13 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl Key Not Working on Keyboard - How to Type Anything (2023)

Do you have problems with the Ctrl key not working on your keyboard?

The Ctrl key is an essential part of any keyboard, as it is used for many functions, such as copy and paste, undo and redo, and opening and closing tabs.

So if your Ctrl key is not working, it can be frustrating and can make it difficult to use your computer. In this blog post, we’ll explore some common reasons why the Ctrl key may not be working and provide some solutions to help you.

These techniques should assist you to troubleshoot and resolve keyboard issues whether you’re using a desktop computer or a laptop.

So, if you’re ready to get your Ctrl key back up again, read on!

13 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl Key Not Working on Keyboard - How to Type Anything (1)

Table of Contents

Fix #1: Shut Down or Restart Your Computer to fix the “Ctrl Key Not Working” Problem

The Ctrl key failure is an indicator that something could be wrong with your computer. The first action to take is restarting or shutting down the device.

Both options are available when you click on the Windows icon at the bottom left-hand side of your screen.

Simply obey the below steps to restart your computer.

  1. Click on the Windows Icon on the bottom left-hand side of your screen.
  2. Then click on the Power Button Icon below the list of options presented.
  3. Select either Restart or Shut Down based on your preference.
  4. If you choose to shut down, wait for a few seconds before switching on the computer.

Try the next method when you shut down or restart your computer and notice your Ctrl key is still not working.

Fix #2: Confirm Whether It Is a Hardware Problem by testing a different keyboard.

It is tempting to begin random fixes without a clear understanding of why the Ctrl key is not working. You first need to take the time to determine whether the problem is the keyboard hardware or software. If you make that your starting point, your work will be easier and less frustrating.

The easiest way to confirm if the problem is Hardware related is to try the Ctrl key on a different keyboard on the same computer to see if it works. And if it turns out working fine it means your keyboard is not in a good condition. Some of the guides here may help fix a faulty keyboard.

However, if after trying a different keyboard you see no changes, it means the issue is software related which we will address here.

Fix #3: Fix Ctrl Key problems with Troubleshooter

Another potential solution to this issue is to run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter on your Windows computer. This tool can help to diagnose and fix hardware problems, including issues with the Ctrl key.

The Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter is a built-in tool that can help diagnose and fix hardware problems on any computer.

If you’re experiencing problems with your keyboard, such as a non-functional Ctrl key, running the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter can be a helpful solution.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Open the Settings Menu

Click on the Start menu, and then click on the gear icon to access the Settings menu.

  • Step 2: Navigate to the Troubleshoot Settings

In the Settings menu, click on the “Update & Security” option. Then, select “Troubleshoot” from the menu on the left.

  • Step 3: Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter (Windows 10)

Under the “Find and fix other problems” section, click on “Hardware and Devices” and then click on “Run the troubleshooter.” Follow the on-screen instructions to diagnose and potentially fix any issues with your keyboard.

  • Step 3: Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter (Windows 10)

In the Settings app, click on the “System” option. Then, select “Troubleshoot” from the menu on the left-hand side. Under the “Other troubleshooters” section, click on the “Run” button next to the Keyboard hardware to start the troubleshooter.

  • Step 4: Restart Your Computer

Once the Troubleshooter has completed its diagnostics, restart your computer to apply any necessary changes.

Once the Hardware Troubleshooter has completed its diagnostics, restart your computer to apply any necessary changes.

If the Hardware Troubleshooter does not resolve the issue with your Ctrl key, you may need to check our other potential solutions discussed in this post.

Fix #4: Check and Adjust the Correct Keyboard Layout/Settings to fix the “Ctrl Key Not Working” Problem

If the Ctrl key gives the wrong action or incorrect characters when typing, that could be an element of the keyboard language or layout. Chances are high that the keyboard layout may have been altered unknowingly.

You can go through the layout on your computer and adjust the settings using the following steps:

  1. Click the Windows Icon on the left-hand side of your screen.
  2. Select the Settings Icon from the list of options presented.
  3. On the Settings Section, tap Time and Language.
  4. On the left side of your screen Click Language.
  5. Ensure the Windows Display Language is correct in English (United States).
  6. If that is not your preferred language, click the Plus Icon on Preferred Language.
  7. Select the language of your keyboard.
  8. Under the language selected, Click Options.
13 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl Key Not Working on Keyboard - How to Type Anything (2)

On the screen presented, under Keyboards, ensure that the format is displayed. For example, US-QWERTY if your keyboard is in that format.

Fix #5: Work on the Keyboard Drivers and Settings

The Ctrl key failure may also be due to driver issues. So, you need to take some time to review or inspect the keyboard drivers and settings.

At times, a typical occurrence is that the driver that helps manage your keyboard may be having issues due to reasons that include:

  • The installation of third-party software
  • Switching off your computer without using the recommended shutdown command.

You can start by updating or reinstalling the keyboard driver using these straightforward steps:

  1. On the Search Bar next to the Windows Icon on the left-hand side of your screen, type “Device Manager.”
  2. Click “Device Manager” when it appears among the Options on the Search Results.
  3. Find Keyboards on the list, then click on the arrow icon, which presents a list of keyboards.
  4. Select the specific keyboard with an issue and Right Click.
  5. Tap Uninstall Device.
  6. Reboot the Computer.
  7. Windows will then automatically identify the uninstalled keyboard and will, in turn, reinstall the latest driver for that specific keyboard.

Fix #6: Try an Older Version of the Keyboard Driver.

If, after updating or reinstalling the keyboard driver, you are still not able to get the Ctrl key working again, the next fix to try is to install an older version of the keyboard driver.

To do so:

  1. Press the Windows Key and R at the same time to open the Run box.
  2. Type “devmgmt.msc” and hit Enter.
  3. Find “Keyboards” and click to expand it.
  4. Right-click on the driver and choose “Update driver.”
  5. Choose “Browse my computer for drivers.
  6. Select “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.”
  7. Choose an older driver from the list and click “Next.”
  8. Wait for the process to finish, then restart your computer and check if the issue is fixed.

Fix #7: Disable Sticky Keys on Windows

Sticky Keys is a Windows feature that enables users to perform keyboard shortcuts by pressing one key at a time, rather than holding down multiple keys simultaneously.

Although this feature can be helpful for individuals who have trouble holding down multiple keys at once, it can cause issues with the Ctrl key and other keys on the keyboard.

If you have enabled Sticky Keys on your Windows computer and are experiencing problems with the Ctrl key not functioning correctly, this could be due to Sticky Keys intercepting the key press and altering its behavior.

As a modifier key, the Ctrl key is used in combination with other keys to perform various functions such as copying and pasting text. If Sticky Keys is activated, it may interfere with the Ctrl key’s functionality and prevent it from working correctly.

To resolve this issue, you can disable Sticky Keys on your computer. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. On the Search Bar next to the Windows Icon on the left-hand side of your screen, type “Control Panel.”
  2. Click “Control Panel” when it appears among the Options on the Search Results.
  3. Select the Ease of Access section.
  4. Under the Ease of Access Center, tap on “Change How Your Keyboard Works.”
  5. Turn off Use Sticky Keys by clicking the Toggle Bar.

Fix #8: Disable Filter Keys on Windows

Filter Keys is an accessibility feature in Windows that helps people who may have difficulty holding down multiple keys at once, by making the keyboard more user-friendly.

When the Filter Keys feature is enabled, Windows will ignore brief or repeated keystrokes, and will not respond to keystrokes that are held down for too long. This feature can help prevent accidental keystrokes and make it easier for people with motor impairments or disabilities to type on a computer.

So, if you are trying to use the Ctrl key with some other key(s) with no success, it means that having the filter keys enabled is one possible reason your Ctrl key may have some issues. Follow the steps below to turn off filter keys on your windows:

  1. On the Search Bar next to the Windows Icon on the left-hand side of your screen, type “Control Panel.”
  2. Click “Control Panel” when it appears among the Options on the Search Results.
  3. Select the Ease of Access section.
  4. Under the Ease of Access Center, tap “Change How Your Keyboard Works.”

Turn off Use Filter Keys by swiping the Toggle Bar.

Fix #9: Clean Your Keyboard to Remove Accumulated Dust and Debris

When was the last time you cleaned your keyboard? Most times, when Computers experience issues like the Ctrl Key not working, the first thought is that it may be a hardware problem or something complex.

But it is essential to note that simple things, such as the accumulation of dust or debris over time, can lead to the failure of some parts of a keyboard.

It is typical for dirt to accumulate over time which may easily be due to some of your habits. If you often eat while using your computer, crumbs may fall and find their way into the keyboard, which may cause keyboard issues.

Too much dust or debris may hinder the proper functioning of your keys as they may get clogged over time. Here are some of the ways you can clean your keyboard:

  • Using a small brush
  • Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the keys and remove any debris gently.
  • Spraying a can of compressed air in between the key spaces
  • Apply some rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth to remove any dried liquid or dirt stuck on or within the keys on your Computer.

It is recommendable to have a proper Computer maintenance routine to ensure your gadget is in good condition. A Computer in good condition will serve its purpose for an extended period. You can schedule the computer maintenance routine and scatter the dates throughout the year. It could be once in four or six months.

Aside from that, you can also avoid eating while using your computer to avoid the accumulation of dirt under the keys of your computer keyboard.

The Recommendable Way to Clean a Keyboard Without Damaging It

You can follow these steps and guidelines as you clean your Computer to avoid damaging your gadget:

  • Ensure you first switch off your Computer and disconnect it from any power source for your safety and that of the computer.
  • Flip your Computer so that the keyboard is upside down to make it easy for any debris to fall off. You can also use cleaning slime or the sticky side of the tape to eliminate any additional debris.
  • Use a compressed air blower to blow out any dust.
  • Apply some rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth and wipe through the entire keyboard. Use a reasonable amount of rubbing alcohol to avoid soaking the keyboard.
  • Use a dry cloth once done to give your keyboard a polished look.
  • Give the keyboard time to dry before using it again.

If cleaning the keyboard doesn’t solve the problem, explore the next options.

Fix #10: Check for Malware or Virus

Malware and Viruses disrupt the usual functioning of your computer. Your keyboard may be affected as a result. No specific virus may be pointed out as one to cause keyboard failure since a keyboard has no ROM.

If the Ctrl key, or some keys or all the keys on the computer keyboard are not working, the root problem could be malware or a virus.

Scanning and eliminating malware or a virus from your Windows PC is possible. You only need to follow these steps:

  1. On the Search Bar next to the Windows Icon on the bottom left-hand side of your screen, type Windows Security.
  2. Select Windows Security when it appears among the options presented.
  3. Click on the Virus and Threat Option.
  4. Tap Scan.
  5. Click Windows Defender Offline scan.
  6. Tap Scan Now to kickstart the process.

The scan may take a few minutes to do a thorough run, so ensure you exercise patience as you await the completion.

After the whole process is done, your Windows PC will restart. The scan will work as needed by detecting and removing any malware or virus.

Thus, if the problem of the Ctrl key not working was due to a virus, it should start working again.

Fix #11: Use an External Keyboard

Sometimes fixing something involves having alternative options. Getting an external keyboard should be among the options to consider when the Ctrl key on your computer stops working.

An external keyboard will enable you to go about your normal operations or processes as you look for ways to fix the in-built Computer keyboard. It will save you time and agony. Aside from that, it also presents numerous benefits.

Benefits of an External Keyboard

Here are some benefits of an external keyboard:

  1. Easily Replaceable – An external keyboard is easily replaceable, so you need not worry about your computer keyboard malfunction disrupting your everyday operations. For example, you can immediately replace an external keyboard by ordering online from a well-known platform like Amazon.
  2. Preserves your inbuilt Laptop keyboard – If you own a Laptop, by using the external keyboard for a while, you are protecting the inbuilt Laptop keyboard from wear and tear. You get to preserve your inbuilt keyboard as you perform all typing tasks on the external keyboard.
  3. Prevents Wrist Injuries – If you spend a huge chunk of your day typing, there is a risk of developing wrist tendonitis. It is a condition that develops when the tendons in your wrist are in constant motion. The design of an external ergonomic keyboard is intended to provide users with a pleasant typing experience. Your arms, hands, and wrists will not strain as you type.

Fix #12: Turn on the Onscreen Keyboard

The on-screen keyboard is a virtual keyboard that is displayed on the computer screen and can be used to enter text by clicking on the keys with a mouse or other pointing device.

An onscreen keyboard could be a short-term alternative if your Ctrl key stop working.

Follow these steps to turn on your onscreen keyboard:

  1. Click the Windows Icon on the left-hand side of your screen.
  2. Select the Settings Icon from the list of options presented.
  3. On the Settings Section, tap Ease of Access
  4. Scroll down to the interactions sections and select Keyboard.
  5. Under the Use Your Device Without a Physical Keyboard, Turn On Use the On-Screen Keyboard.
  6. Alternative to the above steps, simply press the Windows key and search the term “On-Screen Keyboard” then click on the first result.

You can use the on-screen keyboard even when your computer does not have a touchscreen. The keyboard appears on your screen, and you can use your mouse to tap on the keys.

Using an on-screen keyboard may be slow or challenging, but it is an excellent way to stay productive while waiting to fix your keyboard.

Fix #13: Consult a Computer Technician

Consulting a computer should be your last resort when nothing else from the options mentioned works.

The option is recommendable because a professional will inspect and conduct any necessary tests to find reason why your keyboard Ctrl key is not working. In the process, a computer technician may find other issues, so by the time they are done, your computer keyboard will be in a good state, and the Ctrl key will be up and working again.

A good Computer technician will also advise you on whether to do a repair or a replacement. Their knowledge and expertise make it easy for them to know what would work best for your computer.

When looking for a reliable Computer technician, you should consider the costs involved. Also, seek recommendations from family and friends before settling on a computer technician. You can also look for one online but make sure you do your due diligence.

Benefits of Consulting a Professional Computer Technician

A professional Computer technician will give you relevant advice that may help you maintain your computer for an extended period. You will also get some insights on the most probable cause of the failed keyboard. It would help you avoid some things that lead to failure.

A professional Computer technician will help save you time, mainly if you depend on your computer for essential work. A professional will most likely work with your timelines or give you a period within which they can get the work done.

Some professional Computer technicians offer a warranty period. A warranty period means that if your keyboard malfunctions within that period, the technicians will repair it cost-free. A warranty period will make you less worried because it is a reliable backup plan.

Wrapping Up on Ctrl Key Not Working

It must be frustrating to open your computer to do some work and discover that the Ctrl key is not working. The article guides you on some possible reasons for keyboard failure. You also get a list of ways to fix the issue.

Some of the common problems you may encounter include some or all of the keys of your keyboard not working. It is a normal occurrence, meaning you do not need to panic or think you are out of luck. You only need to realize that it could be a software or hardware issue.

Some significant causes of keyboard failure include physical damage, accumulation of dirt and debris, an outdated driver, or improper settings.

Most issues around Computer keys are fixable, as numerous ways exist to resolve the issue. You can first take up the challenge and start troubleshooting or carry out the above series of activities to help solve the problems.


What is the alternative for Ctrl key? ›

Note: The Command Key

In most keyboard shortcuts, command will replace Ctrl (for example, on a Windows machine Ctrl+C copies, and on a Mac machine, Cmnd+C copies).

How do I unlock the Ctrl key? ›

Go to Start / Settings / Control Panel / Accessibility Options /Keyboard Options. b. Turn off CTRL lock if it's on.

How do I enable Ctrl keys on my keyboard? ›

Move your cursor to the Experimental tab and open that tab, you will find experimental console features, you will have various shortcut key options under Experimental Control Settings. Check Enabled experimental console features (applies globally) and then ensure that Enable new Ctrl keys shortcuts is checked.

How do I unfreeze my Ctrl key? ›

Keyboard Shortcuts to Fix Frozen Computer
  1. Wait For Sometime. ...
  2. Press Win + Ctrl + Shift + B. ...
  3. Press Alt + Tab. ...
  4. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. ...
  5. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del. ...
  6. Reboot Frozen Computer.

How do I reset my keyboard? ›

To reset a wireless keyboard:
  1. Turn off your keyboard.
  2. With the keyboard turned off, hold down the ESC key.
  3. While holding down the ESC key, turn on your keyboard.
  4. After about 2 to 5 seconds, release the ESC key. You will see the keyboard lighting flash if the reset is successful.

What is Ctrl F12? ›

Ctrl + F12 opens Word document. Ctrl + Shift + F12 prints Word document.

How do I copy and paste without Ctrl key? ›

2. Use your mouse to cut or copy and paste (right-click menu) If you use your cursor for highlighting, the right-click menu is convenient for moving or copying the selected data. Right-click or press-and-hold on your selection to open a contextual menu, and then press Cut or Copy, depending on what you want.

How do I paste without Ctrl C? ›

Place your cursor where you want to paste the copied text and press Ctrl+V.

What does Ctrl +L do? ›

Ctrl+L Aligns the line or selected text to the left of the screen.

What does Ctrl Alt Lock do? ›

You press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to lock the local computer. You unlock the local computer from an idle state after a period of inactivity.

What function keys unlock keyboard? ›

Just press and hold the Fn key first and then press the FnLock or the padlock icon. This will activate the lock. To reverse it, just hold the Fn key again and then press FnLock or the padlock icon.

How do you unlock Ctrl Alt? ›

Here's how to do it.
  1. Press the Win + R to open the Run Command.
  2. Type "netplwiz" and click on the OK button. ...
  3. Next, switch to the Advanced tab and go to the Secure sign-in section.
  4. Now uncheck the box next to Requires users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
  5. Click Apply > OK apply the changes.
Sep 22, 2022

How do I enable Ctrl Esc? ›

How do I enable Ctrl-Esc to start Task Manager?
  1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.
  3. Click Edit - New - String Value and enter the name as TaskMan.
  4. Double click the entry and set the value to TASKMAN. ...
  5. Close the registry.

How do I make Ctrl C work again? ›

On This Page :
  1. Fix 1. Restart Your Computer.
  2. Fix 2. Enable the Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V Function in Windows 10.
  3. Fix 3. Update Your Keyboard Driver.
Jun 27, 2022

How do I repair my keyboard? ›

How to Fix a Broken Keyboard
  1. Check the batteries. This sounds simple, but it's always the best place to start. ...
  2. Check the connection. If you have a wired keyboard, ensure the cable hasn't come loose from the USB port. ...
  3. Re-pair the keyboard if you use Bluetooth technology. ...
  4. Clean it. ...
  5. Fix a broken key.
Sep 21, 2020

What is Ctrl F10 used for? ›

Ctrl+F10 maximizes or restores the selected workbook window.

What is Ctrl +N? ›

Ctrl+N: Create a new file. Ctrl+O: Open an existing file. Ctrl+S: Save the current file. Ctrl+Z: Undo the previous action. If you want to redo the action, press Ctrl+Y.

What does F7 do? ›

F7: Replies to the e-mail in the active window. F11: Saves the file in the active window. F9: Sends the e-mail in the active window. F10: Starts the spell checking program in the active document, if the document's program has this feature.

How do you Copy text without Ctrl? ›

Like the Alt key on Windows, the Esc key can act as a replacement for the Copy command. If you want to copy text and then paste it somewhere else, select the text using your mouse or arrow keys. Then, hold down the Esc key and release the mouse or arrow keys. The text should be copied to your clipboard.

What will Alt F4 do when running a program? ›

Pressing the Alt and F4 keys together is a keyboard shortcut to close the currently active window. For example, if you press this keyboard shortcut while playing a game, the game window will close immediately.

What is Paste Ctrl V? ›

(ConTRoL-V) In a Windows PC, holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the V key pastes the contents of the clipboard into the current cursor location. The Mac equivalent is Command-V.

What command is Ctrl C? ›

Keyboard Command: Control (Ctrl) + C

The COPY command is used for just that - it copies the text or image you have selected and stores is on your virtual clipboard, until it is overwritten by the next "cut" or "copy" command.

How do I enable Ctrl C and Ctrl V? ›

To activate the shortcuts open a command prompt (by running cmd.exe from the Windows Start Menu, for example) and then right-click on the title bar of the command prompt window as seen below. Click the “Options” tab and enable “Use Ctrl+Shift+C/V as Copy/Paste.” Click “OK” to save your changes.

What does Ctrl Shift +T do? ›


Opens the link in a new tab. Opens the tab in a new window. Opens the tab in the existing window. Returns the tab to its original position.

What is Ctrl +J? ›

Justify the paragraph. Ctrl+J. Align the paragraph to the left. Ctrl+L. Align the paragraph to the right.

What does Ctrl Shift QQ do? ›

Sign out of your Google Account: Press Shift + Ctrl + q (twice). See all keyboard shortcuts: Press Ctrl + Alt + / (forward slash).

Is there a key lock on my keyboard? ›

Most styles of keyboards have three LEDs indicating which locks are enabled, in the upper right corner above the numpad. Some ergonomic keyboards instead place the lock indicators in between the key split.

What are the 12 function keys on a keyboard? ›

  • The F1 key.
  • The F2 key.
  • The F3 key.
  • The F4 key.
  • The F5 key.
  • The F6 key.
  • The F7 key.
  • The F8 key.
Apr 21, 2021

What is F2 key used for? ›

F2 – Allows you to rename a selected file or folder. F3 – Opens a search feature for an application that is active at the moment. F4 – Alt + F4 closes the active window. F5 – Allows you to refresh or reload the page or document window.

What is Command Esc? ›

(2) The key combination in the Mac that enables a user to terminate an unresponsive application. When all three keys are pressed at the same time, the Force Quit utility is launched, which displays all open applications.

Is the Command key the same as Ctrl? ›

The Command key is sometimes used like the Control key in Windows; for example, Command-P and Control-P print a document. However, the Mac's Option key is also used for Windows Control key functions.

How do you Ctrl click without a mouse? ›

Press and hold the left or right Ctrl on the keyboard. While continuing to hold Ctrl , select each additional item you want to highlight.

What does Command Shift G do? ›

By hitting the keyboard shortcut Shift-Command-G on the desired clip, you can make personal notes about the footage. This organizational tool can be extremely effective when sharing your work with other editors and can be helpful if your work needs approval before being published online.

What does Ctrl A and Ctrl C do? ›

To copy all text in a field or a full page, use the Ctrl + A keyboard shortcut to select all text before using Ctrl + C to copy the text.

What is an Apple key? ›

A security key is a small external device that looks like a thumb drive or tag, which can be used for verification when signing in with your Apple ID using two-factor authentication.


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