How to Unlock Keyboard on a Dell Laptop

A locked keyboard on the Dell laptop is frustrating and, at the same time, restricts work. However, before you run to a repair shop or become overwhelmed, please take a deep breath and relax because we have you covered!

This detailed article will look at some simple ways to unlock the keyboard on a Dell laptop and get it operating again. There’s no need to be a computer expert; let’s get started and try troubleshooting together!

I’ve already been there! after a long and hard day, I was eager to unwind with some gaming on my beloved Dell laptop. However, my frustration quickly changed to irritation when I discovered that my Dell keyboard was suddenly locked.

I had no notion what had created this problem at first. Instead of panicking, I took a big breath and investigated the issue. After some investigation and experimentation, I uncovered several typical causes of a locked Dell laptop keyboard.

Reasons for a Locked Dell Keyboard

  • Fn Lock: 

You’ve heard of the Fn key, right? It’s the one near the “Windows” button on your keyboard. It turns out that tapping this key by accident might cause your keyboard to lock.

Fn Lock
Fn key on Dell keyboard

Maybe I got carried away when typing, or maybe my young cousin played a trick on me while I was away – either way, it’s a simple error.

  • Outdated Keyboard Driver:

Another possibility is that the keyboard driver is out of date. If the driver becomes obsolete or corrupted, it might interfere with communication between my keyboard and the computer, resulting in a locked keyboard. Dealing with technical difficulties like this can be irritating, but we can fix it with patience.

  • Dead Wireless Keyboard Battery:

Batteries power wireless keyboards. If yours is dead, your wireless keyboard won’t work.

Dead Wireless Keyboard Battery
Low keyboard battery

Your keyboard can start to act strangely or stop working altogether if the battery is dead or getting low.

  • Num Lock: 

Your keyboard’s numeric pad has a key called Num Lock that you may use to regulate the functions that relate to numbers.

Num Lock
Numlock key

The numeric keys occasionally have a chance to accidentally activate this key, which prevents them from functioning properly.

  • Physical Damage: 

Accidents happen, and your keyboard might sustain some physical damage. Any damage, whether a broken key or a frayed wire, might cause keyboard locking problems.

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How Can I Unlock the Dell Laptop Keyboard?

Now that we know the possible causes let’s jump into the solutions:

Method 1: Reboot Your Computer

When dealing with a broken keyboard, the easiest and most effective solution is to restart your Dell laptop. Restarting the computer might cure transient software problems that may be causing the problem.

Reboot Your Computer

To restart your laptop, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Start Menu icon.
  2. Choose “Shut down” and wait for your laptop to shut off.
  3. Unplug the power cord and, if applicable, detach the panel to remove the laptop battery.
  4. Hold the power button for roughly 15 seconds to drain any remaining power.
  5. Allow your laptop to cool down if it becomes too hot.
  6. Turn on your laptop and confirm that the keyboard works properly.

Method 2: Unlock the Fn Key

Your keyboard’s Fn (Function) key may be locked, leading to some keys not responding as intended.

Examine Physical Damage
FN lock key on the keyboard

Here’s how you can get it:

  1. Find the Fn key on your keyboard, usually towards the bottom-left corner.
  2. If your keyboard contains a NumLock key, do the following
    • ┬áPress and hold the Fn key.
    • Press the NumLock key while holding down the Fn key. This should unlock the Fn key and restore regular keyboard operation.
  3. If your keyboard lacks a NumLock key, perform the following:
    • Press and hold the Fn key.
    • Press the Esc key while holding down the Fn key. This should activate the Fn key.

Method 3: Disable the NumLock Key

If the preceding technique did not work, the problem might be connected to the NumLock key.

Disable the NumLock Key

To unlock it, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Start Menu icon.
  2. Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Go to the “Ease of Access” subsection.
  4. Select “Keyboard” from the left-hand menu.
  5. Enable the “On-Screen Keyboard” option.
  6. If the NumLock key on the on-screen keyboard is not visible:
    • On the on-screen keyboard, press the Options key.
    • Tick the box next to “Turn on the numeric keypad“.
    • Click “OK” to bring up the on-screen keyboard’s NumLock key.
  7. On the on-screen keyboard, press the NumLock key.

Method 4: Discharge Static Electricity from Your Laptop

To reset your keyboard and eliminate any static-related issues, follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Power off your Dell laptop.
  2. Unplug the charger and, if applicable, remove the battery.
  3. Press and hold the power button for 40 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Reattach the battery (if it was removable), plug in the charger, and turn on your laptop.

By discharging static electricity using this method, you can potentially unlock your keyboard and restore smooth typing. Give it a try and see the magic unfold!

Method 5: Install a New Keyboard Driver

Keyboard problems might be caused by outdated or faulty keyboard drivers. To update the keyboard drivers on your Dell laptop, follow these steps:

Install a New Keyboard Driver
  1. To maintain a consistent internet connection, connect your laptop to a secure WiFi connection.
  2. To access the Device Manager, right-click the Start button and choose “Device Manager.
  3. Expand the “Keyboards” area in the Device Manager window.
  4. Uninstall the drivers for any external keyboards that are linked to your laptop:
    • Right-click on each external keyboard driver and choose Properties.
    • Select “Uninstall device” and confirm your choice.
    • Restart your computer to finish the uninstalling procedure.
  5. Remove the built-in keyboard driver:
    • Locate the driver for the built-in keyboard in Device Manager’s “Keyboards” section.
    • Right-click on the built-in keyboard driver and choose Properties.
    • Select “Uninstall device” and confirm your choice.
    • Reboot your laptop to have the keyboard driver reinstalled automatically.
  6. If the keyboard is still not working properly, you should upgrade the built-in keyboard driver:
    • In Device Manager, right-click the built-in keyboard driver.
    • Select “Update driver.”
    • Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” and follow the on-screen directions to install the driver.

Method 6: System Optimisation

Optimizing your Dell laptop’s system can assist in identifying and resolving underlying issues that may be influencing the operation of your keyboard.

To optimize your system, follow these steps:

  1. Use the Dell Diagnostics tool to perform a system scan:
    • Select the Start Menu icon.
    • Click “Shut Down” to turn your laptop off.
    • Power up your laptop and press the F12 key to reach the Boot Menu.
    • Select “Diagnostics” and press Enter to begin a comprehensive system scan.
    • If the Boot Menu appears, it indicates that the problem is not mechanical.
    • Press the “Esc key” to pause the scan.
    • Click the “Next” button and choose “Keyboard” from the components list to scan only your keyboard.
    • Take note of any problem codes that show and call Dell tech support for additional assistance.
    • If no mistakes are found, move on to the next stage.
  1. In BIOS, check your keyboard:
    • Select the Start Menu icon.
    • Click “Shut Down” to turn your laptop off.
    • Turn on your laptop and, as soon as the Dell logo displays, hit the F2 key to enter BIOS.
    • In BIOS, expand the “Security” option by clicking on it.
    • Select “Admin Password” and test your keyboard in the text box.
    • If your keyboard does not work in BIOS, proceed to the next step.
  2. Run SupportAssist:
    • Click on the Ease of Access icon on your desktop to launch SupportAssist.
    • Choose “On-Screen Keyboard” to activate the on-screen keyboard.
    • Access your profile.
    • In the lower-left corner, click on the Windows icon.
    • Look for “SupportAssist” and launch it.
    • Navigate to the Home tab and choose “Run All” to begin a thorough system optimization.
    • Follow the on-screen instructions, and restart your laptop if asked.

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Method 7: Update Your BIOS

If none of the preceding approaches have worked, changing your laptop’s BIOS may be the answer.

Update Your BIOS

This is how you update your BIOS:

  1. To avoid difficulties during the updating process, disable BitLocker protection.
    •  On your Taskbar, click Windows Search.
    • In the search results, type “BitLocker” and then select “Manage BitLocker.”
    • Choose “Suspend protection” and then “Yes” when offered.
  2. Go to Dell Support’s website:
    • Open your web browser and navigate to www.dell.com/support.
    • Select “Detect PC” to allow Dell to recognize your laptop model.
  3. Locate the most recent BIOS update:
    • Select “BIOS” as your category from the “Drivers & Downloads” menu.
    • Get the most recent BIOS update file for your laptop model.
  4. Start the BIOS update:
    • When the download is finished, launch the BIOS update file.
    • Finish the BIOS upgrade procedure by following the on-screen directions.
    • Your laptop may restart several times throughout the upgrade, so make sure it’s connected to a reliable power supply and avoid disrupting the process.
Infographic of How Can I Unlock the Dell Laptop Keyboard
Infographic: How to unlock Dell keyboard

Additional Solutions:

Few additional solutions that might work in some cases:

  • Check Your Keyboard Connection

Check that wired keyboard connections are secure and wireless dongles are securely inserted in the USB port.

  • Examine for Dirt or Dust

Clean your keyboard gently to eliminate any debris or dust that may be creating problems.

  • Examine Physical Damage

Examine your keyboard for any signs of physical deterioration, such as frayed wires or damaged keys. If the keyboard is discovered, consider repairing or replacing it.

Examine Physical Damage
Water demaged keyboard
  • Use a Different Keyboard

If all else fails, consider using a USB-connected external keyboard.

Conclusion

In conclusion, unlocking your Dell laptop keyboard is easier than you might think.

By following our simple guide, you can troubleshoot and resolve common issues like Fn lock, outdated drivers, dead wireless keyboard batteries, Num Lock mishaps, and physical damage.

Remember to restart your laptop, unlock the Fn and Num Lock keys, update drivers, and check for any physical damage.

Additionally, discharging static electricity can work wonders. Armed with these solutions, you’ll be typing away hassle-free in no time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are various potential causes of a locked keyboard, including accidentally pressing the Fn key, outdated keyboard drivers, dead wireless keyboard batteries, unintentionally engaging Num Lock, and physical harm to the keyboard.

Locate the Fn key on your keyboard, then press and hold it to unlock it. Press the Esc key or the Num key (if accessible) while keeping it depressed. The Fn key should now be unlocked.

The Num Lock key may be locked if the numeric keys on the right side of your keyboard are not working. To enable Num Lock, utilize the on-screen keyboard, or just hit the Num Lock key to unlock it.

Check the battery if your wireless keyboard isn’t responding. The keyboard may not operate properly if the battery is dead or low. See if the problem goes away by charging it or using a different battery.

Try alternative troubleshooting techniques, such as unlocking the Fn key, testing the Num Lock key, upgrading the keyboard driver, looking for physical damage, or discharging static energy, if your Dell keyboard is still not working after restarting.

On your Dell laptop, open the “Keyboard” section in Device Manager, right-click the keyboard driver, and choose “Update driver.” This will update the keyboard driver. Select the option to automatically look for new drivers, then follow the on-screen instructions to finish the upgrade.

Yes, if your Dell laptop keyboard is broken, you can use an external USB keyboard as a long-term fix. You may use the external keyboard as your main input device by simply connecting it to one of the USB ports on your laptop.

If any of the keys on your Dell laptop keyboard are not functioning, you can attempt to clean the keyboard to get rid of any dirt or debris that might be the source of the problem. If cleaning doesn’t solve the issue, restart your laptop and see if the issue still exists. It can be helpful to update the keyboard driver if the problem persists.

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