The thing about laptop keyboards, particularly with Dell, is that they’re quite tricky to repair if they get damaged. That’s because Dell laptops have keyboards that are integrated with the entire system, and it can get tricky to replace the keys that have popped out. However, there are some simple steps that you could try out to remedy the problem:
- Check the warranty. Do know that if you attempt to repair the laptop keyboard, you might inadvertently void the warranty. Check if the laptop warranty is still in effect, and if it is, it might be better to have it professionally repaired.
- Create a backup of the files in an external hard drive. This is very important just in case some more major problems arise while you troubleshoot the problem. If this happens, at least you can be assured that your files are safe and sound.
- Turn off the laptop. There is a chance that you might accidentally ground yourself when tinkering with the laptop’s hardware, so you should take the time to remove the laptop batteries. Take a look at the manual to see how you can do this properly.
- Be careful with the small parts. Do know that each laptop key is composed of very small parts that are important and losing or breaking one of these parts could mean that you won’t be able to get the key working again anymore? Apart from the square key itself (called a key cap), you will find that underneath it are white plastic key retainers: one is U-shaped, and a second one is rectangular which has a circle in the middle (this circle accommodates the space where the key is locked in place).
- Assess the situation. It’s more likely that the key cap itself fell off, while the key retainers remained in place. If this is the case, you can just simply snap the key cap back on top of the retainers; make sure that you do this very gingerly and never apply too much pressure onto the key cap. You will be able to hear a soft click if you did it properly. Test the affected key to see if it feels the same way that the other keys do.
- If the key retainers fell off, you will have to collect it and put it back into place. Do know that the retainer is held in place at its four corners. Hook the U-shaped retainer first back in the appropriate corners and carefully snap it back into place. Then, place the rectangular one (the one with the circle in the middle) on top of the U-shaped retainer, right in the empty space. If you find that the retainer is broken, you might have to have it replaced; you could buy spare parts at computer stores. Another option is to get the key retainer of keys that you don’t use often; you would have to pry up the key cap of this unused key, and pick its retainer using tweezers.
- Consider using an external keyboard. If you find that you’re having persistent problems with your Dell keyboard laptop, it might be best if you simply attach an external keyboard to it. You could plug the keyboard via the USB slot in your laptop. An advantage to this is that regular keyboards are quite inexpensive and you could easily replace them when necessary.
There you have it! These are the steps for repairing Dell laptop keyboard keys. Good luck, and hope this helped!