How to Put a Computer Key Back on a Keyboard

Written by ma wen jie
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After long term use, the keys on some computer keyboards can fall off. On full-sized computer keyboards, they keys are usually held in place by a + shaped post that fits into a similarly shaped hole on the bottom of the key. Putting those keys back on is as simple as slipping the key onto the post and pressing down hard. Low profile and laptop keyboards, however, can be a little more difficult.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Small flat blade screwdriver

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  1. 1

    See if the key retainer is still attached to the keyboard. The key retainer is a round or square piece of metal or plastic that fits around the key post.

  2. 2

    If you see the key retainer in place, you are in luck. Re-attaching the key is often as simple as pressing the key in place over the post and ensuring the four corners of the key snap in place on the key retainer.

    However, some key retainers require you to hook two bottom tabs in the key over the retainer. In some cases, keys of this type will simply snap into place with pressure. However, if you are having trouble getting your key to snap back in place, try hooking the tabs on the bottom of the key under the retainer before applying pressure.

  3. 3

    Remove a nearby key if your retainer has also fallen off your keyboard. By carefully prying up a key with a flat blade screwdriver, you will be able to see how the key retainer should be attached.

  4. 4

    Attach the key retainer from the first missing key and press the key in place. In some cases, you may need to hook tabs on the bottom of the key under the key retainer. In other cases, it will snap into place easily.

  5. 5

    Re-attach the key you removed to examine proper key retainer positioning.

Tips and warnings

  • If your keys or key retainers won't snap into place, look for broken bits on them. If the tab or clip on the bottom of a key is broken, you will likely need to buy a new key from the manufacturer or from a computer repair service. If the key retainer has broken bits, you may need to buy a new key retainer.
  • In some cases, you can take a rarely used key, such as the CTRL key on one side of your keyboard, to temporarily repair a broken letter key. Simply move the key and key retainer to the letter key position.

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