Seeing the wrong characters on your screen after pressing a button with a different idea in mind can be a frustrating experience, but it’s not always a critical problem.
Whenever this happens, it’s rarely a case of a broken keyboard or an indicator that something’s wrong with the computer.
Usually, it’s just a matter of misconfigured settings.
Willing to learn how to solve this problem efficiently? Let’s get right into it.
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There are quick fixes you could try before applying a more in-depth fix to the problem.
Doing this may save you some time as it’s possible to fix the problem with one of the following tips:
Plug And Unplug Your Keyboard
We often move our keyboards around, adjusting their position for the best possible hand placement and comfort, especially while gaming. With this, the cable’s connection with your PC can become loose over time, and your keyboard may begin to malfunction.
The easiest fix here is to unplug and re-plug your keyboard, and if it doesn’t change anything, try it one more time but now re-plug it in a different USB port.
Connect And Test The Keyboard With A Different PC
The easiest way to avoid wasting time searching for a problem directly connected to the keyboard is by trying the device on a different PC.
If available, plug the keyboard into a different computer and do a quick typing test. If the problem persists, the issue is related to the device itself, and in this case, you should skip directly to fix #4 in this guide.
Disable The Number Lock Mode On Your Keyboard
It’s easy to press the number lock (aka num-lock) button on your keyboard while playing a game or typing quickly by accident.
That enables many alternate commands that could make your keyboard type out numbers and symbols instead of letters, as the point of this feature is to make the board mimic a number pad.
The solution is to ensure the num-lock is off by pressing the button again. Usually, a light indicator on the key itself lets you know if the num-lock feature is enabled or disabled.
Fix 1: Ensure You’re Using Your Preferred Keyboard Layout
There are multiple known keyboard layouts, the most popular one being QWERTY.
You’re likely used to the QWERTY layout. But, if someone with a different preference was using the same computer, they could have it set to the DVORAK layout or even something more uncommon, such as AZERTY or COLEMAK.
If you’re unfamiliar with any of these preferences, you likely think that your keyboard types the wrong buttons, but instead, what it does is use a different layout. To “fix” this problem, revert to your familiar keyboard layout.
Here’s how to do that:
- Click on the magnifying glass icon next to the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of your taskbar. Type in (or copy and paste the word) Settings and click on the first result.
- Click Time & Language.
- Click Language (located in the left sidebar menu).
- Scroll down until you see the Preferred languages category, then find the language you’re currently using, click it, and choose Options.
- Under the Keyboards section, click on Add a keyboard and choose your preferred layout from the list.
Now, you can use the Alt + Shift keyboard shortcut to swap between the layouts.
You can also add more layouts or remove some if you no longer wish to accidentally or intentionally swap to them while using your computer.
Fix 2: Check The Windows Keyboard Language Settings
Sometimes, it could be that your currently-active Windows language is something other than your default language. That isn’t in any way related to the keyboard layout. You could have QWERTY or a different layout enabled, and an accidentally-used shortcut may have switched the typing language to something else, so now your typing is incorrect.
You can fix this using the Windows + SPACE keyboard shortcut. While using Windows + Space, you should hold the Windows key pressed and then use only the Space key to navigate through the list of available input methods.
Hopefully, this will fix the problem immediately, but if it doesn’t, keep reading, as there are more available methods with different approaches.
Fix 3: Disable Autocorrect Features In The Software You’re Using
With autocorrect being one of the most widely-used features of modern devices and apps, it’s relatively common to find it enabled by default in the program you’re using on your computer.
You may haven’t enabled it, but if you’re sharing your computer with someone else, it could be their preferred choice, and now you’re typing with autocorrect enabled.
That can make the words you type come differently, even if you are not using an “unusual” keyboard layout or mistaking the letters.
To avoid this issue, we recommend ensuring the autocorrect feature is disabled in the software you’re currently using.
Fix 4: Dry The Keyboard Of Possible Water/Liquid Damage
Spilling liquid on your keyboard happens more often than we’d like to admit. Although this does not always permanently damage the keyboard, it can make the device malfunction, at least in the short term.
If the board is permanently damaged (likely depending on the type of liquid spilled over it), you may not be able to get it to work, at least not without professional help.
However, in some cases, you can reverse the damage by drying the device.
You can find more information on how to dry your keyboard in this water-damage repair guide.
It can happen to anyone to change the keyboard layout unintentionally during everyday computer use, then have to deal with the device inputting the wrong letters while typing. However, the process is easily reversible and should not be concerning.
Unless the keyboard is damaged (from liquid damage or the device is just old and malfunctioning), you will almost always be able to solve this problem on the OS level by changing a few settings, as shown in the methods listed above.
Hopefully, this guide helped you get back on track so you can now type the correct letters worry-free.