Keyboard Acting Weird: Why It Happens And 11 Ways To Fix It

Sometimes when typing, you might see some issues with your keyboard. A scrambled keyboard might type the wrong letters/characters, or you might face frequent keyboard mistyping problems.

Average keyboards can last between 10 to 30 years, depending on several factors. However, you shouldn’t immediately assume that your keyboard broke. Spilling a drink on your keyboard, connectivity issues, and even configurations might be at fault.

That being said, we have compiled a list of reasons behind keyboards acting weird and what you can do to fix these problems! 

Why is your keyboard acting weird?

Keyboards vary in quality, shape, size, and configurations. A computer keyboard is usually more durable than a laptop’s keyboard since laptop keyboards are lighter and have an average lifespan of about five years or so.

A keyboard acting weird is nothing to worry about since these issues typically have easy solutions. Let’s go through some of the most common reasons a keyboard types the wrong letters/characters or doesn’t type correctly at all.

1. A keyboard key is stuck

Sometimes, a keyboard key might get stuck, and some issues might appear. In some cases, that key might repeatedly send signals, just like it would if you were to press it again and again.

In other cases, a stuck keyboard key might send a continued signal, similarly to how you would keep a keyboard pressed for keyboard commands.

In both instances, you will surely notice that your keyboard is acting weird or that the keyboard is not typing correctly. A general cause for this issue is related to regular maintenance. If you don’t clean the keyboard surface once a week or do a deeper cleaning once a month, these issues can arise.

For example, you may unintentionally spill a drink on your keyboard. Even if you clean its surface, that liquid will most likely end up beneath the keyboard keys. After some time, the liquid will make the keyboard get stuck.

Similarly, if you often eat in front of your PC, some tiny food crumbs can end up beneath your keyboard keys and cause issues. A keyboard mistyping or a keyboard not typing correct letters is usually one that possibly has debris underneath its keys.

2. NumLock is turned on

If your keyboard types wrong letters or behaves weirdly, it can be due to the NumLock key. This generally applies to some laptops, but it can happen on other devices as well.

You can easily forget your NumLock key is turned on, and it may be the reason for your keyboard acting weird.

3. Certain keys are damaged

Sometimes, your keyboard might be fine. However, when you type certain letters, numbers, or characters, it just won’t work.

This can be because certain keys on your keyboard are damaged, mostly because of usage, or maybe you have too many applications on your PC running, which may cause a lag effect.

4. Your language settings are wrong

If your keyboard is typing wrong, or if your keyboard is not typing correct letters, it’s possible that a different language other than the one you are accustomed to is set up on your PC. Certain languages have different input keys.

These input keys might interfere with the way you are accustomed when writing. Even if you know how to change the language, there are additional steps to take. Read on below on the answer titles to find out.

5. Keyboard drivers might be outdated

The wrong drive, outdated drivers, or even OS outdated drivers can interfere with your keyboard, making it act in a weird manner.

It is important to install the right drivers for your keyboard and update them regularly, including those for your other software since it might interfere with your keyboard and their applications.

6. Auto-correct settings

If your keyboard is typing different letters, then it might be a simple auto-correct issue. Auto-correct settings can vastly impact your writing, and it’s easy to have some wrong settings that will bother you.

Even if you’ve never used auto-correct on your PC, it’s quite possible that some faulty updates, apps, or even a family member changed those settings, resulting in your frustration.

7. You might have malware

A messed-up keyboard can be a sign that your PC is malware-infected. These days it’s quite easy to get a virus on your PC, and some of them can make your keyboard act weird.

If you have recently accessed some suspicious links or downloaded files, perhaps it’s time for an antivirus checkup.

8. The USB port might be faulty

Sometimes, it’s not the scrambled keyboard but the USB at fault. USB can get damaged over time or by forcing the plugin or removing it forcefully. These actions can damage the USB port, and in turn, make your keyboard act weird when you connect it to that same port.

In the same manner, you can damage your USB keyboard, which might render it useless or faulty. Children or house animals can also contribute to such situations.

9. Unstable applications

Let’s say you’ve recently downloaded some new applications on your PC. Not all applications are safe or work properly, regardless of where you download them from. These faulty or unstable applications may have a negative effect on your drivers.

Things such as your keyboard or mouse, among others, can become unstable after installing such apps on your PC. 

10. Low batteries on the wireless keyboard

If you are using a wireless keyboard, sometimes a low battery can make it act weird. The same thing applies if you are too far away from your PC, or if there is something between your wireless keyboard and the PC.

Certain objects can impact a wireless signal that will render your keyboard either useless or make it faulty. Those same objects can impact your WiFi as well.

11. Your keyboard is damaged or used up

As we mentioned, the average computer keyboard has an average lifespan of 10-30 years. Laptop keyboards have a smaller lifespan. Your keyboard might have issues since you have used it up. In other instances, keyboard issues can also arise if you have damaged it.

Since laptops are less durable than PCs, even a single fall might cause keyboard issues on them. 

How to fix a keyboard that is acting weird?

If your keyboard is typing the wrong characters, it might simply be a language setting issue. However, keyboards can act weird due to all sorts of internal or external problems.

Here are some solutions for a keyboard acting weird.

1. Clean your keyboard

Regular maintenance can improve the lifespan of any technological aspect of your laptop or PC. Sometimes, it’s easy for a small piece of bread, dust, and especially liquids or other debris to get beneath your keyboard, and make it act weirdly. 

It is essential to clean your keyboard’s surface once every week, and give it a deep cleaning every month, to ensure its functionality and durability. If you suspect that something is blocking your keyboard, this is how you can clean it.

When it comes to mechanical keyboards or computer keyboards, you will need:

  • Paper towels or coffee filters,
  • Q-tips or swabs,
  • A toothbrush or small brush,
  • Canned air or air compressor, or vacuum, (a light dusting)
  • Cleaning solution, either warm or hot water, (to remove stronger viscosity, use isopropyl alcohol diluted with water 50/50 mix)
  • A straw
  • A colander
  • Rice or kitty litter (for drying)
  • Keycap Pullers or oil spray lubricant (optional)

Alcohol or other cleaners might cause discoloration on your keyboard UV coating, and thus it is recommended that you first try with water. Always test the cleaning solutions beforehand, and see how the keyboard plastic reacts.

To clean your keyboard, follow these steps:

  1. Take a picture of it before removing the proper keycaps to remember its location. You will need to pull all of them off. To pull them off, you can use the keycap puller, or use your fingers. 
  2. Pull them upwards in one direction and not a strange angle, and proceed with caution.
  3. Next, you need to wash the keycaps with either a colander or something similar. Use warm water, and rinse.
  4. Allow the keycaps to dry completely. Now you have to clean the tray/baseplate.
  5. Use the paper towels/coffee filters and wipe the baseplate. You can use warm water initially, or a cleaning solution if necessary. Q-tips or swabs can be used for the nooks and crannies of the keyboard.
  6. Use little water, and avoid dripping. Just enough to clean, and watch out for the gaps that might lead to the inside of the keyboard.
  7. Use the q-tips/swabs to clean the switches, or dip the plastic straw in warm water, then apply it to the switches.
  8. Apply the oil spray lubricant if the switches are still sticky.
  9. You have to wait at least 2 days for your keyboard to dry up.

Some keyboards such as certain Logitech ones can be cleaned directly in the dishwasher

2. Turn NumLock off

To disable the NumLock key on your MacBook, press F6.

On the PC, simply push the NumLock button or press Fn+NumLock.

Check to see if your keyboard issues are still present.

3. Change language settings

Keyboard acting weird can be caused due to the language in use. To change your language settings, press the Windows+R key. Enter ms-settings:regionlanguage and scroll down to preferences. 

Here, in Languages, select your desired default language. Reboot your PC and see if the problem persists.

4. Update keyboard drivers

A faulty or outdated keyboard driver might make your keyboard act weird. You can search for your keyboard driver in Device Manager and update it. You can also uninstall your current keyboard drive. 

Press Windows+R and enter devmgtm.misc., and locate Keyboards. Click the PS/2 keyboard and select Uninstall device, and restart your computer. Windows 10 will typically reinstall the latest version of your keyboard driver. 

Sometimes, other outdated software might interfere with your keyboard. Make sure everything on your PC is updated. You can use tools such as DriverFix.

5. Disable or check auto-correct settings

Many users fixed the “keyboard typing the wrong characters” issue by configuring their auto-correct settings. To solve this issue open your Microsoft Word.

Go to File>Options> expand Proofing tab> click Auto-correct Options.

Check the auto-correct entries and see which options are interfering with your work. Once you’ve configured your auto-correct option, click OK, save changes, and see if the problem persists.

6. Perform an antivirus analysis

Malware and keyloggers can infect your PC and make your keyboard act weird.

Use your antivirus or get one and perform a checkup on your OS. Once you get rid of the viruses, your keyboard should return to normal.

7. Try a different USB port

Your keyboard might not be broken, however, to rule this out, try connecting it to a different USB port.

If the problem is solved, then your previous USB port is faulty. If the problem persists, try with a new keyboard.

8. Uninstall recent applications

If your keyboard started to act weird after you have installed certain applications, then you might need to remove them.

Go to Apps & Features and check your most recently installed applications, and uninstall them.

9. Change keyboard batteries

When using a wireless keyboard, it is easy to forget that the batteries run out of power. Try to change your keyboard batteries and see if the problem persists.

You can also try to move closer to your PC or observe if any objects between your PC and keyboard might mess up the signal.

10. Buy a new keyboard

Keyboards get used up in time and need to be replaced.

If you don’t want to buy a new keyboard right away, try borrowing one and connecting it to your PC.

If you notice that your PC reacts well with the new keyboard, it’s a clear sign that your old one is faulty. Replace your old keyboard and get rid of all the problems.

11. Got to service

In the remote case, all the above tips on how to make your keyboard stop acting weird didn’t work, then it’s time to take your PC/laptop to service. This is the last resort that will surely fix any problems that you might have with your keyboard or PC/laptop.

Finally, if you have mouse problems in games, check out our other article on how to fix this device as well.

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