Let’s be honest, you always have an inclination that your keyboard is on its last legs but have learned to adapt to it. But one day, as you are furiously pattering away at the WASD keys while playing CS:GO to find some cover against the onslaught of bullets, the inevitable happens.
The keyboard freezes, you end up getting ‘pwned’, and that’s all it takes to make your day go from bad to worse.
While freezing isn’t always an indication of your keyboard dying, it is indeed a possibility. In this blog, we will go through 4 signs that will help you tell if your keyboard is at an end (and what you should do about it).
1. Stops Working Suddenly
This is an obvious no brainer: it suddenly stops working. Or even worse, it randomly turns on and off. Imagine that happening while you’re in the middle of an ongoing chat with your boss. The on and off thing is more common in keyboards that have worn out USB ports with bent metal and deformations.
Of course, this could also happen if the USB port (if you have one) is dirty. But if clearing out the debris doesn’t solve that problem, you’re probably looking at long term internal damage.
2. Random Buttons Activating On Their Own
Another common sign to tell if your keyboard is dying is when it randomly activates buttons that you never intended to press. You could try the old trick of updating/reinstalling the keyboard’s drivers and see if that fixes things.
Here’s how (on Windows devices):
- Type Device Manager on Start and click the results
- Under Keyboards, locate the driver for your keyboard device and select uninstall
- Restart your computer without installing the driver. Windows should reinstall the appropriate drivers for the keyboard on its own. You can then launch device manager again.
Hint: We don’t recommend installing drivers manually because you may end up installing the wrong ones and that could lead to even more problems.
Again, this could happen because of dirt and debris. So try clearing that up and if the problem persists, chances are that the keyboard is faulty.
Our fingers secret skin oils that drip onto the keys. This means that the keyboard becomes a great place for bacteria to proliferate, as past studies have shown.
Unresponsiveness is often a problem that occurs after long-term usage. It’s likely that all the aggressive usage over the years has caused quite a bit of wear and tear on your keyboard.
One quick fix is to carefully turn the keyboard on its head and shake it. This should shake anything stuck inside out of the device, making the keys ready for usage once again.
But if that doesn’t fix the problem, it may be time to get a replacement and/or a quick trip to the nearest repair outlet.
Note that mechanical keyboards are built differently than membrane keyboards. Sometimes all an unresponsive key needs is some rubbing alcohol (around the keys and the surrounding areas) and that should solve the problem. You can also check out this helpful video on repairing unresponsive keys.
4. Physical Wear and Tear
During the course of its lifetime, a keyboard will take quite a bit of abuse, especially mechanical keyboards because of how sturdy they are.
With that said, physical problems with the keyboard are straightforward to repair. For instance, if a keycap starts to fall off because of prolonged wear and tear, your fingers will know (because of the difference in tactility).
Another issue to look for is problems with the cable (if there is one). Even if a quick visual inspection shows that the cable is doing okay, you still need a view of the internal wires. This can be a problem because the wire will have a harder time detecting your strokes (and then feeding them to the computer). Try unplugging the wire from its port and try all other ports to diagnose the problem.
It’s also worth noting that physical wear and tear on your keyboard, such as missing feet can be signs that your keyboard is about to die.
Pro tip: If you own a mechanical keyboard and your key caps are giving away, don’t fret. You can always get a new set of keycaps and that should restore usability (not that aesthetics should disrupt usability).
Wrapping Up: How to Handle a Dying Computer Keyboard
One of the best ways to improve your keyboard’s longevity is to buy one from a reputable brand. A generic brand is much likely to die sooner than later.
Remember though, keyboards aren’t expensive – especially when you compare them with other parts of your PC. Sometimes, it’s possible to extend the life of your keyboard. For instance, if you are using a wireless keyboard that is being unresponsive, try to swap out the battery. Sometimes, this is all it takes to keep the batteries working for longer.
If you aren’t sure that it is your keyboard or your PC, try using it on a different computer. Usually, though, it will be the keyboard to blame. This means that replacement may be the only option.
When you decide to purchase a new keyboard, make sure you are using a reputable brand that has good reviews from users.
Pro tip: If you provide listicle writing services, then we highly recommend getting a mechanical keyboard because of durability and all-round toughness. Nowadays, you can buy a cheap mechanical keyboard for less than $50 a pop. These tools will serve you faithfully and will become an extension of your productivity!
So how many times have you ended up replacing your faulty keyboard? How did it affect your productivity (if at all)? Let us know in the comments below!