How to Fix Windows Key or Button Not Working Issue? (2023)

The Windows key not working issue often occurs when the Windows key is locked. If you are wondering, it might be possible that your Windows key might be blocked due to accidentally pressing the lock key on the keyboard, which the manufacturers integrated to avoid minimizing while playing games.

Even though the locked Window key might not be available on your keyboard, it is possible that some other causes, such as filter keys, corrupted driver, and enabled game mode prevent you from using the Windows key.

Keyboard's Windows Key Not Working
Keyboard’s Windows Key Not Working

Now after understanding the leading cause, let’s have a look at some other contributors:

  • Disabled Windows key- If your Windows key is locked, you won’t be able to use it until you unlock the Windows key. To do that, you should carefully look for the lock key on your keyboard.
  • Corrupted Keyboard Driver- It might be possible that your keyboard driver is corrupted, which is why the issue is occurring. However, if your driver is corrupted, you can easily fix this by updating or reinstalling the keyboard driver.
  • Hardware Issue- On the other hand, the issue can also be caused by the defective Windows key. To ensure that your Windows key is working, try plugging another keyboard into your computer to check if this is your keyboard issue. As a result, your Windows key should not work on your other keyboard if it’s locked or if some other reason is causing this issue. Otherwise, it will be your keyboard issue. 
  • Enabled Game Mode- Even though Game Mode is designed to increase performance for low-end and high-end computers, it sometimes stops the Windows key from functioning. Hence, try disabling Game Mode to fix this issue.
  • Interference Of Filter keys- As per the affected users, the filter keys often prevent the users from using the Windows key. You can try disabling the filter key from settings to fix this issue.

Before determining and fixing this issue, you must confirm that your Windows key is not broken. Go to this website from Microsoft and press the Windows key repeatedly to test your key. If the website detects the Windows key, that means your Windows key is working fine. If that’s the case, just follow the below methods to troubleshoot your issue.

You can also try pressing the other Windows key to check if it’s working. If it’s not working, it might be disabled from your keyboard. If one Windows key is working and another is not, it might be broken.

However, you can use the PowerToys application to divert your keys. To do that, scroll down to the 8th method.

1. Unlock Your Windows Key

Some modern gaming keyboards have a “Game Mode” that disables the Windows key. There is a high chance that you accidentally pressed the lock key, which is why the Windows key is not working. To fix this, you will need to unlock the key by pressing the lock key again. You can find the lock key in the functions keys on the top of the keyboard, it should have a lock icon, which you can use to recognize the key.

HyperX has Fn + F12, which you can press to enable and disable the Windows key. If your keyboard does not have a lock key, you can try pressing FN + F6, FN + F12, or FN + Win simultaneously to unlock the Windows key. If that does not fix this issue, follow the next method.

2. Use Registry Editor

Another method to fix this issue is to delete the Scancode Map entry from the registry editor. This entry allows the user to disable the Windows key, so the game will not minimize when you accidentally press the Windows key. You can fix this issue by deleting the Scancode Map entry via the registry editor.

Before making changes to the registry editor, make a full backup. Below are the steps:

  1. Press the Win + R to launch Run Window
  2. Type Regedit and click OK to navigate
    Opening Registry Editor
    Opening Registry Editor
  3. Go to the following directory
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout
  4. In the right pane, locate the entry named Scancode Map
    Note: If you did not find the scancode map entry, move on to the next method.
  5. Right-click the scancode map entry, and click Delete
    Deleting Scancode Map
    Deleting Scancode Map
  6. After removing the entry, click Start Menu and type Windows PowerShell
  7. Right-click the powershell and click Run As Administrator

    Launching Windows PowerShell
    Launching Windows PowerShell
  8. Now paste the following command to reset all apps
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}
    Resetting Apps
    Resetting Apps
  9. Ignore the errors and close the terminal
  10. Once done, restart your computer and check if the issue is fixed.

3. Run Keyboard Troubleshooter

Usually, troubleshooting tools fix various issues automatically. Microsoft developed troubleshooting tools to resolve common issues. Therefore, running the keyboard troubleshooter might fix your issue if this issue occurs due to some common reason. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to Settings by pressing the Win + I on the keyboard
  2. Then, head to the Update & Security

    Go to Windows Update Security Settings
    Go to Windows Update Security Settings
  3. Click Troubleshoot from the left sidebar
  4. For Windows 11 users, open the Settings and scroll down to the bottom to navigate to Troubleshoots
  5. Now click View Additional Troubleshooter

    Navigating to Additional Troubleshooters
    Navigating to Additional Troubleshooters
  6. Select Keyboard under Find & Fix Other Problems
  7. Then click Run The Troubleshooter

    Running Keyboard Troubleshooter
    Running Keyboard Troubleshooter
  8. Once done, check if the Windows key is working.

4. Turn Off Filter Keys

Filter keys are the special keys that allow the users to write without repeated keys. Microsoft introduced filter keys to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes for users with hand tremors. However, the affected users have claimed on forums that disabling the filter keys is one of the ways to fix the Windows key not working issue. To disable the filter keys, follow the steps:

  1. Right-click the Start Menu icon and click Settings

    Opening Settings
    Opening Settings
  2. Navigate to the Ease Of Access, click on the keyboard from the left pane
  3. Scroll down a little bit and disable the Filter Keys by toggling off the Use Filter Keys option
    Disabling Filter Keys
    Disabling Filter Keys
  4. Once done, check if the Windows key start working.

5. Update or Re-Install Keyboard Driver

The issue can also be caused by the corrupted keyboard driver, if that’s the case, you will need to reinstall the driver. Reinstalling the keyboard driver is very simple, but before that, try updating the keyboard driver. If the device manager does not find the latest driver, then go for the reinstalling option. Follow the steps:

  1. Press Windows + R keys at the same time to launch the Run Window
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and click OK

    Opening Device Manager
    Opening Device Manager
  3. Right-click the keyboard driver and click Update Driver

    Selecting Update Driver
    Selecting Update Driver
  4. Choose Search Automatically For Drivers

    Selecting Search Automatically For Drivers
    Selecting Search Automatically For Drivers
  5. If the device manager did not find the latest driver for your keyboard
  6. Right-click the keyboard driver and click Uninstall Device

    Uninstalling Keyboard Device
    Uninstalling Keyboard Device
  7. Restart your computer for complete installation
  8. Once done, check if the Win key is now working. If it’s not, follow the below method.

6. Switch to Generic Keyboard Driver

You can try using the generic keyboard driver if reinstalling or updating the driver does not fix your Windows key. Below are steps on how you can switch to a generic keyboard driver.

  1. Right-click the Start Menu and click Device Manager
  2. Expand the Keyboards menu
  3. Right-click on your keyboard driver and click Update Driver

    Selecting Update Driver
    Selecting Update Driver
  4. Select Browse My Computer For Drivers
    Choose Browse My Computer For Drivers
    Choosing Browse My Computer For Drivers
  5. Then, select Let Me Pick From A List Of Available Drivers
  6. Select HID Keyboard Device
  7. Then, click Next to install the driver
    Selecting Keyboard Driver
    Selecting Keyboard Driver
  8. Once done, check if the issue is resolved.

7. Use PowerToys to Divert Windows Key

If your Windows key is not working due to hardware damage and you need the Windows key to work temporarily, you can download the PowerToys application. PowerToys is an application that customizes Windows features and remap keys to other keys. You can simply divert the Windows key function to another key on the keyboard to use the start menu. Below are the steps you can follow to remap your Windows key:

  1. Open the Microsoft Store and search for PowerToys
  2. Install the PowerToys application from the Microsoft store
  3. Once it’s installed, launch the application
  4. Click on Keyboard Manager from the left pane
    Opening Remap Keys Settings
    Opening Remap Keys Settings
  5. Click Remap A Key and then click the Plus Icon

    Adding Key Remap
    Adding Key Remap
  6. Now under the Physical Key, select the key you want to use instead of the Win key
  7. After that, select the Win key under Mapped To

    Remapping Key
    Remapping Key
  8. Once done, click OK, then click Yes when the warning notification appears
  9. Once done, you can use the start menu function by pressing the key you selected under the physical key.

8. Enable Start Menu

It is possible that your Windows keys are working, but the start menu is not working. We have a detailed article on it that turns the start menu into a working condition if it’s not working. Here is the link to How to Fix Start Menu Not Working in Windows 10/11?

In case none of the solutions have worked, it is also possible that your taskbar is not working. To fix this issue, you can visit this article on How to Fix Taskbar Not Working on Windows 10. Despite this, if you use any start menu third-party application, uninstall it and check if the issue is resolved.

9. Replace Your Keyboard

We have described all the scenarios above that are possible in this case. However, if none of the methods have worked for you, try changing your keyboard. At the beginning of this article, we have given a link that will take you to a keyboard test, you can try pressing the Win key to check if it’s damaged or not. If it is, changing the keyboard will fix your issue.


Hamza Mohammad Anwar

Hamza Mohammad Anwar is an intermediate JavaScript web developer with a focus on developing high-performance applications using MERN technologies. His skill set includes expertise in ReactJS, MongoDB, Express NodeJS, and other related technologies. Hamza is also a Google IT Certified professional, which highlights his competence in IT support. As an avid problem-solver, he recreates errors on his computer to troubleshoot and find solutions to various technical issues.