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What to do when Windows Key not Working?

Windows key not working is one of the most common error which you can encounter while using your Windows 10 device. Windows key or Winkey as is often called does the dedicated job of bringing up the start menu when pressed. Apart from that, there are multiple keyboard shortcuts using this Windows key that do their respective tasks on the system. However, sometimes, this Windows key might not work. You press it and the Start menu does not come up. And, the other key combinations involving the Winkey does not work as well.

Well, if you are already facing this error and want to resolve it, then you are in the right place. This article consists of a step by step guidance which will help you out. But before going to the part of the solution, now, let’s focus on the causes due to which you are getting this error. After that, you will be walked through the part of the solution.

Causes for Windows Key Not Working  

There are more than one reasons due to which you can encounter this error with your device. For instance:

  • In case, if you have enabled gaming mode, then you can encounter this error.
  • Corrupted registry entries is another factor that may bring up this issue.
  • If you have disabled the start menu, then also you can encounter this error.
  • In some cases, you can also get this error due to some glitch in File Explorer.

Well, after identifying the causes, now, let’s focus on the solutions to resolve this error.

Fixes for Windows Key Not Working on Windows 10

Here are some easy fixes using which you will be able to resolve this error on your own. They are listed below.

Method 1: Disable Gaming Mode

If you have enabled the gaming mode, then you can encounter this error with your device. Now, try to follow these steps to disable the gaming mode.

  1. In case, you are using Logitech keyboards, there is a switch which is situated above the F1, F2 & F3 function keys which you can flip to the right for the gaming mode. And in case of regular use, it is in the left. So, if the gaming mode is active, you have to flip it to the left. Another version will have a gaming mode button above the F4 key. In that case, you have to tap and hold the button which is above the F4 button. Once done, you have to tap the button in order to toggle between the gaming and the standard modes.
  2. In some keyboards, there is a “Win Lock” button (not the menu button) beside the right Control button. You have to press it in order to enable the Windows key.
  3. In case, you are using Corsair keyboards, then it has its own software in order to adjust lighting, functionality, etc. So, you have to run the Corsair software which contains an option in order to enable/disable the Windows key.    

Some More Keyboard Models:

  1. If you are using Azio keyboard, you can see that it contains a switch in the MGK1 series. In the MGK1 & MGK1-K, you have to tap on the FN as well as the F9 at the same time. If you are using MGK1-RGB: then you have to tap and hold the FN and the Windows search key at the same time.
  2. In case, you are using MSI computer/laptop keyboards, then you can turn on the Windows key from the system tuner which is situated in the Dragon Gaming Center.
  3. If you are using ibuypower keyboard, then you have to tap the  fn + ibuypower (aka Windows key) in order to toggle the gaming mode on or off.
  4. In the  Alienware gaming keyboard, you have to tap and hold the Fn + F6 at the same time in order to toggle between gaming mode on or off.
  5. Now, if you are using the MS Sidewinder keyboard, then you have to go to the MS Keyboard & Mouse Center and tap on the Windows key which is situated in the dashboard and you have to set it to enabled/disabled.

Method 2: Enable Windows Key from the Registry Editor

You can also resolve this error by enabling the Windows key from the registry editor. Try to follow these steps:

  1. At first, you have to click on the Start button, type ‘Run’ in the search box and select Run from the search results. Now, in case, if you are using the Windows 8/10, then right click on the Start button and select Run. This will open the Run dialog box.
  2. Once done, you have to type ‘regedt32’ in that box, and tap on the Ok button to continue. Now, you have to tap on Yes, if you get any EULA message which asks for a confirmation.
  3. After that, from the left pane of the REgistry6 Editor window, you have to tap on the HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE.
  4. Now, double click on the System\CurrentControlSet\Control folder. After that, you have to tap on the Keyboard Layout folder.
  5. Again, right click on the Scancode Map registry entry and tap on the Delete button to continue.
  6. Now, you have to tap on the Yes button on the confirmation message.
  7. After that, you have to close the Registry Editor and restart your device.

After completing these steps, you have to check the status of the error. If it persists, then try to follow the alternative method mentioned below.

Method 3: Re-Register All Applications

This method will clear any software conflict with your keyboard. Try to follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. At first, you have to tap on the Windows button.
  2. After that, you have to type ‘PowerShell’, right click on the ‘Windows PowerShell’ and run as an administrator.
  3. If you notice that the Start button fails to perform its work, then click on it and navigate to this location.

C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Windows PowerShell\

  1. After that, right click on the  “Windows PowerShell” and run it as administrator.
  2. Now, you have to type or copy paste the script from the section below in the PowerShell window and press Enter to continue.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

Now, you have to restart your PC. After performing these steps, if the error persists, then try to follow the next method mentioned below.

Method 4: Enable Start Menu

In cases where your Windows key does not bring up the Start menu, there is a possibility the start menu was disabled. To enable it, follow the steps below.

  1. At first, right click on the Start button and choose “Run”
  2. Now, type “regedit” in the Run box and hit Enter. This will bring up the Registry Editor.
  3. Next, navigate to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/Advanced.
  4. After that, you have to place a right click on the right-hand side and create a new  DWORD (32-bit) value
  5. Once done, you have to call a new key  “EnableXamlStartMenu”
  6. After that, you have to restart your PC and restart your explorer using the task manager.

After completing these steps, you have to check the status of the error. If it persists, then try to follow the next method.

Method 5: Restart Windows/File Explorer

Explorer controls the user interface of Windows. Using this method, it will restart Windows file explorer as well as it will clear any errors which prevent it from starting correctly. In order to perform this action, try to follow these steps:

  1. At first, you have to tap and hold Ctrl + Alt + Del at the same time to launch the Task Manager.
  2. Once done, you have to tap on the process tab, locate Explorer in the Windows and right click on it.
  3. After that, choose End task.
  4. Now, tap on File, followed by Run New Task.
  5. Once done, you have to type ‘explorer.exe’ and press Enter to continue.

After performing these steps, if the Windows key, not working glitch still persists, then try to follow the alternative method.

Method 6: Turn Off Filter Keys

You can also turn off the filter keys in order to resolve this error on your own. Try to follow these steps:

  1. At first, you have to drag the mouse at the right edge of your Windows 8 PC and tap on the settings page. In case, you are using Windows 10, then you have to right click on the Start menu and tap on Settings.
  2. Now, from the Windows settings page, you need to scroll down and tap on Ease of Access
  3. Next, tap on the keyboard tab which is situated on the left-hand page.
  4. After that, you have to scroll down to ‘filter keys’ and turn it off to continue.

After completing these steps, you have to check the status of the error. If it persists, then try to follow the next method mentioned below.

Method 7: Uninstall And Reinstall Keyboard Drivers

If you uninstall your outdated keyboard drivers, then you will be able to resolve this error on your own. On that note, try to follow these steps mentioned below.

  1. At first, right click on the Start button and choose “Run”
  2. Now, type devmgmt.msc in the Run box and hit Enter.
  3. Once the Device Manager window opens, you have to expand the ‘Keyboards’ section.
  4. Once done, right click on your keyboard drivers and choose ‘Uninstall device’
  5. In the warning message which appears, you have to tap on ‘Yes’ or the ‘Uninstall’  button to remove these drivers.
  6. In case, you are using a USB keyboard, then you have to unplug it from your device and plug it back. Otherwise, you have to restart your computer. After that, Windows will reinstall the driver automatically.
  7. After that, you have to check whether this fix is able to resolve the error or not. If this method doesn’t resolve the error, then you have to follow the next method mentioned below.

Method 8: Create a New User Account

You can create a new user account in order to resolve this error on your own. Try to follow these steps mentioned below.

  1. At first, you have to navigate to the Settings app.
  2. Next, go to the Accounts section.
  3. After that, go to the Family & other people section.
  4. Now, in the Other people section, you have to tap on the tap on the Add someone else to this PC option.
  5. Now, choose I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
  6. After that, you have to select  Add a user without a Microsoft account button.
  7. Now, you have to enter a name for the new user account and right click on Next to complete the process.
  8. Once you create a new user account, you have to sign out from your previous account. Now, login with the new account and check the status of the error.

Method 9: Use PowerShell

You can also use the PowerShell, in order to resolve this error on your own. Try to follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. At first, you have to tap and hold the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys at the same time to launch the Task Manager.
  2. When the Task Manager opens, you have to go to the file and locate the Run new task option.
  3. Now, you have to enter the PowerShell as well and make the box be checked against  Create this task with administrative privileges.
  4. Once done, you have to tap on the OK button or on the Enter button to continue.
  5. When you will be able to see the power shell opens, then you have to enter Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”}  and hit Enter to continue.
  6. After executing this command, you will be able to fix this error on your own.

Now, try to check the status of the error. Hopefully, this method will fix the Windows key not working issue.

To Conclude

In this article, experts have provided a step by step guide using which you will be able to resolve the Windows key not working glitch on your own. So, try to follow each and every step carefully. In case, you encounter any kind of glitches then you can leave a comment in the comment section, as your feedback.

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