If your Left Alt key and Windows key have switched functions on your laptop, I will quickly show you how to fix this issue in this article.
This issue happens mainly on external keyboards, and it happens due to the keyboard having two different modes: a Windows/Android/Chrome OS and an iOS/Mac mode. If you are having this issue, your keyboard is likely on iOS/Mac mode, and you didn’t realize it.
So, look for a switch (or a button) on your wireless keyboard that allows you to toggle between Windows mode and iOS/Mac mode; make sure it is on Windows mode. If there is no switch, press the Fn + Space bar keys for 3 seconds to swap the keys back, you can also try Fn + A or Fn + S.
This often works.
If your alt and windows keys are still swapped, try updating your wireless keyboard drivers as explained below.
(To learn how to kill a full-screen frozen application using your keyboard, check the article I’ve written on that.)
Fix Left Alt and Windows Key Have Swapped Function by Updating your Keyboard Drivers
If the solution above doesn’t work, the next logical step is to ensure your keyboard drivers are up-to-date since driver issues often cause malfunctioning hardware.
You can update your keyboard drivers using a third-party driver updater or device manager. I will show you both ways, but I suggest you use a driver updater app since Windows is unreliable with updating drivers.
Update your keyboard driver with a driver updater
- Download Driver Booster and install it.
Uncheck any box recommending the installation of additional software unless you want to try them.
- Open Driver Booster, and press the Scan button:
- Wait while the program scans your PC for outdated drivers.
- When the scan is complete, press the Update button next to your wireless keyboard:
Or click on the Update Now button in the upper-right corner to update all your drivers at once.
In my case, my external keyboard shows as HID Keyboard Device. If you have multiple keyboards named HID Keyboard Device update the drivers of all of them.
Update your keyboard driver via Device Manager
- Enter Device Manager on Windows Search and click on Open:
- In the Device Manager, expand Keyboards.
- Right-click on your keyboard device and select Update driver:
(If you have multiple keyboard devices with the same as I do, update the driver of each one of them.)
- Then click on Search automatically for drivers:
If this doesn’t work, try uninstalling your external keyboard on Device Manager to force Windows to recognize it again.
You can do this by right-clicking on your keyboard and then selecting Uninstall; after that reboot your PC (shut down won’t work.) Then check if your keys are switched back.
Your Left Alt key and Windows key have switched functions because you are likely using a wireless keyboard with two modes: Windows and Mac Mode. So, to fix it you need to find a switch on your keyboard and toggle it to Windows/Android mode.
You can also press the Fn + Space Bar keys for 3 seconds. If it doesn’t work, try Fn + A or Fn + S. If none of these work, you likely have the wrong keyboard drivers, so try to update your keyboard drivers, as explained in this article.
To know what the shortcut ALT + F4 is and the difference between this and other methods of closing a program, check out my article on what actually happens when your press ALT + F4.
To fix Bluetooth issues, check my article on how to fix Qualcomm QCA9377 Bluetooth not working.