If your Gateway laptop keyboard is not working for some reason, we can try a couple of DIY fixes before going for a professional repair.
I have been stuck with a malfunctioning keyboard a few times and have used these same methods to fix the most common issues.
Generally speaking, your Gateway laptop keyboard might not work due to a hardware issue (spilled coffee or other damage) or a software misconfiguration (outdated drivers or system files).
In this article, we will look at a few common troubleshooting methods that will get your Gateway laptop keyboard working again like new.
Reasons for Gateway Laptop Keyboard Not Working
As mentioned above, your Gateway laptop keyboard might not work as expected for software or hardware reasons.
- Physical damage to the keys
- Spilled coffee or water
- Dust and debris accumulation under keys
- Damaged internal circuitry or broken ribbons
- Operating system bugs
- Outdated drivers
- Misconfigured settings
- Malware or viruses
Most of these can be fixed at home without going to a repair shop or sending your laptop in.
Let’s start with the most easy fixes first, and we can make our way down the list by trying more effective methods.
1. Restart your laptop
Whenever something doesn’t work on your laptop, the first thing you should do is restart it.
This might seem silly but it is such an effective method that there is a running joke about turning it off and on again in the IT world.
Turning your laptop off and on again will reinitialize all the programs and remove any bugs or program conflicts that might be causing the problem.
A better way to do this is to turn your laptop off and also remove the battery and wait for a few minutes so that all the capacitors inside are fully drained of any excessive residual charge.
Now put your battery back in and restart your laptop and see if the keyboard is working.
2. Update keyboard drivers
If a restart didn’t solve your issue, next, we are going to try updating the drivers and see if an outdated driver is the source of the issue here.
Drivers are software files that help your keyboard correctly work with your operating system. Every piece of hardware on your laptop, including your keyboard, has its own driver files.
Oftentimes, your operating system will get a new update, and the previous drivers might not work as expected.
When that happens, your keyboard manufacturer will release new drivers that you will have to install.
To update your keyboard drivers, follow the below step-by-step process.
- Access the Device Manager
- Click on the “Start” button.
- In the search box, type “Device Manager” and select it from the list of results.
- Locate the Keyboard Drivers
- In the Device Manager window, look for the “Keyboards” category. Click on the arrow next to it to expand the list of keyboard devices.
- Your laptop’s keyboard should be listed here as “Standard PS/2 Keyboard” or something similar.
- Update the Keyboard Drivers
- Right-click on your laptop’s keyboard device listed under the “Keyboards” category.
- Select “Update driver” from the dropdown menu.
- Choose How to Search for Drivers
- You will now be prompted to choose how to search for drivers. Select “Search automatically for updated driver software.”
- Windows will then search your computer and the Internet for the latest driver software for your device.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install the updated driver.
- Restart Your Laptop
- After installing the driver, restart your laptop to ensure the changes are correctly applied.
If the automatic update doesn’t work, you can also download the drivers files from Gateway’s official website and install them manually by selecting “Browse my computer for driver software.” in step 4 above.
3. Check language settings
Sometimes, incorrect language settings can also cause your laptop keyboard to misbehave.
If you are typing and getting different symbols or characters than what is printed on the keys, then your keyboard layout settings are incorrect.
Here’s how you can check and change your keyboard language settings in Windows:
- Click the Windows button at the bottom and go to Settings.
- On the left panel, find Time & Language and open the settings.
- From there, select Language & region
- Under Preferred Language, make sure your correct language is selected (for me, its English United States)
- Click on the 3 dots in front of your selected language and open Language options.
- In the Keyboards section, check and make sure you have the right keyboard layout selected (for me, its US QWERTY)
Once you have made these changes, test your keyboard to see if it’s now working as expected.
If not, you may need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
Remember that while incorrect language or keyboard layout settings could cause some keys to function unexpectedly, they should not cause the entire keyboard to stop working.
4. Run Windows troubleshooter
Windows has a built-in troubleshooter that can find common problems with hardware like keyboards, optical drives, and such.
To run the troubleshooter, go to Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters and find Keyboard in the list.
When you click on the keyboard, you will get an option to Run the troubleshooter.
Click on it and wait for the troubleshooter to find the problem and recommend any available fix.
Restart the computer and check if it solved the issue.
5. Check for malware & viruses
Malware or viruses can sometimes cause issues with hardware, including your Gateway laptop’s keyboard.
Running a thorough system scan can help detect and remove these threats, potentially resolving your keyboard issue.
To check for any such malware or viruses, you can use any trusted anti-virus software. For me, Avast works best, and I have been using it for quite some years.
- Update Your Antivirus Software: Ensure that your antivirus software is up-to-date. Antivirus software providers regularly release updates to their software to protect against the latest threats.
- Run a Full System Scan: Open your antivirus software. Once open, look for an option that allows you to run a full system scan. This will also vary by software, but it’s typically labeled as “Full Scan,” “System Scan,” or something similar.
- Follow the On-Screen Instructions: Initiate the scan. Your antivirus software will then scan all the files on your computer. This process may take some time, so be prepared to wait.
- Delete or quarantine threats: If any threats are found, the antivirus software will either quarantine or delete them, or it might ask you for further action. Make sure to follow the on-screen instructions.
- Restart Your Laptop: After the scan is completed and all threats have been dealt with, restart your laptop. This will ensure any changes made by the antivirus software are correctly applied.
If you’ve run a full system scan and your keyboard is still not working correctly, it might be a hardware issue or a problem. We are going to talk about it next.
6. Clean your keys
Keyboard keys are notorious for accumulating dust particles underneath them.
When your laptop is in use for a long time, the dust and debris keep accumulating and start creating problems.
Keypress is a mechanical action that depends on the movement of the key, hinge, and cup to make electrical contact on the PCB. If enough dust and debris get under the key, it won’t make enough movement.
The best thing to do is to clean your keyboard periodically with compressed air Can available easily online or in hardware stores.
You can also use an electric compressor to clean your keyboard and other similar things at home. It’s a very handy gadget.
If your keys are stuck to the point that they cannot be cleaned easily, you can take the keys out using a Universal Key Puller and clean them thoroughly.
I personally use one of those silicon keyboard covers to avoid dust and debris particles at all costs. I have lost a Macbook keyboard to dust, and I don’t take any chances.
7. Check for water damage
I have yet to meet a person who works all day on his laptop and hasn’t lost a keyboard or two to spilled coffee.
Especially if you have pets or children, the chances are you will have one of those accidents sooner or later. I have ruined my Logitech keyboard once by spilling water on it.
Water and other solvents are a disaster for your keyboard. They will immediately render your keyboard useless by shorting the delicate electronics beneath it.
If your Gateway laptop keyboard has one of those water incidents, there is nothing you can do but change the entire keyboard.
However, for future safety, you can use a silicon cover to minimize water damage.
8. Replace faulty keys
If only a few keys on your Gateway laptop are malfunctioning due to dust/debris or water damage, you can easily change them instead of getting a new keyboard.
To do this, there is a really helpful website that I recently discovered that will ship you any missing key for a few bucks.
Go to Laptopkey and select your Gateway laptop model and order your missing keys. After the keys arrive, you can easily replace them.
Below is a simple video explainer on how to do the replacement.
9. Check for physical damage inside
If the above methods haven’t sorted your problem, then it’s time to dig deep and get your hands dirty a little.
We are going to open the laptop and see if anything is broken inside.
If you are not a DIY person and not sure you can handle the disassembly and reassembly, you can get help from a professional repair person, but usually, it’s not that hard.
Laptops are quite modular, and there are only a handful of components inside that are connected via ribbon wires.
Slowly unscrew all the screws on the backside and take the cover off. Now inspect the ribbon coming from the keyboard to the motherboard and see if it is damaged or unhinged.
If you see the ribbon is disconnected, you can insert it back into the socket at either end, and that will fix your laptop.
If the ribbon is torn or damaged, it will have to be replaced by a repair shop.
10. Use an external or on-screen keyboard
As a temporary measure, you can always connect an external wireless or even wired keyboard to your laptop to use.
I keep my favorite Logitech MX keyboard in my drawer for such occasions. It connects with any laptop via Bluetooth and replaces the onboard keyboard.
If you don’t have an external keyboard handy, you can always use the on-screen keyboard. Although a nuisance to use, it can get you out of difficult situations.
Gateway laptop keyboard not working – Summary
In the above article, we discussed in detail the troubleshooting methods that you can use to fix your Gateway laptop keyboard.
When facing issues with your Gateway laptop keyboard:
- Restart your laptop to resolve minor software glitches.
- Update your keyboard drivers to ensure optimal operation.
- Check and correct your language settings if keys produce unexpected characters.
- Run the Windows Troubleshooter to identify and solve common problems.
- Perform a full system scan for malware and viruses that may affect hardware functionality.
- Clean your keys to remove dust and debris that may hinder key response.
- Inspect for water damage if there’s been a recent liquid spill on your keyboard.
- Replace faulty keys if they are consistently non-responsive or physically damaged.
- Check for physical damage inside the keyboard, preferably with professional help to avoid further damage.
- Use an external or on-screen keyboard as a temporary solution while seeking professional repair.
Following these steps, you can troubleshoot and potentially resolve common keyboard issues.
Is Gateway a new brand?
If you grew up in the late 90s, you might have one of those Gateway2000 desktop PCs with cow branding. Gateway was a big player in the PC industry in the 90s and early 2000s till Acer bought it out in 2007 after financial difficulties in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble.