There are numerous elements that consist of a good computer, but one of the most important is your keyboard. Whether it’s wired, wireless, USB, or Bluetooth, having an operational keyboard is a necessity in the everyday functioning of a computer.
But what if something goes wrong with the keyboard, and you’re left wondering how to fix arrow keys if they have stopped working?
A number of possibilities exist for why your arrow keys are not functioning. A simple reset may resolve the problem.
The most common reasons why arrow keys may stop working include faulty drivers, dirt buildup, keymapping, or the scroll lock or num lock being on.
The solutions are varied and may include the need to replace the keyboard. Let’s take a closer look at each issue in detail, and find answers to the question of how to fix arrow keys if they stop working.
Table of Contents
7 Ways To Fix Arrow Keys if They Have Stopped Working
1. Test for issues
Before we address any potential hardware problems, it’s best to double-check that your keyboard is in fact broken. There are a few easy ways to go about doing so. The easiest perhaps is simply rebooting your computer.
As you probably know, a restart often resolves a number of minor issues with various devices. Give your arrow keys another try after your computer’s up and running again.
If a reboot didn’t do the trick we recommend unplugging your keyboard from your desktop computer. But if there’s still no response after reconnecting, unplug the keyboard again and connect to another USB port.
If the issue has been fixed and your arrow keys start working, you know there’s a problem with the USB port of your desktop computer.
You might also try navigating your computer’s setup utility screen with the arrow keys, as they are the only keys that function there. Let’s break down the steps to access the utility setup screen.
First, you’ll want to locate the F10 key, then turn off your computer. As you reboot your device, press the F10 key continually. Keep pressing until a new screen shows up, which will be the utility screen.
Now it’s time to try moving around the menus. See what happens while you try to move up and down. Also, try pressing both slowly and quickly. If there’s no response, it’s time to move on to other steps.
But first leave the utility setup screen by pressing F9, which will take you to setup defaults. Then hit F10 to exit your home screen.
2. Faulty drivers
So a reboot and a change of USB ports didn’t fix the problem. There’s still no response showing on your screen when pressing the arrow button.
Perhaps an update to your keyboard drivers is what you need. Let’s go over that process next.
You’ll want to hit the start menu and the entire “device manager” in the search bar.
Once the manager is open scroll down until you see the keyboard listing. Then right-click to see the uninstall option. Finally, restart your computer. It should download the correct driver automatically.
But if needed, you can also do a manual download by going to the website of the keyboard manufacturer. For more help or information, touch base with their customer support. Their listings should also be on the manufacturers’ website.
3. Dirt buildup
Dirt, dust, and grime can be responsible for malfunctioning devices, and keyboards are no exception to their damaging influence. Keys can be jammed from a buildup of dust underneath if they’re not properly cared for over time, highlighting the need for ongoing maintenance.
To check if this is a problem you’ll want to use a keycap puller to remove the tops of keys so you can have a look inside. Chances are you’ll want to give the inside of the keyboard a cleaning now that’s it open no matter how dirty it is. Grab a Q-tip, a J cloth, and some cleaning solution.
Another option is to blow any particles out of your keyboard with compressed air, but there’s a chance you could push dirt further inside.
4. Faulty keymapping
Research has shown there is frequently a key mapping correction needed for computers that have no actual arrow keys. In those cases, the keys that are configured to function as arrow keys are mapped incorrectly. The solution may be to reinstall the software used to configure your keyboard.
5. Scroll lock is on
Let’s take a look at some simpler methods of getting your arrow keys working again.
Perhaps your scroll lock is on. Arrow keys will stop carrying out certain functions when using applications like Microsoft Excel if the scroll lock is enabled.
The scroll lock has various abbreviations, such as “ScrlLk, SL, ScLK, and Slk”, and although rarely used, it can be easily pressed by accident. There’s an easy fix, however. All that’s necessary is pressing the scroll lock key a second time.
You can check that it’s been deactivated by seeing whether the light on the keyboard to the top right is now off. Or you can also disable the scroll lock key entirely. Click on the Windows icon to access the on-screen keyboard. From there click on the ScrlLk key icon on the screen to disable it.
6. Num Lock is on
Another issue that can block the access keys function is an enabled Num Lock key. The Num Lk key can be easily pressed by accident, but the solution is also easy. A light on the top right of the keyboard should be lit up if the Num Li key is activated.
Once you press the Num Li again, it should shut down once again. Also if your keyboard has a number lock, once it’s turned off each number will have its own function. Eight is up, two is down, four is left, and six is right.
7. Keyboard replacement
After trying all of these possibilities, and your arrow keys still don’t function, then it’s time to consider buying a new keyboard. There are a number of low-cost membrane keyboards available.
Or you might be interested in a mechanical keyboard if money isn’t a concern. Such keyboards offer a number of options for customization and are typically built to last.
How To Fix Arrow Keys If They Have Stopped Working – Final Thoughts
Hopefully, we’ve given you some insight into the workings of your keyboard, and how to fix arrow keys if they stopped working.
As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of possibilities behind a malfunction, including faulty drivers, dirt buildup, key mapping, the scroll lock being on, or the num lock being on.
A reboot may resolve the problem, or you may need a new keyboard. But we hope this helps no matter how you arrive at your solution!
If you enjoyed this article, check out our “Can Keyboards Carry Viruses?” article here!