We came across a situation where users were unable to access their Keyboard at the Login screen in Windows 10. When you are required to enter your password, the keyboard doesn’t work and you are unable to get access to your computer because of this.
This issue resurfaces every once in a while with many diverse causes. This scenario was officially recognized by Microsoft Officials as well and an update was released to fix it. We will go through all the possible situations and iterate through the solutions starting with the easiest one and working our way down.
What causes Keyboard not to Work at the Login screen in Windows 10?
As we mentioned before, there are several different reasons why your keyboard may not be accessible to you at the login screen. They may range from Windows update to physical damage to your hardware. Here are some of the reasons:
- Windows update: Whenever Windows Update installs a patch to your computer, it also installs the latest drivers. If the drivers don’t get updated, you will not be able to use some of the most important devices (like the keyboard) until you update them manually.
- Filter keys bug: There is a known bug in Windows where if the filter keys are enabled, you are unable to use your keyboard on the login screen.
- Hardware fault: This is probably the main reason why your keyboard is not working. If your keyboard or its port is physically damaged, it will refuse to connect.
- Externally connected devices: If you have any externally connected devices, they might conflict with your keyboard and don’t let it operate.
- System in an error state: This is also very common and may induce more problems than just a not working keyboard. Systems get into an error state every once in a while and power cycling the entire setup usually fixes the issue.
- Incorrect Drivers: If incorrect drivers are installed against your keyboard, your keyboard will not be able to communicate with the operating system.
- Legacy support for keyboard: If you are using an older keyboard and if the legacy support for the keyboard is not enabled in the BIOS, you will experience this error message.
Since the solutions are very extensive and may vary case to case, we recommend that you start with the first solution and work your way down accordingly.
Solution 1: Checking Keyboard and Changing Port
The first thing to check in this scenario is whether your keyboard is indeed working and is in a working condition. If you have connected a faulty keyboard, of course, you will not be able to use it. Try connecting another keyboard to your keyboard and check if you can input properly.
Furthermore, also disconnect all external device except your keyboard and mouse. Other external devices can also conflict with your main keyboard. Also, try changing ports. If you have plugged the keyboard to the front USB slot, try connecting it to the back and see if you can input. You can also try connecting your keyboard to another computer and check it there. Once you are absolutely sure that your keyboard is working, only then proceed with the other solutions.
Solution 2: Power Cycling your Computer
Before we move on to more extensive solutions, it is worth mentioning that users were able to gain control of their keyboard again after they power cycled their entire system. Power cycling is an act of shutting down your computer completely and removing the power outlet as well. This eliminates any bad configurations saved on your computer and refreshes it.
- Shut down your computer properly.
- Once it is turned off, take out the power outlet or if you are using the laptop, take out the battery.
- Now press and hold the power button for a couple of seconds. This will ensure that all the power is drained.
- After waiting 2-4 minutes, plug everything back and check if the issue gets resolved.
Solution 3: Disabling Filter Keys
Filter keys is an accessibility function in Windows which allows the computer to ignore brief and repeated keystrokes on your keyboard. There is known bug in Windows where the Filter Keys conflict and cause no input at all. We will disable the Filter keys from your Login screen and check if this solves the issue.
- Turn on your computer and let the Login screen load.
- Once the Login screen is loaded, click the Accessibility icon present at the bottom-right side of the screen.
- Now if the Filter Keys are turned on, you need to turn it off by toggling the option once using your mouse.
- Once you are done with the changes, try inputting through your keyboard and check if the issue went away. You can also re-plug your keyboard and see if it helps.
Solution 4: Using on-screen Keyboard and Reinstalling Drivers
If both solutions don’t work and you are unable to access your Windows account through the login screen, you can use the on-screen keyboard and then troubleshoot further. In this solution, we will try reinstalling your keyboard drivers from the device manager and see if it makes any difference.
- Turn on your computer and let the Login screen load.
- Once in the Login screen, click the Ease of access button and then click on-screen keyboard.
- A virtual keyboard will appear on the screen. Use your mouse and then type your password to enter your account.
- Once you are logged into your account, make use of your mouse and click the Start
- Now click on the gears icon present to open the Settings. Once in the Settings, click on the sub-heading of Ease of Access.
- Now select Keyboard from the left navigation pane and toggle the on-screen keyboard.
- Now you have the on-screen keyboard and can use to troubleshoot the error you are facing. Now we will try to reinstall the keyboard drivers.
- Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
- Once in the device manager, expand the category of Keyboards. Select your keyboard, right-click on it and select Uninstall device.
- If you have more than one drivers, do the same for each one. Now restart your computer and check if the keyboard works. You can also try re-plugging it at this point.
Solution 5: Updating Windows (Installing KB4090913)
Previous Windows updates are known to install incomplete drivers for your keyboard. Because of this issue, Microsoft released another patch to fix where this scenario is resolved and proper drivers are installed on your computer. We will update your Windows to the latest build and see if this fixes our problem. Make sure that you have an active internet connection and are logged in as an administrator.
- Log into your computer using the on-screen keyboard and make it appear on your Windows screen as we did in the previous solution.
- Once your on-screen keyboard is working, press Windows + R, type “update” in the dialogue box and open the Settings.
- Now click the option Check for updates present at the top. Now Windows will automatically search for the latest updates and install them on your computer after downloading.
- Restart your computer after the update is complete and check if you are able to use the keyboard again.
Solution 6: Enabling Keyboard Support (BIOS)
If you have an older computer and have plugged in a new USB keyboard, you might not be able to access it because you don’t have the USB keyboard enabled in the BIOS. Here, you might find a button on your motherboard or try to unmount your boot drive to go directly into the BIOS without a keyboard. You can search your specific model and get more insight.
Navigate to your BIOS settings and check if the USB Keyboard Support or Legacy Keyboard Support is turned on. If it is turned off, turn it one and check if you can access the keyboard on your login screen.