Are you experiencing issues with your ESC key not working on your Mac or Windows 11/10 system?

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Common Uses for the Escape Key

Computer keyboard with a highlighted ESC key

The Escape key on both Mac and Windows systems has several common uses that can come in handy during various tasks.

One of the most frequent uses of the Escape key is to cancel or close dialog boxes that may pop up while using different applications or software. When encountering a dialog box that you want to dismiss, simply press the Escape key to close it quickly.

Additionally, the Escape key can be used to exit full-screen mode in applications or browsers with just a simple press. This can be helpful when you want to return to the normal view of a program or webpage.

Moreover, the Escape key can also be used to stop or interrupt a command that is currently running on your system. Pressing Escape can help halt a process that you no longer want to continue.

Alternate Methods to Quit Apps and Processes

  • Using Task Manager on Windows:
    • Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc
    • Select the App or Process you want to quit
    • Click on End Task button
  • Using Activity Monitor on Mac:
    • Open Activity Monitor by searching for it in Spotlight or going to Applications > Utilities
    • Select the App or Process you want to quit
    • Click on the X button in the top left corner of the window

Solutions for Non-Responsive Escape Key

ESC key on a keyboard

If the ESC key on your Mac or Windows 11/10 is not working, there are several solutions you can try to troubleshoot the issue.

First, check if the issue is with the physical keyboard by testing the ESC key on a different keyboard or using a virtual keyboard on your operating system.

If the ESC key works with a different keyboard, the issue may lie with your original keyboard and you may need to replace it.

Next, try rebooting your computer in safe mode to see if the ESC key functions properly. This can help determine if a software conflict is causing the problem.

If the ESC key works in safe mode, try updating your operating system and application software to the latest versions.

Additionally, you can try resetting your keyboard settings or checking for any software bugs that may be affecting the ESC key functionality.

Updating Systems and Apps

To troubleshoot why your ESC key is not working on Mac and Windows 11/10, one of the first steps you can take is to update your operating system and applications. Outdated software can sometimes cause keyboard issues, so it’s important to ensure you have the latest updates installed.

On MacOS, you can check for updates by clicking on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting “System Preferences.” From there, navigate to the “Software Update” section to see if any updates are available. On Windows 11/10, you can check for updates by clicking on the Start button, then selecting “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Windows Update.”

In addition to updating your operating system, it’s also a good idea to check for updates for any applications you use frequently. Outdated apps can sometimes conflict with your keyboard settings, causing certain keys to not function properly.

By keeping your system and apps up to date, you can help ensure that your ESC key (and other keys) work correctly on both Mac and Windows 11/10.

Troubleshooting Keyboard Issues

If your ESC key is not working on Mac or Windows 11/10, you may be experiencing a keyboard-related issue. First, try cleaning the key and the area around it to remove any debris or dust that may be causing it to malfunction.

Next, restart your computer to see if that resolves the problem. Sometimes a simple reboot can fix keyboard issues. If the ESC key still isn’t working, try connecting a different keyboard to see if the problem lies with the keyboard itself.

You can also try resetting the keyboard settings on your computer. On Mac, you can do this by going to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard. On Windows, go to Settings > Devices > Typing.


How do I fix my Esc key not working?

To fix your Esc key not working, you can try the following solutions:
1. Press Shift and Escape
2. Turn off Filter Keys
3. Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter
4. Check for viruses
5. Update the keyboard driver
6. Perform a keyboard test.

Why isn’t my Esc key working on Mac?

The Esc key on your Mac may not be working due to a glitch or software issue. Try restarting your system to refresh the macOS, which could potentially resolve the problem. This can be done by going to the Apple menu and selecting the “Restart” option. After the system reboots, check to see if the Esc key is functioning properly.

What is the alternative key for Esc?

The alternative key for Esc is typically Ctrl-c on many modern keyboards.

How to fix Esc key not working in excel?

To fix the Esc key not working in Excel, you can try restarting your computer, checking if the Esc key is physically stuck, verifying keyboard settings in the OS control panel, and testing the key in a different software to see if it works.

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