How to Fix a Dell Laptop's Backspace Key

Written by ruri ranbe
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Underneath the "Backspace" key on a Dell laptop is a rubber plug and a retainer. When a user depresses the "Backspace" key, the rubber plug forces the key back in to its original position. The retainer, which comes in the form of a scissor support bar, or plastic scissor spring, secures the "Backspace" key in place. If the key has fallen off the keyboard, you can quickly fix the key by snapping the keycap back on its retainer.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Can of compressed air

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  1. 1

    Check the slot where the "Backspace" key was once connected to determine which retainer the laptop uses.

  2. 2

    Spray the area with compressed air to dislodge dust and grime. Wipe the area with a damp, antistatic cloth to remove any residue from the surface of the slot. Remove any residue from the "Backspace" keycap as well.

  3. 3

    Line up the notches on the back of the keycap with the scissor spring or scissor support bar. Place the key on top of the spring or support bar.

  4. 4

    Press down on the "Backspace" key until the key snaps into place. You may need to slightly reposition the key if it fails to connect with the retainer.

  5. 5

    Open a text editor, input random text and then press the "Backspace" key repeatedly to confirm that the key is fixed.

Tips and warnings

  • If the scissor support bar or plastic scissor spring have come off the slot, insert the bottom half of the support bar or spring into notches on the bottom rail, then insert the top half of the support bar or spring into the notches on the top rail. You may need a pair of tweezers or a small flathead screwdriver to snap the retainer in place.
  • You should be able to put the support bar and scissor spring in a raised position after inserting the retainers into the keyboard slot.
  • Some Dell laptops line the keyboard slot with a slim, metal bar, found above or below the retainer. If this piece comes out, insert either end of the bar into the notches on the far ends of the slot.

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