How do I fix a laptop with a keyboard that types multiple letters with one key?

Updated February 21, 2017

A faulty keyboard can ruin the experience of using a laptop computer. A keyboard that features key problems is most commonly suffering from a sticky adhesive that was the result of a spill or from a problem with the keyboard cable. While the latter instance requires the opening of the laptop case and the likely voiding of warranty, both repairs can be made without the help of a professional. Previous experience with keyboard repair and laptop disassembly is not necessary.

Ensure that no two keys are stuck together. Spills that occur over your keyboard can create adhesion between keys that ensures that when one key is pressed, the other is activated at the same time. This results in multiple letter creation via one pressed key. Cleaning your laptop's keyboard with a lightly damp cloth can remove this stickiness and restore normal key operation.

Consider opening the keyboard to examine the laptop's case if cleaning the keyboard doesn't appear to work. Power down your laptop and turn the computer over to reveal the underside, where the horizontal outline of the laptop's battery will be clearly visible. A battery release mechanism will be either below the battery or to its side. Slide this mechanism to the left or right to disengage the battery before proceeding. The exact location of the battery and release mechanism will vary depending upon laptop model.

Remove all the screws on the bottom of the laptop using a Phillips screwdriver. Do not remove any covers on the underside of the computer.

Turn the laptop back over and look above the top row of keys on the keyboard. There will be a horizontal strip here that acts as a strip cover or keyboard shield. Pry under one of the edges to lift the shield up. Do not remove the shield or cover entirely, as it will be held in place by one or more cables.

Disconnect the cables at their connectors beneath the keyboard shield, then lift the shield out entirely.

Pull back carefully on the top of the keyboard, lifting up on the component just enough to display the keyboard cable, which extends from the keyboard's back down to a connector on the base of the laptop's top casing.

Lift up on an edge of the connector to slide the keyboard cable further in if it has become lose or partially disconnected from this point. Looseness or partial disconnection will render the keyboard either partially unresponsive or potentially lead to errors such as multiple-key entry. Once the cable has been reconnected further into the connector, press firmly on top of the connector to lock it back down in a horizontal position.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
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About the Author

Billy Kirk is an experienced professional writer and editor who has written and published articles of varying topics and varying types including news articles, special features and editorials. He has written extensively for regular online publications as well as blogs. Kirk holds a Bachelor of Arts in media production from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.