Maybe you dropped your keyboard and one of the larger keys fell off and you’re not sure how to put it back on. Or perhaps you removed your keycaps to do some deep cleaning, only to realize you didn’t know how tricky it was to put them back on.
In this post we’ll go over how to install your larger keys and make sure the stabilizers and keys are put in correctly.
Depending on your mechanical keyboard model, the spacebar and larger keys can be difficult to install. Keyboards such as the Razer Blackwidow have Cherry MX stabilizers that have extra components and are require more work to install the keycaps back on.
Here are the steps for this style of stabilizer:
- Unplug your keyboard
- Install the plastic stabilizer clips into the keyboard plate. This will require the side with the hook to be pressed in first, then the other side can be pressed in. Make sure these are facing the correct direction, or else the key will be installed backwards.
- The stabilizer spring (metal bar) will need to be pressed into the back of both plastic stabilizer clips. This will require a little bit of force to press into the clips.
- Double check the keycaps have two small stabilizer inserts pressed into the bottom side of the keycap. These holes will be plus-sign shaped, and the inserts will get pressed into holes on the two ends of the keycap.
- The spring stabilizer (metal bar) ends will need to be hooked into both keycap inserts. This step can be difficult and will require some patience and coordination. It’s easiest to hook one side in first, then carefully hook in the other side.
- The last step is to install the key onto the keyboard switch. Gently press the keycap until you feel the keycap slide onto the switch. Congratulations, you installed the spacebar!
Installing the larger keys, such as the spacebar, can be difficult. In the next section we will go over a more in-depth instruction with pictures of all the components and the steps for installation. If you don’t have this style of stabilizer, we will go over some of the various stabilizer types to try and help with your issue.
Shown below are all the required keyboard components and a suggested tool, the keycap puller. This will make it easier to remove keycaps from your keyboard. If any of your components are missing or broken, it’s possible to order replacement parts here.
The components are relatively cheap. If you are replacing the stabilizer spring, make sure the spring size is correct, because the spacebar spring size is different from the other keys. All the other keys will require the same size stabilizer spring, 2x. Just keep in mind the spacebar spring will be different. The other components such as the inserts and clips will be the same for every key, regardless of the size.
If you’re unfamiliar with what a stabilizer is, we can explain here.
1. Unplug your keyboard.
2. Remove the keycaps around the key you are trying to fix. This will give you more room to install everything. A keycap puller can make removing the keys easier.
3. Install the plastic stabilizer clips into the keyboard plate. This will require the side with the hook to be pressed in first, then the other side can be pressed in.
Make sure both clips are facing the same direction, or else the spring will not be able to be installed. Both clips need to be facing the correct direction or else the key will be installed backwards.
Generally, the spacebar stabilizers will be reversed relative to the other keys, so the spring will be on the top side of the keyboard. The other keys will have the spring located on the bottom side. The clips may already be installed into the plate, in which case you can move onto the next step.
4. The stabilizer spring (metal bar) will need to be pressed into the back of both plastic stabilizer clips. This will require a little bit of force to press into the clips.
Make sure the spring is facing the correct direction, as you want the rounded section to go around the keyboard switch or they will hit when actuating the key.
5. Double-check the keycaps have two small stabilizer inserts pressed into the bottom side of the keycap. These holes will be plus-sign shaped, and the inserts will get pressed into holes on the two ends of the keycap.
6. The spring stabilizer (metal bar) ends will need to be hooked into both keycap inserts. This step can be difficult and will require some patience and coordination. It’s easiest to hook one side in first, then carefully hook in the other side
7. The last step is to install the key onto the keyboard switch. Gently press the keycap until you feel the keycap slide onto the switch. Congratulations, you installed the spacebar!
Try pressing it a few times to make sure the key is working properly. If not, you may need to take everything apart and try again. It’s possible you installed the clips facing the wrong direction.
How do I reverse the spacebar?
Due to the feel, some people enjoy having the spacebar reversed. To do this, you will need to remove the spacebar keycap.
Then, remove the inserts underneath the spacebar. Once removed, reinstall them, but facing the opposite direction from which they were originally facing.
Typically, the inserts face towards the top end of the keyboard. So, when you reverse the clips, they will face towards the bottom of the keyboard.
Next, reverse the space bar keycap and line up with the switch and press back into place.
There you go, your space bar is now installed backwards!
What if I have a different type of stabilizer?
Typically, other types of stabilizers are much easier to replace as they do not hook into the keycaps. The other stabilizers simply need to be pressed into the plate/PCB and then the keycap just gets installed directly onto the stabilizer and switch. You can read more about the different stabilizer types here.
These types of stabilizers work much differently as they do not require the stabilizer bar, and in general are easiest to repair and do modifications on.
What if my spacebar still isn’t working?
If your spacebar is stuck, there are several problems that can cause this issue, including:
1. Switch is sticky and damaged.
If you run into a stuck switch, we recommend removing the keycap and dropping a little bit of rubbing alcohol onto the switch housing and then pressing the key a few times. After the key loosens up, wipe up the excess alcohol and let dry for a few hours. The switch should be working properly now.
2. The stabilizer is not installed correctly.
If the stabilizer is not installed correctly the spacebar will feel rattly and unstable. Make sure all the steps were followed properly. We recommend restarting the process and testing the spacebar again to see if everything is fixed.
Typically, the most likely mistake is the stabilizer clips or the inserts are backwards. Try flipping them around and retesting.
If it still feels wrong, check the components for damage, as you may need to order a few replacement parts.
Can I mod my stabilizers?
For some stabilizer types, it’s recommended to mod them. You can band-aid, lube, and clip the stabilizers to make them quieter and give them a more stable feel.
For the stabilizers mentioned in this post, we do not recommend doing any modifications, as the improvement will be marginal at best.
In this post, we went over the steps to fix your spacebar and talked about all of the components in the stabilizer underneath the spacebar. The parts include the keycap, clips, inserts, and springs and how to install them.
We also went over some of the different stabilizer types and how to reverse your spacebar. If you’re still confused or your stabilizers are still not working, leave a comment below and we will try to help!
Thanks for reading the post. Happy typing!