How to Unlock Keyboard on Dell Laptop in Windows 10/11?

Many Dell users experience the issue with their laptop keyboard being locked which prevents them from typing anything. This is a common issue that many users come across with.

However, it is quite simple to unlock the keyboard on a Dell laptop, regardless of whether you’re using Windows 10 or 11. Just follow the simple steps and you’ll be able to type on your Dell laptop using its keyboard.


You can unlock the keyboard by simply restarting your Dell laptop. If a keyboard is still locked, you should disable the filter keys from Windows Settings. Manually updating the keyboard drivers is also an effective solution to enable the keyboard and turn on its typing.

Follow these 8 methods to unlock the keyboard on your Dell Laptop:

1. Turn Off Filter Keys

Windows Filter keys feature slows down the keyboard response rate and users can’t type quickly. To unlock your Dell laptop keyboard, try disabling the Filter Keys.

  1. Open the Control Panel, then Ease of Access.
    Click Ease of Access from Control Panel
  2. Click Ease of Access Center, then Make the keyboard easier to use.
    Select Make keyboard easier to use
  3. Uncheck the Turn on Filter Keys option.
    Uncheck Turn on filter keys to unlock Dell Laptop keyboard

Once you’re done, hit Apply to save the changes. It will turn off the filter keys feature which will allow you to type smoothly on your Dell laptop without any delay.

Tip: Copy the word “Control Panel” and paste it into the Windows search bar then, select Control Panel to open it. You can also use an on-screen keyboard or any external keyboard.

After that, you can open the notepad to see if the keyboard is now unlocked or not. If you’re still unable to type, move on to the next method.

2. Uninstall the Keyboard Drivers

Your keyboard may be locked due to corrupted keyboard drivers. To unlock the keyboard on your Dell laptop, try uninstalling the keyboard drivers from your computer.

  1. Right-click the Start button > Device Manager.
    Right click Start button and select Device Manager
  2. Select Keyboards then, right-click on the keyboard driver.
  3. Click Uninstall Device and restart your laptop.
    Click Uninstall Device  from Device Manager to unlock keyboard typing

Once you restart your laptop, Windows will automatically install the updated keyboard drivers.

Now, check if you can type using your keyboard or not. If the issue resolves, you can be sure that the drivers were causing this problem.

3. Manually Install the Latest Keyboard Drivers

Outdated keyboard drivers installed on your laptop can disturb the working of the keyboard. To unlock the keyboard, manually install the updated drivers on your laptop.

  1. Visit Dell’s official drivers page.
  2. Enter your laptop model number and select Operational System.
  3. Download the Keyboard driver and install it.
Download updated keyboard drivers

Once you have manually installed the keyboard drivers on your Dell laptop, restart it in order to apply the changes.

As soon as your laptop restarts, try typing something using your keyboard to see if it is now unlocked or not.

4. Use Dell SupportAssist

Dell SupportAssist is a helpful tool for troubleshooting various issues on your Dell laptop or desktop computer, including unlocking the keyboard.

  1. Download Dell SupportAssist and install it on your laptop.
  2. Open this tool and click Scan Hardware.
  3. Select Start Scan and wait.
  4. On completion, check the keyboard issues.
use Dell SupportAssist to unlock locked keyboard
Image Source: Dell Official website

If there are issues related to laptop battery, keyboard, mouse, or hard drive, the tool will detect and offer solutions to fix them.

If your keyboard is locked due to a software issue, SupportAssist can assist you in resolving it. Just follow the on-screen instructions and reboot your laptop.

5. Restart Your Dell Laptop

Your laptop may experience a temporary software glitch, which might be causing the entire keyboard to become unresponsive. To unlock it, try restarting your laptop.

Press and hold the power button until it turns off. Wait a few minutes before turning on your laptop, then check if you can type using the keyboard.

Restart laptop to unlock dell laptop keyboard

Alternatively, you can follow these simple steps as well to reboot your system:

  1. Press the Alt + F4 keys on your keyboard.
  2. Select Restart from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on OK, then wait for the system to restart.
  4. Now, check if your keyboard is unlocked or not.

You can also use the built-in on-screen keyboard temporarily in place of the physical keyboard to perform some typing.

To enable it, go to Control Panel > Ease of Access > Ease of Access Center then, click on Start On-Screen Keyboard.

6. Perform a Hard Reset (No Data Loss)

The Windows OS ensures the proper functioning of all hardware components. However, certain external devices may encounter problems, such as your laptop keyboard being locked and you can not type anything.

Performing a hard reset will reset all hardware components including unlocking your Dell laptop keyboard.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Hold the Power Button until your Dell laptop completely turns off.
  2. Unplug all external devices and remove the laptop battery, if possible.
  3. Now, press and hold the power button for 20 seconds to reset the hardware.
  4. Turn on your laptop and type using your keyboard to see if it is unlocked.

This action won’t delete any of your data or important information, so you can proceed with this procedure without any concerns.

7. Update Windows Version

Your Dell laptop’s current Windows version might have a bug, which could be the reason why your keyboard has been locked. To enable it, install important Windows updates.

Click Start > Settings > Windows Update, then select Check for updates. Install the updates then, restart your laptop and start typing.

update Windows to start typing

Usually, an old version of Windows may cause some hardware components to malfunction and the keyboard is not an exception.

Once you have updated your current operating system version, it will not only resolve the keyboard issue but also improve the overall performance of your laptop.

8. Reset the BIOS to Default Settings

If updating keyboard drivers and Windows version doesn’t work and you are still unable to unlock the keyboard on your Dell laptop, consider resetting the BIOS to its default settings.

It will restore all BIOS settings to their original factory state and resolve issues with external devices, including the keyboard.

Here’s how:

  1. Turn on your laptop and press F2 when the Dell logo appears to enter into the setup.
  2. Click the Load Default or Restore Settings button depending on the model.
  3. Confirm load default system settings then, click Exit.
  4. Now, restart your laptop and it should unlock the keyboard.
Reset BIOS settings to enable keyboard typing

Depending on the model of your Dell laptop, settings to reset BIOS may vary. You can search according to your model number for exact steps.

What if These Solutions Don’t Unlock My Laptop Keyboard?

If the above fixes didn’t work for you and you are still stuck with a Dell laptop keyboard locked issue, you can still try some other effective solutions.

Contact the Dell technical support team. You can directly call the customer service as well.

Simply describe the issue to the support agent and they will guide you through further and help resolve your locked keyboard issue.

Furthermore, it is possible you are having some other issues related to hardware. In such a situation, it is best to get in touch with an authorized service center for help.

This way, you can get your laptop keyboard fixed professionally. These solutions will surely help you unlock your keyboard.

Meanwhile, you can use any external keyboard either wired or wireless keyboard.

Possible Causes Why Your Laptop Keyboard Keeps Locking:

The potential causes that could have caused your keyboard to lock are:

  1. You might have accidentally enabled the filter keys.
  2. Your laptop is running outdated keyboard drivers.
  3. A temporary software glitch can also cause such an issue.
  4. The hardware might be faulty or broken.

These are some of the most common reasons why your laptop keyboard can get locked automatically.

No matter the reason, this glitch is extremely annoying and disrupts the workflow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Can’t I Type Letters on my Dell Laptop?

If you have enabled the NumLock key on your Dell laptop, you won’t be able to type letters instead digits will appear. To fix it, press the Fn key and the NumLock key together. If it doesn’t work, it’s possible that your keyboard is locked. In this situation, restart your laptop to unlock it.

How to Turn on Keyboard Typing on a Dell Laptop?

You can not type anything if the keyboard is locked on your Dell Laptop. To turn on the typing, you should disable the filter keys. If you still can’t type, you are probably missing the updated keyboard drivers. Install the latest keyboard drivers then, restart your laptop.

How to Unlock NumLock on My Dell Laptop?

The NumLock key allows numeric inputs from the Dell laptop keyboard and is usually located next to the function keys. To unlock it, press the Fn key and the NumLock key together. This should unlock the NumLock Key and you can type numbers easily.

How to Unlock Fn Function Key on a Dell Laptop?

The Fn key on a Dell laptop enables you to access the special function key combinations. You can unlock it by pressing the Fn key and the Esc key together. It’ll unlock the function key and you can use it as a shortcut for various tasks.

How to Unlock Scroll Lock on Dell Laptop Keyboard?

The Scroll Lock key on a Dell laptop keyboard allows you to scroll through documents without changing the cursor position. To unlock it, press the Fn and Scroll lock keys together. It should turn on the scroll lock key.

Get Your Dell Laptop Keyboard Unlocked

When your system keyboard doesn’t work properly, it doesn’t only affect your typing but also disturbs the workflow.

There can be various reasons why your laptop keyboard gets locked and doesn’t type anything, but a simple reboot often resolves this issue and unlocks the locked keyboard.

If a restart method fails to fix this bug, you can try the above solutions one after another. If none of these methods work, take your laptop to a service center for professional help.

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Muhammad Bilal
Muhammad Bilal

I'm Muhammad Bilal, founder of Tech Axen. Being a tech enthusiast, I enjoy sharing tech tips and tricks with others to assist them with their issues. For this purpose, I feed this blog with articles that provide useful information on technology.

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