The keyboard on my laptop seems to be typing by itself:

  • It sometimes types characters like 134, whether by itself or when I hit certain keys.
  • Repeating characters may appear unexpectedly.
  • The system volume may change by itself, or windows like the Print dialog or Web browser may appear.

This can happen without any input or as I type, and may occur more often when certain keys are pressed. Sometimes, the keyboard fails to respond altogether. This is happening regardless of the software involved.

Is there a ghost in my keyboard—is my keyboard broken?

A sample of text from the keyboard might look like this (normal QWERTY...ASDF...ZXC... sequence is expected):


This question comes up often and the answers are usually the same. This post is meant to provide a definitive, canonical answer for this problem. Feel free to edit the answer to add additional details.

  • 2
    I'm wondering if there's a loose connection somewhere. How hard would it be to remove and reattach the keyboard?
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 26, 2012 at 5:49
  • It's not a user-serviceable part--see the service manual.
    – bwDraco
    Jun 26, 2012 at 5:50
  • 1
    If its not user servisable, why does it have a FRU number and instructions? O
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 26, 2012 at 5:53
  • 1
    Check if you have the same problems in the BIOS setup to rule out software as a cause of the problem. Jun 26, 2012 at 6:40
  • 1
    If there are other people that could have access to your computer, make sure that there is indeed only one keyboard attached and that someone is not playing a prank on you with an additional wireless keyboard ;) ... and yes, this has happened before, albeit with a mouse
    – Rado
    May 4, 2016 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


If it is still in warranty, save yourself the hassle and just get it repaired or replaced.

If it is out of warranty, it could be one of a few things and there is no easy way to tell.

  1. Malware (unlikely): Test via going to an Ubuntu or similar boot disk and open notepad/command line and see if the same thing happens
  2. Loose Connection: Try taking the keyboard and reseating it. A bit of dust may have got on the connector, or it could just be loose. Putting a bit of pressure on the keyboard may be making a short circuit.
  3. Bad Keyboard: It’s just faulty, need to replace it.
  4. Bad Motherboard: Worst of the worst. A friend had an Acer laptop with a very similar diagnosis, it turned out that the same thing happened even with a new keyboard, but not USB keyboard. So the only thing I could say was the motherboard was faulty.
  5. Debris: There might be some debris, like a paperclip or food, stuck under or between the keys. Try prising the keys off and shaking the keyboard upside-down to loosen it.
  6. Ghost: Like your title says, there could actually be a ghost in there!
  • 2
    In that case, tell them the keyboard is screwy and get it fixed under warranty. If you think its 2,3 or 4. Dosen't smell like malware. If its 5, contact your local priest, shaman or witchdoctor for a exorcism
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 26, 2012 at 5:54
  • 24
    Add this one to your list: 6. Creepy, crawly baby spiders. They will be emerging from the innards of the keyboard once their food rations of dust and skin cells depletes... >:)
    – iglvzx
    Jun 26, 2012 at 6:02
  • 12
    Thank you. I will now no longer be able to sleep at night, since my laptop is right next to my bed.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 26, 2012 at 6:14
  • 3
    If it's #5, you'll need a Ouija board for further troubleshooting...
    – Ellesa
    Jun 26, 2012 at 6:36
  • 4
    @JohnDvorak are you sure this isn't just because you use the wrong keyboard (Dvorak)? Sep 4, 2018 at 5:42

The "could there be a ghost in it" really got me laughing, What I can tell you is this, from my years of experience it's most likely a faulty keyboard which needs replacement.

But in order to be really sure, put your PC in airplane mode(disconnect from the internet), this is to be sure that a hacker/script isn't controlling your PC.

watch it for a couple of minutes and see if it continues to exhibit the same behavior if it doesn't, Kindly go to your nearest PC Engineer and get your keyboard fixed or replaced.

Good luck.

  • Found someone who believes that keyboards just become "faulty" without reason, instead of acknowledging the ghosts ;-)
    – WBT
    Jul 9, 2019 at 18:45
  • lol, the reason being "many years of use", it tends to wear out and starts to misbehave, it happens to a lot of people trust me. Jul 10, 2019 at 7:38
  • After many years of use, a keyboard is full of the ghosts (spirits) of ideas, projects, documents, etc. that have died there and settled in through the spaces between/around the keys, along with the crumbs and dead skin cells and bits of hair etc. Spraying the keyboard with compressed air can help with the latter.
    – WBT
    Jul 10, 2019 at 13:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .