Several Windows 10 users have reported being unable to use ALT codes for no apparent reason. While some people experience issues with a variety of Alt Codes, others are unable to utilize them at all. In most circumstances, regardless of the alt code that is entered, the output is the same character. The emergence of this issue appears to be rapid in most cases, and it began without apparent cause. As it turns out, the problem is limited to Windows 10, as there have been no reports of the problem in previous Windows versions.
What is causing ALT Codes to stop working on Windows 10
We looked into this by looking at a variety of user reports and examining the most common remedies that affected users had used to resolve the problem. As it turns out, this particular issue can arise from a variety of sources. Here’s a rundown of possible causes for the ALT codes problem:
- Mouse keys don’t work when NumLock is On – One of the most typical reasons of this problem is when the use of mouse keys is restricted while NumLock is enabled. If this case applies, you can fix the problem by modifying the default behavior such that the mouse keys are active when the Numlock key is pressed.
- The entry of Unicode is not enabled via Registry Editor— It’s possible that a certain key in your Registry prevents Unicode characters from being added using Alt keys. In this scenario, the problem can be solved by adding an additional string value to the Input Method key.
- 3rd party interference — It turns out that certain Voice over IP programs is known to produce this behavior. Mumble and Discord are two apps that have been linked to this problem. Several individuals who encountered this issue while using one of these applications noted that the problem was only cured after they completely removed them.
- Special Char registry is corrupted – In rare cases, this issue can also be caused by inconsistency with the register that keeps track of all ALT characters. If this situation applies, you should be able to solve the problem by adding special characters to the Character Map. You can also look into third-party options like Sharpkeys or Keytweak.
If you’re looking for a solution to this error message, this page will direct you to several different troubleshooting tutorials that may be able to assist you. Below, you’ll find a list of possible solutions that other users in a similar scenario have used to effectively resolve the problem.
We recommend that you follow the steps below in the order that they are offered for the greatest results (we ordered them by efficiency and severity). Eventually, you’ll come across a potential solution that will allow you to resolve the problem, regardless of the source of the problem.
So, let’s get started!
Method 1: Enabling Mouse Keys when Numlock is ON
If you’re only getting this error when using the Numpad to enter ALT codes, it’s almost always because you need to enable a Mouse option from the Ease of Access menu.
Several Windows users who were having the same issue as us stated that the problem was totally cured after they went to the Mouse tab of the Ease of Access menu and activated the ‘Use Mouse Keys when Numlock is On’ option.
But if you’re still having problems with the conventional numerical keys, this option won’t help.
If you believe this approach may apply to you, take the steps below to access your Ease of Access settings and make the necessary changes:
1. To launch the Run dialog box, press Window + R. To open the Mouse tab of the Ease of Access menu, type ‘ms-settings:easeofaccess-mouse‘ and hit Enter.
2. Move over to the right-hand part of the screen and enable the toggle linked with Turn on Mouse Keys to use the numeric keypad to move the mouse pointer‘ once you’ve arrived at the correct option.
3. After you’ve done that, you’ll notice a few more options appear. Ignore the rest and only check that the Only use Mouse Keys when Num Lock is on is turned on.
4. After enabling the option above, restart your computer and try using ALT codes again to see whether the problem is addressed at the next system startup.
If the problem persists, proceed to the next method listed below.
Method 2: Enabling Entry of all Unicode characters via Regedit
If method one didn’t work, make sure all Unicode characters can be entered by code. This can be done by using Registry Editor to add a string value to the Input Method key.
You will be able to insert any ALT character by holding down the Alt key, pressing the numeric keypad, then typing the hex code after completing this adjustment. Several impacted customers have confirmed that using this procedure fixed the ALT key’s functionality on Windows 10.
Here’s a simple instruction to utilizing the Registry Editor to enable the entry of all Unicode characters:
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1. To launch the Run dialog box, press Windows key + R. Then, in the text box, type “regedit” and click Enter to launch Registry Editor. When the UAC (User Account Control) prompts you, select Yes to provide admin capabilities.
2. Once entering the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location using the left-hand pane:
Note: You can also paste the address directly into the navigation bar and hit Enter to go there right away.
3. Then, from the left-hand pane, right-click on Input Method and select New > String value.
4. EnableHexNumpad is the name of the newly formed string value. Then, from the right-hand side pane, double-click on it and change the Value data to 1 before clicking OK.
5. To make the changes take effect, close Registry Editor, restart your computer and wait for the next startup to complete.
6. Hold down the Alt key and press the + button to enter a character (on the numeric keypad). To add the character, input the hex code and then release the Alt key.
If you’re still having trouble using ALT characters, try the next approach down below.
Method 3: Uninstall interfering application (if applicable)
As it turns out, there are a number of applications that have the ability to disable the use of the Alt keys. This is due to the fact that they are maintained open for exclusive use. The ALT key is typically used to enable or disable the push-to-talk capability, effectively preventing the use of ALT characters.
Mumble is the most widely reported voice-over-IP app that causes this problem, but there are likely to be others.
Several Windows 10 customers who were in a similar situation were able to cure the problem by just removing the app that was creating the problem.
Here’s how to uninstall the application that’s creating the issue step by step:
1. To launch the Run dialog box, press Windows key + R. Then, in the text box, type “appwiz.cpl” and click Enter to bring up the Programs and Features menu.
2. Scroll down the list of installed applications in the Programs and Features menu until you find the app that is causing the interference. When you find it, right-click it and select Uninstall from the context menu that appears.
3. Complete the removal by following the on-screen prompts, then restart your computer to check if the problem is addressed at the next system starting.
Method 4: Adding ALT characters using the Character Map
If none of the other techniques worked, you should be able to use ALT characters by utilizing the Character Map, although this is a time-consuming process. Several Windows users who were unable to use the ALT characters in the traditional way have stated that they were able to completely avoid the problem by using the Character Map.
Here’s a simple instruction to utilizing the Character Map to add ALT characters:
1. To launch the Run dialog box, press Windows key + R. To open the Character map, type ‘charmap’ and hit Enter.
2. Simply scroll through the available typefaces and click on a specific character that you wish to enter once you’re within the Character Map.
3. Then, to copy it to your clipboard, click the Select button.
Note: In the bottom-right corner of the screen, the Keystroke is also displayed. Use this to double-check that you typed the correct number combination.
4. To paste the special character you copied in step 3, use Right-click > Paste or Ctrl + V.
If you don’t like this approach, scroll down to the following method to see some 3rd-party alternatives.
Method 5: Using 3rd party alternatives
If none of the solutions above have restored the Alt keys’ regular functionality, you might wish to investigate a third-party solution. Several impacted customers have stated that utilizing 3rd party tools such as Sharpkeys, they were eventually able to use the ALT keys efficiently.
These third-party solutions will make it much easier to change and remap keys than if you did it manually and got lost in the official documentation.
The right control key is commonly mapped to the left ALT key with these tools to minimize any interference caused by other functionality allocated to the same key.
If you’ve any queries, check this video:
That’s about it.