6 Ways to Fix Spacebar Is Not Working in Windows

Spacebar Is Not Working In Windows

Spacebar and Enter are the most used keys on a keyboard. Imagine if these keys were to stop working – it would prove disastrous to your workflow. If you’re currently facing this issue with the Spacebar on your PC, we can help. Follow this guide to learn how to fix the problem of the spacebar and keyboard not working in Windows.

Tip: in need of a new portable keyboard? Check out these foldable Bluetooth keyboards.

Initial Fixes

Before we jump to specific solutions for the spacebar not working in Windows, there are a few general fixes you can try. Sometimes you can fix a serious-looking problem just by checking a few connections.

  • Make sure your keyboard is clean: dust, food crumbs, and other particles can become stuck behind your keyboard’s keys, making them unable to operate properly. If possible, remove the keys or use cotton swabs to clean between the keys. You can also use compressed air to clear off dust particles obstructing the keys.
  • Restart your PC: a system restart refreshes all of your system processes, eliminating any problems caused by system bugs.
  • Run the SFC command: SFC is a Windows utility that checks your system for any missing or corrupted files. If it finds any faulty files, it will repair them.
  • Roll back the keyboard driver to an earlier version or reinstall the keyboard driver: Driver updates are usually downloaded and installed automatically by Windows. You can also download them manually from the manufacturer’s official website. However, these updates might not be compatible with your system or contain bugs that require later fixes. You can roll back your keyboard drivers from Device Manager or even uninstall them, then restart your PC so that it can reinstall the drivers automatically after the boot sequence.

1. Connect the Keyboard to a Different USB Port

Most keywords connect to a PC via a USB port unless they are wireless. Even the wireless ones can sometimes connect to your PC via a USB dongle.

USB port view on Windows laptop.
Image source: Pexels

Either way, checking your PC USB ports for any dust that could interfere with the keyword connection would be helpful. Then try connecting the keyboard to a different USB port and see if the Spacebar is now operational.

2. Run the Windows Keyboard Troubleshooter

Windows has various troubleshooters that can help you diagnose your problems and effectively solve them. Conveniently enough, there is a dedicated Keyboard troubleshooter you can run.

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select “Settings.”
Clicking on Settings from Quick menu in Windows.
  1. Go to “System -> Troubleshoot.”
Troubleshoot menu under System in Settings.
  1. Click on “Other troubleshooters.”
Other Troubleshooters option under System in Settings.
  1. Click the “Run” button next to the Keyboard troubleshooter.
Run the Keyboard troubleshooter.
  1. If the troubleshooter finds problems with your keyboard, it will instruct you on how to fix it. If no problems are found, you will see the message “No changes or updates were necessary.”

Tip: learn how to take advantage of Windows 11’s improved accessibility tools.

3. Disable Sticky Keys and Filter Keys

The Sticky Keys feature is an accessibility feature that allows users to activate multiple keys together while pressing them one at a time. If you’ve enabled this option, Windows will assume that you’re trying to press a shortcut sequence and won’t register your Spacebar strokes.

Another feature that may cause your Spacebar not to function is Filter Keys, which, if activated, can ignore repeated keystrokes. To avoid any issues, you should make sure that both options are disabled by following the steps below:

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select “Settings.”
  2. Go to “Accessibility -> Keyboard.” In Windows 10, you’ll need to head to “Settings -> Ease of Access -> Keyboard.”
Accessing the Accessibility menu in Windows.
  1. The first two options are “Sticky keys” and “Filter keys.” Turn both off.
Disabling the "Sticky keys" and "Filter keys" options in Windows.

4. Enable Human Interface Device Service

Simply put, the HID, or Human Interface Device, is responsible for receiving input data from keyboards, gamepads, and mice when connected to a USB port. If this service is disabled, then your Windows PC won’t be able to recognize any input from your keyboard.

  1. Press the Win + R keys simultaneously to launch the Run app.
  2. Type services.msc in the box and press Enter.
Type "services.msc" in Run window.
  1. In the list of services, look for “Human Interface Device Service.” Once found, click on it, and select “Start” in the “Service status” section.
Start "Human interface device service" in Windows.
  1. If the “Startup type” is “Disabled,” set it to “Manual” and click “Apply.”
Changing "Startup type" for HID.

Good to know: get up to date with the latest Windows update problems and their solutions.

5. Uninstall the Most Recent Windows Update

While it’s rare to see a Windows update cause keyboard problems, such as the spacebar not working, it can happen. If you suspect that is the issue, uninstall the most recent Windows update.

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select “Settings.”
  2. In the “Windows Update” tab, click “Update history.”
"Update history" option under Windows Update in Settings.
  1. Scroll down to the end of the updates list and click on “Uninstall updates.”
"Uninstall updates" section in Windows Settings.
  1. You will find all of your installed updates and dates of installation here. Identify the most recent update, click on it, and select “Uninstall.”
Viewing the latest updates installed on Windows PC.

As an alternative, you can restore your system to a previous restore point. If you have created a restore point via System Restore, you can use it to bring your PC back to an earlier state when the Spacebar was still working.

6. Reset BIOS to Default

Suppose your BIOS is corrupted, or you recently made some adjustments to it, then your PC won’t be able to boot correctly, resulting in hardware problems. To undo any changes to the BIOS, you should reset it.

  1. Turn your computer on and rapidly press the BIOS key as soon as the Windows logo appears. Depending on your PC manufacturer, this key can vary, but the most common ones are Esc, Delete, F1, F2, F10, F11, or F12.
  2. Navigate with the arrow keys to the “Exit” tab.
  3. Find “Load Setup Defaults” and press Enter.
"Load setup defaults" option in BIOS.
  1. You may need to confirm your choice again.
  1. Your PC will restart, and the BIOS will return to its factory settings. Not that you will not lose any data in the process.

Tip: if you’re still using Windows 10, learn how to convert Legacy BIOS to UEFI.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a way to assign the Spacebar function to another key?

There is no way to assign the Spacebar to another key with built-in Windows apps. However, you can try this easy workaround: wherever you want to type a space, hold down the Alt key and type “255” with your Numpad. This should leave a space when you let go of the Alt button. Note that you must ensure that your Numlock is disabled.

How do I activate the on-screen keyboard?

The easiest way to activate the on-screen keyboard is to search for it in the taskbar’s search box and select the best result. Follow the steps in this guide to activate the Windows 11 Touch keyboard.

How do I replace my Spacebar keycap?

To remove a keycap from a keyboard, gently pull it up with a small flat-head screwdriver. For the Spacebar key, try to pry as close to the center as possible. Once the key pops out, examine the hinges of the key socket and line up the new keycap holes with them. Replace the new keycap, and push gently and evenly on the four sides.

Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Farhad Pashaei.

Farhad Pashaei
Farhad Pashaei

As a technophile, Farhad has spent the last decade getting hands-on experience with a variety of electronic devices, including smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, and so on. When he isn’t writing, you can bet he’s devouring information on products making their market foray, demonstrating his unquenchable thirst for technology.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox