The Ctrl + Alt + Delete is a very important shortcut on Windows. It lets you lock, sign out, or switch users on your PC. Additionally, you can also use the shortcut to access Task Manager.
However, sometimes, the Ctrl + Alt + Delete does not work. The problem can be very annoying, especially if you try to access your task manager when the computer freezes.
If you are in the same shoes, you can continue reading below to find out how to fix Control Alt Delete not working.
Control Alt Delete Not Working: Fixes
Some of the main reasons you might face this issue are due to your system freezing, a virus or a malware attack, hardware malfunction, outdated keyboard drivers, or when you install a third-party app without proper firmware.
Now that we know the problems let’s look at how to fix them.
Force Restart Your PC
If your computer is completely frozen and you cannot access anything, your best option is to force shutdown your PC and turn it on again. Press and hold the power button until your system turns off. Once it is completely turned off, press the power button and turn on the PC.
After your PC boots up and the OS loads properly, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to see if it works.
Check for Hardware Malfunction
Another check you can perform to fix your issue is to see if the hardware components have any problems. Try connecting your keyboard to a different USB port and check if the keyboard functions properly.
If the keyboard combinations or certain keys such as control or delete are the only ones not working, try connecting a different keyboard and check if the Ctrl + Alt + Delete works. If it does, you can conclude that your previous keyboard is malfunctioning.
Troubleshoot Your Keyboard
Troubleshooting your keyboard is an easy and quick way to find and fix issues on your keyboard.
- Open Settings.
- In the search box, type in Troubleshoot settings and select it.
- Go to Other troubleshooters.
- Hit the Run button next to Keyboard.
- Wait until the troubleshooter finds and fixes your problem.
- Check if the error persists.
Reinstall Your Keyboard
You can use the device manager to uninstall your keyboard and reinstall it so that the drivers work properly and fix any bugs that might have come up.
- Right-click on the Start menu and select Device Manager.
- Find the keyboard option and expand it.
- Select the keyboard you use and right-click on it.
- Select Uninstall device.
- Once the process is complete, restart your PC.
- The system will automatically install the best driver for your keyboard.
Scan for Viruses and Malware
You can also run virus and threat scans to ensure no malware or virus has attacked your PC and disabled the Ctrl Alt Del shortcut.
- Open Search, type in Windows Security, and hit Enter.
- Go to virus and threat protection.
- Select Scan options.
- Now, select full scan and hit the Scan now button located at the bottom.
- Wait until your PC scan is complete. Restart your device if prompted.
- Again, follow steps 1 to 3.
- Select Microsoft Defender Offline Scan.
- Hit the Scan now button.
- Wait until your PC scans for malware. The process can take about 15 minutes and restarts your PC several times.
- Once the process is complete, check if the problem persists.
Run System File Checker and DISM
There could be corrupted files on your Windows that are not letting you use the shortcut key. Running the system checker has the potential to find these corrupted files and restore them to the working version.
- Open Command prompt as an Administrator.
- Type the following commands one at a time and hit Enter.
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
It is best to keep in mind that running each of these commands may take several minutes. So, please wait until each process is complete.
Once you finish the steps above, you can press Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut to see if this solution fixed your problem.
Clean Boot Your PC
If the steps previously worked, you can try clean booting your PC so that only essential services launch upon startup. To do so, you can:
- Open the Run dialog by pressing Windows + R keys.
- Type msconfig and hit Enter.
- Go to the services tab.
- Checkmark the Hide all Microsoft services option located at the bottom left.
- Hit the Disable all button and press OK.
- Now, Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager. If this doesn’t work, go to Search, type in Task Manager, and hit Enter.
- Go to the Startup tab.
- Right-click on each app and select disable.
- Restart Your PC.
- Check if the shortcut keys work.
Hopefully, one of the solutions above worked for you, and the Crtl Alt Del shortcut works smoothly.
What Should I Do If I Cannot Find Task Manager With Control Alt Delete?
You can try tweaking your registry so that your Ctrl Alt Del shortcut shows and lets you access the task manager again.
- Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog.
- Type regedit and hit Enter.
- Browse to the following path:
- If you cannot find the path, you can browse to the following alternate path instead:
- Right-click on the Policies folder and select New<Key. Rename the key to System. (You should skip this step if the path on step 3 worked).
- Right-click on System and select New<DWORD(32-bit) Value. Name the value as DisableTaskMgr. (You should skip this step if you already see a DisableTaskMgr DWORD value under System).
- Open the DisableTaskMgr DWORD and set the value data to 0.
- Restart your PC.