Why Skyrim Keyboard Is Not Working [Solution Guide]

Skyrim is a really fun game, but for a variety of reasons, the keyboard is known to stop working when playing Skyrim for PC. The question of ‘Why my Skyrim Keyboard Is Not Working?’ can be a frustrating one. This has actually happened to me before and it took a great deal of effort for me to find out why my Skyrim keyboard was not working.

If you are having a problem with the keyboard not working after launching the game, it can one of several issues. It could be a conflict with some other application, or it could be an incorrect language setting. It could also be a controller installed that is emulating keyboard actions.

In some circumstances, however, the problem could be due to save file corruption. If you are experiencing problems with your Skyrim keyboard, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will take you through all the steps involved in all the common fixes to make the Skyrim keyboard work again.

Solution 1 to Why My Skyrim Keyboard Is Not Working: Disable the Steam Overlay

Sometimes, the  Steam Community Overlay can cause issues with the keyboard not working in Skyrim.

What is the Steam Community Overlay?

The Steam Community Overlay is an interface that lets players access Steam Community features while playing a game. The Steam Community Overlay is not required to play games on Steam. So, it’s alright to disable it to see if it’s causing the problem.

The good news is that its super easy to disable the Steam Community Overlay. Remember, it may not fix your problem but because it’s not required, trying these steps below surely aren’t going to hurt anything:


Step1: First, open Steam

Step 2: Then, click Settings

Step 3: After that, click the ‘In-Game’ tab.

Step 6: Restart Steam and then re-launch the game.

Somewhat paradoxically, many users have reported that if you hold Shift and press Enter to open the Steam overlay, this can get the keyboard to work in Skyrim. The catch is, however, that if this method works, it will only be for that one session.

When you restart Skyrim, you will have to perform this trick again to get the keyboard to respond in the game. While this might not be the greatest news, it will enable you to play the game and it’s not something that you would have to do more than one time per Skyrim gaming session.

Solution 2: Unplug External Controllers

Sometimes the Skyrim keyboard stops working if the game detects an Xbox controller or other compatible game-pad connected to the PC while you are running the game. If you are thinking that Skyrim should be able to still accept a keyboard input while a controller is plugged in, then you are right.

The problem is, it doesn’t. This really just comes down to lazy programming, but considering the fact that this is not too big of a problem to solve, we will let it slide.

So, because of this Skyrim programming quirk, the game will use the controller by default. This has the action of ignoring keyboard and mouse input.

You can follow these steps below to manually disable gamepad input for Skyrim.

Step 1: Open the file explorer and go to Documents\My Games\Skyrim

Step 2: Right-click ‘SkyrimPrefs.ini’

Step 3: Select ‘Open With…’ and then select a text editor like Notepad or Notepad++

Step 4: Look for a line that contains ‘bGamepadEnable=1’ and change that to ‘bGamepadEnable=0’

Following the above 4 steps will disable support for gamepads in Skyrim entirely.

This can be convenient if you want to leave your controller plugged in because you use it with other games, but you don’t want the controller to interfere with keyboard input in Skyrim.

On the other hand, this can be inconvenient if you want to use a gamepad on Skyrim later. To do so, you would have to repeat the steps above but you would need to do Step 4 in reverse order.

This could apply to you if you are running some kind of game overlay, like Fraps, Raptr, etc. Sometimes these programs get in the way of other programs. This is simply due to the nature of what these programs are designed for.

Applications that do screen capturing or otherwise control or monitor your PC in real time could always cause conflicts with other programs. If you have one of these applications running, you should try to exit them before launching the game to see if it fixes the issue.

Solution 4: Remove Other Conflicting Input Devices

Sometimes, Skyrim’s keyboard can stop working because of a conflict with some other input device that is attached to the system.
To eliminate this is a possible cause for your keyboard to not work in Skyrim, simply disconnect any drawing tablets, joysticks, steering wheels, or anything else that may be considered an input device from your PC.
This is not limited to wired devices. Also make sure to check if you have any Bluetooth devices connected. You might have to disable them in the Device Manager in the Control Panel if they are causing a problem. This, however, is rarely the issue.

Solution 5: Resolve Language Setting Conflicts 

Finally, the language settings of the Operating System could be the problem. It’s important to make sure that the language settings in the game match the language settings for your operating system and keyboard.

You can find the Region and Language settings in the Control Panel like this:

Step 1: Hold the Windows Key and press R to open the run dialogue

Step 2: In the Run dialog text box, enter ‘intl.cpl’ (without quotes)

Step 3: Wait for the Region and Language settings to open

Step 4: Click on the Keyboard and Languages tab.

Step 5: Click Change Keyboards.

Step 6: Change the default language to the same language that Steam and Skyrim are currently set to use.

These simple steps could be all that is standing between you and a working Skyrim keyboard. You would think that such a trivial difference in settings wouldn’t cause such a severe problem with a game, but as you can see, the Skyrim keyboard not working because of because of language settings is a clear indicator that it indeed can.


Sometimes, the Skyrim keyboard stops working. Yes, it can be frustrating, but with a little effort its something that the average gamer can fix. A lot of the time, the problem is a conflict with the an attached controller, but a lot of users have been having issues with the keyboard input since they installed the Special Edition version of Skyrim.

We understand that it can be really frustrating when you are trying to play Skyrim and the keyboard won’t work. This problem is not unique to this game. It can happen with other games as well, and the process of getting it working can vary from title to title.

We hope that one of the several common issues that we have covered here and their associated solutions have been helpful in getting the Skyrim keyboard to work again. If you are still cant get the Skyrim keyboard to work after going through the methods in this article, then you make have to reinstall Skyrim completely.

Sometimes programs get corrupted for a variety of reasons. Failing hard drives, malware, accidental file deletions, file system corruptions, can be some of the causes for this to happen. A lot of the time, reinstalling programs or even Windows itself is the only solution to get things working again.