Windows 8 Keyboard not working, but just for one specific profile (NOT a hardware issue)!

Hey folks this is the strangest issue.   My wife's Surface RT device had the keyboard AND the little windows button on the front completely stop working.   The mouse part of it and the left and right mouse buttons still work.   Also there are still small noises made when you tap the keys, but nothing shows up on screen.   I tried connecting and reconnecting the touch cover, tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers, and then I set up an entirely new profile on the device and the keyboard and windows button worked fine.    Then I logged into our Windows 8 desktop PC with my wife's account, and found that the keyboard doesn't work there either!   Perhaps there is some setting or another that has been corrupted in her Microsoft account and now that setting is roaming.... its the strangest problem.   Has anyone ever heard of it?     I'd consider just ditching her account and setting her up with a new one, but she's got a lot invested in her current one since it is also her email address and she's got a bunch of apps.




Neither of these methods did the trick.   The actual solution was to change a configuration setting within the "ease of access" center.   I had a setting called "Turn on Filter Keys" enabled, as well as some detailed options within that feature.   This was probably the result of my 3 year old daughter getting in there when I wasn't looking :-).    Since I had profile settings roaming across devices, it was affecting all the other devices signed in with this account.   After I fixed it in one place, the new setting propagated to the others and problem was solved!   I hope my pain on this is helpful to someone else in the future who runs into this problem.   


Additionally, I hope that the Windows 8 product team figures out how to "mistake proof" this configurable "feature" in the next product update, since I can't imagine that any "ease of use" scenario would involve making the physical keyboard and windows buttons stop working while still letting them make little noises as though they are functioning.



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Last updated February 14, 2021 Views 8,675 Applies to: