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Windows Key Not Working: 8 Ways to Troubleshoot if Your Windows Key Is Not Working

Windows 11 Keyboard Won’t Work, Here Are 8 Possible Solutions
by Brian Burgess
Adopted as of June 29th, 2022

The Windows key can be used to access the Start menu and other shortcuts in Windows. If something breaks, try these solutions.

In order to move around, the Windows key on your keyboard is essential. Its primary function is to call up the Start menu, but it also plays a critical role in the execution of several shortcut keys.

Here are several potential solutions to the Windows key in Windows 11 failing to function.

1. Fix Windows Key Not Working (Basics)

Possible solutions include a complete keyboard reset or a simple connection problem. To see if the keyboard’s cord is properly seated, unplug it and plug it back in. Reconnecting it to the same USB port it was previously utilizing can accomplish this. In case that doesn’t work, try a different USB port.

windows key not working

Alternately, you could try using a different keyboard. The keyboard is likely at fault if the Windows key functions on another device. If it still doesn’t work after trying a different keyboard, the issue is likely internal to the computer.

Restarting your computer may be necessary if that fails. This will force Windows to restart and close any applications that may be causing problems. One of these solutions should restore Windows key functionality, we hope. The key-specific procedures below should be followed if not.

windows key not working

2. Unlock the Windows Key Lock

There may be a “Win Lock” button or toggle on your keyboard. Mechanical gaming keyboards typically have this function to assist keep you from getting booted from a game accidentally.

You should be able to find a “Win Lock” key in the top right of your keyboard. A mechanical switch on the side of the keyboard is another possibility. To find out if your device has a Win Lock key and how to disable it, look into the manufacturer’s documentation.

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3. Disable Game Mode

The presence of Game Mode is often the cause of a malfunctioning Windows key. Switching to Game Mode optimizes your system’s performance. The Windows key is among the background processes and keys that are disabled. When you press a game-specific hotkey instead of Windows, the game’s menu remains accessible.

Be aware that Game Mode is only compatible with certain keyboards, such as Logitech gaming keyboards. Be sure the “Gaming Mode” button on the keyboard is not on. The software of the keyboard may additionally provide an option to activate or deactivate this feature.

To deactivate Game Mode on Windows 11, tap the Start button and then type “game mode.” Choose the first result in the search results.

To disable Game Mode, choose it from the Settings menu and then press the toggle button.

4. Check Keyboard Drivers

If you are using a costly gaming or accessibility keyboard, the keyboard’s drivers may be at the root of your PC’s issues.

Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager to see if there are any driver updates available.

In the Device Manager window, expand the Keyboards node to access the keyboards. You may update the driver for your attached keyboard by right-clicking on it and selecting the option. Just do what it says on the screen.

Remove the driver and then reinstall it if that doesn’t work. To remove the keyboard from your computer, right-click it, choose Uninstall, and then restart your machine. After restarting, Windows should automatically reinstall the driver for the keyboard.

windows key not working

If Windows fails to recognize your keyboard, you should look for updated drivers there.

5. Turn Off Filter Keys

With Filter Keys enabled, your keyboard will stop registering repetitive input. On Windows 11, the Windows key may stop functioning if Filter Keys is on.

Select Settings from the Start menu to turn off Filter Keys. When you get to the main menu, select Keyboard under Accessibility. The Filter keys option may be found in the Keyboard menu and should be turned off.

windows key not working

Also Read: How to Turn Off Sticky Keys?[Complete Guide]

6. Make Windows Rescan the Keyboard

Windows use a proprietary digital map called ScanMap to record your keyboard’s configuration. This section of the Registry is responsible for telling Windows what to do when a key is pressed.

For Windows to work properly again after data corruption, the Registry will need to be modified to reflect the new Windows key.

Locate the Scancode Map value on the right, and then remove it. Simply restarting your computer will result in Windows remapping your keyboard. Keep in mind that there is no action required if the Scancode Map value is not displayed. This option is unavailable because it is not compatible with your computer.

windows key not working

In the Run dialog box, type regedit, then click OK or hit Enter.

In the Run dialog box, type regedit, then click OK or hit Enter.

7. Run a PowerShell Command

A PowerShell script can be used to restore the Windows key if it has been disabled. To access the command prompt as an administrator, right-click the Start menu and choose Windows Terminal.

In the Run dialog box, type regedit, then click OK or hit Enter.

8. Boot into Safe Mode

When Windows 11 is started up in Safe Mode, just the essential background services and programs are started. There are no fancy visuals here either; just what you need to get Windows up and running. In cases where one driver or program is interfering with another, this is a helpful debugging step.

Launch the Run prompt by right-clicking the Start menu and selecting Run, and then typing MSConfig to bring up the System Configuration window after Safe Mode has been activated. Select the Microsoft services you wish to conceal, then click the Services tab.

In the Run dialog box, type regedit, then click OK or hit Enter.

Here begins a lengthy procedure. If the problem persists, try turning off the services one by one and restarting your computer. Alternately, you can reboot after pressing the Disable All button, then enable services one by one.

Although this method can be time-consuming, it is the most reliable for identifying any third-party software or service that may be preventing your keyboard (and Windows key) from functioning normally.

Also Read: Xbox Backwards Compatibility? [Complete Guide]

Using Your Windows 11 Keyboard

One of the solutions presented above should fix the problem if your Windows key stops working in Windows 11. It’s probably a hardware issue if nothing else is working. It’s possible that your keyboard is on its final legs and you should start shopping around for a new one.

The stability of Windows 11 does not guarantee that it is error-free. You may get a lot of advice for fixing various problems online. If, for some reason, you can’t access your files in Windows File Explorer, you may be able to fix the problem by using some standard troubleshooting procedures.

Don’t worry if the new location of the Start menu in Windows throws off your ingrained habits. To facilitate the upgrade from Windows 10 to 11, the Start menu can be shifted to the left.

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