Screwed up keyboard question

Recently my keyboard has become possessed. And it’s driving me batty. I use the arrow keys a lot to navigate around crossword puzzles. The arrow keys - evidently feeling abused - have decided to move random amounts of space. Instead of moving one space when I strike the arrow, the cursor sometimes moves two spaces. Rebooting the machine has not solved the problem. Nor has cursing it out in load, rich obscene phrases best left to the imagination.

Any ideas how the arrow keys might be brought back into line?

I used to try and save keyboards, but the success rate was very low for the work involved. These days as soon as one starts to misbehave I give it the heave ho. Given the relatively short life spans (1-2 years) of most of the keyboards I’ve used I consider them and mice to be rapid wear items I will need to replace about once ever 1-2 years or so. Toss it. I do not buy expensive keyboards anymore.

Re why it’s giving you problems if it’s a wired keyboard there is likely crap in the contact switches making flaky connections or it’s been dropped and a contact is messed up. You may be able to remove this crud by removing the keys (if they are removable) and giving it thorough cleaning with alcohol (never spray on the key-switches) spray on a cloth and wipe.

If it’s wireless keyboard the problem could be key-switch contacts as above, or a messed up transmit-receive module or your batteries could simply be low.

Buy a new $30 keyboard.

You can try cleaning it via various means (Google [keyboard clean]), but that’s hit or miss, and most methods include at least some risk of failing the keyboard even more thoroughly than it already is. So have your $30 ready before you begin.

Also, if you’re a PC console gamer the key switches could simply be worn out. They are just (usually) synthetic rubber and plastic spring contacts and do have a limited lifetime if used constantly.

I personally don’t put a whole lot of effort into cleaning keyboards. You can carefully take it apart and clean out every little bit of it with a Q-tip, but I’ve done that before and it’s really, really, tedious.

What I usually do is run the keyboard through the dishwasher. There are a few tricks to doing this.

Place the keyboard upside down so that the keys face down.

Wrap up the cord so that it can’t get caught in the dishwasher’s moving parts.

Don’t use soap. Some are ok, but others will leave a filmy residue that may actually make your keyboard worse.

Turn off the heat cycle at the end or you’ll bake your keyboard to death. Be careful. Sometimes this is labeled as something like “power saver dry” and you have to turn it ON to turn the heat OFF.

Let the keyboard dry out for a couple of days before using it.

Note that wireless keyboards and keyboards with those fancy little LCD displays in them tend not to survive this procedure very well. Otherwise, I’ve personally had an excellent success rate with this.

There is a chance that it’s not just dirty contacts making your keyboard go wonky (it could be a physical hardware problem like an intermittently bad electrical connection), so I personally would give it one run through the dishwasher, and if that doesn’t fix it, I’d go buy a new keyboard.

The keyboard on my laptop has been a little wonky, I’ll give this a try.

Let us know how that works out.