How to Fix the Windows Key Not Working on Windows 10/11

Dany updated on Feb 22, 2023 | Home >Computer Instruction

Facing trouble using your Windows key? Let's help you fix that.

One of the many reasons people love using Windows is user-friendliness. That's why it occupies 70% of the operating system market, including Desktop, Laptops, and some tablets. There are plenty of reasons behind the Windows keyboard issues, like the Windows 10 activation key not working problem, and a recurring reason is keyboard shortcuts.

What Is the Windows Key Not Working Issue

A computer keyboard has many intriguing keys on it. One of them is the Windows button. It allows you to open the start menu with a simple key press. However, it can also perform other options with combination keys, such as CTRL, ALT, or Shift, to switch between files, folders, and applications.

But, when the Windows key stops, users cannot perform any of those operations. Not only are you unable to open the start menu quickly, but you are also unable to switch between Windows, desktops, etc.

Thus, users will want to try various fixes to resolve the windows key not working issue. So, let's keep digging to find out how.

What Causes the Windows Key Not Working Issue

There are plenty of reasons that a Windows key might stop working. Some experts say that it could be caused by malware or a simple setting disabled within your computer. Other times, manufacturers make keyboards that disable the windows key when in gaming mode.

So, to sum it up, your windows key might not be working because:

  • Windows have disabled it
  • It's been locked by your keyboard (usual occurrence in Corsair, Razer, and other gaming keyboards)
  • Malware or virus attack might have stopped it
  • An app or service has blocked it
  • Windows 10/11 Game Mode/Xbox Game bar disabling it
  • Your keyboard is broken

These are the primary that causes the windows key to not work. Other cases might include a bug within your Windows. So, let's keep going to figure out how to fix it.

How to Fix the Windows Key Not Working On Windows 10/11

The shortcuts on your keyboard allow users to conduct many tasks quickly. One of the most convenient keyboard shortcuts, or a singular key, is the Windows button. However, users run into trouble when that stops working. How and why does that happen? Besides, how can you fix the windows key not working? Let's find out.

  1. Method 1. Turn Off Filter Keys
  2. Method 2. Registry Editor Fix
  3. Method 3. Disable Game Mode
  4. Method 4. PowerShell Command
  5. Method 5. Perform An SFC Scan
  6. Method 6. Create another User Account
  7. More Methods...

Method 1. Turn Off Filter Keys

The first method is to turn off the filter keys. To do this, you'll head into the control panel to disable it. Here's how:

Step 1. Head into "Control Panel".

Step 2. Search "Ease Of Access" in the search bar.

Ease Of Access

Step 3. Head into "Ease of Access" and find the "Make the keyboard easier to use option".

Make the keyboard easier to use option

Step 4. Scroll down, find, and uncheck the Turn on Filter Keys option.

Turn on Filter Keys option

Step 5. Press Apply, then OK.

This will fix the issue if the option is enabled in the first place. If the option wasn't enabled, move on to the next method.

Method 2. Registry Editor Fix

In this method, you're going to a specific section of your registry editor. Therefore, make sure you copy and paste the directory into the registry. Here's how:

Step 1. Open "Registry Editor" as an administrator.

Registry Editor

Step 2. Enter the following address in your registry editor's bar. "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout"

Registry editor’s bar

Step 3. Then find and delete the Scancode Map key.

Scancode Map

This will most likely fix the issue, as games usually create this registry key to prevent the Windows key from interfering. If this doesn't work, and you don't have this key entry, move on to the next step.

Method 3. Disable Game Mode

The next step is to disable game mode. This is usually enabled once you open Xbox Game Bar on your computer. However, disabling it is quite easy. Here's how:

Step 1. Head into system settings.

Step 2. Find "Gaming" and click on it.


Step 3. Navigate the sidebar and find Game Mode.

Step 4. Toggle "Game Mode Off" and Disable It.

Game Mode Off

Disabling will prevent Windows settings from stopping the Windows key. Yet, if the issue persists, try the next fix.

Method 4. PowerShell Command

Windows PowerShell is one of the critical components of Windows. It allows you to fix issues that otherwise might seem irreversible. So, here's how you can use this to fix it:

Step 1. Press the Start menu button and find PowerShell

Step 2. Open PowerShell as Administrator

PowerShell as Administrator

Step 3. In PowerShell, copy and paste this command.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation) \AppXManifest.xml”}”

Step 4. Then press the enter key and let it complete.

Press the enter key

Depending on your PC and internet speed, this might take a few minutes. If the windows key still doesn't work, try the next method.

Method 5. Perform An SFC Scan

An SFC scannow command will help you find any corrupted files in your Windows 10/11. So, here's how to perform this method:

Step 1. Open CMD as an administrator.

Step 2. Type "SFC /scannow" and press enter.

SFC /scannow

This might take a minute or two, depending on your PC. Once done, restart your device and check if the Windows key works now.

Method 6. Create another User Account

Sometimes, a simple thing like a user account might be causing the issue. Therefore, it's imperative that you try and create a new account. Here's how:

  • Go to "Settings".
  • Head into "Accounts".
  • On the sidebar, find and click "Family & other users".
  • Click on "Add someone else to this PC".

Add someone else to this PC

  • Click on "I don't have this person's sign-in information".

I don't have this person's sign-in information

  • Then click "Add a user without a Microsoft Account".

Add a user without a Microsoft Account

  • Enter your Username and password

Once the user is created, sign out of your account or restart your PC. Then, sign in to the new user and see if the Windows key is working. If it is, delete the other users.

Method 7. Use the DISM Command

A corrupted Windows or missing system file is another probable reason the Windows key refuses to work. So, you can seek help from DISM to find and fix any corrupt files. Here's how:

  • Open CMD as administrator
  • Enter the following command: "Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup, Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth"
  • Press enter

CMD as administrator

This will replace missing files or fix/reinstall corrupted Windows apps, services, or files. Thus, fixing the issue. If it still persists, move on to the next step.

Method 8. Check The Keyboard Layout For the Windows Lock Button

If you have a gaming keyboard, it likely features a Windows lock button. Otherwise, it might have a shortcut to prevent the Windows key from working. Here's an example:

Gaming keyboard

What you see is Corsair's Windows key, which allows you to lock off the Windows button. This way, you won't accidentally toggle the start menu when playing games. So, if it's red like in the image, try pressing it to turn it back on.

Other keyboards might have different keys. Some keyboards require you to press the FN + Windows button to lock/unlock the Windows button. So, check if your keyboard layout has any keys or options like that.

Method 9. Unplug & Plug it Back In

Gaming keyboards also tend to have their own memories. This memory allows them to remember the lighting settings and other shortcuts, such as macro keys. So, here's what you need to do:

  • Unplug the keyboard
  • Untangle the wire
  • Restart the PC
  • Plug it back in

This might fix the issue if your keyboard's driver wasn't loading properly. If not, it's more than likely at this point that your keyboard has a hardware issue.

Method 10. Try Another Keyboard/Replace Your Keyboard

If all else fails, grab another keyboard or ask a friend to borrow one. If the new keyboard has its Windows button working, it's 100% caused by your previously faulty keyboard. And, if your keyboard is under warranty, try to claim its warranty.

Method 11. Replace the Mechanical Key

While you can't exactly fix the broken Windows button, there are mechanical keyboards that allow you to change individual keys. If you want, you can try to replace one key with another. Here's how:

Step 1. Pull off the critical cap of your Windows button.

Step 2. Grab the mechanical key with a tweezer and pull it out.

Mechanical Key

Step 3. Pull another key in the same way. You can try to pull out keys from the Numeric Pad or any other key you don't commonly use.

Step 4. Replace the pulled-out key.

Step 5. Try to press the start button now.

If this method works, then that particular mechanical key is the issue. Therefore, you should order an individual key instead of the whole keyboard.


These are some of the most common fixes to ensure that your windows key works again. In many cases, the issue is more related to software than hardware. Because if the keyboard hardware fails, likely, it won't work again.

However, there are always exceptions. And the best way to find out is by using these 11 methods. So, try each method until you fix your keyboard.

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