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Why are My WASD and Arrow keys Switched?

A weird problem is being encountered by many Windows users, in which the W, A, S, and D keys, which are sometimes used in navigation purposes, W S A and D keys are switched with the arrow keys.

Which cause problems during typing, gaming or other activities. While typing, if you hit the WASD keys, and they are swapped with the arrow keys, you will end up typing wrong and will be a wastage of time and energy.

Similarly, if you are using the arrow keys in gaming, and they start working as the WASD keys, you are in deep trouble, and maybe anguish too. Thus, this issue needs to be resolved and we have a complete, explained guide to help you do so.

Why My WASD And Arrow Keys Switched?

This issue is not limited or native to any particular version of windows, rather, can be encountered on any version. Based on the reports and complaints from many users, the factors responsible for the swapping of WASD and navigation keys (arrow keys). The reason can be either of the follows.

  1. The keyboard might not support USB 3.0
  2. If you are using an older keyboard that does not support USB 3.0, that might be the problem. Try plugging the Keyboard USB into the USB port 2.0.

  3. Alternate keys might be enabled
  4. There are chances that the keyboard is designed with the 'alternate keys' option, this may be the reason behind the WASD and arrow keys switched. Check your keyboard manual or look up the web to see if the keyboard has the alternate key feature.

6 Ways to Fix WASD and Arrow Keys Swapped Issues

Swapping of the WASD and Navigation keys might be an issue at hand, but nothing that cannot be solved by you yourself, with some proper guidance.

Disconnect and Reconnect the Keyboard

Unplug the keyboard cable from your CPU and plug it again, make sure you're plugging the cable into a properly supported USB port, in Port 3.0 if the keyboard supports it, or else, in Port 2.0. Sometimes, disconnecting and reconnecting the keyboard resolved many minor issues.

Thus, chances are that this issue will be resolved too. You can also try plugging the cable into a different port. This way, you can install and configure keyboard drivers for another port. This way, if your keyboard does not support USB 3.0, the issue will also be resolved.

Disable The Alternate Key Settings

Your keyboard may have alternate key settings which you might have enabled unknowingly. While you apply the alternate key settings, there are no pop-ups or notifications, they simply get turned on.

This might have happened when you accidentally pressed the relevant key combinations and now your keys are swapped. Look out for the user manual of the keyboard and depending upon it, disable the alternate key settings and your keys will start functioning normally again.

The common key combinations that activate or deactivate the alternate keys are.

  • Fn+W
  • Fn+Windows
  • Fn+E (hold it for 5 seconds or more)
  • Fn+Esc
  • Fn+Left navigation key

Update Keyboard Driver

If the keyboard drivers have outdated, they can be quite messy and create WASD switched issues. In this case, updating the keyboard drivers to the latest version can help resolve this matter.

To update the keyboard driver-

  • Search for 'Device Manager' in the 'Windows search option'.
  • The 'Device Manager' window opens.
  • Locate the 'Keyboard' option.
  • Right-click and select 'Update Driver'.

This method of updating the keyboard is helpful if your keyboard uses a dedicated driver, keyboards with generic drivers may not support this method.

Use Windows Troubleshooter Options

Windows 10 supports troubleshooters for working with your peripherals. To find why the WASD and arrow keys are switched, even after failing after the above-mentioned methods, you can use the keyboard troubleshooter for clearing up the issues.

  • Go to settings and look for Update and Security.
  • Select option 'Additional Troubleshooters' in the Troubleshootoption in the left panel.
  • Pick a keyboard troubleshooter and click 'Run troubleshooter'.
  • Follow the steps on the screen.
  • Wait until the whole process is completed. If there had been an issue with the functioning of the keyboard, you will find that it is sorted.

Remap the Arrow keys using AutoHotkey

If you are unable to resolve the WASD not working issue using above mentioned methods, you have one option left, which is using a HotKey utility. You have to download the AutoHotKey utility and use it to run a script every time the system starts up.

This is one effective method that can be used to resolve the issue efficiently. To download AutoHotKey, follow the steps below.

  • Look up the web for ‘AutoHotKey’ and visit the official website.
  • Click on ‘Download AutoHotKey Installer’ to start the download.
  • After the download is completed, follow the screen prompts to install the AutoHotKey on your computer.
  • Click on Express Installation if you desire to speed up the process.
  • Once the installation is complete, click “Exit”.
  • On your desktop, right-click and click on ‘New’.
  • Select ‘AutoHotKey Script’ from the list.
  • Name the new script, it can be anything or any combination of words.
  • Right-click the script and click ‘Edit’.
  • Into the newly created document, paste the code mentioned below-
  • a::left

    s::down

    d::right

    w::up

    q::Numpad0

    c::a

    XButton1::alt

    ~capslock::Suspend

    ~capslockUP::Suspend

    `::Suspend

    ^!z::WinSet, Style, -0xC40000, a

    WinMove, a, , 0, 0, % A_ScreenWidth, % A_ScreenHeight

  • Save the code.
  • Double click on the script to run it.
  • Run this code every time you start up the system, to avoid any switching of keys again.

Fix Browser Issue

In many cases, it has been noticed that the switching of keys occurs in ‘Google Chrome’, making this issue elusively browser-specific. In this case, the browser needs to be troubleshot.

  1. Launch Google Chrome and click on the three dots below the ‘Close’ option.
  2. The Chrome menu appears.
  3. Click on ‘New Incognito Window ’.
  4. A private window for chrome opens.
  5. Open the game you were facing the key switching issues with and start playing to see if the problem persists.
  6. If the problem is gone, then the actual issue might be with some extension on your browser.
  7. Go to ‘More Tools’ in the Chrome menu.
  8. In More Tools, go to ‘Extensions’ and disable all extensions.
  9. Try playing the game now.
  10. If everything is working normally now, then try enabling the extensions one by one.
  11. This way, check which of the extensions is the one causing havoc and uninstall it.

If none of these ways are working in the favor of solving this issue, there might be some drive that has gotten corrupted or some other issue. The best way to fix the switching of WASD and Arrow keys is to restore the system to an earlier point when the issue was absent.

Restoring the system will get you rid of any corruptions and optimize the system for higher performance. You can follow the instructions depending on your version of windows and choose to restore it to an earlier point in time.

FAQs

How to change arrow keys to WASD On Mac?

To switch WASD and Arrow Keys, you can follow either of the options mentioned below-

  1. Enable alternate keys
  2. Enable alternate keys by pressing one of the following key combinations- Fn+W/ Fn+Windows/ Fn+E (hold it for 5 seconds or more)/ Fn+Esc/ Fn+Left navigation key)

    or

  3. Use AutoHotKey to run a script.
  4. Use AutoHotKey and lookup for a code to swap WASD and Arrow Keys, paste the code in the code editor of AutoHotKey, then run the code.

How do I fix WASD keys not working?

If your WASD keys are not working, you can try any of the following methods-

  1. Disconnect and reconnect the keyboard cable.
  2. Disable the alternate keys.
  3. Update the Keyboard Driver
  4. Use Windows Troubleshoot options
  5. Remap the Arrow keys using AutoHotkey
  6. Fix Any browser Issues
  7. Restore the system.

Depending on what has actually happened to the WASD keys, choose the appropriate operation from above and your WASD key issues will be fixed.

How to switch WASD and arrow keys in Redragon Keyboard?

To switch WASD and Arrow keys in the Redragon keyboard, you can enable alternate keys by pressing the Fn+W keys. Pressing these keys will enable the alternate keys and switch the WASD and Arrow keys. You can also disable the alternate keys with the same key combinations.

Conclusion

The swapping of WASD and Arrow keys is a weird issue, but not something that cannot be fixed. It might be just an internal issue that can be fixed with some settings and on your own.

The issue of this happening has mostly been reported to have happened on Windows, but can also sometimes happen on other Operating Systems, due to some glitch or by mistake.

You can still resolve the issue on your own without running to an expert or a mechanic or software specialist.

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