How to Fix Ctrl Alt Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Want to learn how to fix Ctrl Alt Delete not working on Windows 11?

When your computer freezes or stops responding to all input actions, the Ctrl Alt Delete keyboard shortcut is the only thing that saves you and prevents data loss. This sequence brings up the Security options window, providing quick access to options like changing the password, accessing the Power menu, launching Task Manager, and more. 

Though these options are separately available on your computer otherwise, the Ctrl Alt Delete is pretty common among Windows users to perform these tasks quickly. But what if the sequence that’s supposed to help you out of an emergency stops working itself?

Many users have reportedly encountered this issue recently with little or zero know-how of how to fix it. It mainly occurs due to malware affecting the computer or a malfunction in the keyboard. To learn various troubleshooting methods to fix Ctrl Alt Delete not working on Windows 11, simply go through this detailed guide below.

Now, let’s get started!

1. Restart Your Computer.

Temporary glitches are the most common cause behind most Windows-related issues. These can be easily removed by a simple system restart.

To do it, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the Start menu and click on the Power icon
  2. Then, select Restart
restart PC

Your PC will shut down and restart. Then, check if Ctrl Alt Delete not working on Windows 11 issue is fixed or not. 

2. Check Your Keyboard.

Now before you dive deeper into more serious troubleshooting methods, it’s best to check if the issue lies in the keyboard keys. You can do so by connecting your keyboard to another computer and trying the Ctrl Alt Del sequence. 

Since most keyboards come with two sets of the specified keys, you need to try a few different combinations in case any one key is problematic. However, if all six keys have an issue, connect an extra keyboard if you have one or try other fixes listed below.

Ctrl Alt Delete Not Working on Windows 11

3. Repair Keyboard Drivers.

If you notice that none of the keys are broken and respond to your input occasionally, the keyboard itself may not need replacement. Whenever a peripheral stops working unexpectedly, you should check if its related drivers need to be repaired, as outdated or corrupted drivers prevent it from functioning properly.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Begin by right-clicking on the Start menu and choosing Device Manager from the Power User menu. 
  2. Locate Keyboards and double-click on it to expand.
keyboard in device manager
  1. From there, right-click on the driver you want to update and select Update driver
update keyboard driver
  1. A new window will appear. Click on Search automatically for drivers to proceed. 
Ctrl Alt Delete Not Working on Windows 11
  1. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to update the keyboard driver. 
  2. If there’s no update available, right-click on the driver again and click on Uninstall device
uninstall device windows 11
  1. Select Uninstall again from the confirmatory prompt. 
  2. Lastly, reboot your PC, and Ctrl Alt Delete should be able to work now. 

4. Restart Windows Explorer.

Issues in Windows Explorer can result in all sorts of issues, including the Security options window not showing up when pressing the Ctrl Alt Del keys on your keyboard. But you can easily fix it by restarting Windows Explorer to refresh its related processes.

Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu to access the Power User menu. 
  2. From there, click on Task Manager
  3. A Task Manager window will show up. From the Processes tab, look for Windows Explorer in the list and click on it. 
  4. Now, select Restart task from the top bar. 
restart task in task manager

This fix should solve the Ctrl Alt Delete not working on Windows 11. 

5. Check for Windows Update.

Fortunately, you can fix almost all your system issues with a quick update in the software version. For this reason, you must keep your Windows OS updated to the latest available version. By doing so, you eliminate all software bugs and get the latest drivers, security updates, improved performance, and more.

Here’s how to ensure your system is running on the latest OS:

  1. Go to Settings by pressing Win + i keys from your keyboard. 
  2. From the left pane, click on the Windows Update tab. 
windows update in settings
  1. Now, select the Check for updates option. 
check for updates in windows 11
  1. Windows will take some time to show you any available updates. If there’s one available, click on the Download & install button to update your OS version. 

6. Close Processes With Task Manager.

The Ctrl Alt Delete sequence that comes in handy whenever your PC stops responding can ironically fail to work in the hour of need. Luckily, you can also use the Ctrl Shift Esc hotkeys in this situation to launch the Task Manager quickly.

From there, you can quit the processes or applications responsible for Ctrl Alt Delete not working on Windows 11 to fix the issue.

task manager windows 11

7. Run DISM and SFC Scan.

Unexpected errors can occur if your system files get corrupted or damaged. Fortunately, Windows provides in-built command-line tools to help fix the issue. These include SFC and DISM scans which can be subsequently run on the computer.

Below are the steps you must follow:

  1. Open the Start menu and select the search bar. 
  2. Type out ‘Command Prompt’ in the search bar, then click on Run as administrator from the search results. 
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type in the SFC scan command and press the Enter key:
SFC /scannow
sfc scan
  1. After the SFC scan is finished detecting and fixing the issue copy and paste the following commands, then hit the Enter key after each command: 
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Ctrl Alt Delete Not Working on Windows 11
  1. Once all the commands have been executed, reboot your computer and check if the problem persists. If yes, move to the next solution from this method. 

8. Run a Malware Scan.

It’s possible that your system got attacked by a virus or malware, rendering certain features and softwares inoperable. To determine whether that’s the reason behind Ctrl Alt Delete not working on Windows 11, run a malware scan on your system. This will help you diagnose and resolve the problem if any.

Follow the steps below to do it: 

  1. In the Settings app, click on Privacy & security from the left pane. 
  2. Next, select Windows Security
  3. Now, click on Virus & threat protection.
virus & threat protection
  1. Choose Scan options
  2. From there, select Full scan to check your PC for any malware or virus. 
Ctrl Alt Delete Not Working on Windows 11

9. Perform a System Restore.

If you started experiencing the Ctrl Alt Delete not working on Windows 11 issue recently after installing an unstable application or modifying settings, etc., you might have accidentally damaged the critical system settings. But you can reverse these changes by going to a previously saved restore point.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the Start menu, type out ‘create a restore point’ and select the same from the search results. 
Ctrl Alt Delete Not Working on Windows 11
  1. This will open the System Properties window. From there, choose the System Restore button under System Protection tab.
system restore windows 11
  1. Now, click on Next
  2. Click on the restore point that you want to restore your computer to and select Next
  3. Select Finish to start the restoring process. 
Ctrl Alt Delete Not Working on Windows 11

This concludes our guide on how to fix Ctrl Alt Delete not working on Windows 11. If you have any clarifications regarding this topic, feel free to utilize the comments section below. We’ll be happy to assist further. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 😊


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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