My keyboard intermittently stops working. Sometimes a couple of keys will work, but usually none. Sometimes if I mash the ctrl+alt+windows keys randomly for a bit, the keyboard will let me type one more letter before stopping again. Sometimes the keys will open a program menu but usually not.

I have even completely wiped my machine and reinstalled windows 7; the problem continues.

Specs: Intel iMac (early 2006, 2.0GHz, 2MB RAM, 240GB HD) running ONLY Windows 7 Professional, 32-bit (NOT through boot camp) and using a USB keyboard (Saitek Eclipse II.)

  • Unplugging & reconnecting keyboard does NOT fix it.

  • Connecting a different keyboard does NOT fix it. That one won't work, either.

  • Drivers are up-to-date. Removing and reinstalling drivers does NOT fix it.

  • Restarting the computer does NOT fix it. In fact, when the Windows logon screen appears the keyboard won't work and neither will the icon to pull up the on-screen keyboard. My mouse can click around just fine. I can only log onto a non-password protected account.

  • Generally, logging into as different Windows user fixes it. I can then log back on to my main user account and continue work for a few hours until it happens again.

  • Clearing my Chrome browsing data stopped the problem from recurring for a week or so.

  • I have already REINSTALLED Windows 7 (not just a restore.) The problem returned after 2 days of use.

I use Avira free antivirus software, and repeated scans turn up nothing fishy.

I suspect it is related to something in Google Chrome because I used my google account to reload all my previous Chrome extensions, saved data, etc. (Chrome Extensions Installed: AdBlock, Better Google Tasks, DropBox, FB Photo Zoom, Google Mail Checker, StayFocusd.)

Any ideas? Any at all?

  • This is not a fix, but you can use your On-Screen keyboard until the problem is resolved. – Christopher Chipps Apr 3 '12 at 23:12

I also have a similar problem. It first manifests itself when I get to the Gmail login page, where it won't let me type a username or password. I can still type into the address bar or into other Windows applications - so my workaround has been to type into Notepad and copy and paste into Chrome. I tried switching to IE after noticing the problem, but I still couldn't type into the textboxes on the login page. I also tried using a USB keyboard without any change. The problem occurs once every few weeks for me.

I found this page: http://www.kongregate.com/forums/60-anti-idle-the-game/topics/194864 which suggests disabling the Flash plugin. I disabled the Microsoft Office, Quicktime Player and Windows Live Photo Gallery plugins so far, and the problem went away, without even restarting Chrome.

I suspect it IS related to Chrome plugins. I suggest experimenting with disabling some plugins and see if that helps. I'll post here if I discover the one culprit plugin.


Is your machine an Acer, by any chance ?

I recently encountered the very same problem with an Acer Aspire notebook i was tuning up. After uninstalling/re-installing the keyboard driver many times (which would fix the problem for a short while), i was ready to give up... until, for a totally unrelated reason, i had to remove the battery, and simply, on a whim, decided to run the machine without it.

Lo and behold : the problem vanished.

Researching the miraculous cure via Google, i discovered that the problem you describe is a common one with certain machines (all of them Acer, as far as i saw) : a defective battery -- for instance, one that won't charge beyond a low percentage -- will cause the keyboard to freeze or otherwise behave erratically. Strange, but true.

So, my suggestion : run your laptop without the battery, and see if the problem goes away. If it does, then you know what to have to buy next...

Oops.. i just noticed : Intel iMac. Still, you may want to try this. If it works, make sure to let us know.

  • He says that the machine is an iMac, so this answer doesn't matter. – Renan Apr 5 '12 at 1:52

I have had the same problem for several months, and installing a brand new keyboard did not help, either, nor did it matter if I reinstalled the drivers. I would always have to resort to the virtual keyboard which is so much slower to use, and I was extremely frustrated with no solution in sight.

Finally, I noticed that I usually had several windows open in both my Internet browsers (Opera and Internet Explorer) when the keyboard stopped functioning. Thinking that this was a possibility I had not yet explored, I closed all windows except the one I wanted to use for typing (emails or searches), and low-and-behold, my keyboard worked again.

Since then, I use this method each time my keyboard stops, and it works every single time without a hitch.

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