Is your Windows key not working on Windows 11?
The Windows key is crucial for a positive computing experience. It not only launches the Start menu but also performs several shortcut functions. This includes launching various applications such as Settings, the Windows widget panel, and so on.
But if your Windows key suddenly stops functioning, it might interfere with how you use your computer. Before you begin troubleshooting the Windows key not working on Windows 11, you must first determine the origin of the problem.
There are a variety of potential causes for the Windows key’s malfunction, including a software bug, an outdated driver, and more. To assist you, we have included several methods in this guide so that you don’t need to look any further to resolve the issue.
So, continue reading to find out!
1. Clean and Reconnect Your Keyboard.
When you realize the Windows key is not working on Windows 11, the very first thing that you can do is check your keyboard. Sometimes, dust particles or dirt specks may cause one of your keyboard keys not to work. In that case, use cotton swabs, a keyboard brush, or a cloth to clean the keys.
If you’re using an external keyboard, disconnect it from your PC and reconnect it again. Even if that doesn’t work and you have a spare keyboard, you may try to connect it and check if that solves your problem.
2. Reboot Your PC.
A simple computer reboot can refresh your system and help you get rid of any temporary minor glitches. So, if you’re sure the problem isn’t in your keyboard, try restarting your PC and check if that gets your Windows key to work.
Simply follow these steps below:
- Press and hold the Power button until your PC shuts down completely.
- Then, wait for a few seconds and press the Power button again to restart the computer.
3. Unlock the Windows Key Lock.
Some keyboards come with a switch or button that you can lock and unlock the Win key with. This is usually common with modern gaming keyboards to prevent users from accidentally pressing it while gaming. The Windows key may also not work if you’ve pressed it by mistake. In that case, you have to disable or unlock it.
- Look for the Key Lock on the top-right side of your keyboard, along the fn keys, or on the side in the form of a switch.
- Disable or unlock it. If you’re unsure how to check the user manual from your keyboard’s manufacturer.
4. Run Keyboard Troubleshooter.
Another reason for the Windows key not working on Windows 11 may be corrupted keyboard files. Windows Troubleshooter may help in such cases by detecting and suggesting fixes for your problem.
Here’s how to run the keyboard troubleshooter on your PC:
- Go to the Start menu and click on Settings.
- When the window opens, select System from the left pane.
- Find the tab Troubleshoot situated on the right side of the screen and click on it.
- After that, select the Other troubleshooters option.
- Locate the tile that reads Keyboard and click on the Run button next to it.
- Once the troubleshooting process is done, close the Settings app.
- Reboot your computer to ensure the changes have been made.
5. Update Keyboard Drivers.
An outdated or faulty keyboard driver may sometimes interfere with your keyboard’s functioning. This may result in some keys of your keyboard not working, including the Windows key. In such a situation, you must ensure that your keyboard drivers are up to date. If not, update them to the latest version to fix the issue.
Here’s what you need to do:
- First, launch the Start menu, and in the search bar, type Device Manager.
- Then, from the results appearing below, select the Device Manager tile.
- Once it opens, locate Keyboards and double-click on it to view the options.
- From there, right-click the current keyboard device name and select Update driver. A new window will appear on your screen.
- If you want Windows to install and update the driver, click on Search for the driver automatically. Or else select Browse my computer for driver software to look for the driver via the internet.
- Once the driver has been updated with its latest version, check to see if the issue still persists.
6. Disable Game Mode.
Microsoft has introduced a Game Mode in the latest Windows updates, allowing users to have an outstanding gaming experience without the interference of notifications, etc. This mode also disables background processes and certain keyboard keys. So, if your Windows key is not working, consider disabling the gaming mode.
To do so, follow these steps:
- Head to the Start menu and select the Settings app.
- From the left pane, click on the Gaming tab.
- Select the Game Mode tile from the right side of the window.
- Then, switch off the toggle next to Game Mode.
7. Disable Filter Keys, Sticky Keys, and Toggle Keys.
If there’s any problem with keyboard accessibility features, such as the Filter keys, Sticky keys, or Toggle keys, it may cause your keyboard keys to stop functioning. The best fix for this is to disable all of these features.
- Click on the Start menu and select the Settings tile.
- Then, select the Accessibility tab from the left pane.
- On the right section of the screen, look for the Keyboard option under Interaction and click on it.
- Turn off the toggles next to Filter Keys, Sticky Keys, and Toggle Keys.
- Restart your PC to confirm the changes.
8. Scan PC for Malware or Virus.
There’s also a possibility that a virus or malware may have attacked your PC. These malicious files may interfere with the Windows key of your keyboard, preventing it from working correctly. Therefore, consider running a quick scan on your PC to check for any malicious activity.
Here’s what you should do:
- Go to the Start menu and search for Windows Security in the search bar.
- Open the app and click on the Virus & threat protection tab from the left pane.
- On the right side of the screen, click on the Quick Scan option.
- Perform the scan to remove any corrupted files from your PC.
9. Boot into Safe Mode.
If all else fails to solve your problem, rebooting your computer into Safe Mode may prove to be helpful. This mode uses limited processes, files, drivers, etc., to boot the system and is a great way to troubleshoot any Windows problem.
Follow these steps below to boot into Safe Mode:
- First, launch the Run dialogue box by pressing the Windows + R shortcut keys from your keyboard.
- Next, type msconfig.msc and press Enter to open System Configuration.
- Once the window opens, click on the Services tab and check the box next to Hide all Microsoft services.
- Then, click on the Disable all option.
- After that, click on Apply and OK to confirm changes.
- Now, go to the Boot tab and select the specific drive where Windows 11 OS is installed.
- Check the Safe boot box, then click on Apply and OK.
- Accept the prompt pop-up that appears, and your PC will reboot into Safe Mode.
This brings our guide on how to fix Windows key not working on Windows 11 to the end. If you have any questions regarding anything we’ve covered in this guide, utilize the comments section below. We’ll gladly help further.
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