Using a laptop with a wonky key is equivalent to having a blemish or acne appearing on your clear skin since it ruins the overall aesthetics and certainly sticks out like a sore thumb.

Aside from dealing with such a nuisance and borderline abomination, a malfunctioned key of your keyboard also puts a halt on your productivity especially if you are using it for educational or recreational purposes.

As ridiculous as this phenomenon may sound, it’s still at large as plenty of laptop users are dealing and there are barely any solutions available on the internet to curb it, once and for all.

Henceforth, I have taken it upon myself to curate an article on How to Fix a Key that Fell Off a Laptop Keyboard and shed some light on this esoteric knowledge for my beloved readers.

Things To Consider Before Proceeding

Unless and until laptop manufacturers develop a miracle cure for this rampant fiasco that has been plaguing the laptop community, this comprehensive guide will act as a cornerstone for individuals that want to rectify their issues.

Keep in mind, I will try my level best to provide straightforward and concise information, so make sure to follow everything that has been mentioned below rather than skimping through it.

So, let’s kick it off now.

Understanding A laptop Keyboard Infrastructure

A laptop’s key is a set of these three things, 

  • Keycap i.e. the key itself, the upper casing that you press.
  • The keypad i.e. on which the cap sits.
  • The key retainer i.e. another (plastic) component therein.

Well, let’s now check out where the issue can take place and how to deal with it.

How To Fix A Key That Has Fell Off The Laptop Keyboard?

Now let’s take a look at the actual process.

1. Workaround For Loosened Keycaps

Well, if the keycap is merely loose or detached from just one side, you only need to press it down from that point. Press it a bit hard yet delicate, and you’ll ultimately hear the snap i.e. the patching up. I hope the key is back at work now.

On the other hand, if the Keycap has fallen off and everything else is finely placed, you should better turn the keycap upside down and look for any damage to its latching points. Yes, turn it over and look into it.

You’ll see a small plastic lock i.e. the point where it latches back to the keyboard, and a few other joining points too. If they are ok, look into the keyboard and ascertain if the points (the hooks) where the keycap fits are fine and not damaged, as well.

Is everything fine? So again, just put the keycap back, and make sure that the locking points get finely placed with the keyboard hooks. Press it gently and you’ll hear the patch-up snap, which means you`re done with it.

2. Workaround For Retainer Malfunction

If it’s not only the keycap but the key retainer as well that has been detached from the keyboard, try these steps.

I would say, first try detaching any other key by yourself, but very slowly and gently so that only the keycap comes out and other things stay in place. Thoroughly check it out and notice the key retainer’s placement pattern, how it’s connected to the keyboard, and everything else.

Well, a retainer is a combination of two pieces joined via hooks, etc., so if you get them disconnected, you can easily connect them back to one another.

  • Get back to the malfunctioned detached key, and assemble its retainer the same way as the other i.e. the finely working one.
  • If you are fearing doing this, leave this suggestion. Simply check out the orientation of the retainer’s connecting hooks at the keyboard, you’ll straight away know how to click the retainer exactly back into them.
  • You’ll see that the key retainer is connected to the keyboard at four different points. Hence, line up the retainer to the keyboard base, place it correctly, and connect it through all four points.
  • If you are facing any issues, oust the keypad that’s on the rubber nub, and you’ll find a good space to fit the retainer. Put it back there once the retainer is exactly fitted.

Try clicking it several times and notice that fine bounce in it. It’s fine and working now and congrats, for you have repaired it.

3. Fixing The Silicon Membrane

This one’s pretty tricky and might require you to be careful considering you are dealing with quite a sensitive area, so be as gentle as possible, otherwise, you might ruin the whole circuitry.

  • Remove a key that you think is useless for you or that you can live without. Remove the keycap first, the retainer and keypad then, and finally the silicon nub from therein.
  • That nub is connected to the keyboard base via “Glue”. So, slowly and carefully separate it using a sharp-edged knife, etc.
  • When done, apply a powerful glue to its (the nub’s) base and place it on the exact center point (of the key you want to repair).
  • When glued, put back the retainer and then the keycap exactly following all the above-mentioned steps. Your required key is repaired now.
  • But it’s certain that this way you’ll lose another key i.e. the one you think you don’t use much. Just be careful while removing the silicon nub from there because if it too gets damaged, you’ll be left with two damaged keys instead of just one, previously.

4. Keycap Replacement

As Anti Climatic as it may sound if by any unfortunate chance, you misplaced the keycap the retainer is broken from some point, or if, in the worst scenario, you’d probably need to order new ones now.

Well, it’s easy to find new components. You’d have to search as per your laptop brand and model, and you’ll easily get them from the market.

5. Fixing the SpaceBar

Although every key works on the same pattern, the spacebar, since it’s way bigger than other keys, shows a bit different contexture and hence requires a few additional, different steps in order to be fixed back at the place.

  • If your spacebar key is felled off the keyboard, first turn it over and look for a long metal (mostly) retainer bar attached beneath your spacebar key.
  • Detach it from the key using a screwdriver or whatever else you think can work for you.
  • Once removed, put this long bar on the keyboard base, stay observant regarding its orientation, and place it well in the hooks therein.
  • Done? Simply put the spacebar key back in its place, follow the same steps i.e. line up the latching points, etc., and gently press it down.
  • You’ll notice the patch-up and it’s done.

Well, if you do all that exactly as described and the repaired key still isn’t working, the problem can possibly be somewhere in the circuit board, etc. So, better reach out to the mechanic then, because anything that you do further can make things even worse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some related questions that I think you have in your mind.

How Do You Reattach A Key On A Laptop Keyboard?

Ensure your keyboard key is firmly in place by aligning it and pressing it on the designated key location until you hear a “click” sound to reattach it.

How Much Is It To Replace A Key On A Laptop?

A replacement keyboard for your laptop can range anywhere between 10 and 30 dollars if you have an older model. On the other hand, if you own a MacBook, the price can soar to 50-100 dollars.

Final Words

Problems with keycaps for keyboards are no rare sight, in fact, plenty of avid laptop users deal with issues on a regular basis regardless of the brand.

However, I believe, my thorough and insightful guide on How to Fix a Key that Fell Off a Laptop Keyboard would help you drastically. Since I will be updating it on a regular basis, in case I find newer methods, I will make sure it provides guidance for years to come!

About the author

Jamie Hubbard

Jamie Hubbard a computer engineering graduate, lover of Apple MacBook Pro, full time talk and write about Laptop Reviews here at Laptopsheaven. As a Topper in High School he love to play with computer gadgets and write about it mainly laptops and its accessories. Moreover, he has many publications in the local newspaper and several other popular tech brands.