Alt-Gr not working, how I fixed it

It’s really, really annoying writing PHP with a Norwegian keyboard when the Alt-Gr button doesn’t work (darn elusive dollar sign $).

It’s a fairly vague issue so even Google can have a hard time giving you the answer, anyway here’s how I hacked my way to the solution:

  1. Alt-Gr can be hampered by programs running on your computer (hotkey collisions), try closing all your applications one by one and see if the problem gets solved. See the list below.
  2. If the key is bogged down/reacting slowly/hard to press (maybe you spilled Coke or juice on it?) then try cleaning the key. It’s fairly simple, just yank the key out, blow and clean underneath it, then pop it back in. For laptops it might be a bit more difficult to open the key, but I won’t cover it in this article, Google is your friend.
  3. If the problem still persists, consider buying a new keyboard if you think it’s a goner or Google some more.

In my case the culprit was the Windows XP mode emulator on my Windows 7 OS. Despite not working in Windows XP mode I was unable to use Alt-Gr to write special characters like @$£ – only regular numbers was printed. Closed it, then boom, $$$ baby (sorry for that).

List of known programs blocking alt+gr (based on comments below):

  • Remote Desktop Connection
  • Windows XP Mode (Virtual PC)
  • EasyTune
  • VMWare vCenter
  • mRemote
  • VirtualBox
  • Ditto
  • Unknown wmp (winamp?) plugin
  • Visual Studio 2010 (an add-in perhaps?)
This entry was posted in Keyboard, Windows 7 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.