Number Pad Not Working on a Windows 11 Keyboard: How to Fix?

Keyboard Number Pad Not Working
Quick Fix

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Reading time: 3 Minutes
If the number pad on your keyboard is not working, this guide will help you diagnose and solve the issue. It covers common causes such as deactivated Num Lock, Mouse Keys activation, and driver issues on Windows 11. It also offers a range of solutions including cleaning the keyboard.

Common Causes of a Non-Working Number Pad

  1. Num Lock Deactivation: The ‘Num Lock’ key, usually found near the number pad, must be activated (or turned on) for the number pad to work.
  2. Mouse Keys Activation: In certain settings, the number pad can be set to move the mouse cursor instead of typing numbers. This is controlled by a feature called ‘Mouse Keys.’
  3. Dirt and Debris: Sometimes, debris like crumbs or dust can accumulate under the keys, affecting their functionality.
  4. Driver Incompatibility: A ‘driver‘ is a small piece of software that enables communication between your computer and the keyboard.
  5. Hardware Damage: If the keyboard has sustained physical damage, such as getting wet or worn out, the number pad may cease to function.

Re-enabling the Num Lock Key

  • What to Do: Look for the key labeled ‘Num Lock’ near your number pad and press it.
  • How You Know It Worked: If your keyboard has a small light labeled ‘Num Lock,’ it should light up.

Disabling Mouse Keys

  • What to Do: Press the Windows key and the letter I simultaneously (Windows + I). This will open your computer settings. Navigate to the ‘Accessibility’ section and look for the ‘Mouse’ settings. Turn off the ‘Mouse Keys’ option.
  • Why This Works: Disabling ‘Mouse Keys’ returns the number pad to its normal number-typing function.

Cleaning the Keyboard

  • Mechanical Keyboards: These keyboards usually have removable keys. Use a tool like a key puller or a flat screwdriver to gently remove the keys and clean underneath.
  • Standard or Laptop Keyboards: Use a can of compressed air to remove any crumbs or dust. Holding the keyboard at an angle could make this more effective.

Updating Keyboard Drivers

What to Do

  1. Right-click the ‘Windows’ icon at the bottom left of your screen.
  2. Select ‘Device Manager.’
  3. In the ‘Keyboards’ section, right-click on your keyboard model and select ‘Update Driver.’

For automation, consider tools like Outbyte Driver Updater to automatically update drivers. For a detailed guide, refer to How to Update Drivers.  Keeping the keyboard driver updated ensures efficient communication between the keyboard and the computer, reducing potential malfunctions.

Running Keyboard Troubleshooter

Press Windows + I again to access Settings. Go to the ‘System’ menu, select ‘Troubleshoot,’ then find and run the ‘Keyboard Troubleshooter.’

Reinstalling Keyboard Drivers

  • Follow the steps for updating drivers, but choose ‘Uninstall Device.’
  • Restart your computer; Windows will reinstall the required drivers.

Hardware Replacement as a Last Resort

  • Last Resort: If all else fails, you might need a new keyboard.
  • As a short-term solution, you can use Windows 11’s built-in on-screen keyboard. Press the Windows key, type ‘on-screen keyboard,’ and press Enter. Navigate to ‘Options’ and check the box for ‘Turn on numeric key pad.’

In Conclusion

This guide has walked you through various methods for resolving a non-working number pad on a Windows 11 computer. We covered everything from the basics like re-enabling the ‘Num Lock’ and deactivating ‘Mouse Keys’, to more advanced solutions such as updating keyboard drivers using Windows’ Device Manager or third-party software like Outbyte Driver Updater. If your number pad remains unresponsive despite trying all these methods, replacing the hardware might be the next necessary step. Thank you for following along, and we hope your number pad is now back in working order.

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