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There are many functions you can summon when using the Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence. You can press these keys simultaneously to launch Task Manager or to lock your computer. On the other hand, you can also use this keyboard shortcut to sign out or to switch to another user. Indeed, the Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence makes certain tasks on your computer a lot easier.

However, this function does not work all the time. If you find that this keyboard combination does not work, do not worry. Several Windows users have reported it. Consequently, there are also several ways to fix it.

So, why does not CTRL ALT DEL combination work on Windows 10? Well, in this article we will answer that question and discuss some solutions that other users had sworn by. If you use Windows 11, we also share solutions on how to fix Ctrl + Alt + Del sequence not working on Windows 11.

You might not even have to try all the workarounds. Work your way down the list until you discover the method that works best for you.

Method 1: Checking your Keyboard

It is possible that you are using a defective keyboard. This is why the Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence is not working. What you can do is try using a new keyboard or try connecting your existing one to another computer. This will allow you to determine whether the keyboard causes the problem.

Method 2: Updating your Keyboard Driver

In some cases, the issue is caused by an outdated or corrupted keyboard driver. To get rid of the problem, you can try updating your drivers. This can be done manually or automatically. However, we always recommend opting for the latter and using a reliable tool like Auslogics Driver Updater.

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Manually updating drivers can be complicated and time-consuming. You would have to go to the manufacturer’s website and look for the correct drivers. If you install the incorrect version, you might cause your computer more harm than good. So, why risk it when there is an easier and more accurate option?

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With a click of a button, you can enable Auslogics Driver Updater to detect your system automatically. It will search for the latest driver versions recommended by the manufacturer. What’s more, this tool is designed to repair all the problematic drivers on your computer—not just the one which might be causing the keyboard issue.

Method 3: Changing the Settings for your Keyboard

It is possible that the Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence occurred when you installed software that automatically modified your default keyboard settings. It can also show up after you’ve added some custom keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys. So, you can try resetting your keyboard settings to resolve the issue. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Press Windows Key+I on your keyboard. This should open Windows Settings.
  2. Select Time & Language.
  3. Add another language if you’re currently using only one language. You can do this by clicking the ‘Add a language’ option under Preferred Languages. Make sure you do not select the ‘Set as my Windows display language’ option. On the other hand, if you’re already using multiple languages, you can skip this step.
  4. Select your primary language. It should be the first one on the list. Click the down arrow, then the up arrow to take it back to the top of the list.
  5. Check if the Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence is now working.

On Windows 11:

  1. Launch the Settings app, navigate to the Time & Language option in the left pane and select it.

Launch the Settings app, navigate to the Time & Language option in the left pane and select it

  1. Select Language & region and then follow steps 3 through 5 that are described above.

Method 4: Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc Hotkeys

The Ctrl Alt Delete key combination comes in handy when the PC isn’t responding since it gives you access to Task Manager. However, if it fails to work in the hour of need, you can use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut to forcefully shut down any unresponsive programs that could have triggered the error.

Here’s how:

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys simultaneously, in that order.
  2. It should open with the Processes tab selected by default. Find the problematic program that you suspect caused the issue, select it, and click End task at the bottom left corner of the window.
  3. Repeat the process for all other unresponsive applications.

If for some reason you can’t access Task Manager, press, and hold the power button to initiate a hard shutdown. Possibly your Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer is infected with malicious software. If that’s the case, follow the steps in Method 5 below to remove the malware.

Method 5: Perform a Malware Scan

Viruses and malware affect systems in a way that causes certain programs and configurations to malfunction.

You can use the built-in Windows Defender security tool, which does a great job of removing viruses and malware. Here’s how:

  1. On your Taskbar, click on the Show hidden icons option and select Windows Security.
  2. Select Virus & threat protection -> Scan options.

Use the built-in Windows Defender security tool

  1. Pick an option from the choices and hit the Scan now button. Choose Microsoft Defender Antivirus (offline scan) for a more thorough scan.

Pick an option from the choices and hit the Scan now button

For more reliable results, we recommend utilizing a dedicated antimalware tool. These programs have a higher detection rate and have been known to detect and eliminate even the most notorious viruses designed to be undetectable.

Method 6: Performing an SFC Scan

In some cases, corrupted system files are causing the Ctrl+Alt+Del issue. To determine if this is the reason behind the problem, you can run an SFC (System File Checker) scan. The tool will locate and repair corrupted Windows system files. Here are the instructions for launching the program:

  1. Click the Search icon on your taskbar.
  2. Type “cmd” (no quotes).
  3. Right-click Command Prompt from the results, then select Run as Administrator. If a message appears asking for your consent, click Yes. This should allow you to launch Command Prompt.
  4. Run the commands below. Press Enter after every command and wait for the process to complete.
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth|
  • sfc /scannow
  1. Once you’ve successfully run the aforementioned commands, you can now close Command Prompt. Try pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del and check if the problem has been fixed.

Method 7: Modifying your Registry

Some users reported that third-party software automatically made some changes on their registry. So, in your case, it possibly modified the default values. You can fix this by getting the value back to its default value.

Before you proceed, you have to know that the registry is a sensitive database. This means that even a single punctuation error can damage your computer. So, you should only go ahead with the steps only when you are absolutely confident that you can follow the instructions down to the smallest detail. Otherwise, you should just ask a professional to do this for you.

Better still, be sure to backup your registry using the steps below:

  1. Launch the Run dialog box using the Win + R shortcut keys, type Regedit and hit Enter.
  2. Select Yes on the prompt.
  3. Click File -> Export.
  4. Choose where to save the registry backup, assign the file an appropriate name like RegBackup, and make sure to select All under Export range.
  5. Finally, click Save.

That said, here are the instructions for correcting the default settings on your registry:

  1. Press Windows Key+R on your keyboard. This should bring up the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “regedit” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. Navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

  1. If that path does not bring up results, you can go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies

  1. Right-click Policies, then choose New.
  2. Create a new key by selecting Key from the list. Set the name of the new key to ‘System’. If a key named ‘System’ already exists, you can skip this step.
  3. Go to the right panel, then double-click DisableTaskMgr. This will allow you to view its properties.
  4. If you can’t see DisableTaskMgr, you can right-click System. Select New, then click DWORD (32-bit) Value. Set the name of this new DWORD entry to ‘DisableTaskMgr’. Double-click it to view its properties.
  5. Make sure that the Value Data is set to 0 (zero).
  6. Restart your computer, then check if the Ctrl+Alt+Del keyboard shortcut is now working.

Method 8: Performing a Clean Boot

At this point, you might wonder, “Why does not CTRL ALT DEL combination work on Windows 10/11?” Well, don’t give up just yet. In some cases, certain startup programs and services might be causing the problem.

So, you can resolve this by performing a clean boot. This is a troubleshooting technique that allows you to manually disable the startup programs and services, enabling you to identify the problematic software. Once you properly determine what’s causing the issue, you can remove it and get the Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence to function again.

Here’s how you can perform a clean boot:

  1. Press Windows Key+R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “msconfig” (no quotes), then hit Enter. This should bring up the System Configuration window.
  3. Go to the Services tab, then make sure that the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ option is not selected.
  4. Click the Disable All button.
  5. Go to the Startup tab, then click the Open Task Manager link.
  6. Click each startup item, then click the Disable button.
  7. Go back to the System Configuration window, then click OK.
  8. Select Restart.

When your computer turns back on, try pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del and check if it is now functioning properly. If it is, you need to repeat the steps to open the System Configuration window. Enable the services and applications one by one. Make sure you restart your computer every time you activate an item. This will help you identify the software that’s causing the issue.

Method 9: Installing the Latest Updates

It is also possible that you have missing updates, preventing Ctrl+Alt-Del sequence from working properly on your PC. You can fix this by ensuring that all the latest updates are installed on your computer. You can manually check for updates by following the instructions below:

  1. Press Windows Key+I on your keyboard. This should bring up the Settings app.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. Go to the right pane, then click the Check for Updates button. Your system will automatically search for available updates. It will also download them discreetly in the background.
  4. Once you’ve downloaded the latest updates, you can check if Ctrl+Alt+Del keyboard shortcut is still malfunctioning.

If you’re using Windows 11:

  1. Bring the Settings app, scroll down to the last option, which should be Windows Update, and select it.
  2. Check if there are pending updates and download them. Otherwise, click Check for updates, and Windows will automatically download and install all available updates.

Method 10: Removing Microsoft HPC Pack

Some users reported that LogonUI.exe is somehow related with the Ctrl+Alt+Del issue. These users said that Microsoft HPC Pack probably caused the problem. So, to resolve the issue, you must uninstall Microsoft HPC Pack from your computer.

Make sure that you use an appropriate uninstaller to get rid of all the files associated with this service pack. Once you’ve done that, check if you can properly use the Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence again.

Method 11: Restore Your System

System Restore is a crucial function on Windows systems that lets you take your system back to a state when everything was working as expected. If the Ctrl + Alt + Del not working on Windows 10/11 issue started out of the blue, you may have done something, like installed a malicious program or changed certain system settings.

Keep in mind that system restore will remove device drivers and programs installed after the restore point was created. Therefore, list down all the installed programs that you’ll need to reinstall so you can do so after the process.

System Restore is useful for cases where you can’t pinpoint the source of the problem. To perform a system restore:

  1. Bring up the Run dialog box using the Win + R shortcut keys.
  2. Type exe and hit Enter.
  3. This action should launch the System Restore window. Select Recommended restore to undo the most recent changes to your system. Otherwise, select Choose a different restore point and click Next.
  4. Select a restore point, or click on Show more restore points if you don’t see the appropriate restore point.
  5. Confirm your choice and click Finish.

System restore will restart your PC to apply the changes. After it’s done, check if Ctrl + Alt + Del now works on your computer.

So, which of the methods above did you use to fix the Ctrl+Alt+Del issue?

Share it in the comments below!