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How to Replace your Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys

How to Replace your Dell Laptop Keyboard Keys

For most people, laptop key replacement is something they associate with complete necessity. However, with the rise of the availability of custom keycaps, more and more people are showing interest in changing their laptop keys sooner rather than later. However, not doing the process right can have disastrous consequences. Since I was interested in changing some of the key caps on my laptop, I wanted to know how to do this safely. 

You can change keys on a Dell laptop because of damage or hobby. However, to do this correctly, you will need to follow some essential steps. First and foremost, you need to remove the keycap, along with the retainer. Then, you can install the new retainer along with the new keycap. However, you have to ensure the key is aligned correctly and snaps into place, or it may not continue to work. 

Changing keycaps can be a fun experience and, even in some instances, a form of expression. You can also sometimes need to replace damaged keys sometimes, so it’s helpful to know in advance what the process entails. So, to learn more about how to replace keys on a laptop, keep reading this article!

Replacing Keys On A Dell Laptop

So, you have a key on your Dell laptop that isn’t working like it should. Or, perhaps you are at the point where you need a change from your regular laptop’s look. In either case, you need to know how to remove the original keycap that comes with your laptop and the retainer and replace both. Therefore, you need to follow the steps that are listed out below. Of course, always do these activities when your laptop is off to avoid any harm to the delicate software system inside. 

Remove The Damaged Key

Now, to start, the first thing to understand is how to remove the laptop key and the retainer clip at the bottom. This means knowing what the retainer clip looks like and what the points on the retainer are. Usually, you can expect a retainer clip to have about three or four points when it is on a laptop. In most cases, there are two on top, and two on the bottom, though in some cases, there is just one clip at the bottom. 

Using a flat-head screwdriver, you can lift the keycap from each corner. Slowly, the key will untangle itself from the retainer and pop out. Pulling the keys from the corners gives a lower chance of breaking the plastic retainer clips under the key. Now, you should check the back of the laptop key to make sure the points are still there, so you can use it again if you need to. 

Remove The Retainer For The Key

Now that you have the key out of the way, you may want to take out the retainer clip. In most cases, the laptop will hold the retainer in place with the use of metal tabs under the keyboard. You can remove the retainer if the new key comes on its own, although in some cases, this will not be necessary. In fact, you can use the same flat-head screwdriver as before for this part of the process. 

You can place it under the retainer and put a small amount of pressure with your finger. Make sure to use light pressure as too much can damage the bottom of the keyboard and connection to individual keys. You can work from corner to corner and lightly pull each one off the metal tabs at the bottom of the keyboard. Once you have all the corners lose, you can unhook the clips and remove the retainer clip. This exposes the bottom of the keyboard. 

Install The New Key Retainer

Before you install a new key retainer in the place of the old one, you should always inspect the retainer. Make sure that the retainer is the right kind and can fit into the space of the key on your Dell laptop. You should also make sure that it is in the proper alignment. Therefore, always check to see that you are holding it the correct way up, so your key can align with the rest of the keys on the keyboard. 

You can now get started on the process of installing the new retainer in place of the old one. Start by looping the opening at the bottom of the retainer with the metal tabs at the base of the empty space on the keyboardYou should be able to lay the retainer down now and see how it falls on the keyboard. Now that you have it in place, you just need to lock the retainer in. Apply the pressure from your finger onto the retainer by locking down the retainer in place. Repeat the same process for the other side of the retainer. 

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Install The New Key Cap

You are now at the final stage of this process. Now, all there is left to do with this is to put the new keycap in place. Here’s what you need to do: you need to pick up the keycap and align it on top of the retainer that you just put in place. Make sure that the keycap is equally distant from the keys around it. This will help you avoid any potential issues with keys clashing with each other. 

Once you have the correct position in mind, you can start pushing down on the keycap. Once the keycap is locked into the retainer, you will be able to hear a snap as it comes in place. In case you do not hear a snap, there is still something you can do. You can push down on one corner at, hold it down, and then repeat the process with the other corners of the keycap. 


Now you know exactly what you need to do to change your keycap on your Dell laptop. We hope you can now get the best replacement possible!