My company decided to make the change to Microsoft (MS) Teams back in early 2020. Teams is a great platform that I use while working from home daily, but it is not without it’s issues. One such issue commonly encountered are the Microsoft Teams arrow keys not working.
Arrow Keys Not Working In Teams
If you find your arrow keys not working in Teams, try using a different application to rule out any hardware related issues. Next, hold down ‘Shift’ as a temporary workaround. For a more sustained solution, quit and reopen Teams, disable GPU hardware acceleration, clear cache, and check for software updates.
That’s it! Your arrow keys should starting working properly within the MS Teams application.
Read on for a detailed breakdown of each of these troubleshooting steps.
I highly recommend you follow these steps in the exact order detailed below. We will start with the quick and low effort troubleshooting steps, followed by the slightly more time consuming and involved fixes.
Step 1: Try Arrow Keys In A Different Application
If you encounter Teams keyboard related issues such as the CTRL A shortcut not working, arrow keys not registering, or even if you can’t type at all, the very first thing you should do is rule out hardware related issues.
The easiest way to test this is to open a different application (Microsoft Word, Outlook, etc.) or web browser, and attempt to use your keyboard arrow keys there.
If your arrow keys still do not work, the keyboard itself is likely the culprit.
Should this be the case, you’ll need to troubleshoot and clean your keyboard. As a next step, go ahead and look up the user manual using the the manufacturer and model number.
If your keys work as expected, the Teams application is likely the culprit. Proceed to step 2!
Step 2: Hold Down ‘Shift’ Key
Oddly enough, many Microsoft Teams users have reported that when they hold down Shift, the arrow keys start working again.
For folks who are in a pinch, you can try holding down Shift as a temporary workaround.
I recognize this is not a permanent, long term solution.
However, if you are in the middle of a chat or Teams call, I appreciate that it is not always possible to immediately start troubleshooting.
If this is the case, using the Shift key workaround can be extremely helpful.
Step 3: Quit And Reopen Teams
When an application is closed completely, it needs to re-launch and reload all of its resources the next time you open the application.
This simple act can fix a variety of application bugs.
Therefore next step when you find your arrows not working in Teams, is to simply quit and then reopen Teams.
To fully quit Teams, locate the Teams icon in the application tray in the bottom right corner of your screen. Right click on the icon and click Quit.
Once you re-launch the application, your arrow keys should work again.
Step 4: Hard Reset Teams
If you are having any difficulty fully quitting Teams, try hard resetting the application.
To do so, open the Task Manager by pressing CTRL, ALT, DEL.
Right click on Microsoft Teams and click End task to fully close all MS Team windows.
Step 5: Restart Your Computer
Some folks will discover the issue persists even after fully closing out of MS Teams and restarting the application.
In these instances, I recommend you also try restarting your computer before attempting any additional fixes.
Rebooting your PC flushes the RAM and clears up temporary files and processes which can sometimes do the trick.
Step 6: Disable GPU Hardware Acceleration
In an attempt to increase performance, hardware acceleration allows Teams to shift processing from the CPU to other specialized hardware.
By default, Teams has GPU hardware acceleration turned on.
In most cases this is a good thing and leads to optimal performance. In some cases however, this can lead to your Teams arrow keys not working.
Let’s test if GPU hardware acceleration is the cause of the problem by turning it off.
To disable GPU hardware acceleration:
- First, select the Settings and more ellipses symbol (…) in the top, right hand corner of your MS Teams window and click Settings.
- Next, in the General settings section under Application click the box next to Disable GPU hardware acceleration.
- Finally, close out and restart Microsoft Teams.
Once MS Teams relaunches, go ahead and attempt to use the arrow keys within the application and within the chat field.
Step 7: Clear Teams Cache
If still, you find your Microsoft Teams arrow keys not working, try clearing the cache.
Clearing the Microsoft Teams cache memory is a great way to address a variety of issues with the Teams application.
To clear cache in Teams:
- First, close out of Microsoft Teams and Quit the Teams application from the icon tray.
- Then, use the file explorer to enter and search for the following file path: %appdata%\Microsoft.
- Next, Delete the entire folder named “Teams”.
- Now open the Microsoft Teams Desktop app and sign-in.
Step 8: Check For Microsoft Teams Updates
Microsoft Teams frequently pushes out software updates to enhance application capabilities, performance, security and reliability.
For this reason, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest Teams version.
In most cases, Teams should update automatically.
However, by clicking ‘Check for updates’, you force Microsoft Teams to identify the latest updates and push those updates directly into the app.
You can also check for available updates by first selecting the Settings and more ellipses symbol (…) in the top, right hand corner of your Teams window and then clicking Check for updates.
Do not skip the final step of checking for updates!
Many users find that once they clear the Teams cache, certain features revert back to older software versions.
Additionally, many users believe the arrow keys error is caused by a bug in Microsoft’s code. If this is the case, and Microsoft does eventually push out a patch or fix, it will come in the way of an update.
Microsoft Teams arrow keys not working can be extremely frustrating. Fortunately, there are a number of proven troubleshooting steps.
Arrow Keys Not Working In Teams – 8 Troubleshooting Steps
- Try Arrow Keys In A Different Application
- Hold Down ‘Shift’ Key
- Quit And Reopen Teams
- Hard Reset Teams
- Restart Your Computer
- Disable GPU Hardware Acceleration
- Clear Teams Cache
- Check For Microsoft Teams Update
Unfortunately these steps won’t solve this issue for everyone. If your arrow keys are still causing your problems in Teams, you can try contacting Microsoft Support for additional troubleshooting ideas.
If this post helped fix the issue, or if you solved this issue some other way, be sure to leave a comment below so that we can include it!
Chelsea Ashbrook is a Senior Manager of Corporate Digital Experience at Genentech. Chelsea received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut and has spent the last 10 years working in the technology field.
Her professional experience spans information technology services, web content management, and platform development.
For the past decade, long before the work from home revolution truly began, Chelsea has been working in the technology field remotely.
This blog is her outlet to share her findings with you.