written by: Austin•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/11/2011
If you're using one of those awesome HP wireless keyboards, the caps lock can get stuck down (or up) when you're using it. Here's how you can fix this problem quickly and without having to do a lot of work.
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Why Is My Caps Lock Stuck?
YOU KNOW WHAT'S REALLY ANNOYING? WHEN YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY IS STUCK DOWN AND YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
See? You may not realize it, but reading text that's all caps lock is annoying, hard to do, and no one really enjoys it. If you're using your keyboard one day and you notice that little green light indicating caps is on, and it won't turn off regardless of how many times you push it, you're in trouble. It's time to get out the hammers and screws, because you need to do some troubleshooting.
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Fix #1: Restart/Unplug and Retry
A lot of times keys will just malfunction for no apparent reason, usually due to some sort of OS glitch or driver glitch, and all it takes is that you shut down your computer for a few moments and then start it back up. Often times this jogs everything back into place and you won't need to do anything more!
If, however, it doesn't respond to this initial attempt, you can always try shutting everything back down, unplugging the keyboard, plugging it back in, and then starting up again. Sometimes there was something stuck inside of the USB connector or USB port, and unplugging it can fix that as well!
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Fix #2: Get a Hammer
Contrary to where your brain may have lead you when you read the title of this section, we will not be smashing your keyboard into tiny pieces because it's frustrating you. In fact, we won't even be using the top end of the hammer for anything at all; what you'll want to try here is taking the butt end of the hammer, and carefully ramming it down onto the caps lock key, slowly yet firmly. Exercise caution when doing this, because you don't want to break the key, but this is often a good fix for when something gets caught underneath it and you don't want to take the whole thing apart.
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Fix #3: Re-Setup
A lot of times the caps lock key isn't actually stuck down or stuck up; the indicator light just isn't working. If this is the case, the only real way to sure-fire fix it is to go out and purchase a brand new keyboard; there is one possible free fix though. Try reinstalling and re-setting up the whole thing by unplugging it, uninstalling the drivers or software, and re-doing everything you did when you first got it. This process is not the same for every keyboard out there, but here's a generic guide that should get you through no matter what you're using:
- First, uninstall your keyboard's drivers by opening up the command prompt window which is located in the Start Menu, under Programs>Accessories>Command Prompt. Make sure you're running it as the administrator by right clicking and choosing that option. Within this MS-DOS-like box, type the following command prompt OR copy/paste it into the dialogue box: SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1
This forces any hidden or unused drivers to show themselves in the control panel.
- After typing this in you can close all of this nonsense and go into the Control Panel, then into Device Manager and check under the "Keyboards" section. Expand the box and look for any drivers that are associated with your HP wireless keyboard. Right click on them and select "Uninstall" or "Remove".
- Now, restart your computer and insert the driver disc that came with your keyboard when you bought it. If it didn't come with a driver disc, go online and find the proper drivers from the same location you got them when you first installed them.
- Reinstall the drivers by double clicking on the driver files and following the on-screen instructions.
- Once completed, shut down your computer, plug-in your keyboard, and start it back up. See if it works now!
This fix isn't just reserved for when only the light on your keyboard is broken, and it's a pretty sure-fire way to fix no matter what the issue on your keyboard is -- assuming it's software related and not a physical hardware issue.
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"Nothing Worked! What Do I Do?"
Chances are if none of these fixes worked that you have what I call a "deep hardware issue", which is a physical problem with the keyboard that is fairly complex and requires a good amount of computer knowledge to fix. In most cases to fix a deep hardware issue you'll need to disassemble the keyboard and mess around with the parts inside, which (with an external keyboard) is much easier said than done.
I'd recommend you send it into the shop or go out and buy a new keyboard altogether. Frankly, if your HP wireless keyboard caps lock is broken, you may as well buy a new one anyway. They aren't too terribly expensive.