This morning I came into my office to find myself with a lovely little surprise. I sat down and logged in as usual, however, once at my Windows 8.1 Update desktop, the keyboard stopped working. Windows Key, all individual characters function keys, etc. Nothing worked. Not exactly what I wanted to deal with on a Monday morning.
Ok, no worries, I have other systems I can use to troubleshoot with. I grabbed my Surface Pro 2 (also running Windows 8.1 Update)… Same issue. Again, not what I wanted to deal with on a Monday morning. So, I grabbed my Windows 8.1 laptop (yes, I have many many devices to test with). Logged in and…. Thank The Lord! The keyboard works!
Ok, on to Bing to search out for possible solutions since all of these systems were working last Friday. I found a number of entries from last year with the initial release of Windows 8.1 however many of them suggested changing a BIOS setting related to UEFI. Considering the fact that my desktop wasn’t running in UEFI mode, I quickly ruled that out as a possible solution.
At last after a few minutes of searching (and countless attempts at reinstalling drivers), I came across this Microsoft Community entry:
Ok, so I wasn’t running Windows 7, but I decided to check it out anyways. I went to the Charms menu > Change PC Settings> Ease of Access > Keyboard on each of my Windows 8.1 (Update) systems. Sure enough, the Filter Keys setting was enabled on the two systems that working.
Side Note, on the systems with this setting enabled, they were also emmiting a “clicking” sound each time I pressed a key”
Disabled that setting and BAM!, keyboard started working again. I was able to reproduce this issue on multiple devices as well so it’s not an isolated incident.