Removing and replacing keyboard

posted in: Keyboard | 95

These instructions will help you to remove and replace keyboards on various laptops. I will not be able to cover all models but you’ll get the idea. Steps for removing and replacing the keyboard are similar for most laptops.

If your keyboard is missing a key, it’s not necessary to replace the whole keyboard. You can fix it using this guide: how to fix keys on a laptop keyboard.

– if your laptop is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, do not open the case or you can loose the warranty.
– always remove the battery and unplug the AC adapter before you open the laptop case.
– if you damage the keyboard connector on the motherboard you’ll have to replace the whole motherboard.
– proceed on your own risk.

Sony laptop

I took these pictures from a Sony Vaio PCG-K33 (model PCG-9S1L) notebook. Should be similar for some other Sony notebooks too.

Remove keyboard bezel

Insert a small flathead screwdriver under the keyboard bezel and carefully lift it up. Continue releasing plastic latches and removing the keyboard bezel with your fingers.

Bezel connected to motherboard

Be careful, on some models the bezel might be connected to the motherboard as it shown on the picture above. If you accidentally pulled the cable, connect it back. It is not necessary to disconnect the keyboard bezel from the motherboard in order to remove and replace the keyboard, just put it aside so you can access the keyboard screws.

Removing keyboard

Remove three (or more) screws from the top of the keyboard. Carefully lift up the keyboard from the laptop case.

Disconnecting keyboard

The keyboard connects to the motherboard via a flat ribbon cable. Before you pull the cable from the connector, you’ll have to unlock the connector.

Keyboard connector

The image above illustrates how to unlock the keyboard connector. Carefully move the connector lock 2-3 millimeters up and after that pull the keyboard cable. To install the keyboard, follow the above mentioned steps in the reverse order.

Toshiba laptop

The following pictures were taken from a Toshiba Satellite A135 laptop. The keyboard removal instructions will be almost the same for most modern Toshiba laptops.

Keyboard bezel removal

The keyboard bezel removal procedure is similar to the above mentioned Sony Vaio laptop. Lift it up with a small screwdriver and remove using fingers. On most Toshiba laptops the keyboard bezel doesn’t have any circuit board underneath, it’s just a piece of plastic and you don’t have to worry about cables.

Removing keyboard

After the bezel is removed you get an access to the keyboard screws. Remove two (or more) screws. Release the plastic latch pointed with the red arrow and lift up the keyboard. Carefully put the keyboard aside so you can access the connector underneath the keyboard. Do not forget that the keyboard is still connected to the motherboard.

Disconnecting keyboard

Before you remove the keyboard, you’ll have to open the connector and release the flat ribbon cable.

Keyboard connector closeup

Here’s a closeup picture of the keyboard connector on the motherboard. Be careful, this type of connector is fragile. On the left image the connector is closed. On the right image the connector is opened. Unlock the connector by moving the lock up as it shown on the right image and after that release the ribbon cable. Remove and replace the keyboard. For assembly instructions follow all the steps in the reverse order.

UPDATE. What can you do if the keyboard connector was damaged?

If you are looking for laptop disassembly instructions, check out laptop service manuals.

95 Responses

  1. This site does help a lot in fixing the problems with laptops easily. I really appreciate the effort. While fixing my SONY VAIO PCG-K33 model, accidentally the edges of keboard connector cable (not the motheboard seating slot) have gone bad and some of the keys are not functioning. Is there any cable stripping tool that helps to cut the edges and make those edges again to insert into the motherboard slot. Appreciate your help! Thanks in advance.

  2. paul hagan

    Thanks so much. I had no idea this was so easy. I was even starting to think, “maybe I should just get a new laptop.” I fixed my Toshiba Satellite 2435 for $23.90!!

  3. Hi,

    I really love and appreciate the information posted here. I have a compaq presario 2500 model laptop brought few years back. It works exceptionally good except for keyboard problem. I showed it in service center and it looks like few keys have got stuck and the key board has to be replaced. They are charging a high cost for the replacement. Can you guide me how it can be done by my self. All the information provided is greatly appreciated.

  4. Anthony Kelly

    I love this guide, and whoever wrote it. The keyboard on my Toshiba satellite (the exact same one as is pictured above) has been broken forever, and this guide helped me fix it. I can type “J” again! Yaaaay.

  5. kevin.mathreja

    hi friend i need a urgent help
    im having a sony vaio VGN-FE41E laptop ,n the problem is that im living in a small island of spain n here v dont have any good laptop repair center so i thought may b u can help me. the problem in my laptop is the screen it loose from the right side of the laptop so when ever i open or close my laptop it wont open or close properly i think its just the screw which is gone lose but i need instruction to open the laptop as iv paid 1200eur for it so i dont want to do some thing wrong
    if u can help ill b greatfull to u
    thanx 4 ur time

  6. Re: my prior entry below–

    In the meantime, I wedged the keyboard’s cable-strip into the connector using a business card cut to size. So far it’s working great (I typed this using that keyboard), but I would like to do it right if at all possible.



  7. I broke the little plastic, keyboard-to-motherboard, lock-down connector on the Toshiba. Wish I had read your page before (you warn above that it’s fragile).

    Any idea where to research/purchase them online?



  8. thanks very much guys,i had learn some troubleshooting tips about some loptops, hope to learn some more

  9. admin_papa

    Hi Folks!

    Just wanted to share my new experience.

    If your Windows XP denies to run due to an error related to missing HAL.DLL, invalid Boot.ini or any other important system boot files you can repair this by using the XP installation CD. Simply boot from your XP Setup CD and enter the Recovery Console. Then run “attrib -H -R -S” on the C:\Boot.ini file and delete it. Run “Bootcfg /Rebuild” and then Fixboot


  10. Thats SO funny I only have TWO laptops and BOTH of them are in this tutorial!



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