Surface laptop keyboard not working

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If the keyboard isn’t responding on your Surface Laptop, don’t worry, there’s a secret handshake that will fix it. Here’s what to do if the keyboard on your Surface Laptop isn’t working, whether or not the touchpad is working as well.

what you need to know

In some cases, the Surface Laptop keyboard may become completely unresponsive. We recently encountered this issue on a Surface Laptop 4, but have seen reports that it can also occur on other Microsoft laptops, from the original Surface Laptop to Surface Laptop 2 and 3.

On our Surface laptop, the keyboard didn’t work, but the trackpad did. Worse yet, the issue persisted even after restarting the Surface Laptop, which is the usual fix for weird Windows PC issues.

Our solution will still involve restarting your laptop. If you can’t reboot at this point, you can connect an external keyboard via USB or connect a wireless keyboard via Bluetooth to type on your laptop. (You can also use the touch keyboard built into Windows.) If your touchpad doesn’t work, you can connect a mouse or use the touch screen.

Hard Reset Your Surface Laptop

The solution is to perform a hard reset on your Surface Laptop. This is a bit like pulling the power cord on a desktop PC or long-pressing the power button on an iPhone. Force Surface Laptop to boot from scratch.

Warning: Your laptop will reboot immediately and you will lose any unsaved work in open programs when you use the keyboard shortcut below.

Fix Windows 11_10 Windows Key Not W...
Fix Windows 11_10 Windows Key Not Working

To fix Surface laptop keyboard, press and hold the Volume Up and Power buttons on your keyboard at the same time. (These keys are located on the top row of the keyboard.) Hold them down for 15 seconds.

Your laptop will shut down. Once it does, you can release the keys. Press the power button again to turn it on normally. Your keyboard should now work fine – it worked on our Surface Laptop 4, and we’ve seen reports of the same thing happening on other Surface Laptops.

Advice: If you encounter the problem again in the future, use this shortcut one more time.

It seems likely that some kind of firmware on the laptop or the hardware drivers in Windows are getting stuck messed up, so a typical reboot doesn’t fix this, but a “force shutdown” does.