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When I built my super fast workstation computer in October, I got it a clean new keyboard that matched the rest of my arsenal of electronic products adorned with the logo of Redmond, Washington’s finest company. It was a Microsoft Wired Keyboard 200: a classic—dare I say iconic—keyboard, the type that features 104 keys that are predictably and ergonomically laid out and has three LEDs to indicate the status of number lock, caps lock, and scroll lock. The cost was also nominal: less than $13 on eBay. In other words, this was a virtually perfect keyboard. Except…
The keyboard seemed to randomly disconnect and reconnect throughout the day without rhyme or reason. And it was driving me bonkers.
I also could not figure out a solution until now (five months later). But a few days after implementing it, I can confirm that the solution definitely works. Thus, this blog post: because from Bing and Google searches I know that many other people have had this problem, and yet there doesn’t appear to be one good article out there with this fix—not even by Microsoft Support!
Below are the symptoms my Microsoft Wired Keyboard 200 exhibited in Windows 8.1. Immediately following the symptoms section are step-by-step instructions on how to remedy them.
- The number lock LED turns off after a few seconds of not typing. It turns back on after resuming typing.
- Sometimes in the midst of typing a word, Windows makes a USB device disconnected sound and for a moment does not register keyboard input.
- Holding down the Shift or Ctrl key seems to initiate the second symptom above sometimes—but not reliably.
The third symptom suggested that maybe Windows Sticky Keys was the culprit. But I turned off Sticky Keys and still had the problem.
It turned out the first symptom was the best indicator of the real underlying problem.
The problem is that the computer shuts off the keyboard in order to save power. It does this because of a default setting.
The solution, then, is to turn off that setting. Here are the steps to do so.
Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8 (also same basic concept works for Windows 7)
- Go to Control Panel → Hardware and Sound → Devices and Printers. Right-click on USB Keyboard and select Properties.
I have confirmed in February 2016 on my own computer that the instructions above work in Windows 10.
If the instructions above do not work for you in Windows 10, try the following solution was provided by Bibi of Germany:
For Windows 10 users, [the above method for Windows 8] doesn’t work because the box is unchecked and grey.
Instead, go to Device Manager -> Human Interface Devices and you can find your USB devices and the power management tab. There you will find the box “allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.”
That’s it; the problem is now solved. And do not worry about energy consumption of the Microsoft Wired Keyboard 200 with this setting off, as the green number lock LED most likely does not consume even half a watt of energy.
Please leave a comment if this solution worked or did not work for you.
For Other USB Devices that Disconnect
If other USB devices seem to randomly disconnect in the manner that the Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 200 does, you can follow the following procedure. It works for all versions of Windows.
- Access Power Options (e.g., by typing ‘Power Options’ in the search bar in the start menu, or via Control Panel)
- Click on ‘Change power plan settings’ on the power plan that is being used (has a bullet ticked)
- Click change ‘Advanced power settings’
- In popup box, double click on USB settings and on USB selective suspend, then click on ‘Enabled’ and change to ‘Disabled.’
Thanks to BeerCanDave for leaving this solution in the comments.