6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Ctrl-Alt-Delete is one of the most used keyboard shortcuts on Windows. You can use it to log out of your PC, access the power menu, launch Task Manager to end unstable programs or processes and more. However, it can be scary if it stops working for unknown reasons.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

We’ve compiled the best solutions for when the Ctrl-Alt-Delete shortcut doesn’t work on your Windows 11 computer.

1. Check for Keyboard Related Issues

Before troubleshooting, inspect whether your keyboard works. Connect it to another PC to check if the keys function. Consult our guide for fixing a keyboard on Windows if it’s not working. Alternatively, most Windows-compatible keyboards have two sets of Ctrl and Alt keys: one on the right and one on the left. You may have another opportunity to use the Ctrl-Alt-Delete shortcut.

2. Restart the Windows Explorer

Processes related to Windows Explorer are crucial for the proper functioning of the Taskbar, Start menu, File Explorer, etc. However, if they fail to function normally, you may experience glitches such as disappearing taskbar icons, the preview pane not working, etc.

You can quickly fix such issues by restarting Windows Explorer from Task Manager. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows + X keys to open the Power User menu and select Task Manager. Step 2: In the Task Manager window, stay on the processes tab and select the Windows Explorer process. Then, click on the Restart task button.

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If you see more than one process related to File Explorer, select the one with higher memory usage.

After restarting Windows Explorer, the Ctrl-Alt-Delete shortcut will function normally. If it doesn’t, try the next solution.

3. Check for Windows Update

Updating your Windows computer can address most problems and improve performance and stability. Here’s how to check for updates on Windows 11:

1. Press Windows + I to open the Settings app.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Step 2: Select Windows Update from the sidebar in the Settings window.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Step 3: Click the Check for updates button.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

If a new Windows update is available, install it and check if it fixes the corrupted files and dependent features.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

4. Update or Reinstall the Keyboard Drivers

Windows 11 may not function smoothly with unstable or outdated drivers. This might be why your keyboard malfunctions. It’s a good idea to update or reinstall the keyboard drivers on your computer. Here’s how you can easily do it on your Windows 11 PC.

Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

To make your keyboard driver up-to-date, follow these steps:

1. Go to the Device Manager window and find the Keyboards option.

2. Expand the Keyboards section and locate ‘HID Keyboard Device’.

3. Right-click on ‘HID Keyboard Device’ and choose ‘Update Driver’.

4. Click on ‘Search automatically for drivers’ in the Update Drivers window.

5. Let it search for and install the latest Microsoft verified drivers for your keyboard. If no drivers are available, click Close.

6. If you can’t find new drivers, right-click on ‘HID Keyboard Device’ and select ‘Uninstall device’.

You can also check the keyboard manufacturer’s website for the latest drivers.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Step 7: In the confirmation dialog, click Uninstall.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Restart your PC and Windows 11 will automatically search for and install the relevant keyboard drivers.

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5. Run SFC and DISM Scan

To detect and fix corrupt files on your PC, you can run an SFC scan followed by a DISM scan. Here are the steps:

1. Press Windows + S keys and type “Command Prompt”. Then, click on “Run as administrator” from the results.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Step 2:

Click Yes when a User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears on the screen.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Step 3: Type the command into the Terminal window and press Enter:

SFC /scannow

This command instructs Windows to scan for corrupted DLLs and other vital system files on your PC. Running this command replaces broken system files with functioning ones if any corruption is detected.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

After the SFC scan completes, you’ll see a message indicating if it found any problems needing fixing. If no issues are found, you’ll receive a message stating, “Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.” If any corrupted configuration files are detected, they will be automatically repaired.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Step 4: Run a DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scan after completing the SFC scan.

DISM scans for corruption and repairs issues with the operating system. It also scans the recovery and boot sectors for corruption and restores file resiliency if any corruption is found.

To perform a DISM scan on your PC, execute the following commands one at a time in Command Prompt:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

The DISM scan might take time. Restart your PC after completing both scans to see if it helps fix your issues.

6. Use System Restore

There is a chance that you might be encountering issues on your PC because you accidentally changed system settings or installed an unstable app. However, you can reverse such changes and fix most problems by performing a System Restore.

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Note that you can’t use this method if System Restore is not enabled on your PC. To enable System Restore, check our guide on using System Restore on Windows 11.

Here’s how you can perform a System Restore on your Windows 11 PC:

Step 1: Click the Windows Search icon on the Taskbar and type “Create a restore point”. Then, select Open.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Step 2: In a System Properties window, click on System Restore.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Step 3: Click Next to restore the system.

6 Best Ways to Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete Not Working on Windows 11

Step 4: Choose a restore point. If necessary, scan for affected programs to view changes made prior to creating the restore point. Then, proceed by clicking Next. Step 5: Confirm the restore point you wish to use. Once verified, click Finish to start the automated restoration process.

Fix Ctrl-Alt-Delete on Windows 11

The solutions mentioned above will help you fix the Ctrl-Alt-Delete shortcut on your Windows 11 computer. You can use it to access the Task Manager instantly, switch user accounts, lock your PC, and more.

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