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If you own a laptop, then you understand the frustration of not being able to type on certain keys. Not only does this slow down typing but also productivity – making your computer difficult to use altogether.
Fortunately, keyboards can often be repaired. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to replace the keyboard altogether. In such cases, do your research before purchasing a replacement.
What is the best way to repair a laptop key?
Laptop keys can break for various reasons. Dust accumulation, a damaged key cap or even the keyboard’s circuit board might be at fault. If one of these issues exists in your case, the best course of action is to take out and replace the key.
To accomplish this, you will need to find a clean workspace and turn off your computer. Additionally, unplug any removable components like batteries or hard drives from your laptop so it is easier to work on it.
Additionally, it’s wise to ground yourself before performing any major repairs on your laptop in order to reduce the risk of static electricity damaging its internals. This step should be taken regardless of whether or not a computer repair shop is nearby as static electricity can be extremely hazardous and cause the circuits in your laptop to overheat.
If your laptop key is broken, the most effective solution is to replace it with a new one. You can order replacement keys from places such as eBay, Amazon and Best Buy; however, bear in mind that not all keyboards are created equal so be sure your new key fits your computer before ordering from an external source.
Once you have your replacement key, insert it back into its original place by making sure the orientation is correct and that the hinge clip is installed securely so it can move up and down easily.
Laptop keys often become loose due to improper installation. Unlike desktop keyboards, each laptop key consists of three parts: the key cap, hinge clip, and retainer (small plastic circles or squares that secure the key cap into place).
Each piece must be correctly placed for the key to work. If you’re unsure how they function together, take a look at this diagram for an explanation of each component’s role.
If your key still won’t function after replacing the key cap, key pad, and retainer, there may be an issue with the keyboard’s circuit board. If reinstalling all parts doesn’t solve it, contacting a tech professional to have your laptop’s circuit board replaced is your only solution.
How do I remove a laptop key?
Sometimes you may need to remove one of your laptop keys due to a stuck key, dropped item, etc. In any case, it’s essential that you do it correctly so as not to damage your computer in the process.
Thankfully, this repair is a fairly straightforward procedure. It only takes a few minutes to clean up the key and put it back on your laptop, and the best part? You don’t need to pay a computer service professional to do it for you.
To take out your laptop keys, you will need a tool specifically designed for keyboard removal. These can usually be found at most hardware stores; however, you could also use a flathead screwdriver or butter knife to take off the key cap without using these special instruments.
Once the key cap has been taken off, it’s essential to wipe away any dirt or hair stuck underneath. Doing this helps avoid re-stickiness.
It’s wise to regularly clean your laptop keyboard, especially if it has been inactive for some time or has been exposed to harsh chemicals.
Rub alcohol or a mild cleaning solution can be used to wipe down your keys. Doing so will keep them free of crumbs and dust that could cause the key to stick.
If you’re having trouble removing the key, try pulling it up with either your fingernail or the end of a flathead screwdriver. This should usually work for most keys.
Alternatively, you can use a wire keycap puller to remove your laptop key. It hooks the prongs under two corners of the key and twists until they separate from the switch beneath them.
Once you’re finished, the key should come off easily with little to no force applied. If it’s stuck, try applying compressed air to loosen it so you can take it out of its retainer.
How do I replace a laptop key?
Replacing a laptop key depends on the type and model of computer. However, the most popular option is to purchase an entire keyboard replacement set which includes a key, hinge and cup for your keyboard. This kit will include everything necessary to get up and running quickly with new keys!
If you’re uncertain which keyboard replacement set is ideal for your laptop, do a quick online search of the manufacturer name and model number of your machine. Then head over to places like eBay, Amazon and Best Buy to find a keyboard set compatible with your machine.
To replace a key, begin by taking it away from the keyboard. Use your finger nail or small flathead screwdriver to gently pry away from its base. If the key won’t come loose easily, use a toothpick to scrape away any dirt beneath it.
Once the key has been taken out, use a damp q-tip to clean between it and any adjacent keys. Doing this helps remove any dirt or debris from the keycap so it can sit correctly on its keycap.
Once you have disinfected the area, place the key back on your keyboard in its designated slot. You should be able to hear it click into place; if not, re-aligning may be necessary.
Typically, the key should feel similar to other keys on your keyboard and should move up and down smoothly. If not, this could indicate damage to the key or that its plunger has broken.
Next, place the replacement key into the slot and press it firmly down. You should be able to see it snap into place and spring up immediately after you remove your finger; if not, the key may still be stuck inside and need re-aligning.
If you’re having difficulty re-aligning the key, first try replacing either the key cap or key pad. These are easier to repair than the actual key itself, so make sure they’re not broken before trying to replace the latter. If none of these work, take your laptop in for a professional evaluation and replacement of these components may help determine why your key won’t function.
Can I repair a laptop key myself?
Laptop keyboards are typically not designed with serviceability in mind, meaning taking them apart for repair can often lead to extensive destruction. This is especially true of older models with a membrane keypad which are meant to last without needing any upkeep over time.
However, you can do a few things to help your laptop’s keys function more optimally. First, clean out any dust or grime that has built up on them with an isopropyl alcohol cloth or cotton swab dipped in alcohol; this will dissolve the gunk and allow you to pry it off with ease.
If the keys still don’t function after cleaning them, it may be time for replacement. You can order replacement keys from computer stores, eBay, and other online parts retailers; make sure the key is specifically designed for your laptop model so it will fit correctly.
Another option is to use a compressed air can to blow out any gunk stuck in your keys. Be careful not to spray directly underneath them though – that could cause some damage.
You can easily take keys off the keyboard with a screwdriver or similar tool, making it simpler to clean them out. If your laptop is older, check your service manual to see if keys are secured with screws.
Finally, make sure to inspect the laptop’s circuit board to see if it needs replacing. This is likely the source of your issue; you may have to call a professional for assistance.
For optimal results, be sure to have all necessary tools. If you don’t own a screwdriver or toolkit, ask your local electronics store for one. Be sure to inquire about the size and type of screws as well as other parts – this will save time in the future. Additionally, taking pictures of the job so you can refer back to them later is beneficial.