How to Reattach a Laptop Key

During everyday computer use, the laptop keys are exposed to a lot of dirt and abuse depending on how hard you type on the keyboard. Whether you have removed a key to clean the underside of the keyboard or have knocked a key out of place, it is helpful to know how to reattach laptop keys. Inserting a laptop key back into place is not difficult and only requires a few simple tools to accomplish this task.

Take a Q-tip and dip one end in rubbing alcohol. Swab all around the space where the key had come out. Depending on how long the key has been detached, dirt and grime could have got into this space so it is a good idea to keep it clean. Use tweezers to remove strands of hair and other particles. Wipe with a paper towel when you are done.

Take the first plastic hinge that has a circular centre and snap each side with the four sides of the second hinge that looks like square. This is only necessary if the plastic hinges have come out of the keyboard. Align the assembled plastic hinges so that the rubber button pokes through centre hole and the four slots snap into the metal tabs of the keyboard.

Align the centre of the laptop key on top of the rubber button. The circular, raised rubber button is what creates text when pressed down. Make sure that the top of the key is facing right side up.

Press firmly on the centre of the key until it snaps into place. Do not be afraid to apply some force. You may have to move the key around a bit until it is able to fit securely. If a larger rectangular key came out--like the space bar, enter, shift, backspace, or caps lock keys--then the procedure is slightly different. Remove the metal retainer from the back of the key and insert it into the two small hooks on the keyboard. Once this is in place, snap the metal retainer into the back of the key and press firmly into place.


If any part of the key, hinge, or rubber button is damaged you need to buy a replacement at a computer repair store or online vendor (see Resources). Depending on the model, laptop key hinge designs may vary.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towel
  • Tweezers
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About the Author

Ian Moore is a student pursuing an associate degree in music and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Moore has been a writer for more than 10 years. He holds a TESOL certification and has taught English abroad. Moore has published work for Transitions Abroad.