Laptop Keyboard Troubleshooting Tips and Quick Alternatives

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Replacing Broken Laptop Keyboard

Though getting an external keyboard is the easiest way to deal with non-functioning laptop keyboard, it’s not the most practical and convenient solution, especially in the long run. Obviously, we would really love to have our computer fixed and work on it conveniently, without having to carry extra hardware around. Fortunately, you can replace your portable computer’s keyboard for around $20 to $60.

Though taking off built-in keyboard and replacing it with a new one seem daunting, it is not as hard as you might think. Also, if you’re a DIY junkie or you hate expensive service fees, then this one for you.

The process usually involves unsnapping the cover, removing screws and disconnecting cables. If you are up to this challenge, then continue reading, as this part will take you to the project right at the comfort of your own home.


A word of warning though, a functioning laptop is a terrible thing to waste, and Dual Monitors Guide accepts no responsibility for any damage in your machine that might occur in the process. Furthermore, you may have to remove a handful of screws in duplicating our process. And before you proceed in this DIY, make sure you check whether your laptop is still under warranty period. If it is, you can save yourself from trouble and have it replaced for free.

This tip is for the brave at heart.


Shop for a Replacement Keyboard

(image from Amazon)

The first step is to get the right replacement keyboard for your laptop. There are tons of places you can look for laptop keyboards, such as Amazon and other online stores, and even at your local computer supply and repair shops. Some online stores even specialize in keyboard replacements, like and (with ‘s’). Make sure you get the product that fits with your device. Simplify your search by checking with your laptop’s model number (printed at your laptop’s screen bezel or on the attached label underneath your laptop). You can also check with your laptop’s manufacturer site or by calling your computer’s support/service department.


Replacing Your Broken Keyboard

Most laptops require similar keyboard replacement instructions. However, for those with unique models, you may have to research online for more comprehensive and precise instructions than the general steps this entry will provide.


Let’s Get Started

Ready Your Tools

Verify the newly purchase keyboard and make sure it fits with your laptop. Place the new keyboard set on top of the old one and see if everything fits right, from shape to sizes of keys. Then gather all the tools you need; small Philips screw, a butter knife or small and thin flat tool to pry off covers.


Step 1: Turn Off Your Computer - Make sure your laptop is off; unplug it from the power cord and/or take the battery out (if possible). Then, turn your laptop upside down.


Step 2: Look for Screws – Examine your laptop and check which screws you need to turn to disconnect the broken keyboard. Screws for keyboard usually have small keyboard indication. Some screws are hidden under the battery pack. Unscrew the screws that holds your keyboard in place, then lift the keyboard to expose the data cable that connects it to your laptop.


Step 3: Check the Cover Trim Between the Keyboard and the Screen – Most laptops use the cover trim to house access to the keyboard’s wiring. Check this cover trim for screws and hinges. Before you move the covering, be aware that your laptop may have housed some data cables. Data cable holds very important connection in your computer, and they’re usually sensitive and don’t hold much slack, so be very careful in removing the trim cover. Last thing you want is to rip the cable off or damage its connection.

(image from PCWorld)

Pull the keyboard upward carefully so as not to rip the data cable. Unlatch the data cable from its connector by flipping the small latch on its connector. Then, remove that flat data cable and set the old and broken keyboard aside.


Step 4: Attach the New Laptop Keyboard’s Data Cable – Get your new keyboard and align it to your laptop (don’t set it down just yet). Then, attach the data cable of the new keyboard to your laptop. Slide the data cable carefully to the connector, then flip the small latch back down to lock it in place.


Step 5: Attach and Screw Your New Keyboard to Your Laptop – With the data cable in place, you can now attach and screw your new keyboard to your computer. Again, be careful not to damage the data cable. Reinsert the screws you unscrewed. Place the plastic strip back in place. This may need a little force to snap back in. Also, reinsert all the screws you removed from the cover as well.

One you are done with these five steps, you can put the battery back in place and turn your laptop on. If everything in your installation of keyboard went smoothly, then you should have a keyboard that works perfectly. This DIY project costs a fraction compared to professional repair service.

There are many things that could go wrong with your laptop keyboard. However, having a key or two not working or the whole keyboard not working altogether doesn’t mean you need to junk your laptop and get a new one.

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