CTRL A has stopped working in all programs


I have noticed that the CTRL A keyboard shortcut has stopped working in all programs. I checked in word and it still has CTRL A listed as the shortcut for 'Select All". Any suggestions to help me fix this?

Thank you :p

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Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I suppose the first question should be do the other CTRL + key combinations still work? The a key still works normally?

Do you use any utilities to modify or assign keystrokes, like a micro?

You might check the see if you have sticky keys enabled under ease of use.

Is this a desk top computer where you can try another keyboard? If not, turn the laptop upside down and gently tap.

Hi, thank you for your reply.

All other CTRL + ___ combinations work; the 'a' key works fine.

I check and sticky keys wasn't enabled. I tried with it enabled and still didn't work.

It's a laptop, HP Pavillion dv 6 Notebook - tipped it upside down and tapped, no joy.

"Do you use any utilities to modify or assign keystrokes, like a micro?" - I don't know what this mean, so I guess I don't? I've never modified short cut keys, except occassionally adding a shortcut in word.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Try using the onscreen keyboard to see if it exhibits the same behavior.

Do you have 2 CTRL keys and both work the same?

Does your laptop have special keys that you can alter?

Do you use a language modifier or anything concerning a special language?

Does the tool bar sequence you mentioned select all? (Alt E A)

I do not know of a normal way to change the built-in shortcuts or a way to change them back. So for now all I can recommend is to try a system file check. Maybe something has gotten corrupted in your install.

So open an administrative command window (type CMD in the Start Menu search box then CTRL+Shift Enter)

Type the following and hit enter after.

sfc /scannow

wait for it to finish and make note or any messages. Close the window.

The onscreen keyboard behaves the same - every other CTRL + ____ works, except CTRL A.
Both CTRL keys are working the same.
There are no special keys that I know of, ditto the language modifier.
I didn't mention a tool bar sequence, but I tried ALT E A and it carried out the ALT E command in all programs.
The Systems File Check came back 'did not find any integrity violations'

I've had this computer for 7 months, with Windows 7 the whole time. The only unusual activity lately has been me using Internet Explorer to access live radio commentary for the world cup from NZ national sports radio - a safe website. I've always used Firefox on this computer but was too impatient to download a plugin required for Firefox to play the radio that IE has built in.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Did you try the onscreen keyboard? Do you have an external keyboard you could try?

Would you have any reason to suspect the keyboard connector might have come loose?

If you think you might know about when the problem started, have you tried a restore back before that time?

As I mentioned, I do not know what might interfere with the basic keyboard shortcut, but I will keep looking to see if I can find something?

Hi Saltgrass,

I did try the onscreen keyboard and it behaved the same as the normal keyboard. I do not have an external one to try out.

I'm afraid I don't know enough about computer hardware to understand your keyboard connector suggestion.

This started in the last few weeks. In that time I've travelled a bit on holiday - with my laptop with me as carry on. I've also tried using IE whilst on holiday. I'm a high school teacher, and so use the CTRL A function regularly when preparing and differentiating resources - noticed it wasn't working when I returned from my holiday. I don't know how to restore to before that time, and also what I might lose in doing that restore.

I truly appreciate your efforts. While this isn't exactly a 'throw the computer away in disgust' problem, it is inconvienant for my work and annoying in that I can fix it - I'm someone who likes to figure things out for herself!!!

Thank you!!!


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

Do you by chance have a System Restore Point that is from the period before the problem started?
If you do it wouldn't hurt to try restoring to that point and seeing if that helps.

I'm not a Laptop user but there must be some kind of driver that you could update for the keyboard and see if that resets the configuration to the way it was to start with.


Check out this link, it appears that this is not an uncommon problem.


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