How to Fix Windows Key Not Working on Windows 11

7 sure shot methods to get the Windows key working again

Windows key plays a crucial role in using and navigating your Windows PC normally. Primarily used to open the Start Menu, the key is also used for several shortcuts.

There could be several reasons why the key stopped working. Fortunately, if the culprit is software-based, it will be easy to diagnose and just as easy to fix yourself. That being said, a software problem might need you to try several of the methods listed below to completely fix the issue.

Method 1: Get the Basics Covered

Many a time dirt and grime can physically keep the key from being pressed. Make sure the keyboard is clean and you can use the key properly. You can also use compressed air to dislodge specks of dirt.

If cleaning does not help, connect another keyboard to the system and check if the Windows key works using it. If it does, the existing keyboard is kaput, and there might be a need to change it. Otherwise, the problem is software-based and you can head to the next method to diagnose and fix the problem.

Method 2: Unlock the Windows Button

Many modern computers and laptops have a physical lock key/switch for the Windows button. The key could also not work if you have accidentally pressed the lock key. The lock key is typically present in gaming laptops and prevents accidental key presses when gaming.

The key is usually located in the Fn keys row. If it is a switch, it would be located on the side of the keyboard deck. Make sure the Windows lock button is disabled on your machine. You can also refer to the user manual provided by your manufacturer to learn how to disable it.

Method 3: Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter

Windows troubleshooter can identify and fix problems caused by a corrupted or damaged file and can also identify if there’s a bigger problem at play. All in all, if the troubleshooter isn’t able to solve your problem, it is most likely to at least diagnose the issue.

First, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile to proceed. Alternatively, you can type Settings in the menu to perform a search for it.

Then, make sure you have selected the ‘System’ tab from the left sidebar to proceed.

After that, locate and click on the ‘Troubleshoot’ tile from the right section of the window to continue.

Then, click on the ‘Other troubleshooters’ tile.

After that, locate the ‘Keyboard’ tile and click on the ‘Run’ button to initiate the troubleshooting. Then, follow the instructions on the screen to troubleshoot the issue.

Method 4: Update Keyboard Drivers

If you have got no luck till now, you can try to simply update the keyboard drivers and that might fix the problem for you.

To do so, head to the Start Menu and type Device Manager to search for it. Then, click on the ‘Device Manager’ tile to open it.

Next, double-click on the ‘Keyboards’ section to expand the options. Then, right-click on the hardware component and choose the ‘Update driver’ option from the context menu. This will open a separate window on your screen.

After that, either click on the ‘Search for the driver automatically’ option to let the Windows download and update the driver for you. Otherwise, click on the ‘Browse my computer for driver’ to locate a driver package using File Explorer.

Once you have updated the drivers for the keyboard, check if the issue has been resolved.

Method 5: Turn off Filter Keys

Filter keys are an accessibility feature of the Windows operating system that ignores successive keystrokes within a defined time duration. It’s possible you might have accidentally turned on filter keys and that might be causing an issue with the Windows key.

Head to the Start Menu and then click on the ‘Settings’ icon to proceed.

Next, click on the ‘Accessibility’ tab from the left sidebar to continue.

Then, from the right section of the window, click on the ‘Keyboard’ tile.

Then, click on the toggle present on the ‘Filter keys’ tile to bring it to the ‘Off’ position.

Now, check if you can use the Windows key. If not, head to the next method to fix it.

Method 6: Turn off Game Mode

Windows allows you to turn off notifications, and even specific keys when the Game Mode is enabled on the PC. Thus, there is a possibility the mode had been turned on accidentally and caused the problem.

To do so, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile to continue.

Then, click on the ‘Gaming’ tab from the left sidebar.

Now, click on the ‘Game Mode’ tile to proceed.

After that, click on the toggle present on the ‘Game mode’ tile and bring it to the ‘Off’ position.

Method 7: Force Keyboard Rescan

If all else has failed, this is the nuclear option. Using the Registry Editor or PowerShell, you can delete the already scanned keyboard layout and force Windows to rescan the keyboard.

To force rescan the keyboard using Registry Editor, head to the Start Menu and type Registry to perform a search. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Registry Editor’ tile.

Now, a UAC window will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.

Then, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned address in the address bar and hit Enter on your keyboard to navigate to it.

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

Next, on the right section of the window, right-click on the ‘Scancode’ DWORD file and choose the ‘Delete’ option to delete it.

Then, from the appeared dialog box, click on the ‘Yes’ button.

Now, restart your PC from the Start Menu and check if the problem persists.

In case you do not have the ‘Scancode’ DWORD file, or you are not comfortable tinkering with the Registry Editor on your system, you can also use PowerShell to achieve the same result.

To use PowerShell to rescan the keyboard layout, head to the Start Menu and type Terminal to perform a search. Then, from the search results, right-click on the ‘Terminal’ tile and click on the ‘Run as administrator’ option to proceed.

After that, a UAC window will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button.

Now, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard to execute it.

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

Once the code has been executed, restart your system from the Start Menu and check if it has resolved the issue for you.


That’s about it people. Hopefully, after going through all the methods, you were able to fix the issue with the Windows key on your PC.