Can Laptop Keys Be Replaced?

The keys on a computer’s keyboard are so important because they allow you to type or input the words you need when using the computer. We also know for a fact that desktops have keyboards that are easily replaceable in case they get damaged or have keys on keyboards that can be replaced. But, on the other hand, laptops tend to be more popular because of how compact and portable they are. So, if a laptop’s keys get damaged or if you just simply want to replace the keys, can you actually do that?

You can replace the key on a laptop keyboard but it requires a lot of technical know-how and may be too difficult for a lot of different people. That’s why it is much more recommended that you have the entire laptop keyboard replaced if one of the keys gets damaged.

In most cases, whenever a component on a laptop or any other computer gets damaged, it is quite easy to get that component replaced. However, because the keys on a laptop are usually designed to be nearly fully integrated with the entire laptop or the keyboard, at the very least, it is almost too difficult for you to replace the keys on a laptop. That said, here are more things you need to know about replacing laptop keys.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 keyboard up close

Can you replace the keys on a laptop?

The keyboard on a computer is nothing short of important because you use it for typing, which is one of the primary ways for you to use a computer. While we do know that it is quite easy to replace the keys or the entire keyboard of a desktop computer, does the same apply to a laptop in case one of the keys gets damaged? Can you actually replace the keys on a laptop?

If you have seen how a laptop is designed, it becomes too difficult for anyone to imagine that the keys can actually be replaced. That’s because the compact and clamshell design of a laptop requires that the keyboard needs to be integrated together with the entire machine. This is not the case when it comes to desktop computers because they make use of external keyboards that are not integrated with the entire computer.

That said, despite how laptops are designed, there are some laptops that actually allow you to replace the keys on the keyboard. So, yes, the keys on a laptop are indeed replaceable but that isn’t always the case because it actually depends on the laptop itself and how it is designed. This is much more common in older laptops but not in the newer flagship laptop models that won’t even allow you to open them.

However, it still is pretty much very difficult for you to replace a laptop key. That’s because you need to remove the old key without breaking the levers or springs that are found under the laptop. Meanwhile, installing the new key will require you to push the new key downward while also sliding it towards the front part of the laptop keyboard. The point of doing so is to make sure that the key gets engaged with the hooks on the springs that are found under the key. In most cases, doing this can be quite difficult even for the most experienced laptop experts.

However, for those who have laptops with non-chiclet keyboards such as those that you see in flagship ultrabooks like the MacBook, this is something that you can do. You may still be able to do the abovementioned method but there is a larger chance of damaging the keyboard or even the laptop by doing so.

Because replacing laptop individual keys can be quite difficult or even impossible for you to do depending on how your laptop was designed or constructed, it is recommended that you have the entire keyboard replaced instead of actually replacing the keys. Keyboards can cost you somewhere between $10 to $20 depending on the laptop that you have. Some may be more expensive than that but it still is better to pay for the keyboard instead of risking damage to your laptop by replacing individual keys.


How to fix a broken or loose laptop key?

If you have a laptop key that is broken or loose, the good news is that you don’t always have to get the entire keyboard replaced because it actually is possible for you to fix a broken or loose laptop key on your own. And the first thing you need to understand here is that the laptop keyboard keys have three components: the keycap, keypad, and the key retainer

For those who have loose keycaps that are still attached to the laptop, the best you can do to fix the problem is to press the key down long and hard enough. The reason why this works is that you are basically trying to re-attach the key back to its place. You will be able to hear a snapping sound when the key is successfully re-attached to the springs or levers found on your laptop.

However, if the key is actually broken or damaged and not simply loose, here are some of the things you need to do to try to fix the broken laptop key:

  • Remove the old and broken key on the keyboard to start fixing the problem. You can do this by trying to simply pick the old and broken key off of the keyboard.
  • Try inserting a key retainer into the laptop. You can also use a keypad if you have one but we suggest that you actually do it after you have set the retainer in place so that it will make things easier on your part. When the key retainer has been inserted, it should be able to lie flat on the keyboard but should still be flexible enough.
  • However, if you are not sure about the direction where the key retainer should go, you may want to check the orientation of the hooks that can be found on the keyboard. The hooks are the ones that determine the orientation of the retainer so that you will know what direction you should be inserting them. Your key retainers should be aligned with the hooks found on the laptop keyboard.
  • After that, insert the keypad into the retainer carefully and safely.
  • After you have done the abovementioned steps, you should position the keycap over the retainer in the proper direction or orientation. You should press down lightly on the keycap so that it should snap onto the retainer, which should be attached to the hooks found under the keyboard. The key here is to try to listen to the snapping sound to know if you have done the procedure right.
  • Once the key cap has been attached properly, try pressing on the key to knowing if it works or has actually been fixed or attached properly.
The colourful Keyboard of Lenovo laptop


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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