Sometimes a key from your laptop becomes loose and falls off, which you might not be able to reattach unless you know the real anatomy of a laptop’s key. All you need is patience, focus, and the right track.
In this article, we will help you with the solution on how to fix the key that fell off your laptop’s keyboard. There can be a variety of reasons for the key falling off, and hence there is a variety of fixes for each problem.
First of all, before we get to the problems and the solutions, let’s discuss a bit about the anatomy of a laptop’s key. A laptop’s key consists of 3 parts in general.
The first one is the key itself or the keycap, the second one is the rubber keypad which is pressed when you push the button and the third and most important one is a plastic retainer.
The main reason you might not be able to reattach the laptop’s key yourself is that you don’t know how the retainer works. The retainer is made of plastic and consists of two parts that keep your key in place and push it back up after it’s pressed.
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Now, let’s take a look at the most simple way to reattach the key if it has fallen off.
Step-by-Step Guide to Reattach a Key that Fell Off your Laptop’s Keyboard
This guide will tell you how to fix a key that has just loosened and fallen off.
- First of all, inspect the keycap from the inside and make sure that the small plastic latches inside aren’t broken or damaged in any way.
- Inspect the area you will be placing the key on, and check that the retainer is also intact and isn’t damaged or broken.
- Check that the rubber nub and the keypad are in their place and aren’t missing.
- The retainer consists of two plastic pieces, one of which fits inside the other. You can easily guess from the size of each which one will go inside and which one outside.
- Attach the retainers to one another by aligning their hooks and placing them on the keyboard space, at the place of the keypad.
- Whether the retainer is made of metal or plastic, the hook on one side will be lifted. You need to latch that side of the key first and then press the key in another direction.
- You’ll hear a click sound as the key snaps back into its place. Press the key several times up and down to check if it’s fixed or loosened.
- Turn on your laptop and check that your key is working properly.
- Congratulations, you have successfully fixed your laptop’s key.
Precautions You Must Take
Here are some precautions that you must take before fixing the laptop’s key back into its place.
- Clean the keycap and the keyspace where you’ll place the key back thoroughly.
- Remove the laptop from charging.
- Ground yourself so that there is no static charge.
- Handle the retainer with care or you might end up damaging it.
- Don’t press the key too hard when reattaching, or you might damage your laptop’s keyboard.
- Make sure your hands aren’t wet or dirty when fixing the key on the laptop’s keyboard.
How to Check if Your Retainer or Keycap Hooks are Broken?
A close observation generally reveals if there are any freshly broken parts from the keycap or retainer. However, if you are someone who’s looking at the retainer for the first time, you might not be able to tell whether it’s broken or not.
Under such circumstances, you have two options. The first one is to reattach the retainer to the hooks and check if it is pressed and comes back to place. This generally works, and if it doesn’t you know the retainer is broken.
The other method is to remove another key gently and compare the retainer of both. Removing the other keycap will show you how the retainer is attached and what parts of the retainers are latched into the hooks. No further doubt will remain. You should check out if your HP laptop caps lock blinking and flashing continuously.
What to Do if Retainer or Key Cap is Damaged or Broken?
Well, if either of these two is broken, then you need to replace them. Luckily, you can order individual keycaps and retainers online now. So, there is no problem buying them, or going to your local computer store and purchasing them.
However, if you are unable to find an appropriate replacement in your local area and need more of a temporary solution, then there is also an alternate solution that will surely work. However, we don’t recommend it for permanent usage.
There are always a few keys in your laptop’s keyboard that you can live without. Like the extra Ctrl, Alt, Drop-down key, etc. So, figure out which key will be your sacrificial lamb and use that key to replace the one that you need.
This will not solve the problem of your laptop’s missing a key and looking a bit bad in appearance, but will certainly solve the problem of functionality.
How to Fix the Spacebar Key of a Laptop?
Fixing the spacebar key is a bit trickier in a laptop as the spacebar key has more than one keypad and retainer and comes with a long metal or plastic bar handle that goes into those retainers.
The worst part is that you can’t even replace the spacebar key with any other key. The process is pretty much the same. Place the three retainers into place, hook the metal rod into them, and then fix the key by gently pressing from the direction of the hook to the other direction.
Another method is to remove the metal long retainer from the keycap, observe it and attach it to the keypads to see how it would fit first, and then reattach it all.
What if the Key Still Doesn’t Work After Replacing?
If the laptop’s key isn’t broken or damaged and you have successfully replaced it but it is not working, then there is a problem with the circuitry of your keyboard. You can’t fix that at home, well not with simple means.
Hence, you need to take your laptop to your local computer store and they can check the circuit board to fix it for you. The better and recommended suggestion is to change the whole keyboard so that you don’t have to face the issue again and again.
In the meantime, while you work out some money to replace your laptop’s keyboard, there are certain methods you can use to compensate for the key that’s not working.
The very commonly used solution is to get an external keyboard and use that for work. The external keyboards are more durable and accustomed to rough usage. Moreover, they are cheap and you can find an older one at home. Even the one your father used will work.
If you can’t find one and don’t want to buy one, then you can also download an on-screen keyboard. Windows has one for itself too. If your laptop’s touch screen that’s amazing, but if it’s not it might get annoying using the mouse to press that button every time you need it.
If it’s some less used button, then this method is fine too. However, if you use that button frequently, then there is another trick you can use.
You can download a key switcher, key relocated, or keyboard reprogramming software online and program your keyboard in a way that the key you need shifts somewhere else. In this way, you relocate your key to a working key that you didn’t use otherwise.
This will take some getting used to but is an effective method and will work efficiently until you get a new keyboard for your laptop.
There is a variety of reasons why your laptop’s key has fallen off. In the above article, we have shared a variety of fixes that you can use to replace or repair your laptop’s key.
These methods are very effective as well as easy to use. We hope the guide helps you in fixing your laptop’s key that fell off or is broken. Keep calm, remain focused and you can do it.