Tab Key Not Working? How to Enable It & Alternatives

If the Tab key on your keyboard is not working, it can be quite inconvenient as it is commonly used for navigation and switching between fields in various applications. Here are a few steps you can try to enable the Tab key or use alternatives:

  1. Check keyboard connections: Ensure that your keyboard is properly connected to your computer. If you're using a wired keyboard, try unplugging and reconnecting it. For wireless keyboards, make sure the batteries are working and the connection is stable.

  2. Try a different keyboard: If possible, connect a different keyboard to your computer and check if the Tab key works with the new keyboard. If it does, the issue may be with your original keyboard and you might consider replacing it.

  3. Check keyboard settings:

    • Windows: Go to the Control Panel or Settings app, then navigate to "Ease of Access" or "Accessibility" settings. Look for options related to keyboard settings and make sure the Tab key is not disabled or remapped to a different function.
    • macOS: Open the Apple menu, go to "System Preferences," then choose "Keyboard." In the Keyboard preferences, click on the "Keyboard" tab and ensure that the "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys" option is not checked.
  4. Try on-screen keyboard: Both Windows and macOS have an on-screen keyboard that allows you to use your mouse to click on keys. You can enable it and use the mouse to click on the Tab key instead. To access the on-screen keyboard:

    • Windows: Search for "On-Screen Keyboard" in the Start menu or via the search function, then click on it to open.
    • macOS: Go to the Apple menu, select "System Preferences," then choose "Keyboard." In the Keyboard preferences, click on the "Keyboard" tab and check the box for "Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar." From the menu bar, click on the keyboard icon and choose "Show Keyboard Viewer."
  5. Use alternative shortcuts or methods:

    • Shift + Tab: This combination allows you to navigate backward through fields or options instead of forward.
    • Mouse or trackpad: Instead of using the Tab key, you can click or tap on different fields or options using your mouse or trackpad.
    • Keyboard shortcuts: In some applications, you can use specific keyboard shortcuts to navigate between fields or perform specific actions. Check the application's documentation or support resources for relevant shortcuts.

Revision #1
Created 11 months ago by Ghicel Santos
Updated 11 months ago by Ghicel Santos