Dell Keyboard Locked: 5 Reasons & 6 Solutions

It’s frustrating when your Dell keyboard locks because you can’t proceed with what you were doing on your PC. You may notice sometimes you can no longer type anything on your computer. Many Dell users experience this problem when using their laptops. Your keyboard could stop working for many reasons, preventing you from having a productive day.  

Dell Keyboard Locked 1 1 Dell Keyboard Locked: 5 Reasons & 6 Solutions

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Why is my Dell keyboard locked and how do I unlock it?

You can troubleshoot a locked Dell keyboard by checking if the driver is up to date, whether the keyboard is damaged, or the batteries are dead. Also, check if the Fn Lock and Num lock is on. All these issues will give you a way to fix a locked dell keyboard.

You could employ several solutions at home to unlock your Dell keyboard. Regardless of the issue, one of the fixes will work and allow you to continue your work. 

Here is a Dell keyboard locked: how to troubleshoot guide to help you resolve a keyboard locking issue. 

Why Do Dell Keyboards Lock?

When your keyboard locks, it makes your laptop unusable. The cause could be a damaged keyboard, software issues, and pressing a combination of keys that could make your keyboard freeze.

Your Dell keyboard might not be working due to mechanical damage, software errors, or because you have locked some keys. The best way to unlock your keyboard and carry on with your work is to check for common locking causes and troubleshoot. 

Common issues include the locking of function keys, a damaged keyboard, and software issues.

Restart your laptop to rectify errors in code that may interfere with your keyboard’s functionality. Unlock the Fn and Num keys if locked accidentally. Update your keyboard driver to keep your system in good operating status and prevent potential issues.

Optimizing your computer system can also help. Replace the keyboard in case of mechanical damage to the keys, cords, and other parts of the keyboard. 

Here are common reasons for locked Dell keyboards. 

Dell Keyboard Locked Dell Keyboard Locked: 5 Reasons & 6 Solutions

Outdated Driver

All devices connected to your Dell PC have a driver in your computer to help the computer identify the device connected.  

The computer fails to recognize an outdated or incorrectly installed driver and reacts unexpectedly. An outdated or corrupted keyboard driver could be the cause of the problem. Inspect your computer to find out if the drivers are missing or outdated. 

Damaged Keyboard

After trying all the troubleshooting techniques, you can establish if your keyboard has mechanical damage. If you accidentally pour fluids on your keyboard and it stops responding, it is likely damaged. Dropping your keyboard or laptop could also cause damage. 

Keys not working could be a sign of a damaged keyboard. Before replacing your keyboard, confirm damage by testing other solutions and checking if other external keyboards are responsive.  

Fn Lock

You combine the Fn key with the F keys to create shortcuts for several actions, such as turning Wi-Fi on and off and adjusting screen brightness and volume. 

You could lock your keyboard by pressing a combination of keys accidentally. The Fn key can also lock when you drop the keyboard. 

Num Lock

The Num Lock key turns off the numeric keys on your keyboard. If the numeric keys on your Dell laptop are not working, the Num Lock key is likely disabled.

Dead Batteries

When a wireless keyboard is unresponsive, the culprit could be dead batteries. It is easy to forget to replace them, and when they drain, it is easy to think your keyboard is locked. 

How to Fix a Locked Dell Keyboard

Here are some of the common methods of unlocking Dell keyboards. 

Restart Your Laptop

Restarting your laptop is an easy way to fix troublesome code. Restart your Dell laptop when your keyboard is unresponsive before exploring other solutions. You can restart your laptop with the following easy steps. 

  1. Click on the launch icon on your computer. 
  2. Select “Shut down.” 
  3. When your laptop turns off, unplug your Dell laptop from power. 
  4. Remove your laptop’s battery. 
  5. Plug the laptop back to power and press the power button down to restart it. 
  6. Shut it down again, put back the battery, and power the laptop on by pressing the power button. 
  7. If the keyboard is still unresponsive, proceed with the other steps. 

Unlock Fn Key

When you lock the Fn key, your Dell keyboard could be unresponsive. Unlocking the Fn key can unlock your keyboard. There are several techniques for unlocking the Fn key. 

  1. Press the Fn key next to the Windows logo. Press down Fn, and press the Num Lock key at the top right of your keyboard, and the Fn key will unlock. 
  2. If the first technique doesn’t work, press Fn and Esc to unlock Fn. 

Unlock Num Lock

Check the Num Lock key if you have unlocked your keyboard and the numeric keys are unresponsive. You can unlock the Num Lock key using the following steps. 

  1. Click on the launch menu icon on your computer’s screen. 
  2. Select “Settings.” 
  3. Scroll to “Ease of Access.” 
  4. Select “Keyboard.” 
  5. Turn on the “Use the Onscreen Keyboard” option. 
  6. Alternatively, use a shortcut to turn on the onscreen keyboard by pressing the Windows logo, Ctrl, and O.  
  7. If you don’t see the Num Lock key, click “Options” and check the “Turn on the numeric keypad.” 
  8. Click “Ok,” and the Num Lock key should appear on the onscreen keyboard. 
  9. Click on the Num Lock key on the onscreen keyboard 
  10. Turn the onscreen keyboard off and check if the numeric keys on your keyboard are working. 

Update your Dell Keyboard Driver

An outdated keyboard driver could make your keyboard unresponsive. A Dell keyboard driver update can help unlock your keyboard. Follow the steps below to update the driver. 

  1. Click on the Windows logo on your screen and enter the search “Device Manager.”
  2. Run the device manager. 
  3. When it opens, scroll down and click on the “Keyboards” arrow.  
  4. Depending on the number of drivers, they will appear under “Keyboards” when you select the drop-down arrow.  
  5. Right click on the driver and choose “Update.” 
  6. A pop-up message will appear querying how you prefer to find drivers. 
  7. Choose “Search automatically for drivers.” 
  8. Windows will find the keyboard driver update automatically. 
  9. Follow the prompts to finalize the process and restart your Dell computer. 

Optimize your Computer’s System

Optimizing the system can enhance your laptop’s performance and unlock an unresponsive keyboard. Here are the steps to optimize your system. 

  1. Select the Start button of your laptop. 
  2. Select “Shut down.” Once the laptop goes off, turn it back on. 
  3. During start-up, tap the F12 key to open the Boot Menu. If the Boot Menu opens, your laptop does not have a mechanical issue. 
  4. Go to “Diagnostics” in the Boot Menu and press Enter for a full system scan. 
  5. Press the Esc key to pause the scan and select the “Next” button. From the components menu, select “Keyboard.” This will focus the scan on your keyboard. 
  6. If you get error code feedback, note it down and contact Dell support for assistance.  
  7. If the scan doesn’t detect errors, follow the prompts and proceed to the next steps of system optimization. 

Replace Batteries and Check Keyboard Connection

Batteries can get drained or fail. If you are using a wireless keyboard, this could be a point of failure. Replace the batteries with fresh ones and confirm if the keyboard is responsive. 

Your wired keyboard will be unresponsive if the cable is not well placed in your laptop’s USB port. Unplug the cable and reconnect it and check if it is working. 

Physical damage to the cords, keys, and other parts of your keyboard will cause failure. If your keyboard has mechanical damage, consider replacing it. 

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