How to fix broken keyboard connector

posted in: Keyboard, Motherboard | 167

In this guide I explains how to fix a broken keyboard connector on a laptop motherboard.

The connector is a very delicate mechanism. It’s very easy to get it damaged if you apply too much force while trying to unlock it.

The cable retainer (locking clip) is made of thin plastic and if it’s damaged, you are in trouble. Unfortunately, this part is not sold separately.

Well… let’s say it happened. The damage is done. How to fix it now?

On the picture below I show one of the most common connector types. It has the base (white in my case) and cable retainer (brown in my case).

When the connector is closed, the cable secured between the retainer and base.

The retainer applies some pressure on the cable and it makes contact with the pins inside the connector.

To unlock it properly, you have to move the retainer about 2 millimeters in the direction shown by two yellow arrows.

IMPORTANT! The retainer must remain attached base.

After that you can pull the keyboard cable and remove the keyboard.

If you are not careful enough, you can move the retainer too far and break it.

On the picture below you can see the retainer broken on both sides. It is missing the both locking hook.

IMPORTANT! Do not though away the retainer. You still can use it.

The cable will not stay inside the connector without the locking clip.

Here’s how fix this type of damage.

Position the broken piece the way it was inserted before.

Carefully insert the cable into the connector. In this case the cable goes above the retainer.

While holding the cable, carefully push the broken clip back in place. You can use a small screwdriver for that.

The clip fits tightly into the connector even though it has two broken hooks.

Secure the connection with sticky tape and test the keyboard. It should work just fine.

Here’s another connector type. The only difference – the keyboard cable is routed under the locking clip. Fix it the same way as the previous connector.

On the next picture you see another type of connector. The cable is inserted vertically.

In order to unlock the connector, you’ll have to move the locking clip (brown piece) about 2 millimeters up in the direction shown by two yellow arrows.

After that you can pull the keyboard cable (green arrow) and remove the keyboard.

If you move the locking clip too far, you can break it.

In my example one side of the retainer got damaged.

Insert the keyboard cable into the connector, position the broken retainer correctly (behind the cable in my case) and carefully push it in.

Even with a broken retainer the cable should be secured inside the connector.

Here’s the same connector shown from the opposite side. You cannot even tell it is broken.

If this trick worked for you, it means I just saved you big bucks on the motherboard replacement. And I’m glad I did.


Thank you to Alex for the following suggestion:

I found another way to fix it…
Have you lost the broken “Locking clip”?
Then do this…
Get some “electrical tape” on the back of the “flat cable” to make some “thickness”.
Make sure you are putting the tape on the right side, where there are no visible connections…

Then very carefully push the cable into the connector… It will not come loose and the keyboard will work just fine!

Also read this post explaining how to repair broken touchpad connector.

167 Responses

  1. Can the broken clip be bought? and where? Thanks.

  2. wikky wales

    thank u,added to my knowlegde

  3. Virgil

    THANK YOU!!!!! This page saved the day.

  4. shubham

    Very very big thank you for laptop repair 101

  5. Thanks for all information. I opened my laptop for the first time to replace the power jack. While removing the keyboard I broke the clip retainer of the keyboard connector (I freaked out ), but by following the instructions above I was able to make the keyboard work well again.

  6. Tobbi

    Thank you so much for your website! You totally saved me! I went to replace the keyboard on my Toshiba Satellite L455-S5000 Laptop after watching a video on line. I did not realize there was a cable retainer and accidentally broke it. I didn’t know which way it went in either but after trying a couple of the scenarios and repairs detailed here I was able to fix it. Turns out the retainer went under the cable and still holds it all together. Much to my relieve after having tried some of the other ways (on top with tape and so forth) when I turned it back on and typed it worked! Yeah!!! Thank you so much!! :)

  7. Tom Malone

    Thanks for posting this in such detail. The pictures helped me fix my problem. Couldn’t find this much detail anywhere else, including HP.

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