Is Alt-F4 Not Working? Here’s What Might Be Happening

The classic Alt + F4 shortcut is one of the first Windows users learn. It shuts down programs and is among the most useful shortcuts this operating system has. But where to start troubleshooting when it stops working? Here are a few ideas on what you can do.

Is Alt-F4 Not Working? Here's What Might Be Happening

Don’t Download a Third-Party Tool

You are going to see tons of articles on this subject that suggest one app or tool over another, but this is not a problem that you need fixing with a third-party program. There may indeed be many causes, but the solutions are all mostly simple and straightforward.

Restarting your computer may solve the problem right off the bat. Restart your PC, launch a program, and hit the Alt and F4 keys to see if the problem persists. If the computer refuses to close the program, move on to the next method.

Check to See If Fn Lock Is Active

If you have just had an update of your keyboard driver, or for your operating system, then there is a chance you will need to update your keyboard drivers. If you have not had any updates recently, then there’s no need to check the drivers.

Start by looking for the Fn key on your keyboard. It may be near the bottom left of your keyboard, and near the Windows key. It may also be near the bottom right of your keyboard near the ALT GR button.

Finding FN

Press it once and then see if your “ALT F4” function has been restored. Alternatively, press and hold Fn and see if this turns off the Fn lock. You may also want to try Fn with F4 to see what happens. You can also try the ALT FN F4 combo to see if that fixes the problem.

Update and Reboot Your Computer

Problems with ALT F4 are often linked to updates, but it shouldn’t be a problem for Windows 10 users. If you have an ALT F4 problem, it may mean that you are running on an older Windows version. For that reason, you need to go and check to see if you need a Windows update.

Update Windows

Go to your Windows settings, and then to “Update & Security” and then click the button that says, “Check for Updates.” If there are some updates due, then it may be worth updating and rebooting your computer.

Did You Accidentally Activate “Sticky Keys”

If you press your Shift key a few times (usually five times in a row), it will activate the “Sticky Keys” option. If you pressed Enter or clicked “Yes” because you were not looking, then maybe “Sticky Keys” are to blame.

Turn off “Sticky Keys” by pressing the Windows key and then the letter “i,” and it will bring up your Windows settings. Click on “Ease of Access” under your Settings menu, and then click on the word “Keyboard.” You will see the toggle button for “Sticky Keys” appear on the right. Toggle it to off to turn off “Sticky Keys.”

Troubleshoot Your Keyboard

Go to your Windows settings again, either by searching for them in your search bar or by holding the Windows key and pressing the “i” key. The Windows settings page has a search bar in which you should type “Troubleshoot Keyboard.” When the keyboard troubleshooter appears on the screen, click on it to launch it.

Troubleshoot your keyboard

The troubleshooting function will walk you through whatever problems you are having with your keyboard. If it is something that Windows is used to dealing with, then you’ll be able to dig up the solution through the troubleshooter.

Alt F4 Working Again

The methods mentioned in this article should help you solve this problem. Finally, if it is a hardware issue, a decent new keyboard shouldn’t be expensive.

Did any of these solutions work for you? Have you found a better solution to the ALT F4 problem? Let us know in the comments.

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