Alt keys are not working on my computer

Alt keys appear to be entirely disabled on my PC. The PC in question is a Dell XPS 13, running Windows 10, version 1803. Can this be rectified? Grateful for any feedback.

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Please try these options one by one and check after each option.

1. Till your problem is resolved and you need to do urgent and limited typing, use Onscreen Keyboard - Type OSK in Windows Start Search Box (Cortana) > Click On-Screen Keyboard

2. Run Keyboard Troubleshooter
Type Troubleshoot in Windows Start Search box > Click Troubleshoot > Scroll down and click Keyboard > Run the troubleshooter > Follow onscreen directions

3. Uninstall & reinstall Keyboard Driver
Windows Key+X (Or right click on Start) > Click Device Manager > Expand Keyboards > Right click on Standard PS/2 Keyboard > Uninstall > Reboot the computer to reinstall

Source - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17417/...
Best regards
Vijay Verma

Timezone: UTC+05:30, PST+12:30
Availability Hours (UTC) : 05:00 AM - 05:00 PM

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Hello,

I hope I can help you today

let's try:

The inconvenience that you have related to your keyboard lies in the driver of the same because it is likely to be installed incorrectly, this obsolete or not compatible with Windows 10. To solve this problem manually reinstalls the driver displaying How to update a hardware driver that it does not work?. (This link applies to Windows 7, however you can use it to guide you in Windows 10).

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15048/...

If performing this procedure does not solve your problem, you must contact the manufacturer of the equipment, to validate when the compatible driver for Windows 10 will be available or on which website you can download it.

I hope this can help

regards

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Hi TuMa. I'm Greg, an installation specialist and 9 year Windows MVP, here to help you.

Restart PC and press the Dell F12 key to run bootable diagnostics.
http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/...


Try the Keyboard Troubleshooter at Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot.

This could have been caused by Windows Update. See if you can System Restore to a point before the problem began: http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/computing/how-t...

Check which Updates were installed at Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Installed Update History and try uninstalling any from around the time this started. If they return and cause the same problem then hide them with the Hide Updates tool: https://www.howtogeek.com/224471/how-to-prevent...

If this was caused by April Version 1803 update can roll back Version 1803 in Settings>Update & Security>Recovery and then hide it until it matures using the Hide Updates Tool downloaded from here: http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/2/2/f2...

What also might work is to go into Device Manager, reached by right clicking the Start button, choose the Keyboard device, on Driver tab try Updating the driver automatically.

If this fails from the same location try rolling back or Uninstalling the Keyboard driver, which works in a surprising number of cases where keyboard is messed up by Updates. Restart PC to reinstall driver.

See if the keyboard will work in Safe Mode with Networking, or Safe Mode: https://www.digitalcitizen.life/4-ways-boot-saf...

If not see if the On-screen Keyboard works at Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard > Turn On the On Screen Keyboard.

If so then it could confirm the keyboard is failing, so we'd want to test it in repair mode to see if it works since it uses different drivers there: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2294-advanc...

If not you can contact a laptop manufacturer to see if you can still get it replaced under warranty, or check for replacement keyboards for that model from the PC maker or online from after-market OEM's that exactly match it.

This keyboard bulletin from Lenovo can also apply to other brands: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/ht...

Try resetting the keyboard: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/reset-keyboard-se...

You can also remap keyboard keys using one of these methods: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/missing-key-remap...

Check in your BIOS or UEFI firmware Setup for keyboard settings there, too.

If none of these works then go over this checklist to make sure the install is set up correctly, optimized for best performance, and any needed repairs get done: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki...

Start with Step 4 to turn off Startup freeloaders which can conflict and cause issues, then Step 7 to check for infection the most thorough way, then step 10 to check for damaged System Files. Then continue with the other steps to go over your install most thoroughly.


But remember that Factory or Upgrade installs are inferior installs which most enthusiasts won't even run because they'd expect endless issues. Consider doing the Clean Install in this link which compiles the best possible install that will stay that way as long as you stick with the tools and methods given: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki...

There is also an automated Refresh that reinstalls WIndows while shedding corrupting factory bloatware, saves your files, but doesn't clear the drive to get it cleanest: https://www.howtogeek.com/265054/how-to-easily-...

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask back any questions and let us know how it goes. I will keep working with you until it's resolved.


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I do not quit for those who are polite and cooperative.
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The Alt keys don't work on the on-screen keyboard either.

Troubleshooting the keyboard tells me all is fine.

The uninstall driver option in device manager tells me the driver I already have is the best one.

All of which means I still can't use Alt keys. Any other intel?

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Ok, thanks for the feedback, Greg. This was sort of too much info in one go ;-) Let me first say, that Alt keys never worked since I purchased my current computer. What I have done in response to this feedback is: Tried the onscreen keyboard: Alt keys does not work there either. Run Keyboard troubleshooter: shows up no negative results. Tried to reinstall the keyboard driver via Device manger: Device manager tells me the driver that I have installed is the best one for my keyboard (unsurprisingly, since my Windows updates automatically). What's next? Contacting the manufacturer?

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I gave you everything possible that could fix it, so that something would work even if you had to try them all. If you still have the factory install then that would at all times remain the main suspect, which is the reason NO tech enthusiast would run one.

If it's still under warranty I'd have the Manufacturer fix it if you don't want to fully troubleshoot it.
_________________

Windows MVP 2010-20

Over 100,000 helped in forums in 10 years
I do not quit for those who are polite and cooperative.
I will walk you through any steps and will not let you fail.

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FYI: I tried troubleshooting the keyboard, which gave no negative results. I tried reinstalling the driver of the keyboard using Device manger, which told me the driver I already have is up to date and the best driver for my keyboard. Which is unsurprising, given that I run automatic updates for Windows. It does in other words not seem to be a driver problem. Or?

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Can you use Keyboard tester and press these keys to see if the problem is hardware of Keyboard?

https://keyboardtester.co/keyboard-tester.html

Disclaimer - This post contains reference to non-Microsoft websites and there may be ads on the page for products & services including products frequently classified as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Product). Please thoroughly research any product / service advertised on the page before you decide to use them. Your discretion is very much advised.
Best regards
Vijay Verma

Timezone: UTC+05:30, PST+12:30
Availability Hours (UTC) : 05:00 AM - 05:00 PM

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Ok, I'm realizing I may not have asked my question sufficiently clearly. What I intended was that using the Alt key with the numerical keys to produce a whole host of different symbols doesn't work. E.g. Alt + 1 and Alt +2 should produce smiley faces, Alt + 3 a heart and later numbers in combination with the Alt key all sorts of special characters. This function of the Alt keys is what doesn't work, not the Alt keys themselves. Sorry if this was not clear!

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Before proceeding with further attempt at solving my problem, I need to point out that I may not have asked my question very clearly. What I intended was that using the Alt key with the numerical keys to produce a whole host of different symbols doesn't work. E.g. Alt + 1 and Alt +2 should produce smiley faces, Alt + 3 a heart and later numbers in combination with the Alt key all sorts of special characters. This function of the Alt keys is what doesn't work, not the Alt keys themselves. Sorry if this was not clear! Are your previous suggestions still relevant?

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Last updated November 29, 2020 Views 9,607 Applies to: