There are several reasons why you might want to remove the keycaps from a keyboard: an unfortunately spilled cup of tea, requiring a careful wipe down; exciting new HX3D keycaps – like the RPG Icon Pack to match your in-game actions – ready to take their place beneath your fingers; a general cleaning session to clear out dust and hairs; or perhaps pure curiosity as to the most amusing word you can spell across the length of the board.
Whatever your reasons, this article will explain the basics of removing the keycaps from a keyboard.
The first thing you should do is find a good tool that you can use to remove the keycaps with. We recommend a keycap puller, (one is included with most HyperX keyboards, as well as some of our keyboard accessories). Some people will recommend using a fork or a butter knife to remove keycaps if you don't have a keycap puller. However, this can damage the keycaps or even the keyboard, so we’d recommend playing it safe and waiting until you have a proper keycap removal tool to start this process. Unplug your keyboard and find a clear space where you can start the removal process, preferably somewhere with enough room for you to lay out the keycaps in an arrangement that corresponds with their placement on the keyboard.
Removing the Keycaps
Once you have a keycap removal tool and a clear workspace, you can start the removal process. Take the keycap removal tool, place the edges under the keys, and pull up. This should dislodge the keycap from the keyswitch. Once again, you want to have some way to remember where each keycap goes before you remove all of them. If you don’t, the reassembly process can get kind of tricky.
Removing all your keycaps in groups and arranging them somewhere in your workspace as they would appear on your keyboard can really help you during the reassembly process. This way, you can easily grab the keycaps and place them on the keyboard without having to remember where each went. When removing keycaps be sure to watch out for bigger keys such as the space bar, as these keys may have a metal support bar that can easily be broken. Make sure to remove all keys slowly and carefully so you do not damage any part of your keyboard.
Reapplying the keycaps
Once you have successfully removed your keycaps and have done with them what you set out to accomplish, it’s time to begin putting your keycaps back onto your keyboard. To accomplish this, simply line up the keycap with the keyswitch and slowly push down. If any resistance is met this may mean that the keycap and keyswitch are not properly aligned, so take the keycap off and try again.
When placing keycaps back onto your keyboard be sure to pay close attention to bigger keys such as the enter key, the space bar, and the backspace key as sometimes these keys are attached to support bars and you must correctly place them back onto the support bar for everything to work as intended. Being extra diligent during this process is important because you do not want to damage any of these keys, as replacing the support bar can be near impossible, depending on the type of keyboard and its manufacturer.
General tips to remember:
- When removing keycaps make sure you're using the proper keycap tool to avoid damage to your keyboard.
- When removing keycaps, make sure you pay close attention to larger keys such as the enter key and the space bar because they may be attached to support bars that can get damaged in the process if you are not careful.
- Make sure you remove your keycaps in groups or place them on a surface in the same layout they would appear on your keyboard. This helps you know where to replace the keycaps once they are all off your keyboard. Remembering where every keycap should go from memory is tougher than it looks!
- When reapplying keycaps, make sure you do so slowly and carefully and don't force anything into place to avoid damaging your keyboard.
- When reapplying keycaps, pay close attention to larger keys such as the enter key and the space bar and make sure that if they have a support bar that it is properly realigned with the keys so that no damage is done to your keyboard or the support bar.
Looking for an excuse to pop some keycaps from their place? Check out HyperX's 3D-printed keycap lines to see creative options like the Abilities Set and RPG Movement set. Decide which best fits the mood of your game space, then start plucking those basic keys!