How to disable a notebook keyboard

Written by jeff grundy Google
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How to disable a notebook keyboard
Disable the built-in notebook keyboard so you can use a replacement. (laptop image by Manika from

If you have a notebook with a defective keyboard, use a regular PS/2 or USB keyboard as a temporary replacement until you have the built-in unit replaced. To avoid hardware conflicts between the defective keyboard and the external replacement, you will need to disable the notebook keyboard.

While Windows will allow you to disable the laptop keyboard in the device manager, the operating system will re-enable the keyboard the next time you boot the computer. Windows will not allow you to disable the keyboard permanently the way you can with some other types of hardware devices. Therefore, disable the keyboard on the laptop motherboard, and avoid conflicts or key errors in Windows.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Phillips #2 screwdriver
  • Scribe (optional)
  • Flathead screwdriver (optional)

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  1. 1

    Shut down the laptop computer. Close the display screen, and then flip the notebook over so that it is bottom-side up. Unplug the AC adaptor, and remove the battery from the bottom of the computer.

  2. 2

    Turn the computer back over, and open the LCD display. Use a flat tool, such as a flathead screwdriver or scribe, to lift the cover along the top edge of the keyboard. Carefully pry up on the keyboard edge cover, and remove it. Be careful not to damage the laptop display screen while removing the edge cover.

  3. 3

    Remove the keyboard retaining screws that are located above the top row of keys on the keyboard.

  4. 4

    Gently lift the keyboard out of the laptop, but do not remove it from the computer.

  5. 5

    Flip the keyboard so that you can see the ribbon connector cable on the bottom. Gently pull the connector from the connector port on the notebook motherboard. Lay the keyboard back in place in the notebook case.

  6. 6

    Replace the keyboard retaining screws, and secure them with a Phillips screwdriver. Snap the keyboard edge cover back into place.

  7. 7

    Close laptop display cover, and flip the computer back over so that it is again facing bottom-side up.

  8. 8

    Reinsert the battery into its bay, and lock it into place. Flip the laptop back to the right-side up position.

  9. 9

    Reconnect the AC adaptor, and power on the laptop. The laptop keyboard is disabled. You can now connect a USB keyboard to serve as a replacement.

Tips and warnings

  • Some laptops may have screws at the bottom of the computer that you will have to remove before you can remove the keyboard. Refer to the user manual for your specific notebook model.

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