Windows Key Not Working?11 Ways to Fix It

Windows key not working_

Windows key is often used in many keyboard shortcuts. For instance, you can combine it with keyboard key X, R, just to mention a few. If for some reasons, the key malfunctions, you can have a hard time with your routine keyboard shortcuts. In this post, we will discuss how to fix problems related to windows key not working. Keep reading….

If your windows key isn’t working, there are a number of reasons that could be responsible. Maybe the key is not responding because it’s clogged with dirt or grime on the keyboard; maybe there’s a misconfiguration in the system settings, or it is hardware related. Whichever the cause, in this article, we will discuss some of the ways to fix the problem of the windows key not working.

Causes of Windows key not working in Windows 10

Causes of Windows key not working

Before we get to the solutions of solving Windows key failure in Windows 10, it is appropriate first to understand the cause of its failure. Windows key may fail due to multiple reasons. Comprehending and pinpointing your issue will help you know which troubleshooting procedure will be most appropriate for you. Below are five common reasons for Windows key failure in Windows 10:

1. Hardware issue: Check for any physical damage to your keyboard. Do you see any breakage on the wire connecting your keyboard to the PC? This is a common issue.

2. Recent Windows update: Effecting significant Windows 10 updates may break some of the PC functionality. You may need to update your drivers to fix this issue.

3. Keyboard interference caused by Windows 10 game mode: Some keyboards are prone to conflicts with Windows 10 games. You will need to disable gaming mode to fix this issue.

4. The Windows key being disabled: Your Windows key may not be working as someone, a game mode, a certain malware, or an application may have disabled it. You will need to enable its functionality to solve this issue.

5. Windows 10 filter key bug: Recently, the Windows 10 filter key feature has been prone to a bug causing typing difficulties on the login screen. You must turn off the Windows 10 filter key feature to solve this issue.

That said, now you have some idea about what may have caused the windows key on your computer to stop working. Next, we will suggest some fixes that you may consider to get your windows key working again.

1. Activate the on-screen keyboard

Activate on-screen keyboard

Before restoring the functionality of the physical Windows key on your keyboard, you may want a temporary fix (this might be your only resort). You can easily do this by typing On-Screen Keyboard in the search bar. In the menu options, click on the On-Screen Keyboard icon to launch the application.

Pro Tip! Usually, there’s a keyboard shortcut for this: Win + Ctrl + O. However, because your physical Windows key isn’t working, that is not an option for you.

With the On-Screen Keyboard on, you should be able to continue using the Windows key to execute different operations on your PC.

2. Check if your keyboard is conflicting with Windows 10 Game Mode

In windows 10, Game Mode optimizes your computer for a smooth gaming experience by disabling some features and processes, including some keyboard functionalities. If you suspect this to be the reason your Windows key has stopped working, you can fix it by simply disabling gaming mode temporarily. Here is how to do it:

Step 1: On your PC, click on the start button >Settings>Gaming >Game Mode.

Step 2: Locate and click to turn off the toggle button.

Gaming key board settings

Just that simple, and you have successfully turned off the Game Mode feature on your Windows PC. Now try using the Windows key to see if it’s now working.

Game key board mode settings

3. Check and confirm that the Windows key is not disabled

If yours is a gaming PC, there’s a Windows key Disable Lock feature on the keyboard. Some gaming PCs may have this option in the keyboard’s desktop set up so that you can use the opportunity to lock or unlock certain keys depending on when you need or don’t need them.

Things are that while gaming, accidentally pressing certain keys may throw you out of the game. That can be very frustrating and even cause you to lose the game.  To fix this problem, builders of gaming PCs provided the option for locking certain keys on the keyboard so that you only use the keys you need. This comes from a physical lock on the keyboard or maybe a third-party application.

If you or someone else may have locked the Windows key while gaming and forgot to unlock it when they were done gaming, you won’t be able to use that key on your keyboard until it is opened.

Check if that’s the case, and then take steps to remove the lock to enable the Windows key again.

4. Confirm that windows filter keys aren’t enabled.

Confirm that windows filter keys

Filter keys are used by people with motor skills issues that may result in keyboard usage difficulties. When filter keys are enabled, your keyboard may overlook a key input by considering then accidental. This could be the reason your Windows key is not working. Luckily, this can be easily resolved via Windows settings. Proceed as follows:

Step 1: Click on StartButton> Settings > Filter keys

Step 2: On the Filter keys page, locate the toggle button and turn it off

5. Use PowerShell to restore the Windows key

If all the above methods didn’t resolve the issue, you could also enable or disable keyboard keys using Windows PowerShell. Here’s how to use this method to fix or enable the Windows key:

Step 1: On your Windows Search bar, type Windows PowerShell and then on the right pane of the search results window, click on Run as Administrator.

Windows PowerShell and Run

Step 2: When prompted to Allow Powershell to make changes on your computer, click

Step 3: On the PowerShell console that appears, copy and paste this command Get-appXPackage-AllUsers| Foreach Add-AppxPackage-DisableDevelopmentMode -Register”$($-.InstallLocation)\{AppXManifest.xml”} and then hit Enter.

Disable Development Mode

If the malfunctioned windows key was because of a misconfiguration, it should be fixed with the above command. Try using the key to see if it now works.

6. Use the registry editor to fix the windows key

If all the above methods failed to fix the windows key issue, consider making some edits in the registry to see if that does the trick. Here is that can be done:

Step 1: On the on-screen keyboard, press the Windows + R keys to open Run

Step 2: Into the input field, type “Regedit”.

Regedit Command in search bar

Step 3: Press the Ok button to launch the registry editor.

Step 4: Locate and select the HKEY-LOCAL-MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout Registry key. You can also copy and paste the Key into the Registry Editors address bar for easy navigation.

Windows Registry Editor

Step 5: Right-click on the Scan code map Registry key.

Keyboard Leyout

Step 6: Press Delete to remove the key

Delete for remove Key

Step 7: Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.

Try using the Windows key again to see if it works this time. I hope it does. If not, try the next solution on the list.

7. Enable the Start Menu and see if that activates Windows Key

This method of enabling the windows key also requires you to do some tweaks in the registry. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Launch the Run utility by clicking on the start button and then choosing Run from the menu options.

Step 2: On the Run window, type Regedit and press Enter.

Regit command

Step 3: Navigate to HKEY-CURRENT-USER >Software > Microsoft > Windows > Windows > Current Version >? Explorer > Advanced key.

Advance key settings

Step 4: Right-click on the right-hand side panel and select New>DWord (32-bit)value.

Step 5: Label the key Enable XamlStartMenu.

Enable Xaml Start Menu run

Step 6: Restart your computer and check if the Windows key works correctly.

Enable Xaml Start Menu open

If that didn’t resolve, consider the following method in the list.

8. Update keyboard drivers

Outdated keyboard drivers may be another reason the windows key isn’t responding. If that’s the case, all you need to do is update the drivers. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Right-click the Start button and choose Settings from the menu options.

Step 2: On the settings window, locate and click on Device Manager and select Device Drivers.

Device Manager and then select on Device Drivers

Step 3: Expand the Keyboards

Step 4: Right-click on the keyboard and choose Update Drivers.

keyboard and choose Update Drivers

Step 5: Choose Search Automatically for Drivers and wait for Windows to update the keyboard driver.

Search Automatically for Drivers

Once the update completes successfully, try using the Windows key to see if it’s active. I hope it works.

9. Run the keyboard troubleshooter

Windows PC comes with inbuilt troubleshooters that make for straightforward and reliable software diagnosis and configuration-related issues on your PC. You can use this utility function to decipher why the windows key isn’t working. Proceed as follows:

Step 1: On your Windows 10 PC, Click on the Start button >Settings>Update and Security.

Update and security settings

Step 2: On Windows 11, click on Settings > System

Step 3: Next, locate and click on Troubleshoot.

Step 4: Choose Other Troubleshooters or Additional Troubleshooters.

Troubleshooters or Additional Troubleshooters

Step 5: Scroll down to Keyboard and Run This Troubleshooter.

Keyboard and Run This Troubleshooter

Step 6: Wait for a moment for Windows to report any issues found.

Usually, the troubleshooter identifies and automatically fixes any configuration-related problems if found.

10. Use DISM command in the command prompt.

You can also use the DISM command to repair different glitches in Windows 10 operating system. If the windows key isn’t responding because of a system flaw in the operating system, you can use this command to fix it. Here’s how to do it on command prompt:

Step 1: On the onscreen keyboard, press the Win +R keys to launch the Run utility.

Step 2: In the Run window, type CMD and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter

Step 3: Click Yes when prompted to allow Command Prompt to make changes on your device.

Step 4: Type or copy and paste the following command and then press Enter:

Dism /Online /Clean-up-Image/StartComponentCleanup, Dism /Online / cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth.

Deployment image Servicing

When executed successfully, this DISM command will repair your windows operating system and eliminate any glitches, including those causing windows key not to respond. Try using the key again to see if it works after executing the above command.

Windows command section

11. Clean physical keyboard keycaps of debris or dirt

Clean physical keyboard keycaps of debris or dirt

Too much dirt or debris under the keyboard keys could also cause the windows key and other keys not to respond. By giving your PC’s keyboard a thorough clean-up to remove all the dirt, grime, or debris, any affected keys may start working again.


If your PC’s windows key isn’t working, then you are going to have a hard time implementing certain operations, especially those that require the use of shortcut keys. By using one of the methods highlighted in this post, you should be able to enable or activate the windows key on your keyboard again.

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