tech tips for writers

Tech Tip for Writers #25: My Keyboard Doesn’t Work

tech tipsTech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.

You sit down to type, start in on that long project with an imminent deadline, and nothing happens. The cursor blinks… and blinks… and blinks… but goes nowhere.

What do you do?

Before you go buy a new keyboard, try a few things:

  • Is the keyboard’s power light on? If it is, check your screen. Is there something that’s preventing you from typing? Maybe a dialogue box that wants an answer? If the light isn’t on, continue down this list
  • Check the plugs. Maybe the cord that connects the keyboard to the computer is loose or fell out.
  • Reboot. Sometimes the stuff in the computer’s boot-up sequence that makes the keyboard work gets lost. Restart your computer so it can re-establish itself.
  • Do you eat at your keyboard? Does anyone? I say this next solution hesitantly: Bang on the keys. Sometimes they get food between them and get stuck. If that doesn’t work, turn the keyboard over and see what falls out.

None of those work? Throw the darn thing out the window and buy a new one. They don’t cost much any more.

Questions you want answered? Leave a comment here and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

6 thoughts on “Tech Tip for Writers #25: My Keyboard Doesn’t Work

  1. Hi, Jacqui! My keyboard is wireless, which complicates the issue sometimes. Do you have anything in your bag of tricks about what the problem might be when there’s a marked delay between striking a key and when that letter/symbol shows up on the screen? If you’re a fast typist, this problem can be incredibly annoying and can really impact productivity. Thanks for checking.


  2. Hi Jacqui!
    Not sure where to leave questions. I have a small netbook which is incredibly slow at starting up. My son seemed to think I could go to the start up menu. Not sure where that is or what to do when I get there! Can you help please?


    • There are several steps to this fix. Here are the first few. If they don’t work, let me know and we’ll go to the next level: 1) Run defrag, which is under start button (lower left corner), type ‘defrag’ into the search bar. It’ll come up with a ‘defrag’ program. Run it. This helps put your ducks back in a row. 2) run malware programs like Spybot and Adaware. If you don’t have those two free programs, download them for free from, 3) uninstall unnecessary programs. Go to Start button, Control Panel, Programs and Features. Uninstall those pesky toolbars and other programs that get on your computer when your virtual back is turned.

      If that doesn’t work, leave another comment and I’ll go to the next list.

      Good luck!


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