3 Ways to Fix Keys on a Dell Laptop

Table of contents:

3 Ways to Fix Keys on a Dell Laptop
3 Ways to Fix Keys on a Dell Laptop

The keys on Dell laptop keyboards are the most difficult to use. Still, it is possible to fix them with a little know-how. Professionals won't bother fixing one or two keys - they'll suggest changing the entire keyboard. It is therefore useful to know how to repair them yourself. If your laptop is still under warranty, contact your Dell reseller: repair may be free or at a reduced cost.


Method 1 of 3: Fix a key that no longer holds

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 1

Step 1. Shut down your computer

Also unplug it from the wall outlet. At first glance, repairing a laptop keyboard isn't dangerous at all, but it's always best to practice it this way.

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 2

Step 2. Remove the key

A key that no longer holds is inherently easy to remove. You usually have to move the fingerboard in all directions to release it from its binding (or joint). If it does not come easily, slide a small flathead screwdriver under one of the angles to pry.

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 3

Step 3. Check the bite points of the button

Under the latter, there are four attachment points that snap into the binding and allow it to hold. See if all these points are in good condition. Depending on the state of the key, read one of the steps below.

If you cannot tell whether the key is damaged or not, take another undamaged key apart for comparison. You will gently lift the key by prying in a corner with a screwdriver. Compare the fastening systems of the two keys

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 4

Step 4. Replace a broken key

If one of the fasteners is broken, the key must be replaced. You can buy it online, taking care to mention the model of your Dell laptop. To replace the key, first engage one of the attachment points, then press the entire key to hear another click.

To help you out, when the spare part arrives, you can remove a key that you use little and put it in place of the broken key

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 5

Step 5. Repair the long key support rod

Indeed, the space bar and the capital letters are held by a thin metal rod. If the latter has come undone, it must be replaced by snapping it into two small slots located on the keyboard, at the bottom of the key. The rod should have two short lengths, right and left, facing the screen. Once the rod has been replaced, you can put the button back in place.

  • If the rod has been replaced two or three times and has come undone each time, all that remains is to change the keyboard or have it repaired by a professional.
  • If you completely change one of these keys, please order the correct rod. When installing the button, remove the rod in place by gently lifting it with a small flat screwdriver.
Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 6

Step 6. See if there are other problems

In general, a key that moves is often due to the key itself or the rod for larger keys. If you see that the problem is not with the key, read on. You will read that there may be problems with projections, broken fasteners or damaged membrane.

Method 2 of 3: Fix a stuck or non-working key

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 7

Step 1. Shut down and unplug your computer

This will prevent the risk of injury to yourself and damage to your device.

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 8

Step 2. Pry up the key with a screwdriver

Remove the stuck key with a small flat screwdriver. Start by lifting each side of the key, you should hear a little release noise. You may need to make another turn to separate the part.

  • Always lift it very gently. If the key does not come free with one corner, try in another corner.
  • To remove larger keys, such as the space bar or the caps key, pry up with the screwdriver from the top of the key (on the screen side).
Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 9

Step 3. See if there is anything blocking

It could be a crumb or a small piece of debris, which is why the button does not work very well. You can blow on it or use tweezers to remove the intruder. Take the opportunity to remove any accumulated dust with a dry air canister or vacuum cleaner.

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 10

Step 4. Clean the stains

If you've accidentally spilled liquid (which has dried up) on the keyboard, wipe it off with a lint-free cloth. Soak this fabric in a little 70% alcohol and rub the sticky area very gently. Do not replace the button until the alcohol has completely evaporated.

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 11

Step 5. Take a close look at the fastener

This white plastic joint is made up of two thin, square elements, attached to each other. These parts must be firmly attached to each other and to the keyboard. If not, it should be removed by prying up the corners with a screwdriver. See below how to replace a binding

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 12

Step 6. Check the condition of the silicone rubber membrane

This small, cone-shaped piece sits below the center of the fingerboard. See if it moves freely: when you press it, it should return to the up position. If not, it should be cleaned or replaced.

  • To press in the membrane, do not use any dirty or pointed object: it is a fragile part.
  • Clean the membrane with a lint-free cloth dampened with a little 70% alcohol. Wipe it gently and wait for it to air dry completely.
Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 13

Step 7. Glue a new membrane

Before you embark on this business, know that gluing is a delicate operation. If you put too much glue, the touch will be lost. If you are not sure, take your cell phone to a specialist. The repair is therefore meticulous.

  • Very gently remove the membrane from a touch that you are not using with a sharp knife. During this phase, it is very easy to damage the membrane, but it is the only way to recover a membrane.
  • Using a toothpick, place a little strong glue (silicone-based, for example) on a sheet of paper
  • Take the membrane with tweezers, press it on the glue, then apply the membrane to the keyboard.
  • Allow the glue to work for about 30 minutes or for the time specified on the package.
  • Replace the fastener, then the button in place. Wait another 20 minutes before using the button again.

Method 3 of 3: Replace the keyboard key attachment

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 14

Step 1. Check the binding for damage

A key binding is made up of two parts. The outer part is U-shaped, this is the one that snaps onto the keyboard. As for the inner part, smaller, it has a circle in its center which surrounds the cone-shaped membrane of the key. The two parts are articulated around two small axes. If one of these parts is broken, it is necessary to order either a complete new key or just the fixing. In both cases, it is necessary to take the exact model. If the binding is in good condition, go to the next step.

  • When ordering a key, make sure that the binding (articulation) is sold with it.
  • To help you out, by the time the replacement part arrives, you can retrieve the fastener for a seldom-used key and replace the broken part.
  • On some models, the two parts are independent. If they have come undone, you can put them back in place with a pair of flat nose pliers.
Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 15

Step 2. Examine another nearby key

On a keyboard, not all keys are fixed in the same way. Also, detach an identical key and close to the one you are replacing. To do this, lift it by a corner. See how the binding is positioned. This will give you a better idea of ​​how the pieces fit together.

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 16

Step 3. Place the widest part on the keyboard first

On some models, you need to apply pressure on the sides to let the wide piece enter. Do this before joining the two parts together. Once in place, it should be able to move.

Only the large element is attached to the keyboard, the other is movable

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 17

Step 4. Then present the smaller piece

Present it with the concavity down, otherwise find the side that has a groove, it will also face down. First, insert it between the two bottom pins (opposite the screen) located inside the large room.

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 18

Step 5. Put the two pieces together

Locate the two small tabs of the small one. They will enter the two apartments of the large room. Press gently to secure the two pieces.

If you apply too much force, you risk breaking the binding

Repair Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys Step 19

Step 6. Replace the key

Snap the button onto the binding. Position the key upright and press it until you hear two clicks. Check that the button is secure and working properly.


  • Use a fine-tipped felt-tip pen or small paintbrush to trace a letter that has been erased.
  • If many keys are damaged or erased, it would be wise to purchase another Dell keyboard. Buy the one that exactly matches the model you have.
  • If your keyboard is still under warranty, your best bet is to return the computer in its packaging to them for repairs.
  • The fixation is sometimes referred to as the “scissor joint”.


  • Great care should be taken in handling the membrane. It's harder to fix it than with a simple touch.
  • Note that if you repair your laptop while it is still under warranty, the warranty will automatically be canceled. If you are not sure if you can fix it, or if you are worried about damaging your laptop, your best bet is to have it done by a professional. If your laptop is still under warranty, contact your Dell reseller for the procedure.

Popular by topic