Keyboard Shortcuts Not Working (5 Fixes)

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If your keyboard shortcuts are not working, see if it's one of these 5 common keyboard shortcut issues.

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Why your shortcuts (or hotkeys) might not be working properly:
#1: Inversed Function Keys 0:25
#2: Language bar settings 1:52
#3: International keyboard 3:03
#4: Mac vs. PC keyboards 3:38
#5: Program trolls 4:11

To see how to fix your function keys, see instructions below:

To see these shortcuts issues in written format, see below:

If you have a number of keys on your keyboard (besides your shortcut combinations) that aren't working, you probably need a new keyboard.

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One the most frustrating things about learning new keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys, is finding a good one and then realizing it doesn't work on your computer.

So here are 5 common issues I see when someone’s keyboard shortcuts aren’t working whether it's in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Windows.

#1. Your function keys are inversed

Most new computers have inversed function keys. That means that your function keys are really just your media keys. So when you hit F1 for help, instead of getting the help dialog box, you instead get the media key "mute". The same is true for your volume controls, your screen brightness, and other things like that.

If you function keys are reversed like this is doesn't mean that your shortcuts aren't working, it simply means you need to either (1) hold the Fn key down to make your shortcuts work or (2) restart your computer and set your function keys to the default setting.

This also works both ways, so if you're media keys are not working, you'll want to do the reverse.

To see how to fix your function keys, see instructions below:

#2. Language Bar Issue

If you are using a foreign language on your computer, it’s likely overriding some of your default keyboard shortcuts. To fix it, you need to navigate to your advanced language bar settings and double-check what hotkeys are set there. See the video tutorial above for a quick walk through.

#3. International keyboards

Most keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys on the web are quoted using the standard U.S. keyboard.

That means if you're using an international keyboard (French keyboard, Italian keyboard, Dutch keyboard etc.) you might need to do a little bit of extra research to figure out what the corresponding keyboard shortcut is on your computer.

It's not that your keyboard shortcuts aren't working, it's just that because of the keyboard or using (with the additional keys and accents) you need to find the correct keys that match the keyboard.

#4. MAC keyboard Shortcuts are different

Just like using international keyboards, if you are using a MAC keyboard, it’s common to find that your hotkeys are not working.

That’s because most keyboard shortcuts online are quoted using PC keyboards. On a MAC you will need to use a combination of the Command key, Option key, SHIFT key and the Function keys to figure out what your shortcut is.

5. Program Trolls Overriding Your Shortcuts

Newly installed programs will often come with their own keyboard shortcuts and can over write the existing keyboard shortcuts on your computer.

A few common program trolls include Camtasia, EverNote, GoTo Webinar and Skype.

To get your shortcut to work again, simply navigate to the program in question and find it’s shortcut or hotkey options and fix them as I show you how to do in the video tutorial above.

An alternative here is to uninstall and reinstall the program in question, in hopes that it then overwrites the other keyboard shortcuts and gets everything up and working again for you.

Those are 5 common issues that can make your keyboard shortcuts stop working. If you know of another common fix, please leave it in the comments section below for all the other speed demons out there.