Your Windows key is a standard key with a Windows logo and can be found on the lower left side and right side of the spacebar. There is only 1 Windows key on some other keyboards, and it is located on the left side of the spacebar.
The keyboard is breakable, which can go haywire at any moment, and there may be times that you experience it failing to execute. But can it still be fixed? Yes, it can be.
So, stick around as we dive into these facts to guide you in fixing your Windows key.
Windows Key And Its Function
Except for Apple computers, most of the keyboards you can buy nowadays have Windows logo keys. Windows key or simply known as “Winkey,” was introduced way back in 1994 on Microsoft Natural Keyboard. It became a standard key on PC keyboards and is functional with Microsoft Windows operating system.
Originally, the computer keyboard had 101 or 102 keys. That’s when it was not yet equipped with the Windows key button. When Windows 95 was released by Microsoft, the keyboards then had additional two keys- the Windows keys, which became the license standard.
You can find from the picture below a standard keyboard with a Windows key located on both sides of the spacebar.
But not all keyboards are made with two windows keys. Below is an example of a keyboard with a single Windows key
Not everybody knows the valuable functions of the Windows key. However, using this key will save you time, especially when there are times when your mouse malfunctions. You can still rely upon the Windows key.
Before you start troubleshooting, we recommend that you make a backup of your important files.
Possible causes for Windows Keys not working
It is pretty annoying to deal with if your Windows key is not in working condition. Others would prefer to buy a new keyboard to avoid the hassles of repairing it. But if you think your Windows key just needs minor fixing, then this article will serve as your guide in troubleshooting it.
There are several reasons your Windows key malfunctions, and identifying the cause will help verify the issue throughout the troubleshooting procedure.
The list below are some possible causes for Windows key to malfunction:
- There might be a problem with the software you previously installed—the best way to know this, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc (Task Manager). If the task manager does not show up on your screen, then you might probably have installed software that contains malware.
- Another possibility might be that your Windows key has been deactivated in the Windows OS registry editor, so Windows cannot accept any request by this key. This problem can be shown in a disabled start menu, which might have been caused by software, game, or malware.
- Using incompatible drivers or an outdated driver may also affect the functionality of your Windows key. These can be manifested if Windows Explorer did not start in the right process as it should be, and a conflict between devices will be seen when you plug in your game controller.
- If you are using a gaming keyboard like Razer Blackwidow or Corsair, this keyboard has two modes: the standard model and the gaming mode. Unfortunately, this will cause conflict with Windows 10 game mode. If you set your keyboard in the gaming mode, it will stop the Windows key from functioning to prevent your game from exiting to avoid pressing the Windows key accidentally.
- If your keyboard has been physically damaged – electrically or mechanically, then you need to replace it with a new one.
You have now identified the common causes, so the next step is to start with the troubleshooting. Although your physical keyboard’s Windows key is not functioning, you can still have one option left, and that is your virtual keyboard. You can use this while you are in the troubleshooting process.
Below are methods that are useful and will guide you throughout the troubleshooting process.
Windows 10 is equipped with troubleshooters so you can personally repair it should an issue arise, and one of that is the keyboard troubleshooter. Here’s how
- On your screen, right-click on the “Start” button and choose “Settings.”
- Then click “Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters”
- Click on “Keyboard,” then choose “Run” the troubleshooter.
- Let the troubleshooter run so it can detect and will repair any issues.
Check if your “Start” menu is accessible. If it is not responding, then the “Start” menu is behind this problem. Next, try to enable the “Start” menu by doing the following:
- First, right-click on your Windows logo icon on the taskbar.
- Select Run from the drop-down menu.
- Then type ‘Regedit (do not put a quote).
- Now go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
- Then go to the right panel and click.
- Click New -> DWORD (32-bit) value.
- Click EnableXamlStartMenu.
So now you are done. The next thing to do is to exit your registry. Then, restart your PC, and if the problem persists, you need to fix it now to avoid future issues.
Although Microsoft has optimized the gaming mode for Windows 10, it sometimes causes conflicts and disables the features you preferred such as conflict with the keyboard. If you are in gaming mode, this will make your Windows key unresponsive. You can fix this by:
- Click on the “Start” menu in your taskbar and choose “Settings”.
- Select “Gaming” from the menu options.
- Using the menu in the left panel, switch to the “Game Mode” tab.
- Make sure that you toggle “Game Mode,” It is set to display “Off.”
Run your System File Checker. The System File Checker is a tool available in Windows 10 by default. It’s also called an “SFC scan,” and it’s your quickest way to fix corrupted system files and other issues automatically.
Unfortunately, your system files can go corrupt or missing, thus causing persistent keyboard issues. In a situation like this, your best bet is to run the built-in System File Checker solution, using the instructions below: Running this scan has proven to get rid of issues with the Windows 10 reset failing. Here’s what you need to do to run it.
- Right-click on your Start menu icon. Select Search.
- Then type cmd. You can locate the Command Prompt in the list of results.
- Right-click back again on Command Prompt then select Run as administrator.
- Type sfc /scannow, then press the “Enter” key. Wait for the scanning to finish.
Use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. This tool is almost the same as the System File Checker. DISM is a command used to repair an image of Windows 10. It is advisable that if you run it so you may be able to restore the functionality of your Windows key
- Type command prompt (cmd).
- Then type ‘DISM /online /Cleanup-Image / ScanHealth’. Press the “Enter” key
- Then type again ‘DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth’ (with no quotes) into the command prompt window and press “Enter” again.
Just wait till the scanning is finished, then restart your PC. Check if the Windows key issue has been solved.
Check for PC for malware. Malware is a common cause of keyboard issues on Windows computers, so scan your computer by following this guide:
- Most likely, your computer is equipped with an antivirus application. Simply click on the “Scan” option by using the application located on the left-side menu.
- Then click the “Start Scan” button so you can start a malware scan.
- After Malwarebytes has finished scanning, check if there are malicious files found. You may put them to quarantine, or you may allow Malwarebytes to delete malicious files from your computer.
Should you experience the same issue in the future, please revisit this article here. You can also find helpful tips from our blogs that can surely help you and give you ideas about genuine Microsoft software.
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