How to Fix Your Keyboard Typing Numbers Instead of Letters

You’re on a typing spree and while doing so you notice that your keyboard is typing numbers instead of letters at places? It is undoubtedly irritating. Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on behind the scenes and what actions need to be taken to prevent this from happening again.

Num Lock Key: Here’s What You Need to Know

The big player behind this might be the Num Lock key. When switched on, the numeric keypad on the full-sized keyboard functions as a keypad with numbers, however, when switched off, the keypad registers keys as a cursor or editing keys.

The numeric keypad on a desktop PC functions as an adding machine keypad with numbers and symbols (such as *, /, and +) that represent mathematical operations when Num Lock is switched on. The keypad registers as cursor keys (such as up and down arrows) and some editing keys when Num Lock is switched off (such as Home and Insert).

And since most laptops don’t come with dedicated numeric keypads, Num Lock works by transforming a segment of the QWERTY letters on the keyboard into a virtual numeric keypad, thereby registering numbers when a letter is pressed on the keyboard.

Keyboard Typing Numbers Instead of Letters

How to Fix Your Keyboard Typing Numbers Instead of Letters

Here are some potential solutions to solving your problem where the keyboard registers numbers instead of letters.

  1. Toggle Off Num Lock
  2. Disable Num Lock Key using On-Screen Keyboard
  3. Turn off Num Lock using External Keyboard

Try out each of these methods.

1] Toggle Off Num Lock

Num Lock Key in Keyboard

The simplest solution to solving the problem could be just turning off the Num Lock key on your laptop’s keyboard. Its placement varies greatly depending on the laptop maker, although it is normally somewhere at the upper-right corner of the keyboard.

Ideally, you should look for something that reads Num Lock, NumLk, or maybe a small lock symbol with a number 1 inside that says Num Lock. However note that once Num Lock is disabled, you won’t be able to type numbers directly from the keyboard.

2] Disable Num Lock Key using On-Screen Keyboard

Disable Num Lock On Screen Keyboard

Now, if you’re in a situation where your attached keyboard isn’t working, and you don’t have an external keyboard lying around, here’s what you can do.

  • Key in On-Screen Keyboard in the Start Search Box and choose the best match.
  • Once the On-Screen Keyboard is active, check whether the Num Lock is turned ON.
  • You can observe whether the Num Lock is turned on or not, by checking the color. If it’s in a different color than the other keys, such as White, it implies that it is turned ON.
  • Just use the mouse cursor and tap on the key once to disable it.

3] Turn off Num Lock using External Keyboard

In case your laptop does not have a Num Lock key, or you’re facing difficulties locating the Num Lock key, here’s what you can do.

  • Find or borrow an external USB-based or wireless keyboard and connect it to your computer, either via the USB A port or Bluetooth.
  • Next, wait for Windows to detect and automatically install the required drivers.
  • Once installed, press the Num Lock key on the keyboard (if glowing) to disable it.

What Other Options Do I Have for Fixing Keyboard Typing Numbers Instead of Letters?

You could, for example, remove and reinstall the current USB drivers. If you’re using a wireless keyboard, ensure sure there aren’t any other devices transmitting at the same frequency.

Now, type a paragraph to see if the problem has been addressed. That said, I hope you’ve figured out why the keyboard was giving you problems and that you were able to remedy it. Do let us know what your fastest typing speed is in the comments section below.

Why Is My Keyboard Showing ‘ in Place of @?

If you’ve recently upgraded your computer to a newer version of Windows, your language settings may have been corrupted as a result of the update. Change the language selection to English (United Kingdom) in Settings > Time & Language to fix this. Later, from the Taskbar, change your input settings to English UK.

My Laptop Keyboard Keeps Typing Multiple Letters, What Do I Do?

To address this issue, head over to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard > Filter keys and turn on the toggle the Ignore Repeated Keystrokes.

Yash Jain
A long-standing Windows fan, Photographer, and Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Smartphones and Technology.


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