How to replace a laptop shift key

Written by dianne christensen-herman
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How to replace a laptop shift key
Laptop shift keys can be replaced if they are broken or stuck. (laptop computer image by Photoeyes from

The "Shift" key allows you to perform a secondary function of a key by holding down the "Shift" key and that button. Occasionally, the shift key may get stuck because dirt, debris, pet hair or food particles may be trapped underneath.The "Shift" key is important, so be careful when removing it so you do not damage other keys in the process. It may be necessary to remove and replace the key to get it working correctly again; do so using just a few materials.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Can of compressed air
  • Q-tips
  • New "Shift" key
  • Anti-static cloth

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  1. 1

    Insert a flat head screwdriver under the left or right side of the "Shift" key. Gently lift up on the screwdriver to pry the "Shift" key loose. There is a white clip located beneath the "Shift" key that is comprised of two plastic pieces that lift the key up and down. Dislodge the key from the clips.

  2. 2

    Clean the key slot with a can of compressed air before you replace the key. Hold the can at an angle so liquid does not spray out. Wipe the slot with a damp anti-static cloth or Q-tip to remove debris.

  3. 3

    Slide the four points of the clips into the grooves of the four metal retainers in the key slot. Make sure the part of the clip that protrudes outward is facing up.

  4. 4

    Set the replacement "Shift" key on the clip and check that it is facing the proper direction. Gently push down on the key until you hear it snap into place.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a slightly damp cloth to clean the keyboard. If the cloth is too wet, water could leak out and possibly damage the keyboard.
  • You may need a pair of tweezers to fit the clip into the key slot if it is difficult to install it with your fingers.
  • Make sure you do not push down too hard on the key or you could damage it.

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