How to Fix Mechanical Keyboard Key Not Working

mechanical keyboard key not working


 Cheap mechanical keyboards are all the rage nowadays. People will brag on Youtube or forums about the cheap mechanical keyboard with the stunning working key they found and how great it is. And for only $ 25! Or $ 22. Or $ 20. This weekend I even found one for $ 16. 


Read the reviews and most people are excited. But there is always someone who complains that a developer stops working. Here's what you can do if a mechanical keyboard key has stopped working.


Mechanical keyboards went out of fashion because they were expensive. But now that the mechanical key switches are good enough costing about 10 cents per unit and not a dollar to a dollar they are making a comeback because many people find a nicer mechanical keyboard to type. I find that they help reduce wrist pain.


Mechanical Keyboard One Key Not Working

Once I had one key on my mechanical keyboard I decided to stop working. It was my right arrow key if that matters. Everything else worked fine. I disconnected the keyboard and reconnected it and it started working again. 


If your mechanical keyboard key has stopped working chances are it won't be that easy but it only takes a few seconds to try. And if that does not work you will not get out of nowhere.


Is It Under Warranty?

Of course, if the warranty is on their keyboard you can consider sending it back for replacement. But it can be a hassle and you may have to pay one-way shipping. The reason some people throw away their broken mechanical keyboards is because they do not want so much hassle on a $ 20 gadget. 


And of course, you will eventually have to go without the keyboard for a week while you wait for the replacement to arrive.


What if I told you you could fix it yourself at about the same cost as shipping the keyboard back?


Mechanical Keyboard Key Sometimes Not Working

If a mechanical keyboard key has stopped working you can fix it for around $ 8. You can buy the magic potion at Home Depot from anywhere. The patch is a CRC QD touch cleaner which is critical. You need a contact cleaner that leaves no residue. CRC QD fits the bill and is available and inexpensive.


Repairing a key that has stopped working only takes a few minutes. First, disconnect the keyboard. This is critical so that you do not accidentally shorten the keyboard and cause permanent damage.


Insert the nozzle onto the spray. After removing the key cover from the mechanical switch press down on the key stem and push the spout down into the stem. 


Give the can one or two sprinkles. Do not squirt more than two squirts. It does not take much for the contact cleaner to do his job.


Now just press the stem up and down and move it from side to side for about a minute to distribute the contact cleaner. Turn the keyboard over and repeat for another minute. Then put the keyboard back and let it sit. Five minutes is probably more than you need but rest assured.


Replace the key plug in the keyboard and you'll probably find that the switch will work just fine.


And of course, if this happens again with another key you already have the spray so you can fix it for free.


You can also try compressed air but most likely the problem with something compressed will not help. It will not hurt it.


Why This Happens

It sounds like during the manufacturing process some of the out-of-brand switch manufacturers do not get all the plastic parts completely clean. Once sufficient residue from the plastic parts rises to the metal contacts the key can stop working.


Mechanical Keyboard Switch Not Working

In general, two things can go wrong with a cheap mechanical keyboard: dirty switches and broken solder joints. This repair treats a dirty switch but it will not help a broken solder joint on a not working mechanical keyboard. 


If you are comfortable disassembling the keyboard and touching the solder joint it is not difficult. But not everyone will be comfortable doing so.


What to Do with a Broken Mechanical Keyboard

If you have a broken mechanical keyboard that you cannot repair and is out of warranty it should not be too difficult to sell it on eBay or Craigslist. The keys are worth $ 10 and the switches are worth almost anyone willing to remove them from the board to reuse them.


Some people build their mechanical keyboards. You do not save money to do so. But anyone who builds their keyboards can spend a little less on their hobby by saving switches rather than using brand new switches. 


When you list it just make sure to mention that the mechanical keyboard switch is not working, say what is wrong with it and that you will sell it for parts and rescue only. Especially if the problem is just that one mechanical keyboard key developer has stopped working someone will want it.

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