How To Remove Keyboard Keys

A dirty keyboard is an unfortunate and awful consequence of subsequent keyboard usage. Learn how to remove keyboard keys to clean them thoroughly and increase their shelf life. I have opted for many ways to remove keys, but in this article, I’ll share the idea that is most applicable, friendly, affordable, and quick.

How To Remove Keyboard Keys

How To Remove Keyboard Keys

Removing keyboard keys is not a big deal even for beginners, but you need to do it carefully because even the slightest mistake can interrupt the functioning of keycaps.

How To Remove Keyboard Keys

There are many different tools that are used to remove keyboard keys at home. Let’s discuss it!

1. Keycap Puller

A Keycap puller is a tool that is used to remove keyboard keys. It comes in different types based on the material used in its construction i.e., plastic keycap puller or metal keycap puller. A keycap puller is a small accessory that is designed to remove keyboard keys and it is easily available at any electronics shop.

I have used both types of keycap pullers but found a metal one better because it is more effective, durable, and will not leave scratches on the keyboard. In contrast, plastic keycap pullers are cost-effective, lightweight, and easygoing. You can use anyone to remove the keyboard keys at home. I am concerned about scratches which is why I prefer a metal keycap puller.

Keycap Puller

Using the keycap puller is not a tedious task to do even if you’re using it for the first time. All you need to do is to fix the mouth of the keycap puller to the keycap you want to remove. It will fix the key firmly. Now slightly move the keycap puller upwards to remove the key from its root. Please make sure to be gentle to avoid any damage. After removing the keyboard key, place it aside and move on to the next key.


  • Effective
  • Handy tool
  • Easily available at stores


  • Need to buy it separately

In a nutshell, a keycap puller is my topmost preference to remove keyboard keys at home. The tool is specifically designed to serve this purpose. It is effective, easy to handle, time-saving, and frequently available in the market.

2. Paperclip

A Keycap puller is not something available at your home, right? You need to individually buy it to remove the keyboard keys at home. Well, not everyone is ready to buy a separate tool to remove the keyboard keys. If you stand in the same position and are looking for a substitute, there is no better choice than a paperclip.

A paperclip? Yes, you have read right! A paperclip can be used to remove the keyboard keys too. Get a paperclip and give it a U-shape. After that, bend or turn the corners of the paperclip towards the inside a bit to give it a shape like a hook so that it holds the keyboard key. Your customized and DIY keycap puller is ready to use.


Once you have made the paperclip cum keycap puller, use it to remove the keyboard keys. For this, you need to hold the keyboard key with the edges or arms of the clipper. Once it holds the key, move the paperclip upwards soft-handily to remove the keys from the board. Remove all the keys one by one and gather them all in one place securely.

The best thing about using Paperclip to remove the keyboard keys is that it can be customized according to the size of a keycap of your keyboard. Overall, there is no rocket science in making the keyboard key puller using a paperclip.


  • Costless method
  • Applicable
  • Friendly and safe


  • Less effective than keycap puller

Shortly, if you’re not in the mood to visit a store or spend money on a keycap puller, the customized and DIY paper clip key puller is most suitable for you. It is a costless approach to remove the keyboard keys at home.

3. Butter Knife

You’ll be amazed to know that a knife can also be used to remove the keyboard keys. Ah! Not a butcher’s knife, but a butter knife with a soft edge can remove the keycap from the board easily. However, this approach is not recommended to beginners from my side because it needs practice and full concentration; otherwise, you’ll damage the keyboard.

Butter Knife

To remove the keyboard key using a butter knife, fit the butter knife underneath the keycap and slightly pull it up. Please make sure to not damage the keyboard and not harm your hands doing this.


  • Easily available at home
  • Cheapest method
  • Good for mechanical keyboards


  • Not a beginner-friendly approach

In a few words, a butter knife is one of the cheapest ways to remove the keyboard keys. It is effective but not the safest idea to remove caps, especially for beginners.

4. Screwdriver

Lastly, you can also use a screwdriver to remove the keyboard keys; however, it is not the best approach. This is because a screwdriver can leave scratches on the keyboard and might damage the keys if you do not handle it with care.


If none of the above mentioned ways is approachable and only a screwdriver is the possible method, you can opt for it. To remove the keyboard key using a screwdriver, fix the screwdriver underneath the keycap and slightly pull it up. Please make sure not to damage the keyboard and not harm your hands doing this.


  • Effective
  • Quick
  • Costless


  • Not safe

I have used a screwdriver to remove the keycaps a couple of times, but it gives scratches to the keyboard. Though it is an effective way to remove keys.

What To Do After Removing Keyboard Keys

There can be many reasons why a user is removing the keyboard keys. For instance, you might want to clean the keyboard, change the old keys and install the new ones, or fix the switches. Here’s the discussion!

1. Clean Keyboard

After removing the keyboard keys, you can thoroughly clean the keycaps and board. Cleaning the keyboard is something one should not take for granted because otherwise, your keyboard will stop working one day. Cleaning the keyboard increases the shelf life of the product, in a nutshell.

Clean Keyboard

To deep clean the keyboard, you need to remove all the keys from the board and wash them individually. After washing, air dries the keys on the towel and on the other hand clean the board using rubbing alcohol and a damp cloth piece. Once you have cleaned the board and the keys are dry, reinstall the keys to the board.

2. Install New Keys

Another reason why a user wants to remove the keyboard keys is that he wants to change the old keys. For this, remove all the keycaps individually and install the new ones one by one.

Install New Keys

How To Reinstall Keyboard Keys

Reinstalling keyboard keys is another frequently asked question. Well, it’s not a difficult task to do as all you need to do is line up the keycaps on the board and press them individually. Make sure to do so firmly and gently.


How do you take a key off a keyboard without breaking it?

You can take off a keyboard key using a keycap puller. Make sure to be gentle and firm while removing the key to avoid any sort of damage.

Can you remove the keyboard keys to clean them?

Yes, cleaning is one of the primary reasons why a user needs to remove keyboard keys. A deep cleaning helps in increasing the shelf life of a keyboard and improves its performance.

The Bottom Line

Removing keyboard keys is not rocket science, but carelessness is not welcomed on the board. Make sure to use any of the tools I shared in this article firmly yet gently and soft-handily remove the keys one by one. I hope this article will guide you well.

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