How to Remove Mechanical Keyboard Keys

how to remove your keyboard keys on switch and click

Question and Answer

Hey, guys. I wanted to learn how to take off the keys on my mechanical keyboard. It’s been a long time since I first got it, and now it’s probably dirty under there. I wanted to take them off to clean them. Is there an easy way I can do it? Do I need any equipment or tools to remove the keys from my mechanical keyboard?

The easy answer is to use a keycap puller, such as this one. Another option is to make a DIY keycap puller yourself out of household or office supplies such as a paper clip or clothespin. We’ll go over how to make your own keycap puller.

Why Would You Remove Your Mechanical Keyboard Keys?

Your desk probably isn’t dust-proof. Maybe it is. Even on the cleanest of desks and the best of rooms, mechanical keyboards can accumulate dust or hair underneath the keycaps. Removing the keycaps also lets you access your stabilizers and your switches.

If you’re interested in modding your stabilizers to make it more quiet (and other techniques to make your keyboard more quiet).

Make sure you refer to the Top 5 Mistakes When Modding Your Stabilizers if you’re going to be doing that. We made all the mistakes.

You might have spilled soda on your keyboard and now you need to take apart your keycaps to clean your keycaps and your keyboard. Perhaps a specific key isn’t working, and you’re trying to diagnose why. Well, it’s super easy if you have the right tools.

Keycap Pullers: DIY and Store-bought

Store-bought Keycap Pullers

Keycap puller
WASD Keycap Puller

Many mechanical keyboards come with a keycap puller. Some keyboards that come with that is the Anne Pro 2, Keychron K1, Drop CTRL, and more. Almost every mechanical keyboard we have bought have a keycap puller (not Razer though).

There are many options for cheap keycap pullers on Amazon. If you have Prime membership, getting free shipping on these would be a deal.

If you do not have Amazon Prime or access to buying a keycap puller, you can also make it yourself.

With a keycap puller, just put the wire prongs underneath the edges of each key. Pull up on the key until you feel a click when it clicked off. Then take the keycap off the puller and repeat.

With the long wire pullers, you can pull 3-4 keys before having to take them out of the puller.

If you’re looking for more discrete ones, the circle keycap pullers might be a good option.

small circle keycap puller
Small keycap puller

DIY Keycap Pullers

Let’s start with the tools that you can find easily around your home without having to MacGyver anything. Look around your home. Perhaps you have a flathead screwdriver or a butter knife.

With those two tools, start with the edge keys first and slowly make your way in. Be careful and do not cut yourself. Also, keep in mind that these tools were not meant to be used for this, so they may scratch or damage your keycaps or switches if not careful.

Start slow and slowly put pressure in an upwards motion until you hear the click. After that, use your fingers or another thin tool to completely remove the keycap off. Be careful not to use a lot of pressure, or you may lose your keycaps.

Okay, now for the funky stuff. First go find yourself some paperclips. You might need more than one just in case you mess up.

A pair of pliers will also help with the formation of the keycap puller, but I’ve used my fingers before.

Using the pair of pliers, first straight out the paper clip. Now you are ready to form the paperclip to make a triangle shape (the musical instrument, not necessary with sharp corners). You can see a simple example in this YouTube video. For a keycap puller that you can reuse, look at this simple video here.

Another simple model using a paperclip and just your fingers is to open the paperclip so that one side has an L-shape. Simply pop that end into the gaps and pull up slowly until it pops off. The L might become a J in the process, but that’s okay. It’s not perfect and may need to be reformed many times before all your keys are pulled, but it’s super simple.

DIY paperclip keycap puller
L-shape of DIY Keycap puller
Pulling up keycaps using DIY paperclip
Pulling up keycaps using the DIY paperclip

What About Macbook or Laptop Keycaps?

Do this at your own discretion, but you can use a butter knife or flathead screwdriver as well. Other tools are toothpicks or tweezers. Be careful as this might damage the keycaps.

Simply stick your tool underneath and apply a slow upwards pressure. Some keys may have stabilizers to be very gentle. These keys are the larger keys such as Backspace, Enter, Shift, and the Space bar.

If you feel an unusual resistance, almost as if you’re breaking your keys or switches, stop and do some research. The specific laptop may need the keys to be removed in a certain way.


We looked at why you would want to take off your keycaps, two different options to buying keycap pullers on Amazin, different methods of making your own keycap puller from paper clips and pliers, and laptop keys too.

Hope this article helped you find what you were searching for.

How can we improve our articles moving forward? Let us know, and we’ll try our best to do it for you. As always, happy typing!

Question of the day: Have you made your own keycap pullers before, and were you satisfied with the results?

My answer: I have, and I was very happy because it was the first time, I ever removed my keycaps in a frenzy to clean my keyboard. I lost it fairly quickly and came to realize that official keycap pullers are much easier to use and are important enough for me to keep in a safe place.


Make a DIY Keycap Puller Out of Two Paper Clips

Take Keys off a Keyboard

Jake Harrington

Jake has been an avid mechanical keyboard user for the past six years. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and wants to apply his expertise to break down how mechanical keyboards work and show the world all of the cool aspects of the mechanical keyboard hobby.

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