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Keycaps the 'ctrl' keycap popped do i get it back on without breaking any of the metal/plastic bits?

Posted by doug bailey on


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John Anderson

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To get the key back on u will see a metal clip on the underside of the button, kinda hard to explain but easy. take the metal clip and put it in the small clips on the laptop then press the key kinda hard and it will clip into place.. Hope you get it John

Posted on Feb 28, 2007


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Remove the keycaps
Using a small screwdriver, carefully pry up each key. It should pop off easily. Do not remove the spacebar or large keys such as <Shift>, <Enter>, or <Tab>. Putting those back on can be difficult.

Go after the stubborn dirt

Replace the keycaps.

Carefully snap each keycap back on. Make sure each one works freely as you proceed. Plug in the keyboard, and test all the keys when finished.

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How can i fix sticky keys on my laptop without taking it to an repair shop

Most keyboards have plastic, mechanical keyswitches underneath the keycaps, and you can probably pop off the keycaps pretty easily (use a small, flat tool and very gently lift up on end of it till you can get a grip on one end of a keycap with your fingers, after which, you can pretty easily lift and unsnap the keycaps from the keyswitches below and see if any foreign matters are present and clean 'em out.

To clean a keyboard, I recommend a used paint brush to dislodge hair and fiber in between keys, a damp (not wet) toothbrush to clean the surface of your keycaps, and a good ******** (don't use a vacuum unless you're willing to dig into your vacuum bag for tiny parts that may get accidentally sucked out!).

Outside of some odd-ball laptops models, most keyboards can be easily found on eBay and are pretty affordable ($10-$15), so I'd look for one on eBay before I start fixing mine - just in case.

I have a MacBook all White, My problem is I have Three key's that will not stay on! When looking at the sceen its on the bottom left OPTION,CONTROL and fn have all come off and I've put them back on so...

Keycaps for Apple laptops can be purchased from
From your posting, it sounds like you may not be aware of the proper way to reattach Apple keycaps. There is an underlying scissor mechanism that must be assembled properly for the keycap to stay on. Just pushing the cap on won't reattach it. The website indicated provides directions.

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Dell don't appear to sell spares down to this level - when a key on mine "broke" recently, they sent me a complete replacement keyboard.

Bearing in mind that the machine was a couple of days out of warranty and that the damage was clearly down to our carelessness rather than theirs, I thought it pretty decent of them to give it to me for free.

You might try salvaging the keyboard off a dead notebook, and either fitting it complete, or salvaging the relevant keys off it.

Changing the keyboard out is quick and easy (You'll find instructions for doing it buried in the "Dell Support Centre" area on your machine).

Fitting salvaged keycaps to an existing keyboard is fiddly: There are two plastic levers which between them form a pantograph underneath the keycap. The keycaps will come off easily enough if you pull them straight out, trying not to lose the two plastic levers which hold them on. From memory, to refit them, you need to click one of the levers into the keycap, then both into the base of the keyboard, then press down hard on the keycap until the last bit clips into place - then repeat several times until you get it right! (The last connection needs to be the fixed, rather than the sliding link to the keycap).


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Yes you can pop off individual keys. There are three parts to most keys: the rubber 'boot' which actually activates the keystoke, the flex connector which is the plastic 'X' support under the key that lets it go up and down, and the keycap itself. I usually use two precision screwdrivers, placing one under the left edge of the key for support while prying gently with the other on the right. Be careful as it is very easy to break the little plastic tabs on the flex connector that clip into the underside of the keycap. (They can be replaced for about $7.50 on eBay)

It is not unusual for a foreign object (paperclip, staple, etc) to get under a key and keep it from pressing down. Sometimes you can use compressed air or even tweezers (with a steady hand) to remove these without taking off the keycap.

Worst case scenario is an electrical problem preventing the keystroke from being sensed. A replacement keyboard would run about $35-40 and is actually pretty easy to install. I would check the warranty first at that point, it might still be covered.

And finally, there is the 'Onscreen Keyboard' as a part of XP, found in the Start Button->Accesories->Accessibility folder.

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If you look very carefully - you should see 'something like' an H shaped piece of plastic that holds the key in place - this controls the position.
You need to prize the legs that meet with the key away from the centre (carefully) using 2off small jewel screw drivers (maybe 2 off paper clips)

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Putting the keycap back on is usually fairly easy. Many will snap back into place if you place the keycap back into the correct position and gently press it down. Look on the back side of the loose keycap and see if it has 4 small clips or if it has 2 clips and 2 slots. The one wit 4 clips should snap back on. The one with 2 slots requires you to get one side of the key hinge into the slots before pressing it down onto the other 2 clips.

If only some of the keys stopped working, that usually indicates a defective keyboard. Try connecting an external USB keyboard to see if all the characters work correctly. If the external keyboard works but the laptop keyboard does not, then you will probably need to replace the laptop keyboard.


Lots of keyboards parts on ebay usually pretty cheap?
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