The Windows key on your keyboard is a vital part of the browsing experience. It is used to launch the Start menu, and is essential for various keyboard shortcuts.

If it stops working, here are different things you can try to fix Windows key not working in Windows 11.

1. Fix Windows Key Not Working (Basic)

It could be something as simple as fix the whole keyboard not working problem. Try replacing the keyboard by unplugging and plugging it back in. Try to put it back in the USB port you are already using. If it doesn’t work, try another USB port.

Also try another keyboard. If the Windows key works on another keyboard, the problem is probably the keyboard itself. However, if it still doesn’t work on the secondary keyboard, the problem is with the PC.

If that doesn’t work, try restart your pc. That will close all the apps that might interfere with it and provide a fresh start. Hopefully one of those two options will get the Windows key working again. If not, continue with the next steps that are more specific to the key.

2. Unlock Windows Key Lock

Depending on your keyboard type, it may have a “Windows lock” button or switch. This is common on mechanical gaming keyboards in particular. Look for the “Win Lock” key in the upper right corner of the keyboard. It could also be a mechanical switch on the side of the keyboard. If you’re not sure whether you have a Win Lock key or how to disable it, check the manufacturer’s support documentation.

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3. Disable Game Mode

A common problem is that the Game Mode is activated. Game Mode allows you to make the most of your system’s resources for a better experience. It disables certain background processes and keys, including the Windows key. With the Windows key disabled, the start menu does not appear while playing the game.

Note that Game Mode is only available on some keyboards that support it, like Logitech gaming keyboards, for example. If your keyboard has a “Game Mode” button, make sure it is disabled. Or disable it through the keyboard software, making sure the Windows key is on.

You can also disable Game Mode in Windows 11 by clicking Beginning and writing: game mode and selecting the top result. Then turn off the switch on the Game Mode.

4. Check the keyboard drivers

One of the problems could be with the keyboard drivers, especially on the more expensive gaming keyboards. To check for updates, right-click the button Beginning and open the Device administrator.

Scroll down and expand the tree Keyboards. Right-click on the connected keyboard and select Update driver. Then follow the instructions on the screen.

You can also try uninstalling and reinstalling the driver. To do this, right-click on the connected keyboard, select Uninstall and restart the PC. Windows should reinstall the keyboard driver during the boot process.

If Windows can’t find a driver, be sure to check the keyboard manufacturer’s support site for the latest drivers.

5. Disable Filter Keys

The option of Filter Keys Allows your keyboard to ignore repeated keystrokes. If it is on, it could be causing the Windows key to not work. To make sure it’s turned off, go to Start> Settings> Accessibility> Keyboard. From there, make sure the option “Filter Keys”Is disabled.

6. Have Windows rescan the keyboard

Windows 11 may not understand the Windows key from the PC’s digital memory map called “ScanMap”. But you can force it with a registry hack.

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Note: The Registry is the lifeblood of Windows. If you make a wrong change, your PC may become unstable or worse. Before proceeding, be sure to back up the Registry, create a Restore Point, or have a full system backup by hand. Also, the registry entry for this may not be available on your PC. But it is worth checking out.

Right-click the Start button and select Run.

Next, scribe: regedit and click To accept or press Enter.

Then navigate to the following path (you can copy and paste it):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layout

Next, on the right side, find and delete Scancode Map. Restart your PC, and it will force a scan and create a new key. Keep in mind that if you don’t see “Scancode Map”, you don’t need to do anything. It just isn’t available on your PC.

7. Run a PowerShell command

If the Windows key is still disabled, you can use a PowerShell script to enable it. Right-click the Start button and select Windows Terminal (Administrator).

Note: This option is generally safe, but before proceeding, first create a Restore point. This way you can go back to the previous version in case something goes wrong.

Enter the following command (you can copy and paste it) and hit Enter.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation) AppXManifest.xml”}

After the command runs, your Windows key should work again.

8. Boot into safe mode

To the boot Windows 11 in safe mode, the minimally necessary processes, services and applications will be executed. It also doesn’t include any fancy graphics – just the bare minimum for running Windows. This is a good step to troubleshoot when one driver or application interferes with another.

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After booting into safe mode, open the run prompt and scribe: msconfig to open the “System Settings” window. Click the Services tab and check the “Hide all Microsoft services” box.

Now the process is long. Uncheck each service one by one and restart your PC to see if that fixes the problem.

Hopefully, one of the steps above solves the Windows key not working issue. If nothing works, it is most likely a problem with the hardware itself. Perhaps the keyboard has been dropped from the desktop or a drink has been spilled on it and the key does not work.

For more information on troubleshooting Windows 11, see how to fix Windows File Explorer that doesn’t work. And if you have muscle memory from using Windows through the years, you may not like the location of the Start menu. The good news is that you can move the Start menu to the left for an easier transition from Windows 10 to 11.

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