soaked in alcohol to wipe it off.

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Wipe above the keys to make sure the keyboard is no longer sticky.

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Use a cotton swab to wipe around the edges. Wipe around the keys to clean the area between the key caps and the keyboard.

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Check to see if the keys are unstuck. After the alcohol dries, check to see if the keyboard can be used normally.

Disassemble the key to clean underneath

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Gently pry out the stuck key. Use a screwdriver or flat-headed tool to insert underneath the key and gently pry from one of the edges. You can also pry with your fingernails.

For laptops (whether PC or Mac), the keycaps are held in place by thin plastic tabs that act as springs. Each type of keyboard has a different button structure, so the way to disassemble the keyboard is also different depending on the type. You should read the manual if you don't know how to remove the keycaps on the keyboard.

For mechanical keyboards, you should not pry up the buttons. Most keyboards of this type often come with a key puller to remove each keycap from the keyboard.

Do not remove all the buttons at once because you may forget the location of each key. You should only remove one or two keys at a time.

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Carefully clean the inside of the button and the space on the keyboard where you just removed the key. Clean out any debris or substances stuck in the key caps or hinges below. You can use tweezers or a toothpick.

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Use a cotton swab soaked in alcohol to clean the dirty area. You need to make sure you absorb enough alcohol so it doesn't drip.

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Let the buttons and keyboard dry completely. Do not leave any liquid on the keys, including rubbing alcohol.

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Reattach the button to its original position. Gently press the key down. The button must pop into the correct position.

For laptops, reattach the plastic tab to the original anchor position and then place the keycap into the hole you took out of the keyboard.

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Check the button to see if it's no longer stuck. If not, you need to take the keyboard to a computer repairman.

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