Solution To Fix Esc Key Not Working In Windows And Esc Key Alternative

Every PC, Laptop, and computer comprises a keyboard as an essential part. It’s very annoying if you have a problem with keyboard buttons, especially those widely used.

Many reports are currently circulating the internet claiming that several people are experiencing “ESC key not working” issues hindering many ongoing tasks. This may reduce the working speed & influence the workflow.

Easy & Quick Solutions To Fix ESC Key Not Working

There are plenty of reasons why the ESC button does not work. In this article, we are going to address some basic ways to resolve these issues in windows 10 and windows 7.

We’ll also have a look at what are the ESC key not working alternatives & what are the go-to choices if your ESC key is broken.

Also read Why Is Apple So Overpriced if you are an Apple user or love reading factual articles.

ESC Key Not Working In Windows 10

You can use a variety of solutions to fix the Esc key not working in windows. Let’s look at the easiest ways for fixing problems with the Escape key:

Use Shift + Escape

To exit the applications and services, press Shift + Escape on your keyboard to Fix Esc Key. This is done to prevent apps and services from being accidentally closed. If you have the most recent device, simply press Shift + Esc to complete the operation.

Update Keyboard Drivers

If the above tip does not work, update keyboard drivers because it may cause the hardware device to fail. You may update the drivers to the most recent version to solve this problem. Press the ESC key to see if the problem still exists.

Turn Off Filter Keys

If the ESC button is not working in windows 10, you can simply turn off the filter keys.  Filter keys are an additional key in Windows 10 that serve to improve the operating system’s performance.

Filter keys are likely to disrupt your computer’s usual operation. That being said, you can disable the filter keys to see if it solves the issue.

Reinstall The Keyboard

If your ESC key isn’t working after trying the above three options, reinstall the keyboard. We are hopeful that this process will make your ESC key work again. This will clear any cache that can lead to ESC key errors. Below are given the steps to reinstall the keyboard;

  1. Disconnect the keyboard from your computer.
  2. Right-click on the Start menu.
  3. Click the little icon in front of the entry to expand the keyboards segment.
  4. Select Uninstall device & right-clicking on your keyboard input.
  5. Your computer will restart.
  6. Reconnect the keyboard when your system has restarted.

ESC Key Not Working In Windows 7

There can be different solutions to fix this problem in Windows 7. Let’s look at some quick-fix with the Escape key:

Check For Dirt Or Debris

Let’s start with the apparent explanations and rule out the possibility of dirt impeding the ESC key. If the keyboard has been sitting on your desk for a while, dirt buildup could be preventing the ESC key from being detected.

If there are any keycaps, remove them & clean the keyboard. This should be the very first thing to do whenever you encounter the ESC key not working issue. This is much better than updating the software, changing the drivers, reinstalling the keyboard & other options.

Cleanse your keys with a tidy wet towel. Blow air under the keyboard to get rid of any dirt. Check to see if the key functions after you’ve finished cleaning.

Use The Keyboard Troubleshooter

Troubleshooting can detect the problem if the ESC key is not working. The following method will lead you to the troubleshooter to identify the ESC key issue:

Go to settings, then click on update & security, now click on troubleshoot & press keyboard. Click on “run” to start the diagnosis.

You can use the very same method if you are using Windows 10.

Check For Viruses And Malware

If none of the aforementioned techniques are successful, a virus infection could be why the ESC key is not working.  With your antivirus program, scan your system for errors. You can also use window defender to avoid this error.

If the malware fails to address the problem and you are 100% sure that there are no keyboard errors, you may need to reinstall Windows entirely.

Read detailed instructions on how to remove malware from your PC.

Here’s a table that shows the solution in tabular form for quick understanding.





Use shift + Escape

Check for dust and debris


Go to a repairer

Turn off filter keys

Use Keyboard troubleshooter


Attach a 3rd-party keyboard

Reinstall the keyboard

Check for viruses


Visit the manufacture

If your ESC key isn’t working, we have some ESC key not working alternatives below. Go through them & check to see if these are compatible with your keyboard;

  • CTRL-[
  • Ctrl+L
  • ctrl+[
  • CTRL-3

Esc Button Not Working In Games

If your Laptop’s ESC key isn’t working while you are playing the game. It might have been viable to manually configure in-game items when the Esc key not working in games since ESC is a critical operating system key.

If none of the aforementioned techniques work, you can press the spring hard; it should work because sometimes the dust particles under the buttons can stop them from working correctly. But do not press the button too hard.

On the other hand, if you have lost your ESC key button & missing key is the only trouble. You can go to the repairer to get a replacement key if you cannot do that, simply use an external keyboard or get a service.

Wrapping Up

So, these are among the effective techniques when the keyboard ESC key is not working. All of the above suggestions have shown to be effective for several people, and the similar can be said for you. We believe that updating the drivers on a regular basis will resolve the problem.

If you know any other solution to solve escape key problems on windows PC or other operating systems, share with us in the comment section.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the shortcut key of ESC?

On the keyboard, the last button on (upper-left corner) is the ESC key which is often used for escape or end the program.

Steven Levy

Steven Levy is an American journalist who has written several books on computers, technology, cryptography, the internet, cybersecurity, and privacy.

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