The mechanical keyboard is fantastic! However, they are also more advanced than regular keyboards.
One switch for each key, between 60 and 110 in total, depending on the size of your keyboard, means you’ll probably experience issues with some of them even though they’re less likely to fully fail.
You have a few methods to address the issue before replacing the entire keyboard if a single key on your keyboard is either failing to function or repeating itself when you press it.
Your operating system’s key repeat rate can be modified
You might be able to solve the issue without making any physical adjustments if your key repeats too frequently.
You should alter how quickly your operating system accepts repeated input. From the keyboard settings menu of the Windows operating system, you can manage this. After launching Control Panel, click twice on the Keyboard icon.
Take a look at the “Snooze Delay” setting under the Speed tab. When a key is pushed, the operating system waits for this long before activating it once more.
To prevent a repeated keystroke at longer intervals, move the setting closer to “long.” This ought to resolve any minor problems you’re having. To apply the setting, click OK.
In macOS, the identical setting may be found in the Keyboard part of the System Preferences menu (the gear icon in the dock).
Blow bottled air into the switch
A small amount of dust or other debris within the switch itself may be the root of your issue, causing the slider or spring mechanism to jam or stick.
Rarely, but occasionally, a normal mechanical keyboard switch’s up-and-down motion can let small particles into the switch itself. (Incidentally, this is why you should occasionally wipe the dust off your keyboard after removing all of the keys.)
Using pressurized air to attempt to blow anything obstructing the activation point out is a less invasive approach.
If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to use more complicated techniques, like taking the Switch apart or removing it entirely, which can be impossible if you don’t have the necessary equipment or knowledge.
To do this, uncap the impacted key, then hold the keyboard vertically parallel to the compressed air can and perpendicular to the floor.
Use the applicator straw or your finger to partially depress the key switch while holding the rod midway between the down and up positions.
In order to maintain a space between the spring and slider and the switch housing’s bottom, this is done.
To stop the liquid accelerator in the can from pouring out, keep it level from top to bottom. Blow it out with can air for one to two seconds with the key switch slightly pushed.
You should give the compressed air can time to reinstall itself in order to prevent the accelerator from escaping the can, so resist the desire to hold the air for a longer period of time.
If the lump of gunk inside isn’t instantly removed, it probably isn’t coming out with more air either.
Reapply the keycap to the switch after setting the keyboard aside. Examine the outcomes on your pc. Try once or twice more if you are still experiencing the same issue. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to take more extreme action.
Take the switch apart (if you can)
Things start to become challenging at this point. Keep in mind that each switch on your keyboard is a standalone device, essentially a tiny plastic box with an electrical switch, a spring, and a slider inside.
On some keyboards, namely those with switches located on the PCB rather than a “plate,” the top can be removed, the slider and spring can be taken out, and the plastic shell and switch can be manually cleaned.
It’s challenging, tiresome, and, to be honest, it runs the danger of damaging the switch and, consequently, your keyboard.
It might not even function on your keyboard (do some googling to see if yours is PCB or plate mounted).
To do this, you’ll need a little, slightly pointed object to lift the casing and a long, thin instrument to press the latch.
For the former, use tweezers or tiny needle-nose pliers, and for the latter, use a tiny flathead screwdriver or a pocket knife with a thin blade.
Additionally, you will require cleaning tools like rubbing alcohol, Q-tips, and canned air.
You must now determine whether your switches are mounted to the faceplate or the PCB (the circuit board that actually transmits electronic signals to your computer) (a plastic or metal piece that holds the switches above the PCB on some keyboards ).
The procedure for mounting Cherry MX-style switches on PCBs is as follows:
The appearance of switches that don’t adhere to the traditional Cherry MX construction style may vary.
For instance, in order to reach any of the individual stem and spring components in a Topre switch keyboard, the entire device must be almost fully disassembled.
Once the case’s top has been removed, take caution since spring pressure may cause the case and stem to rise and protrude.
The case’s top, the stem, and the spring should all be separate at this point. You can still see the bottom of the case attached to the actual keyboard.
With canned air, Q-tips, and rubbing alcohol, the switch housing ought to be thoroughly clean. apply a light hand.
Put the spring back into the housing (around the hole in the center) after the alcohol has evaporated, then lower the rod onto the spring, and finally lower the housing onto the rod.
If you are unclear of the settings, check the other switches on your keyboard. Until the case snaps back into place, apply pressure firmly. Inspect the key on your computer after replacing the cap.
In the worst scenario, switch replacement
If none of the aforementioned solutions work or you have plate mounted switches, the most extreme course of action is to fully remove the damaged switch and install a new one.
To accomplish this, disassemble your keyboard entirely, unsolder the switch from the PCB, take it from the plate (if it’s there), swap it out for a new switch, then solder the new switch into position.
This is obviously only a possibility if you are skilled in soldering electronics, and you’ll also need to find a replacement switch, ideally from the same manufacturer and series as your keyboard now uses.
This is a drawn-out, difficult process that will vary depending on the keyboard. A new soldering iron and switch will cost almost as much as a cheap mechanical keyboard alone, and that’s assuming you don’t.
It’s only realistic if you love your present keyboard and don’t have the money to get a new one. Avoid further damage to your keyboard while disassembling it.