Picture of Repairing a Computer Keyboard
This instructable will guide you through diagnosing and possibly repairing of a USB keyboard.

In today's throw away society, we tend to run out and buy a cheap $15 keyboard to replace our previous high quality keyboard. This is fine as a temporary solution, but eventually we're going to want that quality feel and function back.

Most of the time, quality keyboards die because of abuse. Not necessarily intentional, but abuse nonetheless. A few drops of any beverage with acid it in will surely cause an eventual failure. This would include almost any juice (most are "vitamin fortified" which included citric acid) or soda.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
Keyboard - 56.jpg
Keyboard - 15.jpg
Keyboard - 37.jpg
We're going to need drivers for our specific keyboard. Most need only a small Phillips screwdriver. Some, such as this one, may also need a tiny Allen or Torx driver. I have a kit that has about every tiny driver one would ever need... It's handy to have.

We'll also need an Ohm Meter or Multimeter and a computer. I'm using a Mac here, but any Computer will do. We'll also need an On-Screen Keyboard for testing.

Lastly, we'll need about 6-8 inches of 30 guage insulated wire, commonly called wire-wrap wire and a conductive pen (available from Radio Shack).
parth271 month ago
Hi!!!! Thanx for the details but i m still having trouble bcause six buts are missing from my keyboard but i didnt lose them they were not there nd how to connect the numeric plasticshit to the circuit? Pls rpl
LasVegas (author)  parth271 month ago
If you could describe your problem more thoroughly, I might be able to help. Perhaps a photo showing your issue.

It's very common for keyboards to have extra pads on the circuit for keys that aren't used on the final model. These may be for advanced models of the keyboard or other languages or purposes that require additional characters.

parth271 month ago
Well butts means caps incase u get confuse
fred.stidham7 months ago

my keyboard don't w0rk at all

subodh1011 year ago

Nicely detailed instructable!

have a keyboard that I made dead while trying to convert it from PS2 to
USB. The connector was not working so I opened it and found two wires broken from the soldered point . After a lot of searching online, I found some diagram of PS2
to USB port conversion. After following that I soldered the wires and
connected to the keyboard, it blinked for a while and then dead. I don't know
what happened. Can you suggest me something to repair it if possible. (it's in quite new condition and very less used).

takitsong1 year ago
Very nice tutorial!
Learned how the keyboard works, and repaired a keyboard that lost a group of keys at some point.
Turns out it was a corroded trace!
I had no way of getting the trace pen in Greece, so I tried another avenue. I cut a small strip of aluminum foil, as wide as the trace itself, and used sticky tape to stick it to the matrix sheet, in the right place to bridge the gap. Because the strip was thin, the sticky tape held it tight against the trace, so the bridging was successful!
Don't know if it will last, but at the moment it's working great!!

I hate throwing away all this plastic, and the energy and effort that went into making it, just because there is a little gap in a conductive trace. This instructable made my day! I signed on just to say thanks, and share my joy!

I'll calm down now.....
alex278942 years ago
i have this problem... the only difference is that not a single key works... ill try this out to see if it works ._.
atma.atma2 years ago
Very good instructions.
I found apple MacBook keyboard is enclosed in a layer of thin metal.
Getting to the printed circuit is cumbersome.
Thank you
tackphoton3 years ago
Wow! Very detailed and helpful tutorial. My keyboard is misbehaving at the moment and since the warranty's expired im gonna give it a shot at repairing myself.
lemonie8 years ago
Yeah, I did this, but the thing failed again shortly afterwards. Then I bought a new cheap keyboard. L (it was beer wot did it)
the worst ones are the ones where the user doesn't know to turn off the keyboard and clean immediately, thus hopefully sparing some shorted/dissolved traces. I've cleaned a few like that, and unfortunately, the traces are usually too close to repair. ~adamvan2000
Yes the traces don't repair well, I've tried that too. (Did you notice that my comment was over 20 months old?) L
to be truthful, I keep forgetting to look at the dates on the comments, and the instructables themselves. Oh well. Maybe if they put them in big, flashing neon letters for clueless people like myself. hehe ~adamvan2000
Still got a reply though. Thanks L
invert3607 years ago
thank you
invert3607 years ago
my keyboard buttons stick is there any way to fix that? I don't know if this is relevant but the keyboard is a dell.
i washed mine but taking off the front with the keys, although my keyboard had a key protector that kept the keys in place, then hand washing it cause i dont have a dishwasher although when i did i just stuck the entire keyboard in the dishwasher...
lol, any multimeter is better than none, i have this crappy analog one that only goes up to 6 volts
iman8 years ago
The same keys died on my apple keyboard too, thats kinda weird.
LasVegas (author)  iman8 years ago
Not really... That trace is in a very vulnerable place; the lower-right corner, under the keypad.
iman LasVegas8 years ago
but what about the minus key.
LasVegas (author)  iman8 years ago
The minus key (located to the right of the Zero key) is at the end of the trace. I didn't mention it, since the others came first, identifying that I had the right trace. I didn't have to follow it any further.
josh921768 years ago
Wow, very thorough and useful guide. Now I know what to do if my keyboard ever breaks.