How To Put a Key Back On a Laptop (Easy Steps)

How To Put a Key Back On a Laptop

Laptop keyboards have their share of troubles for all laptop brands. A key coming off the keyboard is one of the issues that occur often. The small plastic piece with a square shape that comes with the laptop keyboard is called a keycap. The keycap is what you press on your laptop when researching or writing.

When a keycap comes off or is loose, the simplest way to put it back is by pressing it down gently. If the keycap is in place and gives a click sound when pressed down, then it is back on the keyboard. However, if the keycap is completely off, it needs more than a gentle press down.

Things You Should Know Before Putting a Key Back On Laptop

Laptops are wired differently. The keyboard may seem similar to many laptop models but there are some differences under the keycaps. This is what to know about the keyboard:

Key Retainers

A key retainer is a small piece of plastic that holds the keycap in place on the keyboard. Different laptops have different eye retainer designs. Some have one key retainer for each key, while others have two key Retainers for each key.

The backspace, enter and shift are big keycaps. In many laptops, the big keycaps have multiple key Retainers to hold them onto the keyboard. This is why a large key can sometimes come off partially. These keys also have stabilizers that are made of metal, placed under the key Retainers. The stabilizers ensure that the big keys are sensitive even when pressed at the corner.  

Related: Are there affordable laptops with backlit keyboards?

How To Put Back a Key On a Laptop

If the keycap is partially off, this can be fixed by pressing it down gently. Keys are sensitive and do not need to be handled roughly. Once you press down the key and it gives a click sound, then it is secure.

When the keycap is completely off, confirm whether the key retainer came off with it. If you see some plastic pieces under the keycap, it is the key retainer. In this case, this is how you’ll put the keycap back:

  1. Separate the key retainer from the keycap and place it back on the keyboard. Press it down to secure it
  2. Perfectly position the keycap on the key retainer and press it down to secure it
  3. Confirm whether the keycap you’ve placed on the keyboard is in sync with other keycaps
  4. Type something on your laptop using the fixed key to confirm whether it’s working properly

Note: when you have a keycap issue, there is a chance that the key retainer is broken. If your keycap comes off with the key retainer, check whether the key retainer is whole. If you notice it’s broken, do not proceed to place it back on the keyboard.

When To Visit a Laptop Keyboard Expert

After trying to put back a keycap on the keyboard using the simple Fixes above and it fails to work, there might be a hardware issue with your keyboard. This should be taken to a laptop keyboard expert as trying to fix the issue without adequate knowledge could make it worse. In case you do not feel confident enough to put back the keycap on your own, you can take it to a professional. Another case when your laptop needs a professional is if it develops keyboard issues like lack of key sensitivity.

Keyboard Maintenance Tips

To avoid future keyboard problems, taking proper care of your keyboard is highly recommended. You can apply these tips to take better care of your keyboard:

  • Be Gentle With the Keyboard. Keyboards are sensitive and will receive commands even when pressed gently.
  • Avoid placing heavy things on your keyboard. Placing heavy items on the keyboard such as phones might cause keycap or key retainer damage.
  • Do not drink or place fluids near your laptop to avoid spillage. Spilling fluids on the keyboard is harmful and might cost you a new keyboard. Also, avoid eating near your laptop as food particles that drop on the keyboard are harmful.
  • Clean the keyboard regularly. Do not allow dust and dirt to clutter your keyboard. Clean the keyboard on a regular routine.
  • Avoid using your keyboard when your hands are dirty or oily. To maintain the quality of your keyboard, use clean oil-free hands on it.

Related: What to do when your laptop won’t turn on


When you have a key that’s fallen off the keyboard, placing it back is possible with some simple steps. We have discussed and simplified the process. It is not a must you take the keycap to a laptop expert to be fixed; unless it’s a case where you are unable to place it back on the keyboard or the key retainer is broken.

Practicing proper keyboard maintenance is the best way to prevent keyboard problems. Note that handling the keyboard gently alone can prevent most keyboard issues.


Lucy is a tech enthusiast, and she spends her time testing every new gadget released on the market. She has an interest in NFTs, Crypto, and PC building

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