What to do if your keyboard can’t be unlocked on Windows

In situations where you do not intend to use the keyboard keys and are afraid to press them accidentally, or if there are children around, it is useful to lock the keyboard. You can use certain key combinations or third-party tools for this, and then you can unlock the keyboard again when you’re ready to use it. But what if it doesn’t unlock?


In this guide, we will show the method to unlock the keyboard and also discuss the troubleshooting methods that you can try if you are unable to unlock the keyboard.


1. Try the correct key combination

Depending on the manufacturer, different keyboards require different keys to unlock and lock.

You can verify that you are using the correct combination by going to the manufacturer’s official website and looking for the keyboard combinations there. Another solution that worked for users was to enable the onscreen keyboard and then press Win + L.

Here’s how to enable the on-screen keyboard on Windows 10:

  1. Launch Settings and go to the Ease of access section.
  2. click on Keyboard and then turn on the switch for Using the on-screen keyboard.

If you are a Windows 11 user, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Settings app and in the left pane select Personalization.
  2. In the right pane, scroll down to the . to find Taskbar option and then select it.
  3. You can now use the Touch keyboard toggle in the Taskbar Corner Icons section. Once done, you will see a touch keyboard icon on your taskbar that can be launched by clicking on it.
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Once the onscreen keyboard is launched, press the Win + L keys together and see if that makes a difference.

If using the correct key combination didn’t work for you, the problem could be with both your keyboard and the system.

Before we move on to the system related troubleshooting methods, we recommend that you make sure that the problem is not hardware related.

It is common for such problems to occur if the keys you are trying to use are broken or if there is something physically wrong with the keyboard. In some cases, the problem arose simply because the keyboard was too dirty to work!

The best way to test if this is the problem is to clean the keyboard first and then replace the batteries.

If replacing the batteries also doesn’t work, try connecting the keyboard to another computer. If it works on another computer, it’s a software issue; if not, that means the problem is with the keyboard itself.

An experienced keyboard technician may be better able to tell you what is causing the problem and suggest a suitable solution in this latter scenario.

3. Update the keyboard drivers

If the problem is in the system, then you need to update the keyboard drivers first. You may face the problem if the drivers are outdated or corrupt, and updating them may fix the problem once and for all.

You must use the on-screen keyboard for this method and the methods discussed later in this guide. Therefore, before proceeding, make sure to enable it by following the steps we discussed above.

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Here’s what to do:

  1. Open Windows Search, type “Device Manager” and click Open on the search result.
  2. In the next window, expand the . from Keyboard section.
  3. Right click on your keyboard driver and choose Update driver.
  4. Click now Automatic driver search and wait for the system to find the updated version. Once it finds it, the driver will be installed without much input on your part.

However, if this doesn’t work, you can completely uninstall the driver and install a new version from the manufacturer’s website. Hopefully it helps you to solve the problem successfully.

4. Disable Sticky and Filter Keys

In some cases, the users were unable to unlock their keyboard because the Sticky Keys and Filter Keys were enabled. If you have these features enabled, we recommend that you disable them and check if it works.

Here’s how to do it if you’re using Windows 10:

  1. Go to the Settings app and launch Ease of access settings.
  2. To elect Keyboard from the left pane.
  3. Go to the right side of the window and turn off the switch for Sticky Keys and Filter keys.

If you are a Windows 11 user, do the following:

  1. Launch the Settings app and choose Accessibility from the left pane.
  2. Scroll down in the next window and click Keyboard.
  3. Now turn off the switch for: Sticky Keys and Filter keys.

Once done, you can close the Settings app and try unlocking the keyboard now.

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5. Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter

Keyboard-related issues can also be resolved using the built-in troubleshooting tools in Windows. The most appropriate one to use in this case is the keyboard troubleshooter which you can run from the Settings app.

Here’s how to run the keyboard troubleshooter:

  1. Launch the Settings app and choose System from the left pane.
  2. click on Resolving problems on the right side of the window, then navigate to Other troubleshooters.
  3. In the next screen, locate the keyboard troubleshooter and click the Run button for it.

Now wait for the troubleshooter to complete the process. If issues are found, click Apply this fix to implement the recommended fixes. If not, you can click the Close the troubleshooter option.

Unlock your keyboard with ease

When you’re not actively typing, locking the keyboard is a great trick to avoid typing errors. If you are having trouble unlocking the keyboard on Windows system, hopefully the methods mentioned above will help you. If the problem persists, you may be able to fix it permanently by replacing the keyboard.

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