How to Fix Windows Shift Key Not Working Issue

The Shift key is a modifier key on a computer keyboard that capitalizes letters, accesses special characters and symbols, and simultaneously deletes numerous texts.

If the Shift key stops working, it could disrupt your workflow. This guide will explain how to troubleshoot and repair the Shift key on your computer.

Where is The Shift Key Used?

Usually, the Shift key is used to make the text uppercase when typing or to add symbols, it is also used in many applications, most notably video games.

There are also many keyboard shortcuts in Windows and third-party apps that use the Shift key.

The Most Common Indications for Shift Key, not Working Problem

Before delving into fixes, it is crucial to specify the nature of the problem. Is the shift key unresponsive, or does it produce surprising outcomes when pressed? Does the problem occur with both left and right shift keys? Is it restricted to particular applications or system-wide? 

By understanding these details, you can narrow down the probable causes and solutions. The most common indications of the Shift key not working problem are given below: 

1) Shift Key Not Working along with Other Keys

When other keys, together with the shift key, just refuse to work, you should understand that it is a clue that the shift key has an issue. In most cases, these keys become sticky and stuck at some point. Again, it is not easy to approach the entire troubleshooting procedure if it is only some keys that are not being identified, particularly by your operating system. A possibility of missing keyboard drivers may result in shift keys not working.

2) When Most Keyboard Keys Stick 

This is also another common clue that shift keys have declined to work. It could be that the keyboard is dusty and requires blowing or it could be a problem with accumulation of garbage under the keys. Some users have reported using compressed air to clean the accumulated dust. All the same, safekeeping of your keyboard would be the easiest means to help you unravel this problem.

3) When Some Keys Are Not Recognized

It could be that you are typing a specific letter but what appears on the screen as typed is a distinct one. For instance, you are required to type the letter “b” but get a “h”. This problem indicates that some keys are not being acknowledged and possibly not working.

4) The Entire Keyboard Does Not Respond

This could be a mixed reaction to the problem. One probable reason is, of course, that the shift key is developing troubles with the full keyboard or that the keyboard itself has a problem and lacks fixing. However, there are ways in which you can figure out if it is the entire keyboard that is not working or some distinct parts. 

Some technicians can always look into this matter and settle the problem by fixing some keys. It is, therefore, crucial to find out before deciding to replace your keyboard.

5) Keyboard Characters Do Not Match

This creates the exact problem, as keys are not identified. However, in this scenario, the keys return a completely distinct output from what you were expecting to see on the screen. The probable way out is to change the keyboard layout. This is because they might have been set to another language when you use another one.

How do I fix the Shift key not working?

Before fixing the shift key not working issue, you need to check if the other keys on your keyboard work fine by pressing any other key on your keyboard to check if it works properly. You may try the following fixes to resolve your issue: 

1. Check for Physical Damage

If your shift key suddenly stops working, it could indicate physical damage. To check for physical damage, turn off your computer and carefully inspect the key for dirt or debris. 

You can also turn your laptop upside down and jerk it gently. If you find any, use a soft brush or compressed air to clean the area gently.

2. Restart Your Computer

If you have verified that there are no physical connection problems, you need to restart your computer. This gives the machine a fresh start and could potentially resolve nominal software glitches that might cause the shift key to not work. 

You need to keep in mind to save files or applications before shutting down to safeguard your work.

This will guarantee that none of your work is lost because of the restart. After restarting, you need to open a text document and try typing again. If the shift key does not respond, there may be a problem with your software settings.

3. Check Your Keyboard Settings

The Filter key is an accessibility feature on Windows that could interfere with your keyboard’s regular functioning. It overlooks brief or repeated keystrokes, which may fail to process the input completely. 

To prevent this from occurring, you need to try to disable the Filter key option and see if it solves the issue. You need to follow the steps given below to go through this: 

  • Press Win + I on your keyboard to open the Settings menu.
  • From the left sidebar, you need to click on the Accessibility tab.
  • Then, you must scroll down to the interaction section and click the keyboard option.
  • From here, you can find the Filter Keys option and toggle it off.

Once accomplished, you need to close the Settings window and see if the shift key is functioning.

4. Update or Reinstall Keyboard Drivers

If the shift key still doesn’t work, it could be a problem with your keyboard drivers. Outdated or corrupt drivers may cause compatibility problems and prevent hardware from working. 

If you want to fix this issue, you have to update your keyboard drivers by using the instructions given below: 

  • You need to press Win + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Then, you must type devmgmt.msc in the text field and hit Enter.
  • In the Device Manager window, you need to expand the Keyboards section.
  • Then, you have to right-click on your keyboard device and select the Update driver.
  • On the next page, you need to select the Search automatically for drivers option.

Now you have to follow the instructions prompted on your screen to finish the process. After that, you need to restart your computer and check if it solves the problem. If not, you need to reinstall the keyboard drivers. This resolves compatibility issues and ensures hardware processes are correct.

To reinstall the keyboard drivers, you need to follow the steps given below: 

  • You need to right-click on Start and select Device Manager from the list.
  • Then, you have to double-click on Keyboards and select Uninstall Device.
  • Finally, you need to click Uninstall again to confirm the action.

Now you need to close the Device Manager window and restart your computer. Windows will now automatically install drivers on startup. After that, you need to check the shift key again, and see if the problem is solved.

5. Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

Hardware and Device troubleshooter is a Windows program that scans your computer for hardware-related problems. Running this troubleshooter analyzes and settles underlying issues that may force the shift key not to work.

To run this troubleshooter, you need to follow the steps given below: 

  • You need to press Win + R to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Then, you need to type “msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic” in the text field and hit Enter.
  • In the Troubleshooting window, you need to click Advanced and check the box next to Apply Repairs automatically.
  • Finally, you have to click Next and follow the instructions shown on your screen.

The troubleshooter will now scan your computer for hardware-related problems. When it is accomplished, you need to restart your computer and check if the shift key now works.

6. Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter

This tool is identical to the hardware and device troubleshooter but particularly addresses keyboard-related issues. It notices software disputes or other problems that may deter the shift key from working. You need to follow the steps given below to run this troubleshooter:

  • First, you need to press Win + I on your keyboard to open the Settings window.
  • From the left sidebar, you need to click on the System tab.
  • Then, you need to scroll down in the right pane and click on Troubleshoot.
  • On the next page, you need to click Other troubleshooters.
  • Finally, you need to find out the Keyboard option in the list, then click Run.

You need to wait until the troubleshooter finishes and restart your computer. After that, inspect if the shift key functions normally.

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7. Scan for Malware

Viruses or suspicious programs interfere with keyboard functionality, leading to unresponsive keys. To determine if this is the problem, you need to scan your computer for malicious software.

You can perform a full system scan using the Windows Security app. You may follow the steps given below to do it:  

  • You need to click on Start and search for Windows Security.
  • Then, from the search results, you need to open the Windows Security app.
  • After that, you need to click on Virus & Threat Protection from the left sidebar.
  • On the right side of the page, you need to click on Scan options.
  • Next, you need to check the Full scan box and click Scan Now.

You need to wait for the scan to complete and check if it finds malicious programs. If threats are detected, you need to pull them out instantly. After that, you need to restart your computer and see if the shift key is working now.

8. Try a Different Keyboard

If the solutions we have suggested do not decode the problem, there is a high chance that the issue lies with your keyboard hardware.

If you want to separate this from other reasons, you need to try a different keyboard and review if the shift key operates now.

If you do not have another keyboard, you may open a virtual one. This is an on-screen keyboard that allows you to type without using physical keys. 

To access it, you need to press Win + R on your keyboard. This will open the Run command dialogue box.

Then you need to type osk in the text field and hit Enter. Now you need to check the shift key on this virtual keyboard. If it operates now, you should consider replacing the physical keyboard.

How Will  You Unlock the Shift key?

If you want to unlock the Shift key, you need to follow the steps given below: 

  • Open the run prompt by using Windows + R, type in regedit, and hit Enter. 
  • Then you need to navigate to the path below: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\TabletTip\1.7
  • Then, you need to right-click on 1.7, select New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) value.
  • Then, you need to change the name to EnableShiftLock and set the value to 1.
  • Finally, you need to click OK.

What will You Do if the Left Shift Key is Not Working on Windows 11?

If you find that the left shift key is not working, you need to follow the steps given below: 

  • Press Windows Key + I and the Settings app will now open. 
  • Then, you need to go to the Apps section and choose Installed Apps. 
  • Then, you need to click the three dots next to the app you want to remove and choose Uninstall.

Can Anyone Use the PC Without the Shift Key?

Yes, one can use their PC even if the Shift key is not functioning. Nevertheless, you need to keep in mind that your typing speed might be affected.

Also, you will not be able to use specific keyboard shortcuts. But if you just want to browse the web, you can do it without having to ever use this key.

Problems with the Shift key are usually not very severe, and they can be rectified by updating drivers and making sure that your keyboard does not have any hardware problems.

Why is the Shift key not working on Windows 10?

Usually, when a key is not functioning, the issue is related to a hardware issue. So, you must be sure to check if no dust or debris is blocking the key.

If that is not the problem, software is probably interfering with it, or you might even have a driver issue.

Why is the PC beeping when pressing the shift key?

This is probably due to the Sticky Keys feature. This is an accessibility feature, and to enable it, you need to press the Shift key a couple of times.

When you do that, a beeping sound will play, signalling that you have enabled sticky keys. This can be irritating, but you can disable it from the Settings app.

Conclusion

The Shift key is helpful for capitalization, symbols, and navigating Windows menus. Nonetheless, if it stops functioning, tasks become tiresome and productivity goes down. If other solutions fail, try performing a system restore to return your Windows computer to a previous state where the Shift key operated correctly.

Also Read: Building a Culture of Cyber Security Awareness in Your Organization

FAQs

How Do I Turn On the Shift Key in Windows?

You can turn on the Shift key in Windows from your Windows Settings. Open Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard. Then, search for the Sticky Keys option, and click on it. At last, you need to click on the toggle to turn on the Sticky keys. 

What Is the Alternative Key for Shift?

The alternate key to the Shift key is the Caps Lock Key. You will see this key above the left Shift key. You can utilize this key to conduct some functions, such as capitalizing words, copying, pasting, etc.

How Do I Reset My Keyboard

To reset your keyboard, you need to unplug your keyboard from your computer and wait for at least 30 seconds. Then, you need to press and hold the Esc key and plug it back. Keep holding the Esc key until you see the LED light flashing. 

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