Fix: Shift Key not Working

The shift key is a modifier key present on your keyboard whose main function is to capitalize lower case letters and help in selecting distinct objects in the file explorer or your desktop. Shift keys are also used with the combination of other keys (Ctrl, Esc, Alt) to perform other functions such as highlighting, task manager etc.

There are some instances where your computer’s shift key fails to work. Either it stops working entirely, or it works intermediately. There are several reasons for why this may happen; either the sticky keys are activated or your keyboard is not properly attached to the computer.

Solution 1: Sticky Keys

Sticky keys is an accessibility feature of Windows operating system to assist users with physical disabilities. It serializes keystrokes instead of pressing one key at a time. This allows the user to press and release a modifier key, such as Ctrl, Alt, Shift or the Windows key. If you press the Shift key 5 times, a shortcut will appear to enable Sticky Keys.

Most of the time, this why Shift key is not working properly on many keyboards. We can try to disable sticky keys and see if this does the trick.

  1. Press Windows + S, type ‘Settings’ in the dialogue box and open the application.
  2. Select ‘Ease of Access’ from the list of options available.

  1. Select ‘Keyboard’ using the left navigation pane present at the left side of the screen. Now make sure that ‘Sticky Keys’ are disabled. Toggle the button if it is not.

  1. Consider restarting your computer. Now check if you are press Shift keys with ease.

Note: A tip suggests pressing the shift key throughout the boot process.

Solution 2: Making sure Keyboard is plugged in Correctly

If sticky keys aren’t enabled, you should make sure that your keyboard is plugged in correctly. If you are using a PC, make sure that the USB connection is properly inserted. Furthermore, also make sure that the connection of the port on the motherboard is connected properly.

If you own a laptop, you should make sure that there is no residue dust present inside the keyboard. You can easily find out how to clean your keyboard according to your model on the internet. If there is no dust, consider opening the keyboard from above and make sure no screws are loose and all connections are plugged in properly.

Solution 3: Updating Keyboard drivers

If both the above solutions don’t work, we can try updating the keyboard drivers and see if there is any problem. Your drivers are the main driving force behind any type of hardware. If they are corrupt or not updated, they might cause a problem at your end.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the device manager, click on ‘Keyboards’ subheading and select ‘Update driver’.

  1. You can either download the drivers using the manufacturer’s website and install them manually using a manual update or you can try updating them using automatic update. After updating the drivers, restart your computer and see if the problem got solved.

Solution 4: Plugging in another keyboard

Try plugging in another keyboard using a USB connecting and test the Shift key in it. If it is working properly, it means that there is not a problem regarding any software configuration on your computer. You should check the keyboard input language settings just in case.

If another keyboard work and yours doesn’t, check your keyboard for any hardware problems and if there are any, get them repaired by a good technician.

Note: You can try booting your computer in safe mode and see if the problem persists there. If it does, it means there is some software on your computer which is causing the problem.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Shift Key not Working

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