Using keyboard shortcuts on your Windows 11 PC can bring a lot of comfort to the table. Knowing the correct key combinations to perform certain tasks improves your speed and eliminates the need to juggle a keyboard and a mouse constantly. But what happens when Windows fails to respond to those keyboard shortcuts?
If the basic troubleshooting like restarting your computer hasn’t helped, you can use the solutions mentioned below to fix keyboard shortcuts not working on Windows 11.
1. Run the Troubleshooter
Windows 11 has a troubleshooter for just about every utility. So, before trying anything else, you should run the keyboard troubleshooter and let it fix the issue for you.
Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open Settings. In the System tab, scroll down to select Troubleshoot.
Step 2: Next, click on Other troubleshooters.
Step 3: Locate the Keyboard troubleshooter and hit the Run button to begin the troubleshooting process.
2. Check Sticky Keys & Filter Keys
Using shortcuts on Windows requires you to press the correct key combination at once. But if you’re having difficulties executing a shortcut that way, you can enable Sticky keys on Windows and perform those shortcuts by pressing one key at a time. Here’s how.
Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
Step 2: Use the left pane to switch to the Accessibility tab. On your right, scroll down to the Interaction section and select Keyboard.
Step 3: Turn off the switch next to Sticky Keys.
If the problem persists, consider disabling the Filter keys from the same menu and try again. When enabled, Filter Keys on Windows can sometimes falsely ignore keystrokes.
3. Disable Game Mode
Gaming keyboards often carry special modes that effectively disables keyboard shortcuts to prevent any accidental interruption during a game. If you’ve been using a gaming keyboard, you’ll need to access the keyboard’s software and look for any options that might have disabled the shortcuts on Windows.
4. Restart Human Interface Device Service
Human Interface Device Service is a program that is responsible for the keyboard shortcuts functionality on Windows. If the service is not running in the background, the Windows keyboard shortcut won’t work. Here’s how to enable it.
Step 1: Open the Start menu, type in services, and press Enter.
Step 2: In the Services window, scroll all the way down to locate Human Interface Device Service. Right-click on it and select Start from the list.
If the service is already running, select Restart.
5. Enable Windows Key Hotkeys From Group Policy
If you’re a Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise user, you can also access the Group Policy and ensure that keyboard shortcuts are not disabled from there. Here’s how.
Step 1: Press Windows key + R to launch the Run command, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter.
Step 2: In the Group Policy Editor window, use the left pane to navigate to the following folder.
User ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsFile Explorer
Step 3: On your right, double-click on the Turn off Windows Key hotkeys option.
Step 4: Select Disabled from the following window and hit Apply followed by OK.
Exit the Group Policy Editor and restart your PC before checking the keyboard shortcuts.
6. Update Keyboard Drivers
Drivers help Windows to communicate with your PC’s hardware. If there’s an issue with the installed keyboard drivers on your Windows 11, it may not function as expected. You can try updating those drivers to see if that helps fix the issue. This is applicable for the desktop and laptops. Here’s how.
Step 1: Click on the Search icon from the taskbar, type device manager and click on the first result that appears.
Step 2: Find and expand Keyboards. Right-click on the keyboard drivers, and select Update driver from the list.
7. Try Clean Boot
Third-party programs on your PC can also cause the shortcut not working issue. For instance, if you’ve been using a program like PowerToys to remap keys or shortcuts on Windows, the shortcut not working issue can occur.
You can try booting your PC in a Clean Boot state to start it without any third-party programs or unnecessary services. Here’s how.
Step 1: Press the Win + R to open the Run dialog. In the Open field, type msconfig.msc, and press Enter.
Step 2: In the System Configuration window, navigate to the Services tab. Mark the box that reads ‘Hide all Microsoft services box’ and then click on Disable all button.
Step 3: In the same window, navigate to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
Step 4: Under Startup, select Disable all the programs.
Once done, restart your PC. This time, Windows will only boot with essential programs and services. If the shortcuts are working fine during this time, then you’ll need to find and remove any conflicting third-party apps or programs that might be causing the issue.
Navigate Quickly with Shortcuts
Aside from trying the above solutions, it’s also important to clean your keyboard from time to time. Dust or debris can easily slip in between the keys and clog them. If one or more keys on your keyboard are stuck or non-functional, Windows might fail to register their key inputs.
Last updated on 07 February, 2022
The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.