Keyboard and mouse failures are not uncommon, especially with regular use. If your keyboard or mouse has stopped working on your Windows 10 PC, here are a few steps you can take to fix the problem.
Check your equipment
It goes without saying that you should check your hardware thoroughly before doing anything else.
Start by carefully checking all your device connections. If the keyboard or mouse is connected correctly, try switching it to a different USB port. If you’re using a laptop, make sure you don’t accidentally disable your keyboard or mouse using the function keys at the top.
If you have a wireless keyboard or mouse, make sure the batteries are charged enough to work properly. Switch to a wired alternative to double check that the problem is not with the hardware itself.
Finally, try your keyboard or mouse on another PC, or try an alternate keyboard or mouse. In any case, if your keyboard or mouse works (or alternatives work instead), you can assume the problem is with your PC.
Check Windows for malware
Malware can sometimes play a role in preventing the use of a keyboard or mouse in Windows 10. A malware infection that disables these devices makes it impossible for you to use your computer.
If so, you need to force Windows to scan for malware. To do this, you can use your own antivirus software, using an antivirus boot disk or boot scan to run the scan.
You can schedule a boot check with Windows Defender. This will scan your drives and remove any detected malware. You may need to boot into Windows Safe Mode to do this first if the infection is preventing you from taking control of your PC.
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To get started, open the Windows Settings menu by right-clicking the Start Menu button and clicking the Settings button.
From here, click on Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection.
Click «Scan Options» under the center «Quick Scan» button.
From the Scan Options menu, select Windows Defender Offline Scan.
Click «Scan Now» to start the process.
Windows will restart and begin a deep scan of your PC. This process may take some time. After that, any malware infection found on your PC should be automatically removed.
After that, you can check the scan history by clicking «Protection History» in the «Virus & Threat Protection» menu.
Force reinstall keyboard and mouse drivers
Windows automatically handles keyboard and mouse drivers, but forcing Windows to reinstall these drivers can sometimes resolve any issues that prevent them from working properly.
To reinstall the keyboard and mouse drivers, right-click the Start menu button and select Device Manager.
Windows Device Manager lists all devices connected to your computer, both internal and external. Your keyboard will show up in the Keyboards category, and your mouse will show up in the Mice and other pointing devices category.
To force Windows to reinstall the drivers for these devices, click the arrow next to each of these categories to expand them. Right-click on your device and select the «Uninstall device» option.
It’s probably best to do this first with the keyboard and then with the mouse, as you’ll lose access to the device until you reboot.
Confirm that you want to remove the device by clicking the «Delete» button in the confirmation dialog that pops up.
As we have already mentioned, once the installation has begun, these devices will most likely stop working until a reboot.
Press the power button to start the shutdown or reboot process. After the reboot, the keyboard and mouse drivers should automatically reinstall.
Use Windows Accessibility Options in an Emergency
If you cannot immediately resolve the issue using your keyboard or mouse, you can switch to using the built-in accessibility options of Windows. They will only work if you have a working mouse or a working keyboard.
With a working keyboard but a broken mouse, you can switch to using MouseKeys. This special feature allows you to move the mouse cursor using the number keys on your keyboard.
To enable it, open Windows Settings by right-clicking the Start Menu and selecting Settings. From here, click on Ease of Access > Mouse, and then move the slider to the On position to enable mouse keys.
You should now be able to use the number keys to move the cursor. For example, the number «8» will move the mouse cursor up, «2» will move it down, etc.
Enable the on-screen keyboard
Another useful accessibility feature in Windows 10 is the On-Screen Keyboard. If your keyboard works but you have access to a mouse (or your screen is touch sensitive), you can use this feature instead as a short term solution.
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For quick access to the on-screen keyboard, right-click on the Windows taskbar and select «Show keyboard touch button».
This will display an icon in the taskbar notification area that you can click to easily show or hide the on-screen keyboard.
If this option is enabled, clicking on it will open the on-screen keyboard to fill the bottom half of the screen.
This will be easier to use on touchscreen devices, but if you have a working mouse, simply press each key to make it respond like a normal keyboard.
To close the keyboard, click the «X» button in the upper right corner.