Fix for Faded Keyboard Keys

Published

Faded keyboard keys are annoyance, even for people who can touch type. Here’s an easy fix.

I don’t know why, but I’ve had trouble with letters rubbing off or fading off the keyboard keys on every keyboard I’ve purchase in the last 5 or 6 years.

keyboard key with letter rubbed off

Although I taught myself to touch type many, many years ago, I still look at the keyboard occasionally to type. I’m more likely to do that when I have to type something that has a combination of letters and numbers, (like passwords or addresses), or if I have to type with one hand, or when I’m simultaneously listening to someone on the phone while I’m trying to type.

And, while I can touch- type letters without looking at the keyboard, as soon as I have to look at a keyboard to type, I have trouble finding the right keys to press if the letter names are missing – especially if several keys next to each other are blank.

For instance, if all the letters had rubbed off the keys in the middle row of letters, and I looked at the keyboard to type the word, “fads,” I would have trouble typing the word correctly. For me, at least, there seems to be a difference between muscle memory (i.e., being able to touch-type) and visual memory of where each letter key is located.

A friend of mine suggested using something to paint the letters back in place, and then covering the paint with nail polish remover. But, being clumsy and not very good at drawing anything, I didn’t want to do that.

So this year, when the letters started fading and getting rubbed off of the most recent keyboard I had purchased, I looked on Amazon and, sure enough, there is a cheap and easy fix: Keyboard letter stickers.

They are easy to attach to the keys and, as this “after” photo shows, they blend in pretty well with the look of a desktop keyboard. (For some reason I’ve never had the problem on my laptops.)

keyboard letter i replaced with keyboard sticker plus arrows pointing to other letter keys that had stickers added

And if you look closely at those photos, you’ll see that I had had to use the stickers on several keys before the i key faded.

While I’m pleased that I could fix the rubbed off letter inexpensively, I do wish keyboard manufacturers would make keyboards so that the letters don’t rub off or fade off the keys.   

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