Has the Windows key stopped working? Fix it

We are talking about a button so important that some keyboards even incorporate two, one on the right and one on the left. By clicking on any of them, the Start menu opens automatically. In addition, we have other shortcuts because “Win + E” opens the File Explorer, “Win + I” the Configuration section, “Win + R” the Run window, “Win + X”, the auxiliary menu of the Start menu , “Win + S” launches Cortana, “Win + TAB” shows virtual desktops, and so on.

Therefore, if we use this key on a regular basis, if it does not work, it may pose a problem when it comes to correctly executing any of these actions. This will cause us to have to make different additional mouse clicks for its execution. Luckily, there are different methods available to fix this problem.

Why is the Windows key not responding when I press

This problem may be related to different causes, since these can be very varied. The failure may be related to the configuration of our PC, including the software that we have installed or with our keyboard. In this case it may be that it has broken down so it could be solved by changing the keyboard. It may also be due to the problem when using Game Mode, since in this way the system blocks the use of it to prevent us from accidentally pressing it, spoiling the experience in our game.

Some even have the Windows key lock button so that we can activate or deactivate it while we play. There is also the possibility that the key is disabled within the registry editor of the operating system, which influences its operation. This is something that could have been caused by some software, game or malware.

Nor can we ignore that the problem is caused by a driver update or that it is obsolete or incompatible. These symptoms can also manifest themselves if File Explorer did not start correctly.

Whatever the reason for this problem, let’s see how to solve the problem through different actions.

How to fix the problem

Next, we are going to see different ways by which to solve this failure. Since we will not be able to use the Windows shortcuts since they do not work, we must use other types of shortcuts that do not require the use of this key.

Disable Game Mode

Some keyboards, especially those that are marketed for gamers, have the ability to disable it through another button or through a combination of “Fn” keys, which prevents us from pressing it by mistake during the game. This key is usually marked with the drawing of a joystick, so, if this is our case, we must make sure that it is not enabled.

Likewise, Microsoft’s operating system has a Game Mode to improve the experience during games. However, it can reach disable features and create conflicts, making it impossible for us to use the Windows key. To deactivate it, we click on the Start menu and click on the gear button through which we access the “Settings” and click on the “Games” section.

In the new window we select the “Game mode” option in the left column. Finally, we make sure that the “Game Mode” switch is off.

This also applies to keyboard. There are keyboards that have their own «game mode» that allow us to deactivate this key to avoid interruptions. We must make sure that this mode is disabled. This, in general, we can see from an indicator that is usually on the keyboard itself, usually in the form of an LED.

Reinstall the keyboard driver

The problem may be caused by faulty drivers on our keyboard, so reinstalling them may solve our problem. To do this, we write device manager in the search box of the Start menu and select it.

Uninstall keyboard drivers

We expand the “Keyboards” section, right-click on the controllers and choose “Uninstall the device”. Finally, we restart the PC so that Windows will reinstall the drivers automatically and check if it already works correctly.

Disable filter keys

The filter keys have a known error that can cause problems on our keyboard, so we can try to disable it to try to restore the functionality of the Windows key. To do this, in the search box of the Start menu we write control Panel and we execute it. Once inside, we make sure that in «View by», it is set to «Category» and click on «Accessibility».

Activate filter keys

In the new screen we click on «Change keyboard operation». Next, we must make sure that the option of «Activate filter keys» is not marked. In case it is, click to uncheck it. Finally, we click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Perform an analysis with SFC

The System File Checker is an operating system tool that allows you to automatically repair corrupted files and other problems. To execute it we write cmd in the search box of the Start menu and execute the Symbol of the system with Administrator rights.

Later we write the following command and press Enter:

sfc / scannow

Run SFC Scannow in Command Prompt

We wait for the scan and repair of corrupted files to finish which can take a long time. Once finished, we close the window and restart the system.

Run the DSIM command

Using this command built into the operating system, we can repair a Windows image, so by running it we may be able to solve the problem. To do this, we access the Command Prompt by typing cmd in the Start menu search box and run it with administrator rights.

Later we write the following commands, pressing Enter to execute them individually.

Dism / Online / Cleanup-Image / StartComponentCleanup Dism / Online / Cleanup-Image / RestoreHealth

Run DISM RestoreHealth

We wait for the commands to finish executing and restart the system.

Pass the antivirus

Since the problem can be caused by a virus or malware, we must perform a scan with our antivirus or antimalware to verify it, so that it can eliminate harmful applications that could have disabled the functionality. If we want we can use Windows defender, which we access from the “Settings” section. Then we click on “Update and security”, then on “Windows Security” and “Protection against viruses and threats”.

Windows Security examine now

In the new open window, click on the Scan Now button to perform a quick review of the system. We can also click on Exam options to perform a complete analysis for greater security. Once finished, we restart the computer and check if the problem has been solved.

Use PowerShell command

PowerShell is a powerful tool that we find integrated into the Microsoft operating system and that allows us both to make adjustments and to solve possible problems through commands. To do this, we must write powershell in the search box of the Start menu and make sure to launch it by clicking on Run as administrator. Subsequently, we write the following command as shown in the image and press Enter to execute it.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$ ($ _. InstallLocation) / AppXManifest.xml”}

Use PowerShell command

Once the command has finished executing, we close the PowerShell window and check if we can use it again.

From Registry Editor

From the operating system registry we can allow or restrict many functions, including keyboard keys and menu items. To access it we write registry in the search box of the Start menu and select the Registry Editor. Before starting, it is recommended to create a backup copy of it, by clicking on “File” and “Export”. We must remember that a misuse of this element can cause instability problems in the system, so we must use it under the responsibility of each user.

Next, we must navigate to the following route:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlSet / Control / Keyboard Layout

Registry Editor remove Scancode Map

Later, we must delete the registry entry Scancode Map, for which we click on it with the right button and select «Delete». Finally, we close the editor and restart the computer to see if the problem is solved.

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