Ctrl + Alt + Delete is a keyboard shortcut that you can use to terminate non-responsive processes. You can also use this approach to kill applications that have a high memory consumption, restart a computer, open the Task Manager, or log out of Windows. But what if it suddenly stops responding?
If you have encountered this issue on your computer, don’t worry, you’re not alone. This article will show you different ways to fix Ctrl + Alt + Delete not working on Windows 11.
What Causes Ctrl + Alt + Del to Stop Working on Windows 11?
There are a few possible reasons why the Ctrl+Alt+Delete shortcut might not work. One possibility is the malicious program that may occur after an update to your operating system or the installation of a third-party program.
Another possibility is that your keyboard itself is malfunctioning. Try pressing the Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut on another keyboard, if you have one available.
1. Restart Your Computer
If you are experiencing a problem with your computer, restarting it is likely the best course of action. This may seem like an obvious solution, but it’s often one of the quickest and easiest ways of dealing with minor issues like this one. So, go ahead and restart your PC, it might fix the problem.
2. Check Your Keyboard
If restarting your computer doesn’t work, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem. First, check to make sure that your keyboard is properly plugged in. If it’s not, then that could be the reason the Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut isn’t working.
Another thing you can try is to hold down the Fn key, then try the Ctrl + Alt + Delete combo again. On some keyboards, you have to press these keys in order for the shortcut to work.
If neither of those solutions did the job, then you might need to update your keyboard driver. To do this, follow these steps:
- Open the Device Manager. We have a guide on how to open Device Manager on Windows that can assist you in this process.
- Scroll down to Keyboards in the list of devices and expand it.
- Right-click on the Keyboard device and select Properties. Alternatively, you can double-click it to open the Properties window.
- Go to the Driver tab and click Update driver.
- Next, select Search automatically for drivers.
Your Windows operating system will look for the best driver available and install it on your computer as soon as it is found. It will do this based on the specifications of your device. When you have updated the keyboard driver, you can check to see if the keyboard shortcut is working now.
3. Check for Windows Updates
If you already have the best driver for your keyboard, make sure Windows Update hasn’t missed any updates that need to be installed on your computer. How to do it:
- Press Win + I to open the Settings menu.
- From the left pane of the Settings app, click on Windows Update.
- Now go to the right and click on the Check for updates button. Windows now checks for and downloads updates in the background.
After downloading the latest updates, the keyboard shortcut should work again. If not, move on to the next solution.
4. Run a System File Checker Scan
If you are not able to use the shortcut key on Windows, it may be because there are corrupted files on the system. In this case, try running the System File Checker tool and see if it solves the problem.
- Open the Start menu, type in cmd, and select Run as administrator.
- In the UAC window, click Yes to proceed.
- Once you’re in the Command Prompt, type in sfc /scannow, and press Enter.
This will perform a quick scan of all your system files to check for corrupted files. Once it has found a problem in your files, it will try to fix it. When the scan is complete, you will have to restart your computer in order for the changes to take effect.
After restarting, you should be able to use Ctrl + Alt + Delete keyboard shortcut without any issues.
5. Troubleshoot the Issue With a Clean Boot
If none of the above methods work for you, a background process or service might be responsible. In order to fix this issue, you can try troubleshooting in a clean boot. The program will allow you to disable startup services and startup programs manually, so you can find out what software is causing a problem. The following steps will guide you through the process of doing a clean boot:
- Right-click on Start and select Run from the menu list. Alternatively, you can use the Win + R keyboard shortcut to open the tool directly.
- In the dialog box, type MSConfig and press Enter to open System Configuration.
- Normally, you’ll be on the General tab when you’re in System Configuration.
- Check the box next to Selective startup.
- Remove the check mark from the box that says Load startup items.
- Go to the Services tab now.
- Select Hide all Microsoft services, then hit Disable all.
- To save the changes, click Apply.
- Now click on Open Task Manager under the Startup tab.
- When you’re in Task Manager, right-click each startup service and disable it.
- After you have finished, click OK to save the changes
Once you have completed the above steps, reboot the computer and then check if it solves the issue. If yes, it’s likely that you disabled a service that was causing the problem.
6. Perform a System Restore
Windows 11 offers you a number of features that can help you maintain the efficiency of your computer in order to keep it running smoothly. A good example of this is System Restore. It allows you to roll back changes made to the operating system if things go wrong. Therefore, if all methods listed above don’t work, you may need to restore Windows using System Restore.
Fixing the Ctrl + Alt + Delete Not Working Issue on Windows
The shortcut key Ctrl + Alt + Delete allows you to access the system Task Manager, sign off Windows, and change your Windows password. Although this tool provides decent functionality, corrupt files may sometimes prevent it from working. In case this happens to you, the method described above will help you resolve it.