People love their laptops because they’re small and portable. They also love them because they cost less than desktops (unless you buy the top-end models). Unfortunately, those are usually the only things that come cheap when buying a laptop. Their small size, portability and low price often come at the expense of repairability. If something goes wrong it can be tricky to access all the components you need to fix it, and many smaller laptops don’t have user-accessible hardware documentation online. Luckily, there are some ways you can DIY laptop repair more easily. Here’s how to fix your sticky keys on a laptop:

Check your key caps

Although it’s rare, sometimes your key caps become physically detached from the underlying keyboard. This can happen if your laptop has been dropped, or if you’ve spilled something on it. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace your key caps. You can find replacement key caps online, but you’ll need to know which ones you need. Different keyboards have different layouts, and they use different key caps. If you don’t know which key caps you need, try searching on the model number of your keyboard and “keycap layout” to see what it uses. If you don’t know your model number, your best bet is to replace your entire keyboard.

Clean your keyboard

If your keys aren’t sticky, but you’ve spilled something on your keyboard, you may be able to fix the issue with a good old fashioned keyboard cleaning. Disassemble your laptop and remove the keyboard. Use a can of compressed air to clean away any crumbs or liquids that have gotten into crevices. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe away any liquids. When you’re finished, use a dry cloth to dry off your keyboard. When you’ve replaced the keys, make sure you don’t put too much pressure on them, as this might make them sticky again. If you’re sure you’ve cleaned your keyboard properly, and the keys are still sticky, try a different key.

Try a different key

If the other keys aren’t sticky but one is, you may need to replace that key. Unfortunately, small laptop keyboards don’t often have easily replaceable parts. Some models have removable keyboards for cleaning, but others are glued on. You may be able to pop the key off with a screwdriver, but it’s likely to cause damage. If you’re lucky and the key is removable, you can search online for a replacement. If you don’t know your model number, it may be easier to replace the entire keyboard.

Check your keyboard driver

If none of these solutions work, you may need to update your keyboard driver. See if your computer manufacturer has a newer driver available. Before updating, make sure you’re downloading the correct version for your operating system. If you’re not sure which version you need, try searching your laptop model and “keyboard driver” to see if there are any newer drivers available. If there are no newer drivers available, or they don’t appear to be solving your issue, try a different keyboard.

Try a different keyboard

If you’ve tried all of the above techniques and you’re still having issues, you may need to replace your keyboard entirely. Again, you may be able to find a replacement online. If you don’t know your model number, try searching for your computer model and “replacement keyboard.” If you don’t find any, you may have to replace your entire computer.

Check your trackpad and touchpad drivers

If you’re having issues with your trackpad or touchpad driver, you may be able to solve the issue by updating it. Make sure you download the correct version for your operating system. If you don’t know your model number, search for your computer model and “trackpad driver” or “touchpad driver” to see if there are any newer drivers available. If there are no newer drivers available, or they aren’t solving your issues, you may need to replace your trackpad or touchpad hardware.

Replace your trackpad/touchpad hardware

If you’re having issues with your trackpad or touchpad hardware, it’s likely you’ll need to replace the hardware entirely. Thankfully, many modern laptops allow you to remove and replace the trackpad or touchpad. If your laptop has removable hardware, try searching online for a replacement trackpad or touchpad. Make sure you get the correct model for your computer. If you don’t know your model number, try searching for your computer model and “replacement trackpad” or “replacement touchpad.” If you don’t find any trackpads or touchpads available online, you may need to replace your entire computer. This is easiest if you know your laptop model number, but even without it, you may be able to find computer repair shops in your area that can fix your laptop. If you’re not sure whether you need to replace your trackpad/touchpad hardware or you computer altogether, try searching for your computer model and “trackpad not working” or “touchpad not working.” You may find posts from other people with your same issue. You can use these posts to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it. If you don’t find any posts, try searching for your laptop model and “stuck keys.” You may find posts from people with sticky keys who have found a solution. If you don’t find any posts, it may be time to buy a new laptop.

Conclusion

If you’re laptop keys are sticky, you may be able to fix the issue with a little DIY laptop repair. Check your key caps, clean your keyboard, and update your driver. If that doesn’t work, try a different key or different keyboard. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace your trackpad/touchpad hardware or your entire computer. If you’re still having issues, try searching for posts from people with your same issue.

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