As long as the keyboard still works, you can find a way to mark those keys again. This guide is about replacing worn off keyboard letters.
Black keyboard: Silver Sharpies. It's not as neat as the stickers, but cheap. Silver Sharpies are great for writing on black surfaces (putting kids names on stuff, etc.)
Does anyone have a suggestion for replacing the letters on the keyboard? The most used ones which in my case are a, s, d, e, r, and t are almost completely gone.
By glo from Rockford, IL
Use white nail polish (like the type used for French Manicures) and a fine tip artists toothbrush to repaint the lettering. It wouldn't hurt to brush a little clear coat over it once lettering has dried for some extra protection. ;-)
What about some small peel and stick letters? Then when they wear down, you can peel them off and put on new ones or just put new ones on top of the old stickers. I wouldn't try paint.
Well, this problem is NOT just a Dell problem! I bought my first PC in 2/2004. It was an eMachine! The keyboard was tan & I never had a problem with the keys wearing off! I bought a Microsoft keyboard approximately 2.5 yrs ago. The letters started wearing off, so, I later bought a Logitech.....same problem.
Last year I bought an HP desktop & the keyboard started to wear off. I did get hold of them & they sent me a new one......it started wearing off, too! Then In Dec. 2010, I bought an HP laptop & it did the same thing! I was told to send it in & HP replaced the keyboard last week!
Now I am wondering how long before this one starts wearing off! So, it's not just a Dell problem! They are making everything cheaper, now, & we are made to pay for it! That being said, HP has great customer service! when I got my laptop back last week, I called & told them nothing was done about the battery that lost it's charge in 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I am to receive a new one later today!
paint keyboard with clear varnish
That's what happens when these profit seeking companies use cheap parts from CHINA !
I was just wondering if anyone has the same problem as I do. Some of the letters on my keyboard have been rubbed off. I have tired to mark some of them with Wite Out and they just rubbed back off. It is mostly the keys on the right hand side of the keyboard that have been rubbed off.
By Mary from Mendenhall, MS
I have this problem too, but mine is mainly on the left side. I think it is my fingernails. I would have to cut my nails a couple times a week in order to keep them short enough not to bother the letters on the keyboard. I would like to find a keyboard where the letters are slightly indented. I would think that would eliminate the problem.
There really isn't much you can do. It's just from constant use of the keyboard. You can try putting little stickers with the certain letter on the keys that are completely rubbed off.
I also have the same problem. I live with it until I can't live with it any more then I go buy a new key board. Usually they cost 10 bucks.
I bought a white paint pen and clear nail polish. I wrote the letter back on the key -- odd but visible -- that lasted longer than without the coat of clear polish
The letters on my brand new Dell keyboard are wearing off. Anyone have an idea of how to stop this? I tried clear nail polish.
Linda J from NY
Contact Dell computers and have them replace your keyboard because the letters should not be wearing off. (10/04/2008)
I tried they said they are not responsible for the letters wearing off. (10/04/2008)
I had the same problem and I emailed Dell and they mailed me a new keyboard right away at no cost. They didn't ask when I bought my computer and I didn't have to return my old keyboard. I was very happy! (10/04/2008)
This happens to a lot of coated plastics over time, and to most keyboards if you use them enough. Seems like it happened a little quick to yours though. Is it possible you are accidentally putting some sort of chemical on the keys? A cleaning agent, or even a hand lotion that might be wearing them down faster than normal? (10/04/2008)
I'm not using any chemicals at all. I have a Logitech and a Microsoft keyboard that are a lot older and the letters are fine. It's just the Dell, maybe it's because it's a black keyboard.
I ordered the computer on July 8, 2008 and received it about 10 days later.
I'll give them another call and see if they'll send me another keyboard. Is there anything that will prevent the letters from coming off the new one? (10/05/2008)
If you got it after July of this year then that is way too soon for the letters to be wearing off. I would call, email, and write to Dell. Be polite, but firm and also keep track of who and when you talk to someone. If the person that you talk to says no then ask to speak to their supervisor. I would also contact some consumer groups as mentioned below.
If that route fails there are apparently decals you can buy to put on the keyboard as well as clear cover that go over the whole keyboard.
You could print out a cheat sheet of where the keys are on the keyboard to help you in the meantime.
Of course no eating at the computer, no hand lotion and toweling off your hands occasionally might help prevent faster wear. Also you might change your passwords (which you should do anyway) so the same keys aren't being used as the ones that wore off first.
I still think that that is much too soon for them to have worn off in the first place.
Good luck to you. (10/05/2008)
I own a Dell laptop purchased brand new in 2003 and not one letter or partial letter has started to wear off. I use it every day. There is seriously something wrong with the letters coming off your keyboard after only a few months.
The decal/paint Dell used has to be defective. Call them, aren't you still under warranty? Even if you're not, don't take no for an answer.
Good luck and keep us posted!
Paint on a couple of coats of polyurethane to get you through the short run. However, definitely contact Dell and they should replace it for free if you are persistent. Good luck. (10/06/2008)
I bought a el-cheapo keyboard from the local discount store (Rose's). I paid $5 for a keyboard and a wrist pad to go under my mousepad. I intended on just using it until I could get something better, but a year later and it's still working great and all the letters are still legible. Sometimes the quality is not in the name! Don't remember what "brand" it is, but they still carry the same set, only I think it's $6 now. (10/06/2008)
I don't have a Dell keyboard. But when my letters wore off, I used white nail polish to paint the letters on the keys. I figured that eventually that would wear off too. But, to my surprise it never did. And the letters I made are bigger and easier to read. (10/07/2008)
White nail polish and polyurethane, think I have both. Jacks has a wireless keyboard and mouse for $19.95. Better deal than $19.95 for letters to paste on. I will call Dell again. (10/07/2008)
I took your excellent advice and called Dell again. This customer service rep agreed the keyboard was defective and sent me a new one. What I learned from this experience:
If you get a bad answer from a customer service rep, call back and try another. (02/14/2009)
A solution I found for worn off keys is to put replacement stickers on the keyboard. I found some at:
The stickers are good quality with a non-glare matte finish. I especially liked the free shipping.
I've seen some of the cheap sticker sets that are printed on thin vinyl that won't last very long. As they say, you get what you pay for.
It's so much easier to put the stickers on than having to return or replace the keyboard. (11/10/2010)