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Why is my Windows key not working? 10 Fixes

Special keys on our keyboards might not be used frequently, but they exist for a reason. And when one of these keys stop working as it should, no matter how rarely you use it, it’s bound to be frustrating.

In this article, we’re going over a few reasons why your Windows key isn’t working and what you can do to fix the problem.


What causes this issue?

Several reasons can trigger the Windows key not working issue.

  • Hardware malfunction on your keyboard.
  • Windows key is locked.
  • Xbox Game mode conflicting with your keyboard.
  • Windows 10 filter key bug. 

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How to fix this?

Here are a few solutions you can try out to see if you can fix the Windows key not working problem,

Restart your PC

The first thing you should do is restart your PC once and try again. Restarting can solve several seemingly random issues out of nowhere and has long been the first step of troubleshooting several problems.


Check your keyboard

Next up, check your keyboard for mechanical damage. Check the body of the cable and if you’re using a mechanical keyboard, check the switch under the keycap. 

If you see signs of damage or if your keyboard is just too old, it might be worth considering investing in a new one. Some mechanical keyboards let users swap out switches. If your keyboard allows that, you can try a new switch; otherwise, going with a new keyboard is your best bet. 


Check if the Windows key is locked

Many keyboards these days come with a Windows lock key which is usually a combination of the Fn key and the Windows key itself. Try pressing this combination to see if your Windows key starts working again. 


Disable filter keys

A known filter keys bug in Windows 10 can cause problems using your keyboard. Here’s how you can disable them.

Step 1: Click the search icon next to the start menu and search for accessibility keyboard settings. Click the corresponding search result. 

Why is my Windows key not working? 10 Fixes

Step 2: Make sure the Filter Keys slider is disabled. 

Why is my Windows key not working? 10 Fixes

Also read: Should I upgrade to Windows 11? 7 taking points


Try a PowerShell command

Try using a PowerShell command to see if you restore your keyboard’s functionality.

Step 1: Click the search icon next to the start menu and search for PowerShell. Click the corresponding search result. 

Why is my Windows key not working? 10 Fixes

Step 2: Enter the command below and press enter.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation) \AppXManifest.xml”}
Why is my Windows key not working? 10 Fixes

Your Windows key should be working fine now.


Disable Xbox Game mode

The Xbox Game Bar’s Game Mode can often lock the Windows key so that players don’t accidentally hit it and get bleeped out of the game.

Step 1: Click the search icon next to the start menu and search for Game Mode. Click the corresponding search result. 

Why is my Windows key not working? 10 Fixes

Step 2: Make sure the Game Mode slider is disabled.

Why is my Windows key not working? 10 Fixes

This should resolve the Windows key not working error.

Also read: Bluetooth codecs: Everything you need to know


Check the registry

Using the Windows Registry, you can also modify your keyboard’s settings, such as the layout.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Type regedit and hit enter.

Why is my Windows key not working? 10 Fixes

Step 2: Navigate to the following location.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout
Why is my Windows key not working? 10 Fixes

Step 3: Delete the Scancode Map registry key. If you don’t have it, move on to the next solution.

Restart your PC and try again. 


Update your PC 

Another thing you could do is to update your PC. Updating your PC will, in most cases, update your drivers and fix any issues in the process, including the Windows key not working error.

Check out this detailed guide to know how to update your PC here

Also read: How to install Ubuntu on Windows?


Run an SFC scan

Corrupt files are the number one reason your PC might behave weirdly. Here’s how you can get rid of them and potentially resolve your issue. 

Step 1: Press Windows Key + S to bring up the Cortana/Search box and search for Powershell. Open Windows Powershell from the search results.

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Step 2: Type sfc /scannow to scan your system for issues. 

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Step 3: If the SFC scan finds any problem, use the following command to resolve them. 

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
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Restart your PC, and the Windows key not working error should fix itself.


Repair your system

If nothing else works, the best way to get rid of the error is by simply reinstalling or repairing your OS. 

The Windows Media Creation tool is a great way to install and repair the OS. Using this, you can perform a clean installation or repair your OS without affecting your data.

You can download the Media Creation Tool here

Also read: Sling error 4-402: 6 Fixes

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