How to Reset a Keyboard: Wired and Wireless

If you are having trouble with your keyboard one of the options available to you is simply resetting it. This is a good fail-safe if all of the other options available to you have been exhausted yet you still haven’t managed to resolve your issue, well then resetting your keyboard is the way to go.

Most people don’t think of a keyboard as a device that can be reset, as you would do so a phone or a computer itself, but it is. Since most people are unaware that resetting their keyboard is an option available to them it goes to reason that they also don’t know how to reset a keyboard. That’s where this very handy article comes in.

This article will cover the reasons why you may wish to reset your keyboard, some alternatives to resetting your keyboard, and, of course, how to actually go about resetting your keyboard itself. Wired, wireless, or otherwise.

It’s important to state now that resetting your keyboard is a quick and easy process, but it can also be tedious to undo if you decide to pull the trigger without considering the consequences. Any keyboard macros, custom shortcuts, or settings will be lost. Think over whether or not that is acceptable to you while you read over this article.

How to Reset a Keyboard Wired and Wireless
How to Reset a Keyboard Wired and Wireless
Original image here

Why Might you Want to Reset your Keyboard?

There are numerous reasons that you may want to reset your keyboard. The first reason is that you are starting to notice some petty unavoidable problems that seem to be damn near impossible to solve. It’s hard to run advanced diagnostics on most keyboards as they don’t often store very much data on themselves.

Your computer may store some diagnostic information regarding the keyboard such as custom macros, shortcuts, and general user settings but that’s normally the limit of the matter. More expensive keyboards may store more information but it’s still not necessarily a lot.

One problem that can crop up with your keyboard is that since they are storing user data and settings there is a possibility of that data to be corrupted, resulting in your keyboard malfunctioning mildly in one way or another.

Shortcuts not working, some keys responding poorly, being stuck in caps lock, you get the idea. Short of manually removing all of these settings resetting your keyboard is probably your only real option.

If your keyboard is running slow, correctly but still slow, then resetting is a good idea. One reason it may be running slow, input lag, etc, is that there is too much data stored on the keyboard itself. Keyboards don’t have a very big “brain” they have a tiny amount of processing power, if any, and just as little storage.

They can become overwhelmed very easily if you try to squeeze a little too much out of your keyboard. This is, of course, pretty much only a problem with smarter keyboards. Your basic $30 membrane keyboard likely can’t store any data internally, so it’s important to assess whether or not this could even be a problem for you and your keyboard.

A general rule is the more expensive a keyboard is, with more features, the more likely it is to run into this problem. Which is almost ironic, funnily enough.

How to Reset a Wired Keyboard

Resetting a wired keyboard is relatively easy. It takes just a few minutes and is pretty much impossible to do wrong.

The first thing you need to do is consult your user manual (if you have one) surprise! Every keyboard is different and requires its own multi-step plan to properly be reset. Since we don’t have time to cover how to reset every single keyboard, we are going to cover the most likely set of steps you that will need to follow.

Now, if your keyboard can be reset that means it can store some data internally. This means it can function for a short time, although minimally, without being plugged into its power source (your computer). Which is precisely what you are going to have to do.

Normally, the only way to reset your keyboard is to first unplug it and then hold down the escape key. The escape key needs to be held down before you plug the keyboard back in and must continue to be held down until you unplug it again. You should repeat this process (unplug – plug) all while holding the escape down. If you release the escape key it’s not going to work, or could only partially work which is arguably worse.

Hopefully, you are using a keyboard that offers some way of indicating to you that it has been reset. Some keyboards make a little beep, some flash their lights, and some do absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, if yours is the latter the only way to test whether it’s been reset is to use it and try and reproduce any of the errors you might have had. Or, you could go into your control panel in search of your keyboards and compare the settings to the ones that were there before you reset the keyboard.

How to Reset a Wireless Keyboard

Resetting a wireless keyboard is more or less the same as a wired one. Obviously, you can’t unplug it, so you are instead going to have to turn it off. Properly kill the power, don’t just put it in sleep/hibernation mode. Once it’s off, repeat the same process.

Hold down the escape key, turn the keyboard back on, hold it down for 5 seconds while on, turn it off, turn it back on, and then release. Remember, hold down the escape key the WHOLE time.

Again, you will need to look for some kind of indicator that your keyboard has actually been reset. It could be lights, noises, you get the idea. Again, if there is no indicator you are going to have to do a little detective work to see if your keyboard is working differently.

Here’s a problem that you may bump into. While your keyboards settings may be stored internally they are sometimes also stored computer side. Here’s the issue. If you turn your keyboard off when you restart it may not be paired to your computer. When you do actually reset the keyboard it will almost certainly lose its pairing to your pc and need to be re-synced.

Your keyboard losing its connection is a good sign that it has been reset properly. But, you may also find that when you reconnect it you accidentally re-sync all the unwanted settings. Good luck with that. It might take a couple of tries.

What Are Some Alternatives to Resetting your Keyboard?

You don’t have to reset your keyboard, of course, perhaps you don’t want to lose any of your custom macros or personalized settings. Perhaps you have grown used to your keyboard and it’s slight Characteristics and quirks. If you do decide that resetting isn’t the way to go there are some other options available to you. They are as follows.

Clean the Keyboard

The first option is to clean your keyboard. If you have been on this website before you have probably noticed by now that cleaning seems to be the solution to almost every problem. A dirty keyboard, with dust and grime in its core, can present faux-symptoms of running slow or having some sort of software error. The reason being that keys can stick, the PCB (printed circuit board) may become less responsive as it becomes more caked in dirt and grime.

You won’t need to take your keyboard apart completely (you can if you want to) simply wiping it down properly is often enough. First, I would suggest using a canister of compressed air to loosen any debris inside the keyboard. Sometimes shaking your keyboard is enough, but the air never hurts. You can’t hope to get any of the more solid pieces out without using a combination of both. Wiping surface-level dust off the keys with a damp cloth will help stop any further problems.

Run Diagnostics

Another simple solution is to run diagnostics on your keyboard itself. The easiest way to do this is to go to your computer’s control panel and search for devices. You should easily be able to locate your keyboard, at which point you should right-click it and follow the prompts to run any diagnostics test.

If there are any software errors or bugs this will be your best bet for finding them. And, of course, removing them. It’s rare for a problem to be flagged as an error because as far as your keyboard (and thus your computer) is concerned many of these errors were actually settings toggled by you.

Incorrectly functioning macros are running correctly, they are just not what you wanted. Computers don’t do the wrong thing, they do exactly as they are told, the problem is they are often told to do the wrong thing by accident.

Adjust the Keyboard Settings

Another option available to you is to once again locate the keyboard through the use of the control panel but instead of running diagnostics, simply have a little look through its settings. You can easily find keyboard settings, macros, functions, and any other options available to you.

This is a little more tedious as you will have to manually skim through and look for any outlying errors. That also means you will first need to assess what the actual issue is so you know how to find it in these settings.

For example, input lag is something that can be altered manually for higher or lower reactivity. Some people prefer more lag as they have a little more time to react between each letter, some people prefer as little lag as possible as they are real speed demons on their keyboard.

Again, this is tedious as you need to assess every problem and try and find the corresponding setting to fiddle around with. If you are happy to put the time in, though, you can avoid having to reset your keyboard at all.

My Keyboard Won’t Reset – What Should I do?

All keyboards and their manufacturers have different ideas about the best way of resetting your keyboard. If you are super lucky, you may have a keyboard that comes with a reset button physically on the board or a way of resetting it via your computer. Some require the escape key trick that we covered, and some require some convoluted 7 step plans to perform what should be a basic function.

If you have the owner’s manual for your keyboard that will almost certainly have an easy step by step set of instructions to help you reset your device. If not, you may want to google “how to reset (your keyboard model name)”. Luckily, keyboard enthusiasts are generally pretty helpful so even if you can’t find an official set of instructions, someone, somewhere (probably Reddit), will be able to help you out.

It’s important that you don’t get too frustrated if resetting your keyboard doesn’t work the first time. Since you are often using what should be a wired device with no power supply, you will often find that it doesn’t have the power stored to perform the necessary functions. Give it a few tries before you decide to take it into a computer repair store. They probably won’t charge you much, but why pay when you should (in theory) be able to do it for free at home or work.


Hopefully, this article has helped you identify how, if you can at all, reset your keyboard. It honestly isn’t that hard, some of the instructions may seem a little wordy but that’s purely for clarity’s sake. It should only take you a minute or two to go through the whole process.

It’s always a good idea to consult the owners manual simply because you may as well follow the instructions if they are clearly laid out before you. It’s hard for resetting your keyboard to go wrong per se, but it does happen from time to time. Make your own life easier and read carefully before you begin the process. Good luck resetting your keyboard!

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