How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

Updated: April 05, 2023
6 min read
How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions
by Anna Chernetska
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Do you need to use some shortcut with the Windows key, but for some reason, you can’t do it? Or maybe the Windows key is not working on the keyboard even when you press it separately? It’s time to find out what causes it and how to troubleshoot this issue. Use guidelines from Howly experts, and you solve it in less than an hour!

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5 most common reasons for Windows key glitch

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

There are various reasons for this keyboard problem. Here are the most common factors:

  1. Disabled Windows key. Some settings lock system keys.
  2. Game Mode. Some keyboards and laptops have a button that turns down the Windows and other system keys. Check it out.
  3. Some virus on the PC. Malware and viruses tend to interfere with the workflow. And one of the most common glitches is when your Windows key doesn't work.
  4. Update glitch. Sometimes, new updates can cause system glitches. And one of them is the not working Windows key.
  5. Hardware problem. Many users note keyboard glitches after removing or adding some hardware to the PC. But if your keyboard refuses to work even after this, it can cause severe hardware trouble.

How to fix Windows key that is not working: 12 user-friendly ways

Due to our research, “Why my Windows key isn't working?” is one of the most popular questions on keyboard-related forums. We have 12 working solutions for you. We sorted them from the most user-friendly options like restarting the PC or trying an external keyboard to more advanced system checks and commands.

If you are not afraid to take more severe actions, you can modify the registry or factory reset the computer. These are the most severe software actions in this situation.

But if you are still wondering with questions like “how to fix my Windows key?”, you should try hardware actions. It can be a broken key or motherboard issue.

Restart the computer

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

It may initially sound silly, but it’s one of the most effortless ways to fix the Windows key. While operating, a computer creates temporary data, which can be corrupted. And it leads to various bugs. And one of them is the disabled Windows key on Windows 10.

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Shut down the PC as usual, wait 1-3 minutes, and turn it off. If this doesn’t help you, stick to other instructions.

Try another keyboard

If you have a PC and an external keyboard, try it on a laptop, tablet, etc. That’s how you’ll figure out what is causing the problem. The issue hides in the PC's software glitch if your keyboard works with other devices. You can fix the Windows key by troubleshooting the software. But if the same keyboard refuses to work with other devices, the problem hides in its hardware. Change the keyboard.

If you are a laptop owner, get an external keyboard and plug it in. You can find wired options for less than $10. You can use them to test the hardware part. If it works fine, the problem hides in your built-in keyboard glitches. Troubleshoot them to fix not working Windows button

Disable Game Mode

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

It is another explanation for why your Windows key doesn’t work. This physical button has just one purpose: to call the Windows menu. And if you accidentally press this key while gaming, you call the Windows and stop the game. It may spoil the game flow, so some laptops switch to the Game mode.

If your laptop has the gaming mode, you see the physical switch near functional buttons. It has a joystick or gamepad icon. Press this button to shut down the gaming mode. It will enable the Windows key. You can safely use it.

Shut down background applications

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

If your Windows key works separately but refuses to work with shortcuts like Win+R or Win+L, close background apps. Some of them interfere with the workflow. That’s why the Windows key doesn’t work as it should. Use this guide to fix it:

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  1. Right-click on the Windows emblem.
  2. Follow this path: Task Manager → Processes.
  3. Shut down every application that you can identify one by one. If you are afraid that some of those processes might be the system ones, don’t touch them.
  4. Test the Windows key after each closed app to find out what causes the trouble.

Scan for viruses

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

Some malware can be tricky: they don’t steal your data but block some parts of the computer individually. So, when you ask on forums “Why my Windows key doesn’t work?” the answer could be as simple as malware.

Check the system for them. Here is how you can do it with the Security tool:

  1. Open the Windows menu and scroll until you find Windows Security.
  2. Go to the Virus protection tab and scroll down to the Current threats.
  3. Choose the Quick Scan.

If the malware is the issue’s source, this scan fixes the not working Windows key.

Update the system drivers

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

Your keyboard may be glitching due to outdated drivers. So the most effortless way to solve this issue is to update them. Follow this instruction:

  1. Right-click on the Windows logo.
  2. Pick Device Manager → Keyboards. You may see a few keyboards. There may be a case for those who use wireless external ones.
  3. Find the Standard PS/2 keyboard. It is a built-in laptop keyboard and a main wired keyboard for a PC. If you need to fix an external keyboard, choose it from the list.
  4. Right-click on your choice and choose Update → Search automatically.
  5. Wait until the system finds a new driver and installs it.

Visiting the manufacturer's site would be better if you have an external keyboard or a laptop. Windows don’t get the most recent updates, they tend to wait for a few months to get the stable update version. So if you are looking for the latest software to fix the stuck Windows key, check the manufacturer’s website.

Switch off the Filter Keys

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

It orders your system to ignore brief keystrokes. So, it can lead to the Windows key not working. Stick to this instruction to fix your keyboard glitch:

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  1. Click on the Windows icon.
  2. Type Ease in the search bar. Choose Keyboard settings.
  3. Check that everything in this sub-menu is in the Off position. It includes “Sticky”, “Filter” and “Change shortcuts”.

Run a System Checker

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

Launch the SFC utility to check the PC's issues, including why the Windows key doesn't work. Here is the instruction for you:

  1. Right-click on Windows and pick Run.
  2. Type cmd and choose OK.
  3. You’ll see a Command Prompt.
  4. Paste the next command sfc/scannow and press Enter to confirm.
  5. Restart the PC.
  6. The system checker removes or fixes corrupted files. But if even this doesn’t help you, open the Command Prompt again and launch the: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth.

Delete the Scancode Map

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

Another advanced way to enable the Windows key. Scancode Map is used for remapping keyboards onto specific user needs. Sometimes it can get glitchy, not allowing one to use their keyboard. Make a backup before it. Once you are ready, follow this instruction:

  1. Right-click on the Windows.
  2. Select Run.
  3. Write Regedit and choose OK to confirm.
  4. Follow this path: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout.
  5. Find the Scancode Map and right-click on it. Pick Delete.
  6. Restart the PC.

Use PowerShell to change a registry

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

It is a more modern version of the classic Command-Line. Use this instruction only if you are not afraid to use system commands.

  1. Right-click on the Windows.
  2. Find the PowerShell.
  3. Paste the next combination:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation) AppXManifest.xml"}

  1. Confirm your intentions by pressing Enter.
  2. Wait for 1-2 minutes until the program finishes running.

If you are too afraid to use system commands, consider a factory reset. In that case, all you need to do is to stick to user-friendly guidelines.

Factory reset the Windows

How to fix the Windows key that not working: 12 effective solutions

It’s the most severe software action a user can take with the PC. It deletes every bit of information from the device, including all settings and personal files. It should fix the not working Windows button if it’s a software glitch. But if you have keyboard problems after this, you have a hardware problem.

Windows 10 owners should follow this path: Windows→ Settings→ Update → Reset→ Get Started→ Remove.

Windows 11 computers have a slightly different reset path: Windows→ Settings → System→ Recovery → Reset.


How do I fix my Windows key not working?

Restart the PC to clear temporary data. Shut down the background apps, and update the keyboard drivers. If this didn’t help, consider severe measures like removing Scancode Map, modifying the registry, or factory resetting the system.

Why is my Windows key not working?

It’s a software bug. Restart the PC. Shut down apps that may interfere with the workflow. Scan for malware and update drivers. If this didn’t help, consider more harsh measures like launching a System Checker, and removing the Scancode Map.

Why does my Windows key not work today?

Try software troubleshooting: restart the PC, and change the settings. Update keyboard drivers or plug external keyboard. Scan for malware and remove the Scancode Map. If this didn’t help, consider hardware troubleshooting.

Final thoughts

You have 12 ways to resolve the not working Windows key issue. Start troubleshooting with the easiest solutions: restart the device, close all apps, and plug in another keyboard. If you have a gaming laptop, check the Game Mode. Stop it. Go to settings. Switch off the Filter Keys and other additional keyboard settings.

If this doesn’t help and you are wondering “Why won't my Windows key work even after these steps?”, try severe measures. Update drivers, use PowerShell, and launch the SFC. Try deleting the Scancode Map, modifying the registry, and factory resetting your PC.

But if even those actions didn’t fix the Windows key, it’s a hardware issue. If you are confident in your repair skills, contact Howly to get a unique troubleshooting guide. But if you are unsure about your skills, visit the nearest service.

Howly expert is ready to help you with your Computers problem


Invalid Date
A must-read for Windows users! 💯
Invalid Date
This guide seems to cover the basics, but my issue seems more complicated. I wish there was more in-depth troubleshooting or alternative solutions to explore.
Invalid Date
I can't thank you enough for this guide! You've seriously saved me from a lot of headaches.
Invalid Date
Quick and easy solutions! 🔥
Invalid Date
Your step-by-step instructions were very clear and helpful. I managed to fix my problem in no time, thank you!
Ava Smith
Invalid Date
Some of these methods seem a bit too simple and didn't work for my issue. I think the article could benefit from more advanced solutions for stubborn problems.
Invalid Date
I love how this article provides multiple troubleshooting methods. It's great to have options in case one doesn't work for me.
Invalid Date
I wonder how often this problem occurs for Windows users.
Alexander Rodriguez
Invalid Date
I haven't encountered this issue, but good to know there are solutions.
Invalid Date
I can't believe I fixed my Windows key using one of these methods! This article is so comprehensive and easy to understand, great job!
Invalid Date
Windows key fixed, thanks! 👍
Invalid Date
I'll give these methods a try and see if they work for me.
Emily Johnson
Invalid Date
I tried all 12 methods and none of them worked for me. This article doesn't provide any new solutions that I haven't seen elsewhere. I'm still stuck with a non-functioning Windows key.
Invalid Date
This guide saved my day! 🎉😃
Invalid Date
Thank you for sharing these solutions. You've made my computer experience so much smoother! 😊
Invalid Date
Interesting read. I might need this in the future.

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