Apologies if this has already been asked but I searched a few times and couldn't see a similar question.

I've come to rely on alt key shortcuts in some applications. For example, in Skype alt+1 / alt+2 switches between the 'Contacts' and 'Recent' tab. And in MyLifeOrganized, alt+1 switches views in some way too.

But all these alt+_ key shortcuts have stopped working on my desktop computer. Instead, when I try to use them, it just highlights the menu bar, the same way as I would expect if I just hit Alt by itself. There is no indication that I've used alt in conjunction with another key. These shortcuts still work fine on my laptop, but on my desktop they don't work in any program anymore. Has anyone encountered this and know why it might be?


Edit: To clarify, the problem is not program-specific. ALT shortcuts have stopped working on all programs on my computer, and instead just they highlight the menu bar as if I had pressed ALT by itself.

My keyboard layout is US/UK English (I alternate between them, the same problem occurs with both).

  • I know this is a crazy idea but have you tried another physical keyboard? – Burgi Feb 2 '16 at 16:06
  • I did actually change my keyboard a couple months ago and it's not made any difference, but thanks! – Nish Feb 3 '16 at 16:33
  • What happens if you use the on-screen keyboard? – Burgi Feb 12 '16 at 14:00

According to the Microsoft help document the shortcuts now use CTRL. I haven't been able to locate when these changed. I'll do some more digging.

Ctrl+1 Move to the Contacts list tab.

Ctrl+2 Move to the persistent chat tab.

Ctrl+3 Move to the Conversation list tab.

Ctrl+4 Move to the Phone tab.

Ctrl+5 Move to the Meetings tab.

Reference: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Keyboard-shortcuts-for-Skype-for-Business-42ff538f-67f2-4752-afe8-7169c207f659

  • The version I'm using ( still lists the shortcuts as using ALT in the menu bar, and the same ALT shortcuts still work on my laptop with the same version of Skype. Also, ALT shortcuts in all other programs display the same behaviour. So I don't think this is Skype-specific. – Nish Dec 8 '15 at 19:29
  • @Nish Can you update your question with that information? Also can you state if you using a keyboard layout other than English? – Burgi Dec 8 '15 at 22:33
  • I've updated the topic with that info. My keyboard layout is English. Thanks for the help! – Nish Dec 9 '15 at 17:09

I got round this problem by using a Logitec number keypad. I think it is an issue when there is only one number pad running above the keypad- some laptops have a second one to the right of keypad. With all attempts to 'update' the keypad I ended up with a mess-many keys not functioning at all or incorrectly. Using a logitec keypad meant that I press 'alt' on my laptop and use the keypad to input numerical data -Sorted ! I got fed up of pasting ± between documents !

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.