Introduction: Field Repair a Laptop Keyboard

About: I like fixing up old technology in my spare time!

Hey everyone!

In this tutorial I'll show you how to fix a missing laptop key in the “field”. Maybe you're on a trip to another country, or doing some research in the wilderness and your really excited to type something. You open your laptop and..... it's missing a key!!

So what can you do?

Well I'll show you. It's usually easy as long as your missing key is one of the standard sized ones(you might be out of luck if your missing the space bar).

Step 1: Find a Donor Key Cap

Let's get a bit of terminology out of the way. The plastic part of a key with the letter on it is technically called a key cap. It rests on top of a plastic scissor mechanism(at least on this keyboard) that supplies the smooth keystroke motion. The key cap, scissor mechanism, and the little rubber dome together make up the key.

The D key cap is missing on this keyboard. Looking around I see that the "tilde" key is the same size as the D key... I never personally use the tilde key for anything so I think I found my donor key!

At this point you need to research how to safely remove a key cap on your particular keyboard. Google it.

On this Lenovo Twist I gently pried from the side with a small flat head screwdriver until the tilde key cap popped off. Be careful to pry only on the key cap and not the scissor mechanism below it, those mechanisms are pretty fragile and can be easily damaged.

If the scissor mechanism is missing from the key you're fixing, you can carefully remove the one from your donor key and move it over. Once again google your particular keyboard for what steps to take.

Step 2: Install the Donor's Key Cap

Next we need to install our donor key cap.

On this laptop I set the tilde key cap in place so it was resting right on the little connectors on the scissor mechanism. I then applied some gentle pressure until it clicked into place. Hurray!

It might not have a “D” on it but at least it works again.

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