While we have covered many different keyboard errors like Fn keys not working, the Esc key in Windows 10 is probably less prone to errors. This is because with computers becoming more and more important and capable of performing advanced tasks, giving one key the power to turn off an important application can be risky.
However, that does not mean that the Esc is perfect, as some users have reported Esc key not working on their computers. If you too face this error, here I shall discuss how you can easily troubleshoot this issue for your computer.
How To Fix If Escape Key Not Working In Windows 10?
There can be several reasons why you may see the escape button not working. Let us take a closer look at some simple solutions that you can use to solve this error.
Solution 1: Check The Keycap For Dirt Or Blockage
Let us first cover the obvious reasons and rule out dirt blocking the keypress as a suspect. If the keyboard has spent some time on your desk, there is a chance that dirt accumulation may be blocking the keypress from registering. This will lead to the Esc key not working on your computer.
If the keyboard has removable keycaps, remove them and clean the keyboard. If not, take a clean damp cloth and wipe your keyboard clean. Blow some air to remove any dirt from under the keyboard. Once you are satisfied with the cleaning, check if the Esc key works now.
Solution 2: Update The Keyboard Drivers
If the Esc key does not work even after cleaning the keycaps, there might be something wrong with the keyboard drivers which is causing the hardware device to malfunction. To eliminate this as a cause, you can update the keyboard drivers to the latest version. Check if the error persists.
Solution 3: Run The Keyboard Troubleshooter
The built-in troubleshooters in Windows 10 do a decent job of finding most of the errors in the operating system. You can try the keyboard troubleshooter to diagnose any error with the keyboard. You will find the keyboard troubleshooter by following this path:
Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Keyboard
Click on the Run the troubleshooter button to start diagnosing any errors with your hardware.
Solution 4: Reinstall The Keyboard
Next, reinstall the keyboard. This will remove any stored cache which may be causing the device to misbehave. Follow these steps for the same:
- Unplug the keyboard from your CPU.
- Open the device manager from the WinX menu, which can be accessed by right-clicking on the Start button.
- Expand the keyboards section by clicking on the small arrow next to the entry.
- Right-click on your keyboard entry, and select Uninstall device from the context menu.
- Restart your computer.
- Once your computer boots back up, plug in the keyboard again.
The generic drivers for your keyboard will be reinstalled, therefore deleting any corrupted core driver files. The keyboard should work normally now.
Solution 5: Test Your Keyboard
If reinstalling the keyboard did not help you solve the escape key problem, you can test the keyboard using online tools available for the same. This will help you figure out if the key input is being registered or not.
You can use the free tool from KeyboardTester to check if the key input is being registered or not. You will notice the key go green if the input is registered. If the input is not being registered, there is a possibility of hardware damage that can only be repaired by replacing your keyboard.
Solution 6: Use Shift + Esc
If you see that the key input is being registered, but the Esc key not working in any particular application, it is likely that the Esc key functionality has been moved over to the Shift + Esc key combination. This is usually done to prevent users from accidentally closing an app or triggering some other shortcut.
For example, many chromium-based browsers like Chrome and Brave use the shortcut Shift + Esc to bring up the app-specific task manager, where the resource consumption from the individual tabs is displayed.
Solution 7: Turn Off Filter Keys
Filter keys and sticky keys are additional features in Windows 10 used to help increase the functionality of the operating system. However, there is a chance that these can interfere with the normal functioning of your computer. Thus, you can try turning off the filter keys and check if the error persists.
Solution 8: Check For Virus Or Malware
If none of the solutions provided above helped you solve the Esc key problem, there is a possibility that virus infection is causing the Esc button not working error. You must scan your computer for any infection using your antivirus software.
If the antivirus did not help you solve the error and you have eliminated the possibility of your keyboard being damaged (works fine on other computers), you may have to perform a system restore or reinstall Windows completely.
So, there you have it. Now you know how to troubleshoot if you see escape key not working on your computer. Did you find this useful? Comment below if you did, and to discuss further the same.