Arrow keys not working? I’ve fixed it with these methods

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While using a computer keyboard, did you encounter some keys input lag or keys tear down issue?

Mainly Arrow keys not working issues among them are very common.

This may happen because Arrow keys are the most used keys on the keyboard while working.

Arrow keys are used for page scrolling, volume controls, brightness controls, and apart from there are lots of usage in MS Excel too like zooming spreadsheet, cell to cell movement, and many more.

For performing these operations, arrow keys are frequently used.

While using them sometimes you feel arrow keys not working properly or completely torn down.

If you are not an expert, finding the cause is really difficult as well as time-consuming so what should you do next?

Well, there are lots of reasons associated with this cause, it may be because of driver errors, the scroll is locked or arrow keys may have malfunctioned.

Do you have to replace these keys or do you have the option to fix them?

I will tell you about every possible scenario with step by step guide so you can do it easily by yourself.

In this article, I will discuss its causing reasons along with how to fix arrow keys not working issue by yourself at home with some easy steps.

For the perfect solution, be with us till the end of this article.

Let’s get dive into the details!

What are Arrow Keys?

arrow keys not working-1

Arrow Keys are the buttons on a computer keyboard also referred to as the cursor keys or direction keys that are designated or programmed to move a cursor in a specified direction.

The arrow keys are made up of 4 keys which are as follows:

  • Left Arrow (Back Arrow)
  • Up Arrow
  • Right Arrow (Forward Arrow)
  • Down Arrow

Arrow keys are located at the bottom of the keyboard and the close to left side of the Numpad.

Arrow keys are usually arranged in an inverted-T layout.

Reasons why arrow keys not working

There are certain reasons associated with it that may cause arrow keys not working issue or keys input lag.

Before jumping to fix the arrow keys not working issue in your keyboard, take a look at the most significant reasons why you are encountering this issue.

Note: Be patient because this entire process may take some time to figure out the problem.

Driver Error

Driver error or faulty driver can be the main reason your arrow keys don’t work properly.

When you type a key on your keyboard but the computer is unable to fetch the input is typical because of a software glitch or driver glitch which simply means the driver is not properly installed or updated for the keyboard device.

A well-compatible driver is necessary for any device to work seamlessly.

To fix driver error you can jump to the solution section where I will step-by-step guide you to fix this issue.

Is the Cursor Disabled?

This is a feature in your computer system to disable the cursor. Most people will not be aware of this feature due to its less utility.

But this function exists in the system.

By activating this cursor disable option, arrow keys may not work for some specific functions in your computer.

This may be a reason that arrow keys not working on your keyboard. This reason seems a little but some people activate it mistakenly.

Kindly check for this whether this function is activated or not, if it is activated then deactivate immediately and check this method works for you or not.

Let’s move on to the next steps to figure out the issue.

Key Switches May Be Jammed or Malfunctioned

After performing the above-given steps.

If the arrow keys not working issue still exist, it could be a reason your keyboard switches (If it is a mechanical keyboard) or keys are jammed.

arrow keys not working-key jammed

A mechanical keyboard tends to get affected by this kind of problem due to its switches which are mounted inside.

This may widely happen in an older keyboard because when we use the keyboard for a long time without cleaning and servicing it, dust, grime, and some other unnecessary particles are laid up inside the keyboard which causes jam a key or switches stick.

Apart from this reason, the keyboard keys or switches may have permanently malfunctioned due to certain reasons.

It could be because of liquid damages or aggressively typing on a low-quality keyboard.

Later in this article, you can find the solution of how you can fix these issues.

Is Scroll Lock activated?

The scroll lock function is provided by the windows to prevent unwanted scrolling during browsing a page.

This feature is recognized as the ‘ScrlLk’ button in the computer system.

Like the cursor locked feature, this can be activated mistakenly or accidentally by a user which is known to prevent arrows keys from performing specific functions.

So make sure to check Scroll Lock is not activated, if it is on then turn it off by pressing the Scroll lock button again.

The light on the top right corner of the keyboard will immediately turn off which will confirm its deactivation.

Is Num Lock Activated?

Among the probable reasons which I have listed, Num Lock activation is the basic function that can be a reason for the arrow key not working issue.

You can easily check whether the light in the top right corner for the Numlock is on or not.

You can find most of the keyboard comes with num lock light but in some laptops, there is no light indication to check it is activated or not.

In this scenario, you have to check manually by pressing a number key in the editor from the Numpad section.

Pressing the Num Lock key can activate or deactivate this functionality.

Now it’s time to take a look at all the possible solutions for the arrow key not working issue on the keyboard.

Step-by-Step Guide to fix ‘Arrow Keys not Working’ issue in keyboard

Look I have prepared this helpful guide for you after going through all the steps and implementing them practically so it may certainly work for you. As this is work for my keyboard.

I request you to try this methods step by step so you will get the solution for sure.

Here is the step by step guide: 

1. Change USB port

Sometimes this error may occur due to USB connectivity issues.

To fix the USB Connectivity issue, first of all, you have to unplug the keyboard from the USB port and plug it into another USB port, then check arrow keys start working or not.

If a problem persists in your USB port, the problem will be resolved by doing this process.

You should also cross-check your keyboard by plugging it into someone’s computer system because sometimes all USB ports stop working due to an internal connectivity issue in PCB (Printed Circuit Board).

If keys start working, then the problem in your USB port, or if the problem still persists you should move to the next step.

2. Update Keyboard Driver

Updating the keyboard driver is the most feasible way to fix the arrow keys not working issue.

To do this:

  1. simply type ‘device manager’ in Windows Search and go to the device manager section.
  2. Find ‘Keyboards’ and tap on it.
  3. Right-click on the keyboard and click on Update Driver.
  4. Click on Search automatically for driver.
  5. Now you have successfully updated your keyboard driver.
arrow keys not working-driver update

Now Arrow keys not working error should be resolved.

If this does not work, repeat the above process till the right click on the keyboard. Now select ‘Uninstall Device’ and then restart your computer system.

This process will reinstall the keyboard driver when you restart your system after installing it. 

This will certainly fix the arrow keys not working error if it is caused by a faulty device driver or device driver compatibility error.

Note: You should also check your keyboard’s model driver on the official company website. From where you can install a best-suited driver for your keyboard.

3. Turn off Scroll Lock

As I have told you this Scroll Locked feature is provided by Windows to prevent unwanted or unnecessary scrolling during browsing a page.

If your arrow keys not working or not moving from one point to another, this may be because of Scroll Lock is activated on your keyboard.

This issue occurred most of the time due to Scroll Lock so make sure to turn it off to avoid scrolling freeze errors and arrow keys not working errors as well.

If this method works for you, that’s great if you are still struggling then try this method which will certainly work.

I appreciate your patience!!

4. Cleaning the Arrow Keys

I would say this is the major and most conductive reason to cause arrow keys not working issue in a keyboard, especially in a mechanical keyboard.

Because a mechanical keyboard has mechanical switches inside it is more prone to laid-up dust and grime due to having open space from the bottom.

arrow keys not working-cleaning arrow keys

When we use a keyboard for a long time without cleaning it, grime and dust particles are started to lay inside the board as a result, key switches may become jam or even malfunction in the worst scenario.

To avoid these issues, you should clean the switches and entire keyboard with a cotton cloth and try to remove all dust from the base.

On a mechanical keyboard, you can simply remove the keycaps with a keycap puller and start cleaning the board from the inside especially the base area of a switch.

You are required to have a cotton cloth and a cleaning solution.

If a cleaning solution is not available you can do this without it too.

This will certainly fix arrow keys not working issues in a keyboard.

In case you followed all the steps properly but this issue still persists, then the problem must be in a hardware component that you need to replace or completely change.

Please check out this video from Online Tech Tips if you want more clarification on how to fix the arrow keys not working issue in keyboard.

5. Get a new keyboard

IF the above methods didn’t work for you even after being followed in a proper way, it’s time to change your existing keyboard.

I’m saying it because apart from that there is not any solution which you can implement on your keyboard to fix.

There are many keyboards that are not just economical but provide the best typing and user experience.

You can check out our articles written on mechanical keyboards.

Arrow Keys not working on Laptop

Arrow keys not working issue have been encountered by many users after using a laptop for a couple of years.

Apart from arrow keys, there are some other keys that are used mostly also stopped working on the laptop.

On Laptop, the scroll lock activation is one of the main reasons to create this issue.

To fix arrow keys not working on a laptop you should check whether the Scroll Lock key (SCRLK) is turned on or off. If it is turned on it will not allow you to scroll throughout the page so make the Scroll lock turned off.

If the problem still persists try the above methods which I have mentioned. This will certainly fix this issue on your laptop.

You should also check out this video to understand this issue better and see the solutions. 

Source: T-Soln



As you can see there are many reasons that can stop arrow keys to work normally.

But you don’t need to concern as I have provided all practical scenarios along with their working methods.

Following all these methods which I have shared will certainly fix arrow keys not working issues in most cases for a keyboard.

You don’t need to be an expert while performing these methods on your keyboard, you can do it easily.

Sometimes arrows keys stopped working due to a hardware failure rather than a software issue, you should look for repairing it, in case repairing won’t work, then I suggest you opt for a new keyboard which will definitely enhance your typing experience and efficiency.

You can check out our well-written articles on keyboards.

I hope this post was helpful to you.

Thanks for reading.


FAQs On Arrow Keys not Working

How do I unlock the arrow keys on my keyboard?

You can simply unlock the arrow keys by simply following the steps: 1. Click Start >> Then Go in Ease of Access >> Keyboard >> Turn On On-Screen Keyboard >> Click on ScrLK button when the on-screen keyboard appears on the screen.

How do I fix my keyboard arrow keys?

To fix arrow keys, you have to check the reason causing arrow keys not working issues in keyboard whether it may be occurred because of the faulty driver, key switches jammed, Scroll key lock or Num Lock is activated after finding the reason then fix it accordingly.

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